Patient Endurance. I started a study on the book of Revelations. In the first chapter, I was grabbed by these words, and I dwelled on them for quite a while. Patient endurance. What does that mean? What does that look like? Why is this part of how Jesus calls us? I like to think that I am a patient, calm person. Waiting and enduring in this process of life. Waiting for residency papers, waiting to travel, waiting for ministry, waiting for groups and visitors, waiting for direction and guidance; waiting. To have the strength and ability, the endurance, to embrace fully, this life, this country, this culture and language. To endure through times of transition. To endure through the times of joyfulness or sadness. But I have to admit, I’ve been impatient and frustrated in these processes. Sometimes really, really frustrated. I question my ‘endurance’, question my direction and question myself. But I also have to admit that I have been called; I placed my life in His hands. I only need to continue walking forward. Saying Yes. Patiently Enduring.
What did this look like in May? Let me start by sharing about life and ministry here. A group of us have committed to attend the CIPE Asemblea in Chile in October. So we have been fundraising. Nearly every Saturday we make something to sell. Sorrentinos (giant ravioli filled with ham and cheese), fideos (linguini), roasted chicken and potato salad, empanadas, etc. There have been some long Saturdays of making pasta, fillings ad delivering. These have been some wonderful bonding times with this group.
Our church Betel continues with its weekly prayer meetings, study groups, mens ladies and youth groups, mission group and services. We continue to meet in the Cooperativa. There was a lengthy conversation with the leaders about our vision, and next month – what is our mission to accomplish our vision. They don’t just want a church building to hold services in, but rather a building that would benefit the community. Perhaps with a daycare, after school care, a place for workshops and health clinics, the ideas are endless and we are praying for God’s guidance and provision.
The men’s group spent a weekend at the Covenant Church Emmanuel in Osorno, Chile. There was outreach to Rio Chico. The youth had a few visitors from Chile and even Sweden. Daniel is back from Hechos29 in Mexico and it is exciting to hear all about it. There is even more interest in missions, in biblical education and we are ecstatic about hosting Hechos29 along with Chile in 2020.
We shared another evening of Healthy Cooking – focusing on breakfast this time, and this will be monthly with our church, and looks like it is expanding to other churches and support groups. With every night already full, it has been a bit of a challenge to organize some additional classes, for administration/finances and basic English. It was a blessing to be able to teach on some of the administration details with the two churches here.
We celebrated Pastora Norma’s birthday, although she figured out the surprise; we celebrated several other birthdays. The church in Neuquen celebrated their anniversary. The family meals are a weekly blessing for me. We share the cooking, I get to add in a new salad or veggie. Meriendas or times of mate continue to be a space for open conversations; and lattes are a bigger and bigger part of these. I am grateful to be that listening ear when needed.
Residency feels like it took two steps forward and one step back. IPEA finally has their paperwork, but then they needed a new, updated letter from the Ministry of Religious Affairs. This letter came with some new paperwork that wasn’t required before. I also had to redo a few things because they were more then three months old, but I was able to do all of it in one morning. This paperwork needs to be in place before I can travel to Chile in July. I think this process is where I am most impatient and frustrated. But I know that we will see God’s glory in this and everything will work out for His good.
It is Autum here and moving into winter. Winter veggies in the stores. We ended May with a snow storm and began June with huge rains. It is different thinking about winter coming into the month of June. But I know there won’t be the quantity of snow that I am used to. I’m not sure if I’m happy about that or not.
While mail started out being pretty normal here, it seems to have taken a turn for the worst. There are three packages that I know of that have yet to arrive after nearly three months. So if you have mailed something and I haven’t acknowledged it, I apologize, I’m not being rude or ungrateful; please check with me – it’s quite possible I didn’t even receive it yet.
The regular power outages are just that – regular occurrences and not a big deal. Gas heat and gas stoves make a difference. Strikes are also regular occurrences. This month though, was a national strike against the government. Everything shut down for a day, protesting the government’s unwillingness to sit down and talk about the economy, wages, etc. Legalizing abortion is still being protested and there are protests in support of a Doctor who has been penalized for not doing the procedure. The discussion continues about non-gender language; however that creates huge issues in the education system.
Thank you all for your prayers and support. You have uplifted and encouraged me and allowed ministry to continue. Thank you for your whatsapps, emails and notes. It is wonderful to be connected with so many. I pray you rime at the Canadian AGM was a blessing and it was great to be a I pray that more of you will come to Argentina and experience what I have, learn what Max was so passionate about.
Don’t forget to note the new contact info:
Mailing address for the ECCC has changed:
PO Box 2247, Strathmore, AB, T1P 1K2
Mailing address here in Argentina:
Cacique Purran No 4019, Barrio El Frutillar
(8400) San Carlos de Bariloche
Provincia de Rio Negro, Republica Argentina
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! I am thankful for God’s timing and working in all the details of my life.
Prayer requests include: the residency process, continued expansion and fluidity of the language.
Prayer for 2019 and the continued ministry here and a clearer view of my role in it. Prayers as I move deeper into ministry – and deeper into this new life without Max.
Prayers for Argentina as they face economic issues, and for the churches as they respond
Continued prayers for BET EL as we find a new location and pray for God’s direction in this transition. Prayers as they develop their vision
Continued prayers for the congregations – of those remaining with the Covenant and those following the other pastor.
Praise and rejoicing for the family and friends that I have here
Prayers for Merge teams, individuals, couples and family that are looking to come to Argentina
Praise for the funding that has been generously provided