Life has been busy lately. Between attempting preschool with Noah, ministry, planning conference calls and planning visa trips, we are pretty tired. We're still not really sure how to balance family life, the team, language, school and time with people back in the States. Some days we do a good job. Others are just figuring out how to survive. But we're hopeful. Life has been a lot more steady and normal in January.
Ministry has been going really well. It seems like God has just been showing up in huge ways. More students are inviting their friends out to Bible study or the weekly meeting. There have been a lot of significant conversations happening all over campus. Our team has been trying different outreach ideas to see what students seems most interested/drawn to. It's been really sweet to experience. We had 37 students at our weekly meeting last Thursday. The room was full, so now we have to look into a finding a room that fits more people. That is a good problem to have.
The conference calls we've had lately have been about some potential donors for the ministry down here. Part of what that means is we may have up to 10 families come here to Venezuela in June. Some of the families may be donors and some staff, but we would be in charge of making sure their time here is fruitful and they get a taste of the ministry here. It's pretty exciting to think of what we could do here with more money for things like a projector for our weekly meeting, buying more materials in Spanish or scholarshiping students to retreats. We're prayerful that this will work to the benefit of the movement here.
The kids are doing well. Leah is a little sponge, picking up everything that her brother does (good and bad). She is quite the little socialite. This morning we went to play outside and say goodbye to the team as they left for the day. She bawled when the team left because she wanted to go with the team. It might have broke their hearts as much as it broke hers. :) But then we looked for iguanas and life was better again. Noah is curious and asks lots of questions. He is so inquisitive. Luckily we haven't stepped too far out of what I know and understand, except when he asks intense questions about God! He loves learning about the ocean and all the creatures within it, orcas, dolphins, all kinds of fish.
Something amazing has happened here! The pool is going to be open on Saturday (supposedly)! I think we used it for the first month we were here and then something broke and it's been green/drained ever since. So the kids are pretty excited. We're hopeful, but not expectant. We are, after all, in Venezuela.
It wouldn't be a good idea to write a post about all these things without asking for prayer. We certainly need it. Would you pray for our ministry? And our team, that we would connect well and love each other? And our kids, that we would not neglect them for the sake of ministry or ourselves? Would you pray for the potential donors and their hearts as they consider giving to the ministry here in Valencia? Would you pray for our housing? We signed a 6 month lease so we're really hoping they will be willing to let us stay beyond that (and not jack up the price). Would you pray that Bart and I would be intentional about connecting with each other? I'm sure there's more, but that's what's immediately coming to mind.
I will leave you with this picture from the top of the parking garage for our complex. It was taken on New Year's Eve looking toward Valencia, with the mountains on either side. A city in desperate need of prayer and redemption....