Spanish Milestones and Rubber Stamps

Well, it's the end of August and that means it's time to dust off the ol' blog, write an update, and think about getting another newsletter together.  The newsletter will have to wait for another day, but luckily I'm in the mood to blog.  It has been a great summer (I miss talking in "seasons"!) but a busy one.  I already posted about our field retreat in my last blog, and I will have to post some pictures about my other adventures...namely kids camp and helping the Hieberts host our first short term missions team.  But today I'd like to tell you about just a few of the things that God used to encourage me this summer...

-I have been in Venezuela for one year!  I can't believe a year ago I very nervously, and with many tears, hopped on a plane and headed out from San Jose, Costa Rica.  This also marks that I am 2 years into my 4 year term as an International Worker with the C&MA.  Time flies when you're on a wild missions ride!
-Spanish-wise, the past year has been very difficult.  There are days when I literally don't have a clue what people are saying to me.  But scattered in between those days are good days too.  Great days even.  Over the past few months I have been working hard writing a series of 7 children's lessons in Spanish on the fruit of the Spirit.  I am thankful for a tutor who has cheerfully helped me with corrections. And over the past month the children's ministry director of my church, and I,  have been presenting these lessons to a small group of kids who meet for a midweek program during the summer.  Presenting a whole lesson in Spanish has been a daunting task for me, but each week, God has been granting me more confidence to communicate in Spanish.  Hooray!
-Big news in my world here is that I received my temporary/transient visa!!!  I have had a hard time getting super excited, because we still have a ways to go before we can get our cedulas (identification numbers that will allow us to open bank accounts etc) but seriously, this is super amazing!!!  Thanks to everyone for your diligent prayers for this.  It has been a long road this year waiting for the rubber stamp in our passport.  Thanks to Chris and Angela for all the co-ordination with our lawyer.  This stamp gives us the freedom to stay in Venezuela for a year without exiting, and next year we will just have to go to an office and renew it for another year.  Probably not as easy as it sounds, but I'm hopeful!  :D

I cannot say thank you enough for all your prayers.  God is answering!  And thank you to each of you who take the time to encourage me, pray for me, seek me out on Facebook to chat, email me, read my (sporadic) blog, and even just simply think of me from time to time.  It really means so much.  Here's to another year in Caracas!