Monday, August 12, 2013

Twenty-Something Years Old

This birthday was very much different. It was very cold and rainy. I've never had a winter birthday before, but in Argentina during the month of August its still winter season. Still in the midst of cold winds and rain, I felt a lot of Argentine love from friends near and far!

Thank you so much to all the LINKS churches that sent me birthday cards and gifts! I loved them all, each of you hold a special place in my heart! I remember as a kid we would send cards to our LINKS missionaries, and I never understood the impact of love that they would feel upon receiving the cards.

This year has been full of unexpected surprises from God, many of which have filled my heart with smiles and special memories. Thank you to my family and friends for all the text messages, FaceTime calls, Skype calls and Facebook posts.

But I especially want to thank these two girls in this picture with me, on my birthday they baked me a cake for me and we drank mate with other friends and enjoyed a relaxed evening together laughing - love you ladies!


Praises:
- Thankful for life, another year of life!
- Thankful for family, friends and the faith community
- For Gods love and presence
- So very thankful for LINKS program and the churches that I'm connected with!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday English Classes at Moreno

There's a couple of Nazarene churches in the area. There is one in particular that is growing, and its exciting to hear about all the wonderful things that God is doing there. This church is called Moreno Central Church of the Nazarene. Its approximately an hour bus ride to get there and then another hour to get back, but let me tell you its completely worth total 2 hour trip!

A couple of weeks back, the pastors and local leaders shared with me a vision of project that would begin as a part of a discipleship and evangelism tool in the area. This project would be targeted to pre-teens, teens, young adults in the area. There would three focus projects: soccer training, guitar lessons and English lessons.

So after the General Assembly in Indianapolis, I returned in full gear to begin working with this project with the focus of providing English lessons. Its been a wonderful opportunity just growing with the students! I wanted to share some pictures of the classes, we're off to a small start - but know that God is ready to move in our lives!

I'm so blessed for this opportunity, just when I thought that teaching wouldn't be a possibility for me during my time here in Argentina; God opens a door! He's so awesome!

We're learning past/present/future tense! 

We're learning about weather and seasons of the year!
Praise:
- For God's faithfulness
- For Creative way the Holy Spirit leads and affirms
- For faith community and for the new English classes project!

Prayer Requests:
- For Moreno Church of the Nazarene
- For this outreach project, that God may move amongst us
- For strength and creativity; I want to always serve God and others with my very best! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

To GA2013 and Back!

The Church of the Nazarene has a global convention every four years. It was held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Even though I made the quick trip back to the USA to work with the SAM Region during this time, I was thankful for the amazing things that I learned, the hugs received from family and old friends, the new people I met and the overall faithfulness of God.

Every single minute of the convention I enjoyed, its just a beautiful feeling to be together as a global church celebrating Gods faithfulness over the past four years and being challenged to continue to respond to the call of being an instruments of reconciliation.

God is so good!

Here are a few pictures. Enjoy!

With my little cousins at the General Assembly- they are too cute!  
So happy to have spent some much need time with my MOST FAVORITE PEOPLE in entire the WORLD - Pastor Rick & Vicki Power. 

Katie Funk and I working the registration booth for the SAM Region at the General Assembly 2013

At the General Assembly so many important decisions are made, the most exciting and beautiful part - delegate members from all around the world come together and make these decisions together! 

Pastor Troy - your joy is so contagious, thanks for your love and support! 


Monday, June 10, 2013

¡Muchísimas Gracias!

It’s been 6 months, can you believe it! Time has passed by so quickly, I had people in the last weeks ask me how long I’ve been here, and I said “Oh, like a few months..” and they respond, “No, Liliana it’s been 6 months! It feels like you’ve been here forever!” I smiled at their response hoping that my presence hasn't felt like its dragging out, instead that it's been a blessing. Just like each of the people here has blessed my life in special ways. I have to be honest all that is going on here continues to be daily processed, but through it all let me go ahead and tell you one thing - God is SO amazingly faithful and beyond good! These past 6 months have taught me so much, and I’m so excited for all that God is going to continue to do! 

