Volunteering and traveling in Argentina to proclaim God's great love, and hopefully not getting sick along the way.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Days 75, 74, 73... a whole heck of a lot of days

Hello blog. It's been a week. And for being so busy you can guess that I am still a little sick, but I will get to that. So here we go...

Day 75: Was a complete blast! Pre-teen Bible study in the morning. Girls' institute bracelet making in the evening. And then.. Mariela and I walked to the shopping mall to watch Captain America 2. We laughed so much together, which is saying a lot because I haven't seen her laugh a lot lately. I was very thankful.

Before I go so quickly past this day, I also want to comment that good conversation with Andrea G was had. We are very grateful for our girls in the pre-teen Bible study and we ask for your prayers for them. Pray for Dara, Aylen and Dalma. Pray for the future leadership of this group!

Day 74: Girls' institute in the morning equalled more bracelet making, and this time, EVERYONE was involved! I worked one-on-one with every gal, and it felt.. well it felt kind of like I had found a rhythm. That was a God moment for sure.

Afterward, Coco and the Greens and I made empanadas together. If all goes well, it will be featured in OM's blog. I'll keep you posted. Literally. hehe

Then I spent the short afternoon cleaning up and packing bags and watching the next tv series. Downton Abbey. And yes, I am hooked.

Stijn was able to take me to the bus terminal where I bought my return ticket and then was on my way to visit Cristian!

Day 73: Arrived in 30 de Agosto. It was cold, but a bear hug from Cristian got the blood flowing again! (too mushy?) I slept a little bit more before I could start the day. We decided to start registering for wedding gifts. Mostly we just soaked in each other's presence as much as possible (yep. more mush. can't help it).

I was also able to present his parents with their gifts--tickets to the States! They were very happy. Unfortunately, the video I took was too big of a file to send to my inbox so we'll see what I can do.

Day 72: (Saturday in case you are wondering) Consisted of house visits. His friend Hector, who goes by Colo (Colorado, for having red hair). My friend Alejandra M. My radio friend Karina. Then a birthday party for his friend Gustavo's son.

Day 71: Family asado as well as a giant Easter egg for me! Happiness in the form of a Milka's white chocolate plus chocolate chips hollow egg.

For the afternoon we had to take care of more business.. the visas that his parents will need in order to be allowed in the States to begin with! Too much computer time if you ask me, but thankfully Cristian had done a lot of prep work beforehand, so it didn't take up as much time as it could have.

Then church, lovely as usual. Then a surprise dinner date with Cristian at a new restaurant in the town. I enjoyed it so much because we finally got some good alone, deep conversation time.

Day 70: A little bittersweet as both Cristian and I knew it was the last day of our weekend together. The good news is we will be very busy in the coming weeks to help keep us distracted. On top of that, thanks to registering, we realized we have less than 150 days till we are together for good!!!!

He is also sweet to allow friend time. His nephew Jeremias came over while I made cupcakes. We watched a movie and then went to design our invitations for our going away party in July. Then we visited Karina and Marcela--both very valuable moments! Dinner with the family of his brother Jose before leaving for Trenque.

Time to go. To tell the truth, I was.. am exhausted. I arrived today, day 69, with one desire.

SLEEP.

From 10am (this after sleeping fairly well on the bus) till 2pm. I have done very little other than watch Downton Abbey and take care of emails. Sometimes the body just needs to stop, pull a GPS ("Recalculating") and then start up again. And seriously, these next three weeks will be done in no time. 21 days which I will aim to be consistent in writing. 21 days which will then put me in the less than 50 days mark.

Well how about that. "Teach me, oh Lord, to count my days..."

love and chau!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Days 79 (again?), 78, 77 and 76

Well hello again..

I am sick. So I have no more excuses for not taking some time to update the blog. At the same time, being sick means I don't have all that much to say (ha). (And don't worry, it's just a head cold that requires lots of rest. And yes.. I have medicine..)

