The 3 R’s of August… Kind of … Reconnecting.. Recharging.. Returning to School


No, I am not yelling at you with this scripture.  I want to convey the POWERFUL STRENGTH of these words. Maybe I should be proclaiming and singing them at the top of my lungs.  No, no, I won’t do that to you.  I shared last month about having this verse prayed over me by Pastora Leli.  This verse, among many others, is a current theme in my prayer life, my devotional life, and my life as I now know it.

I have been in Argentina two months now.  Over the past year, I was at the end of my worldly earth.  I had no idea what I was supposed to do with this new life I had been dealt.  Could I not exchange this card or give it back?  But our Father, my Lord, CALLED me, He reminded me very strongly that He chose me and had plans.  This in not just a new life as a widow (can I just say that I hate that word still), it’s a new life as a missionary – a complete change of careers, it’s a new life in another country, another culture, and another language.  But in the midst of this journey I am assured, I am comforted and consoled.  I am reminded of the strength that is available to me and of the powerful strength that is required for this journey of faith.

So where do I start with this update?  Do I share with you about reconnecting with friends, with friends who are my family here in Bariloche?  Times of joy, times of sharing memories, times of tears and times of laughter.  Try to explain greek yogurt in the supermarket in a foreign language – ah, the laughter we had that day and the fun times.  And the answer is no – I haven’t found any yet.
Do I share with you about my time in Chile?  A time of God working the productive busyness out of me, a time of weeding, a time of learning to rest in His presence in the present?  No – this will be another writing, this I do know.

Do I share with you about being in full time language school?  About being able to glorify God as I share about my life, being a missionary, about the Covenant?  I get to boast about God and His care, about all of you!  There is ministry within the school as I work with my teachers translating a presentation, as well as sharing my testimony.

Do I share what some of you may find, the boring, monotonous details life here?  Navigating the post office, the book stores, the grocery stores and cafes – this is an accomplishment for me to do this all in spanish!  The more I learn in school and am fully immersed living with Pastor Hector and Pastora Norma, the more I can hear and speak.  I give praise that there are times when the brain isn’t completely tired at the end of a day of constant translating!  We started the residency process and I was thankful for Marcela (Hector’s sister who is also a police officer)  for coming with me to immigration.  I am constantly amazed at how much I remember for directions and where things are.  I am quite confident taking the bus (colectivo) and walking around.

Do I share with you how the mission and ministry here is being defined more and more; and growing larger and larger? The local pastors and I are learning together what ministry will look like.  Right now, my ministry is being present with everyone, building relationships – and some of them are deeply bonded.  September 8 and 9th is a mission weekend.  I will be sharing about the Covenant, Serve Globally, what, where and how missionaries are serving, about my own testimony and experience as a missionary and how I will be serving here.  I am excited to share about Covenant history and affirmations in the future, to explain what we are a part of.  BLESS is also a large focus this month and I am encouraged and looking forward to this, although having two nights of different presentations, all in spanish, for an hour or so, is a bit towards the edge of my comfort zone – I’m thinking Max is involved here.

I do want to share a bit about life with my church family here.  In Argentina, they celebrate Dia de Ninos.  Children’s day.  Our church brought joy, fun games, shared food and shared about Jesus in a local barrio (neighbourhood).  They had a men’s retreat here – a weekend of the southern churches meeting and being immersed in the Word.  This was also a time of more reconnecting and sharing memories of our time at the men’s retreat in Rio Chico.  They celebrate birthdays here with a vengence.  They celebrate and share thankfulness at every service.  I have watched the church members come around those in need, and just generally care for each other.  They worship at a heavenly volume – oh how Max loved this fuerte music!  Heavy metal was Max’s music of choice; and David, Lucho and all the others certainly bring this aspect into their praise.  It’s awesome!  I know there are some youth back in Canada that would truly enjoy and appreciate this music.

Let me tell you about Harold.  He has a huge heart for God and truly takes pleasure in serving others.  On Dia de Ninos, he fell and injured his hand and ended up with two broken fingers.  Pastora Norma was able to take him to the hospital and remain with him until he was able to leave.  While medical is free here, because of the changes in the economy, only the basic services are included.  For any follow up appointments or specialists, anything not deemed ‘required’, you have the choice to wait in the public system – three weeks to three months or more; or to go to a private hospital and pay.  Several within the congregation took it upon themselves to organize a special offering and a Hot Dog fundraiser for Harold.  They were able to bless Harold with more then enough funds to cover his appointments, transportation and any other minor needs.

Some of you have asked ‘How are you doing? Not what are you doing, but How are you doing?’  Many times my answer is just that – what I am doing.  But that is also How I am doing.  I am healing as I study, be present with others, live life here.  It’s not always easy, sometimes the memories and embracing this new life and not what I thought it was going to be or should have been is quite strong.  But there have been days of enjoyment and seeing sights that I know Max would have enjoyed with me and others.  There have been joyful days of gratitude to embrace memories and there have been sorrowful days of searching for the thankfulness despite the circumstance.  But in all of it and through all of it, always with prayer, I do have joy and hope in my heart.  I know, very strongly, that I am where I am meant to be, I am supposed to be here serving, and I am compelled to continue on this journey.  Compelled, I have to, there is no other option in my mind.  So I continue walking in faith, trusting the next steps, the next days, weeks and months; surrendering with open hands – My life is not my own; I am His and I am responding and obeying His call, His will.

What does that look like for September?  More school and studies of course, preparing to share about Missions and My life and Missionary service.  It will also be embracing the anniversary of Max’s passing – so much has happened in a year and my heart is heavy – joyful and filled with hope, but heavy at the same time.  Do I have a greater sense of purpose as your Canadian Missionary?  Definitely – day by day, being present with and for others, living life here, praying to be a blessing and to be used for His glory, I am filled with purpose – to serve Christ.

I want say thank you for the emails and WhatsApp texts over these months.  I feel connected with each of you and still part of your lives.  And many times your encouragement comes at exactly the right time.  WhatsApp is the best form of communication here.  Thank you for taking the time to switch over to this!   Forgive me for my sometimes long updates,

Prayer and Praise

I will forever be thankful and grateful for each and everyone of you.  For your prayers, your support, your friendship and your presence in my life.

Praise and gratefulness for the ECCC and the ECC – it is exciting, wonderful and I am humbled to be a part of this family – to be a Canadian Covenant Missionary! I am proud to be an ambassador for Christ with the Covenant!

Praise for the complete funding received!  Praise and thankfulness for the additional funding that will allow for greater ministry!

Praise for all the little details of life – the beauty of the majestic mountains, the laughter, being present with friends.

Prayer and Praise for God’s guidance, wisdom, and leading hand – for His will to be done

Praise for the time of retreat, for the recharging of my spirit, my heart and rest.

Praise for language school and for the ministry opportunities here.

Prayer for IPEA, for Argentina, for the churches, for the country, for the people.  The economy is facing some drastic changes and the effects.  This past week the interest rate jumped to 60% – this is 20% increase over the past couple of months, and the peso took a drastic drop which is affecting the price of basic commodities.

Prayer for these next few weeks and into October as I walk through some of the bigger days

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