Though the Christmas season in the U.S. has come to an end, here in Uruguay we have at least one more day until it passes. Tomorrow is the Day of the Kings, a holiday where the gift giving surpasses even that of Christmas in much of Latin America. It refers to the Magi who visited Jesus and gave gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. As the season comes to an end and we look back over the past couple of weeks, we thank God for the blessing of having celebrated our first Christmas here in Uruguay. We had been in our new house a little over a week when the special day arrived. Continue reading Old Traditions, New Traditions and the Worship of God Incarnate
“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.
It was the summer of 2001 and we were in the beautiful resort town of Lake Tahoe, California. My wife Michele and our children and I had come to minister to about 60 or so college students who were there to participate in what in many circles is called a “beach project.” Going into it, I had an idea that God would use me in the lives of others, but I soon found out that aside from that privilege, I would also see the Lord at work dramatically in my own heart.
As we watch God at work we sense that our time in the U.S. is drawing to a close and we are getting closer to departing for Uruguay. We received some good news this last week while we were on our way to Florida. Our support has bumped up significantly. We are now at 91% of our support goal. All praise be to the Lord! What does this mean? Continue reading Getting Closer to the Big Move