Pilar and I arrived in BA three weeks ago. The first two weeks felt very confusing, stressful and tiring as we set out to not be tourist but to live here. Finding where the bigger grocery store is, where and how to change dollars, where to find things like brown sugar and what is the name for brown sugar because it’s different in Bolivia. I was told because I didn’t present a paper at the beginning of February, Pilar had been kicked off of the school registry list and that I would need to register her again. So I got in line before six in the morning (was forth in line) and waited seven hours to find out she was already registered at a school and they didn’t know why I had received that notice. That was God fixing things for us and Pilar got into the school I had hoped she would which happens to be the closest to where we live (we didn’t know that when we put that school as our number one choice back in December). I went one day to immigration to verify some things and let’s be honest, immigration issues are always stressful and confusing, but even more so when I’m used to going to a small little building in Sucre with maybe 15 people there also doing things. Immigration here is a bunch of large buildings and there were hundreds of people trying to do things, but after about three hours and being sent to six wrong places, a very nice person took time to answer my questions right before I had to leave to pick up Pilar from school. We need to wait on a paper from a lawyer and the ministry of religious activities before we can really start the other paperwork, but please keep the whole process in your prayers. God always tries to teach me so much about myself and Him through immigration- like patience and trust and resting in Him.
Moving countries involves a lot of things, physically, mentally and especially emotionally. Argentina is not Bolivia. The Spanish is very different, how people act and dress and communicate is different. Things like cooking the most simplest of things become a very large project as you have to find the ingredients, the ingredients taste different and the food cooks differently. And there is so, so much that I miss about our life in Bolivia and don’t know about our life here.
There are also a lot of great things that happen when you move countries. You depend on God on a much deeper, day to day level as you need help with it seems everything. You see God in all the way He opens doors or closes them and provides. You see Christ in new people. Your world grows bigger, you learn new ways of doing things and experience things you would never have had the opportunity to experience staying where you were. The Redentor church has been great and I’ve been encouraged by the times people get together. Things like having kitchen drawers and hot water in the sinks are a big gift for me. Pilar’s teacher and the principal at her school have made her feel so welcome and good about herself. The city is all mapped out with different routes and transportation options on google map so it’s not hard to get around and find places on the other side of the city even though you’ve never been. Little by little you start finding your rhythm and place, start understanding a little more, find yourself within a community.
This week I’ve started trying to reach out or help some of the ladies at church that people have mentioned. I’ve had some people over to the house a few times and the Rendentor church is having a retreat this weekend which will be a good time to get to know people even better. Also Fernando and Patricia Sandoval just arrived and will be here for almost two weeks. They are the missionaries in Cochabamba, Bolivia who we would visit often. It’s like having a piece of home here and we are extremely blessed that God put this together at this time.
Keep praying for all of us.
Pictures: of Buenos Aires, Redentor Church on Sunday, gathering at a park with members of the church, making cinnamon rolls at our house with friends.