~ Separated to the work in Columbia; South America ~
Dear Friends and Family,
Hello to you all from the beautiful Pacific Coast!
We are having a remarkably cool and breezy day today (less sweat in the keyboard – always a good thing), and without a lot happening after a busy week so it seemed like a good time to try to catch up on some communication. It is hard to believe that it has been over a month since I last wrote and it is now April so I guess we’ll call this the March/April letter instead of the March letter and I’ll try to get back on track again in early May.
When I wrote in March we were in the process of packing up to move here to Nuquí. The logistics of the move were rather daunting and after considering various options of how to proceed we finally decided to pray, pack, and fly, trusting that the Lord would provide longer-term housing and everything else when we arrived. I contacted our friend here in town who we had met during our visit in November and reserved a room in his hotel for an indefinite amount of time so that we had an initial landing spot. He also had an idea of a house we might be able to rent which was encouraging.
We arrived in Nuquí on March 9th with the bags we were allowed to take with us on the plane (basically a normal carry-on sized bag) the rest I had dropped off at the cargo bay of the airline to ship as they were able. It was an all too familiar feeling as we began our next stint of hotel living. It reminded us keenly of when we first arrived in Medellin last July to a hotel room and no definite plan of where we were going next. Thankfully our hotel stay was much shorter this time and in just over a week we were moving on.
The Lord has provided us a little wooden house on a quiet edge of town where we are surrounded with trees and greenery and look out onto the old “cancha” (soccer field). It is delicious to have some breathing room. We rent the first floor of a two-story house that was just barely finished enough that we could move in on the 17th (of March), Joseph’s birthday. We have a fenced area around the house where the boys can run free (we hose ‘em off in time for supper) and are also within sight of the beach where they would happily live full-time so long as we’d toss them an occasional sandwich. For all of us, but especially for them, there is really no comparison between our current living situation and the interior apartment where we lived in Medellín. We are very thankful.
Our stuff that I had dropped off to ship as cargo didn’t show up until shortly after we had moved into the house. Some friends here were getting worried that it was going to get stuck in Medellin and not show up at all, I admit I had my doubts too but, no, the Lord’s timing is perfect. All of our luggage (other than a few book boxes that had come earlier) showed up at our door one morning without me even asking them to deliver it, if it had showed up at the hotel it would have been a real hassle trying to deal with it all and move it over here later.
As always changes like this bring their own stresses too. Getting to know a new place, a new rhythm, a new set of customs, a new diet, a very different Spanish accent with a lot of their own words, a new climate… much of the time it really feels like we’ve moved to a different country. Little by little we are learning, and I think most things are starting to fall into somewhat of a functional routine. One of the big differences that we have been enjoying as well as getting used to is that here, unlike the city, everybody knows everybody and usually has plenty of time to chat. It’s great for the language practice and developing relationships but also takes adjusting our expectations; what you thought was going to be a quick walk to drop off the trash and grab a couple things at the corner store before lunch can easily turn into a cup of coffee or a chat on the street corner for an hour – or two.
We are still very much in the introductory phase of our time here in Nuquí. There are many opportunities and needs here that are readily apparent but knowing what to get involved in and what to avoid, and how to organize our lives here is going to require an understanding of things that is far higher than our own. We are looking to the Lord to direct our steps and reveal to us the activities He has for us here in the future. Please pray with us in this regard.
Early this week, some friends of ours from Medellín came to Nuquí to meet up with a number of indigenous friends for a few days of bible study together. It was great to see familiar faces as well as a real joy for us to meet the believers that showed up for the bible study. We are looking forward to spending more time with them as they come to the town here frequently to sell fish or farm crops like banana and plantain. Please remember them in prayer that their faith would remain strong and their understanding growing in spite of the limited access they have to scriptural resources and contact with other believers outside of their communities.
Please pray with us:
- For the believers we met with this week
- For direction in what to involve ourselves in here in Nuquí.
- For continued language learning.
- That the Lord would provide us a good long-term Visa.
- Praise the Lord for health!
Blessings to you all, Henry, for: Henry, Grace, and boys