Friday, June 21, 2013

A taste of Argentina...

 Dear Readers,

    I'm back in the United States and fairly bursting with photos, hugs and kisses for each of my family members, and enough stories to write a book.

Thank you for your prayers for my trip! I appreciated them so much and could feel them as my time in Argentina was clearly blessed. To be back with my host family was amazing. I can't even put into words how amazing that was. I stepped off the bus and we picked up right where we left off. It was as if I had never left, except for a few differences: the kids had grown so much. Renzo, Isabella, and Nico are three of my favorite children on earth. They make my heart smile and teach me things and inspire me. My Spanish had gotten better--woot woot!--and so less of our conversations centered around Google Translate. Oh, goodness, we had so many conversations. That was my favorite part of the entire trip. Whether we were on the bus, walking to the church, or in their warm and inviting kitchen, we were always talking. Quality time and physical touch are my two love languages, and so oh man, am I content in Argentina! Time praying together was also so special and a blessing to my heart.

Precious Renzo!! Hasn't he grown up so much in the past year??
Argentina was full of blessings. And, as you can see, most of the blessings stem from my time with this precious second family of mine.  I have so much to share, and I promise I will write more soon.

But right now I need to continue to process and get my thoughts into order or else words will come spilling out that make no sense. :) Maybe a little more sleep would help, too...

So I leave you with a few of my favorite pictures, and also with a devotion I read by Joni Eareckson Tada today that touched my heart. It instantly made me think of Argentina. Exchanging prayer requests with my dear host family, I realized that we were indeed giving the other person our heart's burdens. And there is something so beautifully God ordained in that act. 

Te amo, readers! Thank you for your precious comments and encouragement!

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
Galatians 6:2

I don't often have the chance to physically help other people, but when I do,
I love it. Nowhere do I feel more useful than at the airport.

I have to pack what seems like half a hospital when I go anywhere. Even after my friends and I check in all this stuff at curbside, we still have a pile of carry-on luggage which includes lots of the usual paraphernalia plus a duffel bag with emergency medical equipment. The challenge is to carry everything from curbside to the plane. This is when I get to "carry another's burden." On the foot pedals under my legs goes the duffel bag. The briefcase goes on my lap, purses are slung over the handles of my wheelchair, coats or sweaters land on my lap. Airline tickets are squeezed between my leg and the side of my chair. I look like a bag lady. But I don't mind. It gives me a chance to carry someone else's burden.

That's what Galatians 6:2 tells us to do. It's good advice whether we bear actual physical burdens or emotional and spiritual ones. Galatians 6 says we should do this on a regular basis and not be so puffed up with pride that we fail to offer a helping hand.

And we are to do so to fulfill the law of Christ, which is a law of love. Love obliges us to be compassionate. Maybe under the old covenant God's people made a habit of laying burdens on one another, but under the new covenant, we don't lay them on, we take them off. So why don't you find somebody today who could use a hand. It will give you an opportunity to lighten the load of another and lighten your heart at the same time.

"God did not write solo parts for very many of us. He expects us to be participants in the great symphony of life." Donald Tippett

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