Friday, December 15

One last word of appreciation

We are deeply thankful for all the good work that the Deputation Coordinators did in planning for the lodging of our family, and for making all the contacts and planning for giving us such a wonderful time with all the churches that we visited.

We are also very thankful for the involvement of the NMI President in South Texas helping with the last details regarding our time on this District.

Thank you so much for helping make our time in the US a valuable, interesting, and blessed time.

Highlights during our furlough 4

Our last part of our furlough was on the West Coast - in the Oregon Pacific District. Again we were received with great care and love by all churches, and even more, since this is our LINKS District. This was a great time to meet some of the churches that continuously during the past few months and for the next couple of years will be praying and supporting us as their LINKS missionary family.

This is a beautiful part of the Country. We had a good mix of city, mountain, and sea - and of course, lots of rain. Although, the amount of rain we had, was not the usual weather for that time of the year.

One of the many highlights on this District was having been surprised to meet a lady that was on a Work and Witness team back in 1978 to the city where Fernando was growing up - Coimbra, Portugal. We were together in a Vacation Bible School - at the time Fernando was 7 years old - and the other interesting thing, was that he found himself in a picture giving a farewell gift to Kay at the end of that time.

This reminded us of the fact that sometimes we invest our time for the Lord and don't see any immediate return -- but 28 years ago, the ministry of Kay was significant -- and the Lord made our paths cross once again on our LINKS district.

Another beautiful walk that we will keep in our memories is the beautiful walk through the woods, near Salem, near a river where we had the opportunity to see two falls of the Silver Creek falls. We enjoyed this time of relaxing with the family.... though we ended up getting all wet, when we decided to have the brilliant idea of going behind one of the waterfalls --but the strength of the water falling was such, that we got all wet.

Speaking of Salem.... again the Lord brought back memories to us, as we remembered how Salem 1st was instrumental in the planting of the second church in Coimbra. We now had the opportunity to visit this great church and see how the Lord continues to use this church in Missions. While we visited this church we were taken by Roseanne to spend some time together, and we went to a toy museum and a carousel. This time was great fun for us, but especially for the kids.

While on this District, we were hosted at several church member/pastor's homes. Thank you for making us feel at home in your home, and for the wonderful time we shared together.

We finished our tour with services in Newport and Dallas, and the location of these churches gave us the opportunity to be for the first time near the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, this was undocumented -- the weather was not cooperating, so we couldn't make any pictures.

But we finished our furlough the best way -- with a good thanksgiving dinner - our first experience to such a time in the US. We had our first thanksgiving dinner ever last year, when we first arrived in Argentina. But it's not the same celebrating it in Argentina or in the US. Thank you for giving us this cultural opportunity.

Monday, December 11

Side trip in Virginia

While we were in Virginia... and since Nicole was taking a break from classes while we were on furlough -- we decided to take a short side tour (since we were so close anyway) to a historical place and make this trip a bit educational to her.

So we went to Poplar Forest - the retreat home of Thomas Jefferson. This was an opportunity to get acquainted with some of America's history.

Highlights during our furlough 3

Our second stop on our furlough was in Houston, TX. WOW!! That's what can be called a huge city. (big is not enough as adjective....)

We had a wonderful time on this District. As we arrived at the airport it was awesome to see a couple of familiar faces. Dr. & Mrs. Duane Srader, the District Superintendent for the District, and our good friends since the time they were missionaries in Cape Verde and Portugal, were waiting for us. We had a great time with them and Debbie and Jack - their daughter and son-in-law.

This was a very special time for Liliana and Debbie to review each other since the time they met first in Portugal but even before that in the Cape Verde Islands.

Our sceneray here was another gift from the Lord -- we were staying on an Island - facing the Gulf of Mexico coast - Galveston. So - it was wonderful to wake up every morning and be facing the sea. In Argentina, we would have had to travel 5 hrs. by car in order to get to the coast and the nice Argentina beaches. In Galveston it was just accross the road.

On this district not only did we speak in English churches, but we also got to use our rusty Spanish --- that still needs some ironing before we can call it real Spanish. But we are thankful for the pacience and the love with which we were received by these congregations.

During our time in Texas, we celebrated the Halloween feast. We had a commitment with a church on this day, and it was great to see how this popular feast was transformed into an outreach activity to the church neighbors. You can see that Nicole and Andre had a lot of fun in this event.

Also, visiting Houston, and not visiting the Johnson Space Center, is almost like going to Rome and not seeing the pope (as we say in Portuguese). We all had the opportunity of visiting the Space Center and this was an unforgetable time for both Andre and Nicole.

Highlights during our furlough 2

A major highlight wherever we went - whether the west coast, south or east coast, is the love, and care that the churches have graced us with. This made us feel that we are really an international church, for no matter our nationality as missionaries we felt that were received with open arms by all the churches.

Thank you for all the ways in which you showed your love to us - whether it was through a love offering, a gift, a special meal with the church/family/pastor, or a simple hug and warm welcome. We felt we were part of you, and we are thankful for you - as you support and pray for Nazarene Missionaries from around the World.

Sunday, December 10

Highlights during our furlough 1

After leaving Buenos Aires on Oct. 13, our first stop was the District of Virginia. While on this district we were blessed with the opportunity to visit with a cousin who is serving in the military in Virginia Beach. We only stayed with them for one night, but it was great to see a relative right at the start of our furlough.

We had a great time in Virginia. Although, as we arrived both our kids got sick, and Andre was having a persistent fever over the first weekend. But we are thankful for God's intervention and for the assistance we were given by the churches in Virginia.

We enjoyed the colorful landscape as we travel through mountains, hills and on the highway. It's a very beautiful sight as we see a tapestry of red, yellow, green, orange colors throughout the landscape. The picture does not do full justice to the beautiful scenery we viewed.