Friday, January 24, 2014
Christmas letter 2013
To all our dear Family and Friends,
It has been a couple of years since our last letter. Briefly, we have been serving in South America specifically Argentina for the last two years, living near Buenos Aries over the US winters and working from our home in St Louis in the summer.
The year 2013 began for us with firecrackers in Argentina! Argentines really celebrate Christmas Eve and New Year with a bang! We were serving as volunteers in the Nazarene Church’s South America Regional Office using our business experience with financial and office and computer work. It was summer then, in the southern hemisphere, and we took advantage of the compound’s pool whenever we could.
We returned to the States in May, intending to return to Argentina in the fall. The month was full as we drove out to visit Derick & Nola and Darin in North Carolina for a few days, returning home with “Big Bird” – a yellow Honda motorcycle for Dan. It had been Derick’s so when he needed to sell it Dan offered to buy it while we were still in Argentina. It had been over 40 years since his last bike so he took a course to update his skills before taking the test to qualify for his license! A regional Bible Quiz took us to Boston and gave us the opportunity to visit Marcy and her family too. Then Monica visited with Caitlyn and Dylan, so we saw almost all our family in the first month, after being away since the previous October!
In June, we were thrilled to enjoy some great worship services and to reconnect with missionary friends and other Nazarenes during the quadrennial General Assembly in Indianapolis. In addition, we met some new friends and were invited to serve in other world areas as volunteers. Consequently, instead of returning to Argentina, we headed for the Eurasia Regional Office in Büsingen, Germany, at the end of August! We truly loved our time on the German-Swiss border with a great team of workers there! Dan was “in his element”, working with Brad Firestone, helping out with some local tech projects and becoming part of a new team of IT professionals providing services for our global missions. I assisted Brad’s wife Nancy in the Regional Office; she’s doing several jobs at once, so it was a blessing to be useful to her. We thoroughly enjoyed autumn in Europe, with weekend trips to several cities in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. Before returning home we also visited some friends in Ankara and then toured the Cappadocia region of Turkey. We kept a blog and posted lots of photos on Facebook. Check out more details at http://ReinhartsRoad.blogspot.com.
Home now for the holidays, we’re even enjoying the cold weather since we hadn’t experienced winter since 2010. Christmas will be special at home this year with Erica and with Monica, Caitlyn, and Dylan!
There was an interesting time in the family during our time in Europe. In one 2 week period 4 of our children were experiencing some form of job change all at the same time…
Marcy has changed careers; she’s in police academy, training to be a local police officer in Fairhaven, MA. Husband John is still with Samsonite (we benefit from his samples). Megan is a sophomore RA at University of Rhode Island, studying Auditory therapy. Morgan is a high school senior planning to study Nursing next year, and Tucker is preparing for life with both sisters away at school.
Monica has taken a new job closer to us in the St Louis area. She and the kids are living with us for a few months as they’re transitioning with her new CPA job and a new school for the kids in Belleville, IL.
Derick and Nola still live in Raleigh, NC where Derick is living his dream as a Rope Access Technician at Over the Edge USA and has accepted a General Manager position at Over the Edge Rope Access. oterausa.com
Darin also lives in NC (with Derick & Nola) where he makes a living installing satellite TV systems while building custom motorcycles in his off hours.
Adam does computer work for a non-profit. His and fiancée Dana’s home in Washington, IL, was destroyed in a tornado in October, but they were not injured, as they had taken shelter in their basement. They’ve already purchased a new home.
Erica received a promotion to a new job as well – she’s now the purchaser at the Lutheran Senior Services facility where she’s been a cook. She lives in our house and takes very good care of it when we’re away. She and I still have lots of fun in the kitchen when we’re in the States. She adopted 2 kittens, Backus and Jax, named after two of her favorite hockey players, that are growing quickly!
God continues to provide rich experiences and wonderful people to work with in our retirement from paid careers. Along this pathway there are a couple of important things we have learned (or relearned):
- The special never-ending value of our family and friends like you.
- God’s plans are always way better than any we might have. Janet’s says “God laughs anytime we make plans” cause anytime we try to look more than 3-6 months into the future, He says no, look what I have for you to do next… and we are amazed all over again.
We are so blessed to count you and yours in this life we have been given.
May your Christmas season be blessed and your New Year filled with Joy.
Dan & Janet Reinhart