This month has been very busy with the preparations for the Church of the Nazarene General Assembly, click here to learn more about what the purpose of the conventions are! We are busy here at the Regional Office in Argentina, since one of the world site's is located here in Pilar, Argentina! Plus, there's tons that go into preparation for something so huge! I'm happy to be busy -- but I'm also thankful that God has been my source of strength as I continue to daily use English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. I never thought that I would be using all 3 languages on a daily basis -- sometimes at the end of the day, I'm not exhausted because of physical work but more so mentally. Switching back and forth tons of times throughout the day can be exhausting, but let me tell you... I LOVE IT! 

So, I’m very thankful for you, your prayers and the ways that you have connected with me unexpectedly throughout the months. Thank you for the packages in the mail, for the Skype dates, FaceTime calls, and all the Facebook messages of encouragement. Trust me, they all arrived at the right time. Your love has been felt, so thank you very much! 

A card from my parents in Oklahoma, USA. 

A package full of yummy treats from family in Nebraska, USA. 


A very special and sweet card from friends from College Church in Kansas, USA. 
Praises:
  • For my neighbors and faith community. 
  • For God's love. 
  • For the friendships being built here.
Prayer Requests: 
  • For my family back home, lots of changes recently. 
  • For me to continue to stay attentive to Gods leading and voice while ministering here. 
  • For my colleagues here in Argentina and throughout the SAM Region, that God may continue to guide them with wisdom and grace. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Celebrating 12 years!

Since I arrived in January, one of my friends discovered that I play piano and that opened the doors for me to be able to join the praise and worship team at the local Nazarene church, Altos de Pilar. It’s been a really great experience sharing and growing with them musically. They have tons potential and great musical directors. It’s really been such a great blessing to minister with them, they have been so gracious as I learn with them and being with them is like being with family. They each have a very special place in my heart! 

Playing the piano has always been something very special for me. It’s more than an instrument for me, since I started playing I quickly learned that this was something very special. Over the years it has been a way of communication and expression in my relationship with God. Throughout the years on the journey with Christ, I have found my self sometimes without words and it was playing the piano, in a sort of prayer conversation that God has spoken to me. Being able to participate in leading the local congregation in worship has just been a huge blessing!  

This month at Altos de Pilar Church of the Nazarene, they celebrated 12 years of ministering here in this community. Here are some pictures of the celebration day, I sincerely enjoying and was blessed in joining the celebration by playing piano with the worship team and singing a special with choir!

Altos del Pilar, Church of the Nazarene - Choir 

Altos del Pilar, Church of the Nazarene - Choir

Altos del Pilar Church of the Nazarene

Altos del Pilar Church of the Nazarene
Praises: 
  • Continued protection and safety. 
  • New Seasons, it's exciting! 
  • Gods love, through community. 
Prayer Requests: 
  • Overall health. 
  • The ministry teams of Altos del Pilar, that God may continue to guide their vision and work at the church and in our community. 
  • That I may continue to be attentive and responsive to the opportunities that arise to minister and serve others. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

¡Bienvenido Che Reza!

For the last couple of weeks I've contemplated getting a dog, but I never actually got to looking for one. The weeks past and I would comment with my neighbors about getting one, but I didn't even know where to start looking. Adoption had crossed my mind but I had become so busy at work, that I didn't have time to look during the day.

A couple weeks passed and then my wonderful neighbor arrives to the office with a box and something wrapped in her arms. It was a puppy! As she walks through the door she said, "Lili.. I have something for you! I know you have been wanting one!" I was so happy and I couldn't find enough words to express to her how much it meant to me!

After some debating about names, finally the name was decided.. he would be called, "Che!" What most appropriate name for my new Argentine puppy!

Here are a few pictures of him. So now.. all the adventures of sharing life with him begin! I know this might sound ridiculous to you, but I grew up in a big family with noise around me all the time -- and I was really missing that. Che is the perfect roommate for me, I already love him so much!





Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spanglish in FADES

My days here consist of lots of interruption and translations, of all types documents and situations. It keeps me busy and I love every second of it. It's challenging, but helps me expand my vocabulary in both languages.

Left to Right: Dr. Jorge Julca, Presient of  Southern Cone Seminary,
Dr. Dan Copp, International Board of Education Director
After just being here for a few months, I was invited to take part as an interrupter for a very special event with the Southern Cone Field. Our Southern Cone Seminary is celebrating 10 years of faithfully expanding the Seminary campus beyond its borders through a program called FADES [Facultad Descentralizada]. This is a type of distance learning through intensive modules and online classes which is especially helpful to bi-vocational pastors all around Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay.  


