Early this May we had a great trip visiting Cherie’s parents in Paraguay for a couple of weeks and also were able to attend Cherie’s brother’s wedding. Traveling 13 time zones is pretty surreal, our longest flight left Sydney, Australia at noon on the 7th, we flew across the pacific ocean and landed in Santiago, Chile at noon on the 7th. Yep you read that right, time travel is real and it will mess you up, even less than a day’s worth of time travel really messes you up. When they go back years of time in the movies and don’t even act like it affected them; it is evident that they are faking it.
Joshua traveled as well as he could of and we really praise the Lord for that. On the way back we had an extra seat between us on all 5 of our flights! It was well needed and very appreciated. We have been back “home” for less than a week and we are all mostly adjusted back to the time here which is quite a blessing. We have already jumped back into language learning here and it is going well. We have noticed that taking a 3 week break has allowed our minds to regress slightly in the language, but it has also given us a refocused energy and desire. Please pray for us on our journey to continue to be able to progress in the language and became capable to the point of communicating the truth of the gospel.
An important part of the culture here in this country is that whenever you go somewhere you are supposed to bring back something important and relatively inexpensive from the culture you were visiting as gifts called Oleh-Oleh (usually food gifts or trinkets). We have brought back candy and hot sauce for everyone to enjoy and everyone so far has really seemed to like their gift.
We should be able to have our evaluations early this July and we will be moving to our next region by the end of July, Lord willing. We have made contact with a missionary family that lives there who will be leaving for almost a year and have asked us to stay in their house while they are gone. This time frame should work out great for us, assuming we pass our language evaluations.
Coming back on this trip has given me(Eric) a ton of energy to work hard during these last two months we have left with the relationships we have built in this city. It is a toll on us to know that we are almost at the language capacity to share the gospel and we are about to move, please pray for me to have opportunities to be able to do that in an appropriate way, considering the laws established against that. Also for opportunities to challenge the believers of our local church to spur them on towards maturity.
All in all we feel very privileged to be back and continuing in the work for the gospel. It is hard to see it that way sometimes when it feels like our purpose and goals have mostly to do with our progress in the local language. Please pray for us to continue to remember this as our goal in all that we do; to honor and glorify Christ with our lives, in our decisions of how to spend our time and in our thoughts throughout the day. Thank you all for the support that you give us from the other side of the world.