11 months in Latin America. 11 Months as a missionary family. 11 months of trying to learn another language. 11 months of adjusting to a new culture.
It’s hard to believe 11 months have passed since loading up our 10 suitcases with what personal belongings we could fit and ditching our snow boots and fleece jackets for the tropical climate of Latin America. It seems so far away, yet like yesterday.
So much life has happened in 9 months and some days I just have to stop and say wow God, I didn’t expect this ride.
We arrived with an 8 year old a 7 year old a 3 year old and a 16 week pregnant belly. Knowing only a little Spanish and having a rental home for the next 4 months we dug right into language classes and waited to see what the Lord would have for us each day.
Month 3, we said goodbye to Greg’s dad, who’s cancer suddenly took a downward turn right after we left Canada. Greg returned home for a couple weeks to be with his family and say goodbye to his dad, while the girls and I stayed behind in Latin America. During that time we bought a house and ministry center, and moved 3 and a half hours from the south of the country to the centre of the country. We picked Greg back up from the Costa Rica border and finished getting settled into our new town and home.
Month 5 – we welcomed a baby boy into our family which was interesting to say the least – giving birth in a different country was very different than what I experienced in Canada, but praise God for a happy and healthy delivery of our boy Izaiah. Sadly, just days later we had to say goodbye to Greg’s grandma as she went to be with Jesus. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions to say the least.
Throughout this process we have had 6 trips to the immigration office – the last few begging them to let us stay in the country as we wait for our lawyers to complete our corporation paperwork to apply for our residency. The paperwork stuff here is anything but easy and it has been frustrating to have to focus so much time, effort and money on that but we are waiting as patiently as possible on the Lord’s timing.
We’ve joined together with another missionary family from New York and have started a discipleship program that is now in 24 churches and serving 500 students. The Pastors and youth are excited and that is so encouraging for us!
Month 7 – We installed a playground on our property, which is the beginning of the ministry centre building. We have been saving and fundraising for the community centre project that we hope to break ground on very soon.
Month 8 – we had our first outreach program for our community, we had to keep numbers smaller than anticipated as covid took a turn for the worse here recently. But, all in all, it was a wonderful day and the kids keep asking when is the next one!
Month 9 – Mandates for travel have come into place and we do not know when we will be able to see our family again.
I will save the rest of this update for a newsletter as we need to keep some information protected.
It’s been a wild 11 months but being in the centre of His will is the safest place to be.
Today in Latin America we have a home, a better understanding of the culture and the language, a 9 year old, an 8 year old, a 4 year old and an almost 4 month old. We sweat a lot more, are usually covered in bug bites and dirt and are asleep and awake much earlier than we were in our Canadian life. We travel through bumpy mountain roads in our 15 passenger van, regularly see volcanoes, stand in awe at the Lord’s magnificent creation, and are getting more used to this being home.
We miss family and friends but the Lord has provided wonderful people that have become like family here.
11 months as a missionary family…who knows what the next 11 months will bring.