It was early afternoon and our thirteen year old son and his classmates heard a series of gunshots (turned out to be 18 in all). Right away the administration moved all the students into an upstairs classroom, away from the street. Continue reading Starting High School
We had been visiting from church to church, on the road and far from home for several months. We were in South Carolina. Sunday morning arrived, and we did not have a church to speak at, and is our custom, we planned to visit a local Presbyterian church. No one at the church knew we were coming, but we were happy to just be refreshed and worship with God’s people.
After service, one of our children struck up a friendship with another girl. This girl invited us to her home for lunch, and then went to ask her parents. Continue reading Simple Hospitality
I don’t know about the United States, but here in Uruguay, Day of the Woman is a big deal. There is a call for women everywhere to not show up to work, to prove that they are an indispensable part of the economy. Likewise, every year in school the children learn about the advances women have made just in the last 100 years to go from obscurity to a place where they are just as valuable as men–almost just as valuable anyway, as they also learn about the advances that still need to be made. Continue reading Happy Day of the Woman
What is it like to be a Christian missionary in the most secular country in the Americas? Uruguay is unusual in Latin America for its level of secularism, as the Pew Research Center explains here and here. It isn’t just the most secular country in Latin America, it is strikingly more secular than any other country in the region. Many think that is because Uruguay is following in the footsteps of Spain, but in fact as this article in Spanish describes, Uruguay has a much higher percentage of atheists and those who are religiously unaffiliated than Spain or many other European countries. And although Argentina is the close cousin culturally of Uruguay, the religious landscape between the two nations are quite distinct. Continue reading Baptism and New Membership in a Dry and Parched Land
Much of the daily life of a missionary is the same as the daily life of anyone else, but done in the backdrop of another language and culture. This past Christmas, for our family, was a time that combined the sadness of a miscarriage with joy of celebrating the Incarnation with our much-loved and expanding family.
About 30 minutes into day two of VBS, I looked up to see our big family van pull up to the entrance of the event center where we meet. Ray opened the door and a stream of children came running towards the bounce house we had set up. Continue reading Let the Children Come
The life of a missionary and hospitality go naturally hand in hand. We often find ourselves both in the giving and the receiving end. I think of our times on furlough when members of various churches around the country host us for a meal or over several nights in their home. We may be strangers as we pull into their driveway, but we leave as friends with these brothers and sisters in Christ. I also think of the national church members who have taken considerable time and energy to host us, and also show us how to set up and live life in a new place. We started over twice in a new country-once in Mexico and once again in Uruguay. Both times we were needy and on the receiving end of much Christian love and care. Continue reading Recovering the Art of Christian Hospitality–Book Review
Summer is quickly coming to a close in the Southern Hemisphere. Today was the first day of school all across the city of Montevideo￼. Because our seasons are opposite of the Northern Hemisphere, the school year runs from March through December. Continue reading First Day of School, Missionary Style
We have been in a busy season of hospitality over the past few months. It has been our joy to have had our guest room occupied often and to frequently have visitors around the family meal table. I would like to introduce to you one of these visitors, Vanesa.
Vanesa is a 22 year old Venezuelan woman who is making a new life for herself here in Uruguay in response to the deep economic crisis that her country is experiencing (you can read more about the crisis here). Her and her Venezuelen boyfriend, Manuel, have been attending our church plant for over a year now. She came to stay with us for a few months at the end of the year, as she was looking to transition her living situation and strengthen her walk with the Lord. Continue reading Ministry in the Home
I (Michele) have spent much of my adult life filled with so many dreams and aspirations that I have thought I need several lifetimes to get everything done that I want to accomplish. I’ve dreamed of going back to school for a master’s degree, of learning to play a musical instrument well, of working as a lactation consultant, of devoting more hours to our ministry…the list goes on and on. This doesn’t even touch on the good deeds which I would like to focus on. This past year, with my 8th pregnancy and then time spent with baby Lucas needing to be hospitalized, I’ve actually added a new word to my vocabulary that has revolutionized my dreaming. The word is finite. Continue reading Finite