Hello again from a mild Argentina, where the long cold spell has finally broken and we’re seeing the beautiful spring flowers bursting out everywhere. We’re still in a time of political chaos (which country isn’t right now?!), with the presidential election coming up and a very probable change of government, but somehow sunny weather is an incredible distraction!
Our last year in Lomas has been speeding by and we’re only a month away from our baby boy being born (many thanks for all the name suggestions!) and three months from our move to Mendoza. It’s a good time to be reflecting on all we’ve learnt during our four years here and preparing for the big changes about to hit us.
So, sit back, make a mug of Horlicks (if you like that kind of thing) and read on for more detail about Andrew’s ordination, an operation, a weekend away that took 18 hours travel and a mischievous kitten with a dodgy name.
After all the youth training sessions on what it takes to be a church leader, it was with great joy that, on 24 August, we saw Andrew and our friend and colleague Jony Bertin ordained presbyters in the Anglican church of Argentina (pictured at top of page). We celebrated in our home church of Lomas with about 130 adults and 30 children and a fine barbecue afterwards. Thank you to our partner church St. John’s, Hensingham who generously provided the meat. It was lovely to see people from every part of our life in Argentina: school, our flats, the three churches we’ve been involved in, lots of young people from the summer camps, plus one person from Mendoza! It was also fantastic to share the day with Andrew’s dad, Jim, who flew out to Argentina specially. It felt to us like a wonderfully positive moment, a celebration of more workers going out into the harvest field, with the vision of training even more. So please do pray that the ministries of Jony and Andrew (and respective families) would do just that, under God, in his timing.
Gluttons for punishment we may be, but we couldn’t resist flying to Mendoza for their church weekend away in September. Ok, so it was an 18-hour round trip… but in terms of relationships and getting to know people before we move, it was definitely worth it. We looked together at 1 Corinthians 12 and how the church is made up of many different parts that all need each other. In a world that tends to value aesthetic beauty, sporting prowess or biting intellect, it was refreshing to remember how God sees his Church.
But God has so composed the body, giving greater honour to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 1 Cor 12:24-25
During the Sunday gathering, the church family gave Andrew a preaching scarf with the church logo (a cross and a bunch of grapes!) sewed onto it, and prayed for us as we make the transition. We all felt so well loved and welcomed and are really looking forward to serving alongside them very soon. And, seeing as we were based just near a local thermal spring, we couldn’t resist taking a little dip before heading back to Buenos Aires!
The following weekend we stayed a little closer to home for the Lomas weekend away, looking at evangelism. Despite slightly unwell children with earache and hacking coughs, we really appreciated the time with our current church family and realised how much we will miss them and how hard it is to move so much!
Lucy turned 3 on 17 September and, as a perfectly horrible present, one week later she was under general anaesthetic having her tear ducts unblocked and a fatty cyst removed from her head. Little trooper that she is, she took it all amazingly and has had the all clear for her eyes, though we still need to wait for the five stitches in her head to be removed.
In the children’s bible time tonight, we were looking at how Jesus healed a blind man just like that, but how it took seven hours in hospital for the doctors to make Lucy’s eyes better. So it was a good way of helping us see just how amazing Jesus is! (Though we also thanked God for the wonderful team who did such a good job on Lucy!)
Last but not least, a small mention needs to be made of Pupi (pronounced Poo-pee, much to the hilarity of everyone under 38 in our house!) a small black and white kitten we’ve been looking after for neighbours. Though he has bitten and scratched and terrorised everyone quite completely, we’re also ridiculously fond of him.
Thanks as ever for your prayers in what will be a pretty hectic few months!
Much love in Christ,
Andrew, Bethanie, Maia, Emilio, Lucy and bump xxxxxx
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