Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Christmas 2011
Merry Christmas to all our family and friends! We pray that in this season you will understand and know more of the ‘Reason for the Season’ – Jesus Christ!
This has been a DIFFERENT year for us in several ways!
It was different initially in that we spent the first entire winter in 5 years at home in Columbia, Illinois – and it was cold!! The getting-away-in-the-winter pattern was never our plan but I guess we’d gotten spoiled! In April, my 18½-year-old cat, Dickens, passed away. She’d been such a faithful companion, but had developed hypothyroid. We haven’t replaced her with another pet yet; that will happen eventually, I imagine.
Dan is still very active in his role as Bible Quiz Trainer for our denominational global youth ministry. He was fortunate to have been asked to participate at the regional quiz event at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego (and I was fortunate enough to get to go along!), so we enjoyed some beautiful spring weather there at the end of May. Early in June, we drove to Louisville, KY, to volunteer at the 2011 NYC (Nazarene Youth Conference). We enjoy the varied aspects of volunteering at these events which are life-changing for several thousand teens.
In early July, since I had never been to Washington DC (but Dan had been stationed there as a Marine, a long time ago!), we drove there to spend a few days on our way to our first all-family vacation at Marcy’s! DC is awesome and we stayed just a block from the White House. It was incredibly hot then, but we really enjoyed the landmarks and especially 2 of the 19 Smithsonian museums. Driving on to Marcy and John’s home in Fairhaven, MA, was fun too, as we took a detour to take a few photos of Lady Liberty in New York Harbor. Monica and her kids flew out, as did Erica, then Darin. Derick and Nola drove up from North Carolina. At Marcy’s, we all enjoyed a beach, Plymouth Rock, and lots of great food and time together. Morgan’s softball team was excellent this year and we had fun being the grandparents whose presence seemed to help them win!
A couple of weeks later, Caitlyn & Dylan spent a week with us before school started. We look forward to this week each summer and we plan fun things to eat and interesting outings to enjoy different sights around St Louis. This summer, we toured Cahokia Mounds, rode bikes, went peach-picking (which turned into blackberry-picking and peach-buying before going out to lunch in Alton, IL).
In September, after a couple of years talking about it, we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary in Hawaii! Maui was absolutely gorgeous! Dan did the driving, as we toured the northern coast (Road to Hana) and drove up Haleakala Volcano. We enjoyed lots of good food, some beaches, and a sunset dinner cruise.
Our “empty nest” is DIFFERENT now too!
I finally have retired from JoyFM! It was a good time to go, after 8 years. With this decision, along with the awareness that God always has a plan, we asked Erica if she’d like to move in with us and take care of the house when we are gone. Without hesitating, she said, “Sure!” She moved in near the end of July, with her cat Phantom, and is enjoying the lower level of our home. She keeps busy with her job and her friends; they enjoy movies and hockey games and girls-out-nights! We are really enjoying having her around and she doesn't seem to mind the lower living costs.
And, now our life is really DIFFERENT, we’re in Argentina! We learned of a volunteer opportunity – the SAM (South America) Region was looking for a volunteer couple to spend 2 years at the Regional Office. They needed accounting and administrative help. We asked about a shorter period of time and did they need computer skills too – and we have been here since mid-October! We have met some great new missionary friends! Unfortunately many have gone back to the U.S. for Christmas and Home Assignment (to raise support). Learning to get along with limited Spanish knowledge – very DIFFERENT - has proved more challenging than we imagined, but we’re learning! Thanksgiving in Argentina was DIFFERENT but lots of fun with a dinner with 20 missionaries; we had turkey and everyone fixed traditional dishes! Christmas will be really DIFFERENT in the warm weather and away from home. Argentines celebrate here on the 24th ending with midnight (all night) fireworks. We’ll spend Christmas Day Skyping, I think!
You can catch up on more of our Argentine experiences on our blog: You can also ‘subscribe’ and get emails when updates are posted… We’ll spend 6 months here, returning 2 days after Easter 2012 to be available for duties at U.S. Bible Quiz events in the spring and summer.
Yes our year has been DIFFERENT and we would love hearing about yours!
We have pretty good Internet service here, so please let us know what’s keeping you busy! Send us an email and/or let’s plan a Skype time to talk face-to-face! We wish you the best in the upcoming year and hope that you’ll someday consider volunteering, using your learned and God-given skills to benefit others!
Blessings to you!
Dan & Janet Reinhart

Blessings to you!
Dan & Janet Reinhart

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