Sunday, July 21, 2013

Feliz Dia Del Amigo (Happy Friend's Day)!!!!

We're thankful for our little photographer, Olivia
We've had a wonderful week full of several get-togethers.  It was a privilege to meet the Vecchiarelli family who used to work in Malargüe (province of Mendoza) with Kristi's parents many years ago.  They came over for "merienda" (afternoon tea time) on Thursday.  We had a nice visit and learned a lot about the ministries in which they are involved (training churches on how to begin AWANA programs for children).  They work in the "Cono Sur" (south cone) of South America (Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina).  They had a lot of insight and experiences to share with us and are a neat couple; we praise the Lord for the blessing of re-connecting with them.  

Ricardo and Liseth
On Friday morning, we had a fun visit with a couple who feels God's calling on their life to move down to the Patagonia region.  They shared about their call and the journey the Lord has brought them on.  They're expecting their first child late September so we will be praying for a healthy baby and birth.  We hope to have more visits with them.   Please pray for God's direction in terms of when to relocate and for God's provision for them.  Ricardo is currently working as a nurse.  He also teaches how to play musical instruments (we forgot to ask which one!) and is completing training to get certified to repair motorcycles.  You can say he is honing those "tent-making" skills!

All bundled up and ready for some outdoor play time at a nearby park
Last night we visited some colleagues who live on the other side of Buenos Aires.  It was a fun evening.  The kids had prepared little cards for their friends for Dia del Amigo (friend day); the girls made little bracelets for their friend and Elias inflated his last balloon to give to his little friend.  Sweet!

The funny thing is that a few days ago, while our family was doing some grocery shopping, the kids started reading the signs: "Dia Del Niño"  (national Children's Day).  They got pretty excited since this day is coming in August!   One of the many neat things about being an MK is that you have double the holidays to celebrate!!
 Today, in celebration of Dia del Amigo...our family had a "build your own pizza" party.  We had invited some friends but they could not make it.  We had a lot of fun - even if half the toppings got eaten while the building was being done!!  The favorite toppings were the green olives and sautéed onions!  We also had zapallito (little round zucchini squash), sautéed mushrooms, sautéed red bell pepper, meat, and cheese.  One of the exotic toppings we let the kids try (well, those that wanted to) was anchovies. We also celebrated with ice cream for dessert and then had fun fellowshipping together.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

9 de Julio - Argentine Independence Day!!!

Today we decided to get together with friends to celebrate  Argentine Independence Day.  We enjoyed a nice (albeit not very healthy) breakfast of tortas fritas (fried bread dough which is literally called "fried cakes") with mate - the traditional Argentine tea. 
We went all out and made a traditional Argentine dish called "Locro."  Locro is the national dish for many South American countries but each place offers it's unique twist.  It is customary to eat this stew for some of the national holidays.  Needless to say, the recipe we used for this particular argentine Locro was amazing (the recipe varies by region within the country as well).  It is an incredibly delicious stew made with cracked corn, beans, pumpkin, sausages, meat, bacon, onions, and spices.  It's sometimes served with quiquirimichi which is a red-hot sauce drizzled on top and fresh bread.  Mmmm....delicious!  Some good friends came over to join in the celebrations and a good time was had by all!  Wish you could have been here with us!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Family Update

After the birth of Emilia, we have been busy getting back into a routine, continuing to learn the ropes of living here, and, LOTS of paperwork.  Not a week has gone by that we haven't had to go to a certain government office for paperwork (and usually multiple times a week).  We praise the Lord that we received Emilia's documents and are praying for ours to get completed soon. 

Our children are transitioning to a new school schedule (since we're in the middle of winter here) that would allow us to homeschool closer to an Argentine calendar. They are learning Spanish and enjoying life, as they know it, in Argentina.  We are ready to get settled however.  We love our little apartment and have enjoyed the many blessings the Lord has brought our way while living here but after living in 'transition' for three years, we're ready to get a little more settled.

Emilia Nora - posing for her document pictures

We appreciate your loving encouragement and your prayers.  The hardest part of being here, thus far, is being far from so many loved ones and especially from Kristi's parents (many of you will remember that her mother, Karen, is battling bone cancer.  Her doctor recently found some spots on her liver as well).  We continue to ask our Lord for complete healing for Karen.  We marvel at the opportunities the Lord gives her and Richard (Kristi's father) to witness and give glory to the Lord through their journey.  Karen is one of the most positive and joyful people on earth.  Her excitement, her humor, and heavenly view of earthly matters are evident in the updates she writes and sends out.  Click here to download/view her latest update.  She will have a meeting with her oncologist tomorrow to discuss the results of her last CT scan and the new treatment she is using. 
Thank you for praying for her! 


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Glimpses into My Father’s Heart

We recently enjoyed a good, lengthy visit with my (Eric) parents here.  It was fun to explore areas of the city they used to frequent, eat delicious foods we all remembered, and experience the culture together.  It had been over twenty years since they left Argentina; many things had changed but some remain the same.  One unexpected blessing for me was to see my father’s reaction to different things, to experience the things he loves and witness the things which grieve him.

Gaucho at the Feria - picture taken by Olivia
One Sunday afternoon, we visited the “feria” our family had gone to one of our first weeks here.  There are many booths set up for people to sell various souvenirs and traditional items, as well as tasty food.  We enjoyed standing near the stage they leave set up there week after week.  Some Sundays they have groups there to perform folklore music.  On this Sunday, they had people doing some of the traditional dances, complete with their elaborate and colorful outfits.  I was taken back several years when I saw the look on my Dad’s face at the sound of the music.  He could have stayed there for hours.  He developed a deep love for the music of Argentina.  
The last Sunday night they had here, my father and I had the privilege of leading worship at a church where one of his friends is the pastor.  I had forgotten how excited he gets about seeing people worship with music that reflects their rich culture.  We enjoyed singing together, and leading God’s people in this way.

There is one sight often seen in countries like this that affects my father deeply.  One day, driving through a nearby neighborhood, the two of us saw a homeless man.  My Dad pointed out the plight of the homeless, and I looked over to see a tear in his eye.  I remember seeing this as a child, a powerful glimpse into what saddens him.

As I’ve reflected on these moving experiences, I was reminded of a worship chorus we heard before leaving the states.  The lines read: “Show me how to love like You have loved me, break my heart for what breaks Yours”.  Indeed, each of us need God to teach us how to love like He loves.  And, through the intimacy He desires with each of us we can surely catch a glimpse into what brings Him joy, and what breaks His heart.  I know my heavenly Father, like my earthly father, loves music.  He delights in the praises of his people, the expression of their faith through music.  I also know He is heartbroken by the homeless, the “least of these.”  Each of us can stand to be stirred by these glimpses into what God loves, and what breaks His heart.