Day 79: Needs to be updated, because a unique turn of events led to a 5 hour session of board games with David, Stijn and Esperanza! We played Jenga and the Spanish version of Yahtzee, and the Dutch version Settlers of Catan. To say the least, it was a most multicultural and hilarious evening.

Day 78: Work in the morning. I wanted to go to church, but I already wasn't feeling well at that point. So I stayed home and caught up on some things. Researched life for teenagers in El Salvador for some English camp activities and let's just say whoa. That country is in major need of prayer for the younger generation! See this website for more information.

Then I had an intense conversation with one of the fathers of our pre-teens. He too, is in need of prayer. He sees his daughters going down a dangerous path and is unsure of what to do. I encouraged him as best as I could, but said that mainly, it is his job to show more affection to them. He had confessed that he can't; I said he has no choice.

Researched what is needed for the paperwork for Cristian for when we enter the States. As well as Marriage License stuff. Say wha--??

Church was lovely, just cold. Thankfully we met in the salon a couple of blocks away as the house is currently under construction. We said goodbye to David, who will be returning to Mexico tomorrow. Waaaaa...

Day 77: Met with... NOEMI!!! Hooray! It had been way too long. We talked about life at the McDonald's on Colon. So fun. Perhaps we will continue to meet as well, which then brings reason as to why I can't meet with the girl's at the institute at this time. God knows.

Lunch with Davicho and the Greens. I broke the meat fast only because he wouldn't be here to cook for us on other days. Delicious stuffed chicken wrapped in bacon. Or panceta, a weaker Argentine version of bacon. Still counts. Homer's mouth would water.

Then the evening off which was probably a good thing. The mucus was coming on strong!

Day 76: Went to the institute in the morning. It's so hard for me to say no to a Bible study with them! We read the story of Jesus' first miracle and I shared about how even if we aren't that important in the grand scheme of the world, we are important to Jesus. BUT.. we have to accept him. The new girl Karla looked with wide eyes. Still need to get her that Bible...

Went home early as my head was aching. I've been mostly in and out of bed. Working on some wedding stuff. Going to buy some Las Leñas fries for dinner! Yum!!

love and chau!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Days 82, 81, 80 and 79

Day 82: (Wednesday) For the morning, we had the pre-teens Bible study where we surprised by such good conversation about being a disciple of Jesus. We had given the girls homework--a few stories from the Bible to read with their moms and to then answer a few questions. To no surprise, only one did the work, but we were still able to work together with the other characters that the students were to read about.

  • John the Baptist
  • Peter
  • Philip
Next week, if all goes well, we will be interviewing the girls as a sort of Susana Giménez show (the Argentine equivalent to Oprah. sort of...) parody.

I spent the in between time looking up songs for the reception of my wedding! One, I get to pick the songs I actually like, thus avoiding Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas. It's pretty great. Two, fun songs like Suit and Tie get stuck in my head for like.. days. I must admit, a fun tune while brushing your teeth!

Then I went to the institute to hang out with Gladys. We worked on a Pinterest inspired project that turned out pretty good for her. Afterwards, just chatting and making a bracelet. The new girl came in every once and awhile, so I taught her the basic bracelet.

For the evening, David, Esperanza and I played a game called Speed Jungle. New. Different. Hilarious. I left early to talk with Cristian, where we finalized some honeymoon plans (woo!). Also received a new charger for my computer so I can happily say that this post comes to you via Spock.

Day 81: For the morning, I had the privilege of being with all the girls as there was a bus strike throughout the entire country. Not just buses within the city, but to and from other cities as well. Bracelets, per usual.

During the afternoon, especially after a few intense days, I rested. I mean, a little bit of work on the English camps, as well as baking a cake for the Friday meeting, and doing laundry.. but a lot less thinking activities. Except for the baking because I went to Andrea G.'s house to do so, and there was a man from OM Sportslink visiting and we all got to talking.. and thinking.. it's a good thing, just that I was a little tired.

