Monday, March 18, 2013

And I'm Back!

All dressed and ready to bring in the New Year!
So as many of you know we made it back safely from Argentina and I have now been back in Columbia for a couple weeks now!  It is great to be back!  My whole DTS experience completely changed my life that's for sure!  I wouldn't change it for anything.  I made some amazing friends, had some great character building experiences and most importantly built an incredible relationship with the Lord!

I will be having a get together soon to share my pictures and experiences while in Argentina but I will give you all a little over view of what we did while there.

We landed in Buenos Aires on New Years Eve and brought in 2013 with a lot of fun and dancing!  It was an awesome way to bring in the year!  Our ministry work here was working with a local Day Center for children.  It was summer time while we were there so kids were not coming on a regular basis like they would during the school year.  The children come after school to get snacks and have bible lessons and to just be in a safe environment.  Many of them have bad home lives with parents with HIV, abusive family members, etc.  So we mainly spent our time there cleaning the house and doing yard work outside.  The home is in very bad shape with a roof that could collapse at anytime and some mold and mildew on the walls and ceiling so it was a great blessing for them to have us clean and fix the places up (unfortunately they don't have the money right now to fix the roof).

My family kicking butt at one of the games!
We also planned and held a summer camp for the children which was a blast!  The theme of the camp was Familia Real (Royal Family).  We broke up into families so as a team we paired up one guy with one girl to be a mom and dad and then we were assigned children to make up a family.  Alex was my husband and we had five children.  Needless to say it was a super fun but exhausting two days!  Our kids ranged from about 4 to 12.  We did stuff like play games, go swimming, have teachings and share meals together.  Communication was very difficult since I couldn't understand the children and they didn't understand that I couldn't understand but that didn't stop us from enjoying our time together!  It was such a great experience!

Next we took a 22 hour bus ride to Bariloche! Bariloche is absolutely beautiful!  It is up in the mountains on the border of Chile!  Here we hit the ground running working with a local church!  We went every evening to the church where we gave teachings and did activities with the youth of the church!  We taught on the topics of evangelism, the Father heart of God, Forgiveness and others.  We were able to be an encouragement to the youth and also help get them out evangelizing and prayer walking their community!  On top of all this we ran church services on Sunday and Saturday nights and had a community outreach for children and a children's event at the church!

Us and the youth in Bariloche!
Also during our time in Bariloche myself and a few others of us went on a camping trip with another local youth group!  This was an awesome time of just talking to the youth about real teenage issues like tattoos, alcohol, and relationships.  We were able to share personal testimonies about the goodness of God in our own lives in these areas.  It was a great time!

Finally we took another bus directly across Argentina to Puerto Madryn on the coast.  Here we did several different things.  We started off just joining a summer school at the base and being a part of their classes and activities.  It was week where we were able to refuel so to speak.  After this we went to a local church.  We again went every day to work with their youth.  Here we mainly did activities with them such as local outreaches and evangelizing.  We also ran the several different church services which was fun!  We got to encourage and pray for many people.  We saw so many people touched in this time!
Digging a 12 foot deep hole!

The last week we were in Puerto Madryn we helped build their new YWAM base!  I stayed back the first couple days because I wasn't feeling well but they started digging a hole for sewage and put a roof on one of the buildings.  The roof was a huge accomplishment and that evening when I arrived at the new base it was a night of celebration!  We shared in communion and a big barbecue!  The next day we then continued on the hole until it started raining and we packed up and went back to the old base!  It was a good way to end the week just spending time with the people of the base!

We then headed back to Buenos Aires for a couple days.  These days were mainly just relaxing days with a little debriefing. The very last day we were there we did get to make one last house visit to a lady who her husband beat her and took everything while we were away.  It just tore me up seeing the hurt on her face.  I was able to bless her a little financially but she needs lots of prayers!  She had two boys at the camp we put on, one which has several problems already with abuse and misconduct.  It was a very sad experience but I know God can do great things for her and her family!

We then headed back to America where we spent a few days debriefing and spending time with each other before we all parted ways.  It was an amazing time that I will always remember and grow from!

Now that I am back home I don't know exactly what my plans are but I know God is going to use me here locally for a little bit.  I am going to be working with the getting some things up and running with the nonprofit and who knows what else but it is going to be great!  :)