It was a really great experience and blessing. I met many amazing pastors from these various countries and was also encouraged by their eagerness to continue learning. God is doing great things in the Southern Cone field and I'm so blessed to have had a small part in this celebration.









Monday, February 18, 2013

With Us

God is with us. Always.

How beautiful to know that God is with us always, that Christ is ever present through the Holy Spirit. That even when we are unaware, and continue with daily chores - God is close, God is near.

God's name of Emanuel, has a new meaning to me these days. I felt, saw and experienced God with me in a new way recently.

It was a Friday night, I was crossing the street with some friends from church. None of saw the motorcycle coming towards us, and it hit me at full speed. I'm okay, don't worry. But it really shook me up that day.  I went to the hospital. I have no broken bones, I had deep bruises and two scraps. I came home that night, laid in bed - and I felt the arms of God wrap around me.

God is with us.
God is near.
Daily, our God is near to us.
How beautiful is that?

Praises:
- Safety
- Joy in the midst of so many transitions
- New friends and faith community

Prayer Requests:
- Quick recovery
- Sensitivity to Gods leading

Thursday, January 31, 2013

¡Bienvendia!

Welcoming the New Year in a new a place, comes along with tons of mixed emotions. Well, I didn't actually celebrate "New Year's Eve"in Argentine, but arriving here January 10, makes it feel close enough! Feelings of joy, for new beginnings. Feelings of sadness for the tough 'good-byes' that came. Feelings, of excitement and of hope for what God is doing, has done and will continue to do!

One of the many things that I was thankful for this month, was the joy of being received by my home church family, Olathe College Church. They were here on a Work & Witness trip, and to be able to arrive to familiar faces was beyond a blessing. At the end of their week here, we even had the opportunity to learn more about the Argentine culture together. We went to an 'estancia' which is basically like a fancy farm - in simple terms. We ate a traditional Argentine meal, along with learning about their history that included learning how to ride a horse! Here are a few of the pictures from that trip with the Work & Witness team, which did I mention - I was also to share that experience with other missionaries here too. It was fun!

Location: South America Regional Office Campus
Picture Of: Olathe College Church Work & Witness Team 

Location: Estancia Santa Elena, Argentina
Picture Of: An Argentine Gaucho

Location: Estancia Santa Elena, Argentina
Picture Of: Guacho Competitions 

Location: Estancia Santa Elena, Argentina 
This first month of January, came with tons of adjustments. Learning new cultural norms, re-learning Spanish terms that I had stored away. The most beautiful thing about all this learning, is that daily I re-learn to trust God more and more. And as I learn new things, and learn about my community, neighbors and new environment I'm reminded. That I need God more and more, that He is not done with me yet. Yay, for God's faithfulness!

Praises:
- It's summer, I love the sun!
- Being 'indirectly' received by the College Church team!
- God's faithfulness and love.
- I'm really thankful for you, for your prayer support - thank you!

Prayer Requests:
- For missionaries, both young and old, that are serving that they may know and feel God near to them!
- Adjustments, and culture-shock it happens. Trust me.
- For my family back home, they are going through adjustments too.
- Quick to listen and slow to speak; both in my relationship with God and others around me.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

So Awesome!



I stumbled upon this video, on Facebook. Honestly, I watched it a couple of times during that week. It's just too good not to share. So, I'm sharing it with you too! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

See Y'all Soon!

So thankful to have been able to spend time with very special people in my life these past few weeks. I'm also so ridiculously thankful to be part of an amazing faith community. You all are will always be family to me! Thank to everyone (friends, professors, neighbors, family, etc.) for their prayers and support during the last weeks in the USA. It was full of transitions, packing and some emotionally filled days. Thank you for your patience and love, through it all. Seriously, God blessed me with many special moments, to cherish and take with me in my heart during those last few weeks with you all.

A very special 'Thank You' to my pastors and church community for their prayers and encouraging words! Your prayer support is a vital part of this ministry! Thank you to each one of my family members and friends for their unconditional love!

See y'all very soon!

One last silly picture with the nieces at the airport!