It all started with the question: “Where are you from?” The young man who works at the pizza place wanted to know why I am here in Uruguay. When I explained who we are and why we have come, the conversation turned to the things of God. From his questions, I gather that he is fairly skeptical of the Church in general and of the Bible in particular. His first concern was what we thought of the latest Pope’s favorable pronouncements on homosexuals, but then he quickly called into question the authority of the Bible by pointing out that it had been written by men. This in turn opened a door to talk a little with him, but then mostly to his co-worker – a young woman who says she believes that God is a force and who says that she can’t believe that the account of a talking serpent in the book of Genesis could be historical. At the end it all, I believe we were able to raise some good points and share a short synopsis of the gospel message. What a wonderful opportunity from the Lord. It is because people like these young folks that we have come to Uruguay – so that many may be called to believe on the Name of Jesus!
While we are blessed to be able to serve here in Uruguay, it does come with its own challenges. One challenge we face is in purchasing a vehicle. Until now we have functioned via buses and taxis, but that has proved challenging, especially as we become more integrated into life here. After much prayer and consideration, we have decided to pursue purchasing a used vehicle. Autos here sell for more than 2 or 3 times the cost than they do in the U.S. Because of that, we will need to raise additional funds. We have found a van we are interested in and are hoping to purchase it or another of similar size. We are asking the Lord to provide a total of $17,000 toward costs.Would you consider a special contribution toward this need?
Since this is a personal need, Mission to the World cannot process contributions toward it. Also, the contribution would NOT be tax deductible.
Winter seems to have descended early upon us in Uruguay. The weather has been cold and grey since the baby was born in mid-April. Although winter doesn’t officially begin until June 20, I have been watching the weather report every morning for over a month, waiting for a warm day, to no avail. Continue reading A Taste of Uruguay – Tortas Fritas→
It was Saturday, five days after my due date. The baby was coming quickly, though we did not realize it. I had had some occasional but strong contractions off and on, probably for much of the day, but I wasn’t paying too much attention. Then I had an hour of intense labor beginning a little after 5:30pm. We called the doula, but when she arrived they had all but stopped. Ray felt like we should go into the hospital but I wanted to wait until I could say they were both regular and strong. I decided to lay down. I had three strong contractions, the last of which included an urge to push and we decided we should go to the hospital, which is just a 10 minute drive from our house. Things got intense as my water broke right before we pulled into the emergency room driveway, and Ray was afraid he might have to deliver this baby in the car (thankfully the doula was driving)! Continue reading Welcome To Our Newest Blessing→
The alarm rings at 7am. We probably don’t need to wake up so early to make it to school at 8:30, but it is our first week, and our first experience with “morning school”. It is March and autumn is beginning in the Southern Hemisphere. I kick myself that I didn’t go to bed earlier—life happens on a later schedule here and I haven’t yet disciplined myself to go to bed early. I wake up the two boys, one in 5th and one in 4th grade, who attend a local school, and move on to my chores, amazed at how productive I can be when the house is quiet. Continue reading My Life as a Missionary Mom→
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The long, relaxing summer days are coming to a sudden end. The new school year starts again this Monday. Summer seemed to fly by. It is never long enough. But there is also excitement over new routines and new experiences. In my almost 19 years as a parent, I always saw us as a family of die-hard homeschoolers. But, I am now preparing for our second year in a local, private school. Last year we sent our then 4 and 8 year old children, reasoning that they were young enough to pick up the language. This year we are also sending our 11 year old. It was clear that in order to gain fluency in both the language and culture he had to attend school. Our church plant is small and without any other children, and his weekly lessons weren’t enough. Continue reading A New School Year→
Our missionary teammates departed for furlough and left us their car to use until they return in 11 months. After having lived 13 months without a car, this gives us a chance to see what life is like for those in Uruguay who have a car. It also adds certain responsibilities like driving safely in a place where the rules seem crazy at times as well as taking care of regular maintenance like purchasing new tires. This was the task that I set out to do, not realizing at first that I would once again be in a taxi talking with the driver about the things of God.
It was a crazy morning. I had to arrive at the garage early to drop off the car, catch a taxi back home, pick up Michele, take her in a taxi to the hospital for a pregnancy checkup and then drop Michele home via taxi and take same taxi to the garage to pick up the car! Thankfully everything worked out smoothly and now we have four new tires and assurance that our baby’s heart continues to beat normally!
One unexpected encounter was with the first taxi driver, though God is sovereign and nothing is a surprise for him. As usually happens around here, people want to know why we are living as foreigners in a foreign land. I told him that I am a pastor and we are working here with the Church. This is the point where I get to share about what kind of church it is and where and when we meet (in case the driver wants to visit). After sharing that, I asked him if he went to church. His answer was not surprising, knowing that Uruguay is the most secular nation in the Americas: he does not attend church and has no interest in doing so.
“Really?” I said, “Do you believe in God?” That started a conversation which lasted all the way home about God and what is historically known as the problem of evil. The problem is usually put two ways: Continue reading God and the Problem of Evil→
During our recent team transitions, we have been blessed to have a 2 week missionary intern, Akerra Tarver. She is a student at Pepperdine University and is in the middle of a year abroad program in Buenos Aires. Even though her time with us was short, she was able to give us great help, especially with the children.
Akerra is the oldest child of a large family and is far away from home. We just sent out our oldest daughter far from home to start college. Akerra became a big sister to our teenagers, baking with them, watching shows with them, going out with them and just being a friend. Continue reading Missionary Kids, Transitions and Our Intern Akerra→
One of the hallmarks of missionary life is the inevitability of saying goodbye. Things change fast in the world of missions, and missionaries must be able and willing to move. Indeed our family has moved many times in our 16 years of being in ministry. While we are not moving now, we have been saying goodbye to family–our actual family and our missionary family. Continue reading Goodbyes and Hellos→
What is it like to live without a car? What challenges does that present to the large family? Growing up in suburban America, it always seemed somewhat romantic to think of city living, where care ownership is optional and everywhere you need to go can be reached on foot or by bus. We have been living this city life now for 15 months, and I wanted to share our experiences.
It is the start of a fresh new year. We have a new baby set to arrive in April. We said goodbye to our oldest who will begin college in the U.S. this month. We also said goodbye to our only teammates, the Richlines, for their year long furlough, and will say hello to a new family that will minister with us for the year. Ray will begin preaching every week in Spanish, as well as taking over many responsibilities of the church plant. Continue reading 2016 – Yielded→