We moved to Mendoza, a city snuggled up next to the Andes, in January 2020 to serve in a small Anglican church. In an auspicious start, Andrew was robbed at gunpoint outside the church building, just before our welcoming service! Then, in March, the whole country was locked down due to the COVID pandemic. It wasn’t quite what we’d expected!
Day to day, our life looks much the same as any family. There are the usual components of school drop offs, family meal times, work and activities. In the morning, we take our kids (Maia aged 10, Emilio aged 8 and Lucy aged 6 – Noah aged 2 is a little young!) to a Spanish-speaking school and bring them home for English home-school in the afternoons.
Andrew spends his time in discipleship meetings, doing pastoral visits, preparing sermons and teaching online Bible college classes. Life in Argentina feels generally more disorganised and less productive than we would like or are used to. But time spent face to face with people is so valuable and the longer we’re here, the more we see the fruit of building deep relationships with people and their families.
To give you a slice of life today, we have three extra people staying with us. One is an electrician friend from a church in Buenos Aires, who is kindly sorting out the dim lighting in church. The other two are a couple who are considering overseas mission in the future. A tree surgeon team have just arrived to cut down an enormous pine tree in our garden, so there’s a fair amount of noise and a sharp, woody smell in the air.
Andrew is about to have a chat with the director of a bilingual school. For lunch, our apprentice Gaston, and his new wife Emi, are coming. We have an hour or so for one-to-one discipleship, and then we will all meet together as a church team to discuss the previous week. At various times, children will be picked up from school and set to do different activities.
This evening is a ‘down night’, when we relax together as a family. The electrician has recommended a Christian film called Outrageous Love, which we all have to see. Can’t wait!
Our vision before moving to Argentina 11 years ago was to encourage and strengthen the believers here and to consider how we could serve in leadership training for the future. We’ve seen the first small steps with Gaston, our first apprentice. In January, he and Emi will head to CEP (Centro de Estudios Pastorales), a Bible college in Chile, to train for two to three years before returning to Mendoza. While Gaston and Emi are away, we hope to receive another couple to serve alongside us before they head to the north of Argentina.
No two days here are the same. But two and a half years after moving to Mendoza, we remain thankful for the Lord’s sustaining hand.
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