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!