Eva and I watched Miranda whilst she knitted and I made, surprise, more bracelets.

Day 80: Once again, REST!!! Cleaning up my room and throwing away a lot of things. Watching silly Jimmy Fallon videos. Figuring out what I will give away. Watching the season finale of Suits. Perhaps I wasn't making the best of this day as I could have, I'll admit. We so rarely have Friday mornings off that I just didn't even know what to do. At least for the evening we had...


For the first time in at least 4 years, a workshop on evangelism. Different team members shared the ways that they feel most comfortable telling others about Jesus. We had a lot of fun (as you can see). Plus, with asado soon after, I think everyone could enjoy themselves.

Day 79: Today. Weird. I am catching up on various activities. It is a day to plan for the wedding, plan for the English camps, and review my lesson plans with the girls in the institute. Nothing too fancy. I'll go for a walk..

The sad news is I finished the book of Numbers. I actually liked it so much I didn't want it to end. Is that crazy?

Well, if anything more exciting happens, I'll keep ya updated! Love and chau!!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Days 86, 85, 84, and 83

Day 86: (Saturday) In the morning, I stayed in trying to prepare for the week to come. In the afternoon, I went with Ale (the same from day 85) to see the movie Noé. I have a lot of comments about the movie, and they probably aren't as bad as you think. I thought the movie was well put together, and as I have been saying to all my Spanish-speaking friends, "It had some great theological points, without being theological."

We also had good conversation before and after the film. And of course, I was chocha for the salty popcorn.

When I returned home, I avoided the house due to a womens' meeting. Not that I don't like women, but sometimes I still get overwhelmed with lots of people in the house (see day 83). So I went to visit Andrea G. in order to prepare for out pre-teen Bible study that will take place on day 82. Tomorrow. We are excited about it!

Then I came home to talk with mom for a little over an hour about the wedding. Yay! Then I ate veggie tacos and went to bed.

Day 85: In the morning, I went with a small bunch from OM to share at a church in the sierras of Córdoba about our trip to Anecon. Everyone was pretty tired and unwilling to speak publicly, so I stepped in. It was cool to see faces light up knowing that through their giving to the trip, God could do some pretty special things!

I also talked to the pastor to see if we could talk more one-on-one with the church members to support members of the OM team who need the financial help.

Came home, chatted with Cristian, slept. Then mentor time with Andrea K before coming back to surf the web a bit for cheap wedding ideas. Church. Communion. Phone. Bed.

Day 84: Due to all the crazy changes with the institute, I actually didn't go in this day. A few important house tasks were taken care of before I went to the local school that every once and awhile allows us to share a devotion. It was so cool, friends, because I had a message prepared, and then while I was waiting in the hallway, God put another message on my heart.

While I have heard about this happening before, I've never experienced it personally. But let me tell you, it was a message just for them, and many times I couldn't believe all the Spanish coming out of my mouth! And to think that within this 10 minute devotional time, I related scary movies to Jesus. God has his mysterious ways!

I stayed for a little bit in the center before I took a bus home. When I arrived, I was able to work a little on English camp planning before the prayer meeting we have each Monday evening.

Day 83: To the institute!!! One girl, distracted by homework. Another who stayed in her room. One new girl, and the other actually interested in the stories of the Bible. The other who stays because she has nothing better to do. We read about John the Baptist and Mary finding out she will be the mother of Jesus. There were a couple of interesting questions, but mainly I could see the new girl becoming more attentive as we started to read. She is interested in owning a Bible. She also said that she is from Las Violetas. Hmmm...

I had about 30 min in house before I left for the second of 2 devotionals in the school. I was surprised to see a lot of faces smiling at me and saying, "Aw yeah! You're back!" And this after a straight up talk about why they need to follow Jesus the previous day.

a few even wanted to take a picture! cute!!

