Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his court with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
In a world that is crazy with so many horrible things that go on, we are reminded by scripture to take a step back and give thanks to the Lord for the blessings that we have. We have a lot to be thankful for recently. We are slowly but surely getting a handle on this whole Spanish language thing. We completed 8 weeks of intensive Spanish classes, and we plan on continuing with a tutor. Of course we will continue to practice with neighbors and friends. We are continuing to build relationships with new friends. The girls continue to love school, and Bella is learning Spanish faster than I could have ever imagined. Bella and Jacqueline are going to be “Paisa” before it is all said and done (that is what you call someone from the province of Antioquia in Colombia, which is where Medellin is located).
At the end of September, we got to celebrate Bella’s third birthday with all of our new friends here in Colombia at the zoo. She had a great time! We were very excited that Paul, Patrick’s father, was able to be here for Bella’s birthday, and Patrick’s birthday a week later! On Patrick’s birthday our friend B.J. Mathis landed to spend time with us and to complete a preview trip for his senior high youth group’s mission trip in March. He and Patrick were able to make plans and collaborate with the Emaús Presbytery about future possibilities for his group. During this time, we bid farewell to Paul and welcomed two other friends. My childhood friend, Erin Hammond and our friend from our beloved Beaver Creek CPC, Rachel Shanton came to spend time with us. It was a whirlwind of a time but it was so much fun! We were very happy to see them and be able to show them around the city.
Patrick has had the honor of serving communion (Santa Cena in Spanish) at a couple of the mission points, in Spanish of course! He also was able to baptize five people and help accept twelve new church members for a total of seventeen new church members at the mission point called San Javier. God is doing some really cool things here in Colombia, and we are just so thankful to be a witness to it!
We also gained a new family member since our last update! We adopted a puppy named Lucy. She came from our friends’ neighborhood in a city close by, and she needed a home to call her own. We all fell in love immediately! She has been a great addition, and the girls have a lot of fun with her. Honestly, almost everyone in Colombia has a pet so we had to have one to socially fit in…that’s what I told Patrick anyways. He was a little resistant at first, but now he is the one that loves her the most!
We recently were able to spend a little family time in Cartagena at the beach to celebrate Thanksgiving. However, both of our girls got sick at different points in the trip, and we only had one full day of total health! But we made the most of it, and we got to visit the Old City. What a beautiful city with an amazing history!
Things we have coming up, are that Patrick is visiting a mission point called Istmina on the Pacific Coast with other pastors to help deliver Christmas gifts to the children. Please pray for their safety, because this province is not very safe. I invite you to pray for this community in general. It is very poor and they face many challenges from a war conflicted past and their only access to water is rainwater. We are also looking forward to having my parents in a couple of weeks for the Christmas season. They get to stay for three full weeks! We are very thankful for our time here in Colombia and all of those many individuals and churches that make it possible for us to be here. We covet your continued prayers and we wish you a very Merry Christmas!