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
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
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