Along with ecotourism, sugar cane is one of the most important industries in Belize. In recent years the sugar cane harvest has suffered from a 5 year drought. Praise God that this past year the rains have increased dramatically, providing needed moisture for the soil and giving hope to local farmers. Many of our church members in the Presbyterian Church in Belize are either sugar cane farmers or somehow connected to the industry. For example, there is a network of distribution, processing and sales both locally and abroad. Please be praying for the sugar cane farmers and that God will bless them abundantly.
What follows are two brief videos showing sugar cane fields during the day and night. Many burn their fields at night in order to make it easier and safer to harvest. This clears surrounding shrubbery and drives off harmful critters such as poisonous snakes.
The Call family spent most of the month of July packing up, getting things ready to ship to our new ministry in Belize, selling furniture, saying goodbye to friends, sightseeing, and doing ministry.
The first week was really sad because we will miss this great nation of Uruguay and it is always hard to say goodbye. But we threw ourselves into the work, while seeking the Lord at the same time. As the month went on, we learned how to give thanks to God for our time ministering there and for all the fruit that God produced through the ministry of the Word.
God gave Ray the opportunity to preach at our church plant in Montevideo – Iglesia Presbiteriana Salvos por Gracia. It was a blessing to gather together with God’s people there once again! Michele was able to spend time with friends and leaders not only in the Presbyterian churches, but in the evangelical churches at large – other godly women who love the Lord and are serving Him in various ways.
We were pleased to hear that God is raising up leadership for the church plant as they announced their first elder candidate. He and some other men in the church have begun an online radio program, which carries quality content as well as a radio show where they deal with important passages in the Bible. Ray was interviewed and also gave a short devotional.
This trip was also a temporary reuniting with our dog Canela! She is a Boxer and we have had her since she was a very small puppy about four years ago. It was a sad goodbye as we adopted her to a nice family living on a farm out in the country. We hope to see pictures and videos of her enjoying farm life!
As we said goodbye to friends and brothers and sisters in Christ, we also said goodbye to the city. What a beautiful city it is. We spent a whole day downtown – mostly in Plaza Independencia and the old part of the city called Ciudad Vieja. Aside from visiting a museum, walking the streets, and buying souvenirs, we had a delicious lunch at Mercado del Puerto – plaza with several indoor and outdoor parillas (grilled meat restaurants). Most of the family ordered the Uruguayan national dish: chivito. This is a dish with a cut of filet mignon usually piled with lettuce, tomato, egg, bacon, ham, and possibly other ingredients! The two options are usually on a plate or in sandwich form. Ray opted for the grilled lamb – all meat is grilled over embers from an open wood fire.
May the Lord bless this city and may its inhabitants, as well as all the people of Uruguay! And may they all hear the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ and be reconciled to God by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone!
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
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
While there are several supermarkets in our neighborhood of Montevideo the best prices are found at the local feria (outdoor farmer’s market). Michele enjoys searching for the best prices for things like fruits, vegetables, processed meats and cheeses at the feria. She has written about it here and here. Other kinds of meats can be bought at the local carnicería.
Our feria comes to this neighborhood once a week. There are ferias all over the city six days a week with none on Mondays. Vendors can choose which ferias to participate in or how many days they want to work, though they tend to always return to the same location week after week to build up a clientele.
Ferias are popular in Uruguay, at least around here. Thankfully they are close Continue reading Feria
When we boarded the plane to come to Uruguay from Florida in October of this year, I had never actually even visited the country we were intending to make our home. Sure, I did plenty of research–talking to other missionaries, talking to my husband (who had spent all of a week here), and of course getting all manner of opinions from a variety of ex-pats on the internet. So all this to say, Uruguay was very new for me. And there were a lot of surprises–some good, some bad. But I thought it would be fun to come up with ten things I love about Uruguay. Having only been here 6 months, everything is new enough for me that I am not yet taking it for granted and would love to share the best about my new home. Continue reading Top 10 Favorite Things About Uruguay
Asado is grilled beef. It is very common for people to eat asado (with a variety of cuts of meat), chorizo and grilled chicken (though not as popular) in Uruguay. We were recently invited to a friend’s home to eat with them after church. It was a delightful time with good company and delicious food. They also served hamburgers, which we appreciated.
Beef is one of the most important industries in Uruguay. It is all organic and grass fed. If you have purchased organic beef in the U.S., then there is a chance it was from Uruguay!
One thing that has been very different in our South American home is shopping for food. It has been different, and honestly, fun. First of all, we don’t have a vehicle. That has made a big impact in what shopping for a family of nine looks like. I never before in my life gave a thought to how heavy food is, until I had to carry it all home. Now, thinking about the weight of my purchases is part of the daily routine. Another daily feature of life is whether we have small cash on hand. Our bank gives us money only in bills of 1000 pesos (about $45 US dollars). This is too much for all but the largest stores to accept, making it a constant battle to keep small enough bills on hand, for shopping or taking buses and taxis. Continue reading Shopping for Food
One of the things I enjoy about my life is the challenge of feeding a large family on a small budget. It is fun to shop the sales looking for healthy but inexpensive ingredients, and then turn them into tasty meals for the family. And having lived in quite a few different places, I have learned that for the best deals one needs to eat what the locals eat. That meant for instance, bratwurst and pork steaks in St. Louis, but carne asada and tortillas in Mexico. Continue reading What’s For Dinner?