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.
Incredible view! Despite my fear of heights, the trip up the chair lift to the top of a small peak in the Uruguayan resort city of Piriápolis was worth it. After several important meetings with visitors from the U.S., we took them on a day trip to this summer vacation destination. Continue reading Piriápolis
“I’m sorry, you can only register one of your documents today,” the woman behind the counter told Ray. He stood there with all 10 of the documents (9 birth certificates and a marriage certificate) that need to be registered before we can begin the process of getting our visa to live in Uruguay. Although he wasn’t clear why only one document, he dutifully filled out the form and paid the fee and then returned home. Continue reading A Day in Our Life
One week ago we had just returned to Florida from the Dominican Republic, and we were working hard at packing and cleaning to get ready to fly to Uruguay. Not surprisingly, our youngest had come down with a respiratory illness, and all of us suffered from an upset tummy from the food/water. But nonetheless, on Thursday, some friends drove 3 vans to the airport with us and all of our luggage (19 check-in, 8 carry-on, 9 personal bags, a stroller and a carseat) to see us off. With all the help, it didn’t seem like too much stuff. So we got in line and our friends said goodbye. We expected just a routine, if slow, check in. Continue reading Our First Few Days in Uruguay
Can you remember that time in your childhood where you really started to ponder the great questions of existence? Was there ever a time when you thought something like, “What if I were never born?” or the unsettling thought, “What if there were nothing instead of something?” It was about the fourth grade when I suddenly came to grips with my finiteness. The questions for me were, “What if I never existed?” and “What if God never existed?” Continue reading God’s Self-Existence and Flying to Uruguay
Breaking down in a strange city and being cared for by a local church. Being invited on Sunday morning to come share a meal with a family we have just met. Being hosted by a couple for a long weekend, complete with meals and beds for our large family. Being allowed to stay at an apartment or unoccupied house for a matter of weeks or months by friends or even strangers. Hospitality. This is something as missionaries that we are honored to both give and receive. And as we are on the brink of leaving for the field and I look back on our 8 months on the road visiting churches in the US, I can say that the one of the biggest (maybe the biggest?) spiritual blessing is the blessing of seeing God’s people practice hospitality towards us. Continue reading Simple Christian Hospitality
Years ago, when Grey Davis first became governor of California, I remember reading a newspaper article which voiced the concern that Governor Davis might become “lost amid the paper clips” – that he would be so focused on managing the details that he could lose sight of the big picture. Since we moved out of California soon after this, I did not follow whether this humorous prediction came true. However, I always remembered what it said. It stuck out to me because of my own tendency to “get lost amid the paper clips”. Ray is the visionary; I am the one thinking in details. If there was a great tornado coming, I would be the one not gathering my children and fleeing, but making sure we had some snacks and extra blankets to take with us.
What does it mean to be settled? Certainly for a missionary, it means something a little different. In 2014 “settled” hasn’t been on the menu in the Call family! Here is a picture of the place we are calling home right now. In the picture we are about to start breakfast here in the apartment that we have been at since mid-June, on the property of some dear friends in Florida. While we are super thankful to the Lord for the blessings of being here near friends as we finish our Home Ministry Assignment and prepare to leave for Uruguay, we are not quite settled, both because of the tight squeeze and because we know it is only temporary.
The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NAS)
Are you familiar with the expression, “when it rains it pours?” Or what about “Murphy’s Law?” Well, however you want to label it, we had quite an experience last week!
It had been a busy weekend of traveling and seeing a dear supporting church in Kansas. It was Monday morning, May 19 and we were looking ahead to a week that had a bit of margin (finally!) built in to it. We had five days to make it to Gatlinburg, TN, for a week long vacation in a cabin with my parents. Five whole days. I imagined getting settled into Gatlinburg a few days early with our trailer. I could do the laundry and go to the grocery store. We’d start our vacation well rested. Tuesday night we made it all the way to Knoxville. We parked in front of a Wal-mart, slept in a little, visited the Wal-Mart and the Trader Joe’s and were ready to go by noon, local time. Continue reading When it rains it pours