This time I talked about Batman and Jesus; an appropriate follow up to scary movie and Jesus. They were much more attentive than usual. On top of that, my old friend Noemí said hi (we will meet up later, Lord willing), and that it was one of the best devotionals they've had. Now that means Jesus was really working because I don't think I realized half the stuff I was saying. So go God!!

Now, I forgot my money for food, but thankfully Marisol served me without even questioning. It's like she already knew I would be coming and in need of food. We had the first team meeting as well, and it was loads of fun. This year will be so challenging for them, but I think it's because there is an important message to be told!

Back to lots of people in the house. They are repairing the septic tank (since there are no sewage systems here). So um.. imagine the smell.. and then add 7 or more people working in the "mud" and on top of that they had to turn off the water. We will be creatively eating food without dishes or cooking for the next couple of days. Who knows about showers :/ oh well...

Any way, home to a raw fruit and vegetable dinner. Not too bad of a gig either I must say. But after a long and happy talk with Cristian, I must say. TIME FOR BED!!!

love and chau!!



Friday, April 4, 2014

Days 90, 89, 88 and 87

The whole, sometimes having a computer and sometimes not throws me off. Pardon my absence!

Day 90 (Tuesday): Taught the girls at the institute a new bracelet which they picked up rather quickly. Afterward, I met with Andrea G to plan the pre-teen Bible study. Then home to do some CI camp work. Then I watched the finale of HIMYM. tear.

Then dinner and bed. I must admit that a lot was accomplished on Tuesday, but it felt very systematic due to the strange changes going on in the institute.

Day 89: In the morning, a relaxing and great question-filled time with the pre-teens. I am thankful for their questions, because it means they are interested in truly knowing God.

For the afternoon, again in the institute, and to my surprise, all the girls were there! If there has been a week that challenges my flexibility, it's this one! So I taught some of the girls how to spell their names in a bracelet, while I played the Jesus film in the background. Gladys mainly paid attention to that, since her self-confidence to learn something new is rather low. Thankfully, the other girls too would comment on the stories about Jesus, so we had good conversation.

I came home to Samuel in the shed, so I asked for his help on an art project that would be simple for Gladys. I have a picture on Facebook of my version. Next week, I will try to post how hers turns out.

Day 88: Thursday morning with the girls again, and once again, all of them were there. This time though, I tried focusing on the Jesus film that we couldn't finish the previous day. There is definitely some spiritual warfare going on for her attention in the film. She kept asking when they were going to crucify Jesus. It's the part she remembers from a Catholic church back home teaching her.

When the later scene about the resurrection past, she was surprised. "Did you know that God is not dead?" I asked her. "Oh yes, of course," she replied.

In the early afternoon, I went to Mariela and Nieves' house. I taught Mariela the new bracelet, then did an interview with Nieves to try and get her talking about what she was doing. Both turned out very well, gracias a Dios, as we could talk about their current struggles.

Then we had a meeting with the group that had gone to Anecon, in order to recap the trip. Good comments and a good talk with David afterward. I am very excited for that kid (since he's still a teenager, after all!). He has a long journey ahead, but it is bound to be a good one!

Neither Eva nor I could sleep last night, so we ended up chatting like middle school girls until 2:30 in the morning. Though I suppose in Argentine time, that isn't so late. We are old. Joking...

Day 87: Team meeting day. We played a game outside in order to spice things up. We talked about a couple of ministries and then prayed for each one. Again, good conversation shared between the 17 persons that could come (a couple of team members can not be a part of the Friday meetings).

Edgardo dropped me off at the terminal so I could buy my ticket to 30 during Easter. I am excited to spend that time with family (or at least soon to be family!). Then I walked to the center to buy supplies for the girls. Then home, stopping to rent Anna Karenina in order to watch with Eva and Ale.

Finished the night technically writing this, but not until after a long conversation with Cristian!

love and chau.