Living in Argentina: Asado

I was with 20-30 other guys from the church last Saturday. This is the church we have attended while in language school. Every so often we come together to have a men’s asado. My wife will be meeting with other ladies from the church this Saturday and they will be having an asado. An asado is Argentine. Asados take place at birthdays, Christmas, any special holiday, family events, or even just a good Saturday/Sunday afternoon. It is not always “just for men” or “just for women”, it just happened to work out this way these two weekends. Living in Argentina means you will see, smell, and taste on a somewhat regular basis. I am told as the days get warmer asados are more often. It is a part of Argentine culture and for this we are very thankful!

So what is an asado? An asado is a few things. It is a grill out. There can be all kinds of meet from beef ribs, to a sort of grilled roast, to cow intestines, to different types of sausage, to a grilled pork roast, to chicken. It can be all, some, or just one of these types of meat. The meat is cooked on a parrilla (a grill) over small coals for a few hours. The smell is incredible and the taste is even better. I have walked out onto my back porch to the smell of one of our neighbor’s having an asado. Jealousy sets in, followed by regret that I hadn’t prepared for an asado, and finally a resolve to one day have an asado soon (which I rarely follow through on). Asado is also what Argentine’s call a type of meat that is eaten at an asado. It is the beef ribs (as far as I am concerned, it is the best part of the asado!) that are cut 3-4 inch pieces (see the incredible picture below). This is the stuff Argentine dreams are made of! I love it. It is not easy to do. I have tried twice since we have been here to only come up with something very chewy and not particularly tasty. But I have been to other asados where the meat was incredible. So what do we do at an asado? It is really just an excuse to be around friends and loved ones. We talk, the kids play, the men at the church have a devotion, it is really just an event to spend time with others, around delicious, slow-cooked meat!

Asados are as Argentine as can food can be. It is just another aspect of the rich culture we are experiencing as we learn the language and prepare to start churches and train men!

 Asado 1

Asado 2

Living in Argentina: Who is Gaucho Gil?

Living in Argentina is wonderful, we love it here! The past 6 1/2 months have been incredible to us. We are certainly not experts, but we are learning more every day. This post is a continuation on the series “Living in Argentina”. Some things we share are light-hearted, some things are perhaps strange from the reader’s perspective. Today’s post is much more serious. I cannot speak for all of Argentina, but if you are in Southern Greater Buenos Aires, you will see red flags, images, and the name “Gaucho Gil” (pronounced “Hil”). I was in a city called “Lanús” last week and saw a “pasa calle” (a banner across the road) that said “Gracias Gaucho Gil”. I have been in markets where that name is displayed on cups. I see red ribbons tied on various cars. I passed by an enclosed display on the side of the road with candles around it with red flags on the sides. Inside the display is an image. All of these things have to do with “Gaucho Gil”.

So, who is Gaucho Gil? Very plainly, Gaucho Gil is an idol. It is prayed to and worshipped. There is nothing biblical about this “legendary cowboy”. There is a whole story behind the legend, but it really is not important. The thing I want to point out is that this is a stronghold that blinds people from the truth. I have heard stories of people denying the Gospel of Jesus, because they have Gaucho Gil who answers their prayers. The images of Gaucho Gil on the sides of the road are to worship. The red ribbons on cars signify Gaucho Gil’s protection over the person(s) in the car. It doesn’t take long to see signs of this idol here.

I understand that all people need Jesus. In other words, if a man prays to Gaucho Gil or not, he still is a sinner and needs salvation in Jesus! I do believe this to be a manifestation of the lack of the Gospel. We are in a country in great need of the Gospel. This idol, Gaucho Gil, certainly illustrates that. Please pray for Argentina, that the Gospel will shine to every soul!

What Happened In Arequipa?

We have just returned from Arequipa. We were in a Pastor's conference. There were national pastors and missionaries from Argentina, Peru, Chile, Bolivia. Ecuador, and a group from the United States. I received so much from this week! The keynote … [Continue reading]