Sunday, January 29, 2012

Youth Congress this week

Last Sunday evening, at the end of Sunday worship, we noticed that the church was particularly full – lots of chairs had to be set up in the back. We realized that the crowd must be due to the youth conference starting here (across the street at the Bruno Radi Convention Center on the Seminario grounds) on Tuesday. Right away, Daniele and Rafa, 2 young people we had met here almost 4 years ago, ran up to us and we knew just who they were! When we met, they were in a group of Brazilian teens serving at Extreme ’08 with us! We had immediately connected with Dani, even though we could barely communicate with her. She had declared that we were another set of grandparents to her and that she wanted to come home with us in our suitcase!

A few months later, Dan had been invited to give some Bible Quiz training at a youth conference in Campinas, Brazil, and this same group of teens was there also! So we were able to meet Dani’s parents and reconnect with her and some of the other youth. It was a very special time! And now, a group of 15 of them are here with their youth pastor, a dynamic woman named AnnaMaria, for this 2012 Argentina Congreso de Jovenes! I’m so excited to see what this group will do (they have quite a repertoire of dramas!) and how all the young people will be challenged this week.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The value of friends.

This week seemed like what is becoming a typical work week now that things are getting back to normal, post holidays.  But as we reflect on the things to share from this time, we see a common thread of friendship and valued co-workers giving and receiving as the Body of Christ within the compound (Regional Office campo).

German (say “hair-MAHN”), one of our coworkers in Communications, and his wife have seen us walking laps around the compound. He gave us a challenge one morning after devotions, that we should speak only Spanish when we walk! Buen idea! We tried it and think it was really beneficial! It forced me, at least, to think of verbs to use with the nouns I know pretty well, things we see on the way, and forced us to practice conversation, which is exactly what we want to be able to do!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day trip to Colonia, Uruguay

This week marks our halfway point in our 6-month time here! It also means that, according to Argentine laws, that we must renew our 3-month visa. And to do that, we must leave the country for any period of time and have our passports stamped somewhere else before returning! In order not to incur too much expense (some countries have entry and/or exit fees), we decided to take a day trip to Uruguay on the Buquebus, a large and luxurious ferry. Dan made the arrangements online and bought our tickets, which included a tour of Colonia, Uruguay, where we’d spend the day.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year 2012

Thank goodness, we went back to work this week! I think we’d had enough of unstructured time! On Monday, the mail was gathered from the post office – it had been more than 10 days since anyone had gone! And we got 2 new Christmas cards in the (snail) mail! It’s a bigger blessing than most people would realize since we’re so far from home. It’s easy to feel forgotten, even when we know that we’re not, when we don’t get much email, much less physical expressions of caring. Thanks again to Bud & Julie Rager, Pastor Rich & Tawnya Hadley, and friends (and twins) Melissa Steele and Mary Steele!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wrapping up 2011, Welcoming 2012

Happy New Year!! This has been a different week, closing out a very different year!

Fair warning… this one’s long! Out of the office, and on the go, it’s much more fun to describe our outings than talk about wrestling with some equipment, software or spreadsheet in the office…

It’s been some time since we both had time off between Christmas and the New Year! And with offices closed this week, everyone except us and Thea have “flown the coop!” Monday the 26th was the first day of the small job I’ve been asked to do each morning this week – feeding the 2 goldfish in the tank in the CILP building where I work in the afternoons. After doing that, we filled our time relaxing around the house but, since we had been graciously granted permission to use a vehicle, we just had to use it! So we decided to explore Derqui, the town past where we live. It’s small and, I think, a typical Argentine town; nothing too memorable, but at least we’ve seen it!