Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's Not Over!

Stay with us - we will keep updating this blog with more information about Reece Prairie locally and globally.
We're looking forward to Down the Street Week later this summer, as well as many other opportunities, so watch for details about how you can pray and be involved in reaching our world!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Thank you so much for being a part of our journey to Argentina by reading this blog and leaving comments! If you'd like to read my own personal closing comments, feel free to check out my blog: Krissi's Konfessions at!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Time To Go

Ask me if I want to leave. Go ahead. Ask.

I don't. :(

We'll be traveling for 29 straight hours starting in about 6 hours from now. Please pray for the last leg of our trip and the emotions we are all feeling about our time here and coming back home. I do miss my puppies very much - everybody has a dog here and Sam and I keep longing for our little Elphie and Luna. But aside from that, leaving is difficult. I've gotten teary-eyed at least three times today!

I will say this ... one of my favorite moments today was sunset at Puerto Madryn - the beach where the whales are (although they are already gone for the winter). Amelia and I went and laid out on the ledge and watched the ocean as the sun set on the day - and for about 45 minutes, we listened to worship music through my iPod and just enjoyed the sights that we may never see again. We didn't need to talk about it, but I imagine we were thinking some of the same things ...

It is good to know that my God is the same wherever I go. It doesn't matter what language I speak or where I live or even how I dress, eat, or act. I may cross the whole wide world and see places I've only ever dreamed of ... but God is still God.

And in those quiet moments within my heart, it feels good to know He does not change.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 5 - Miercoles! (Wednesday)

For Wednesday's post, I wanted everyone to come on here and write about their own experiences because 1) we were not all together during the day and 2) we each had such unique and amazing experiences, we wanted you to to hear from everyone! So, here it goes.

Nolan: Today we went to an English Institute; which had many Spanish speakers that were studying to be English teachers. We were all split up into different groups -- that was really coollllllll if you ask me!!! It was a different experience for me; but it was a God given thing to happen in that way. I'm glad that we got to go and speak to Spanish speakers in English... I'd have to say that this trip is in God's hands everyday that we're here. Later in the night, we went to the English Time school that had kids that aged from either 12-23 and it was the coolest experience of all times. I didn't understand how things were going to go down while we were there. God really gave me, emily and amelia many doors to walk through to share the truth that God has in store for everyone... If you want to ask me about it, I will definitely tell you all about it ; )

Rebekah: I was placed in a classroom with 12 girls about my age, ranging from 18-27. We got to talk about all sorts of things like TV, movies, music, culture, and everything else you can think of. Out of no where some of the girls started talking about religion and what they believed and asked what I believed. I was able to share with them that I am a Christian and believe that Jesus is my Savior. They shortly after changed the subject. Connie came back into the room and a student asked about her evangelism bracelet. She was able to once again share with the girls our beliefs and what great things Jesus did for us. We didn't see any huge reactions to the story she told, but I know seeds were planted and I hope to keep in contact with them via email.

Matt: I was with Rebekah and Connie and it was kind of hard for me to relate to a bunch of collage girls but still we all had a good time but I also tried the best food ever here -- a ham and cheese empanada. It was delishioso and I highly recommend it to all Argentina travelers. For me, that keep it cool. Deal:Matt (>^-^)><(^-^<) Emily: This evening we visited an English institute to speak with young teenagers and try our best to share Christ with them. When we arrived they split us into groups of three and I was with Nolan and Amelia. Fortunately, the kids we were with seemed to be very interested in what we had to say about Jesus. It was obvious to see that they had never really thought about what this life was all about, and that opened a door for us to share our faith with them. Long story short, this night has been one of the greatest of my life and I have seen God work like never before. From all that the teacher shared about teenagers and how they are so apathetic about life, I can now say with all confidence that if Argentina is where the Lord wants me to be, I definitely want to minister to these struggling teens. Brice: This morning we went to an English speaking college to share our faith. Anyone who knows me well knows that this is what I struggle with and so I prayed that God would give me opportunities to share that were easy for me. Within about 20 minutes God opened a door for me. I told the class that I played football and that I was the quarterback and they immediately asked if I was popular in school. I said no because some of the "popular" things don't align with what the Bible says. Throughout the talk God just opened more and more doors and I took the opportunities to share my faith. It was awesome. God is just so awesome about answering prayers when you ask with a humble and honest heart. God changed my heart today about sharing my faith and now I will be more confident in telling people about what Christ has done for us all. Brendon: Like all of the us has said we went to the english institutes here in Trelew and to me it was an interesting experience because when we walked into the first institute and started talking to them they responded back with pretty good english which was pretty cool to me and then later in the day we went to the other institute and on our way there i was praying that there would be at least a little opening and when we started talking with them the doors just opened up all the way which was absolutely awesome. In the class i was in we met a 15yr old student that was a catholic and he started asking questions about how our religion differs from his and he asked if he could get the Lords prayer in english and if he could learn more about how we pray which was awesome. Chris: Today was great. We went to two schools today and spoke to the kids there. The first school went amazingly. We got to speak to a lot of college kids and they asked a whole lot of questions about our church and what the Bible says about a bunch of different things. We really got to share our lifestyles and how they differ from typical Americans that they have all seen in movies like "American Pie" I think we really showed them a different view of Americans. It was pretty chill. Teri: At the first school we went to, we had students who were 17 - 30 years old and I've never answered so many questions in my life. Everything from what type of food do we have in the US to what do we believe in our church about gay marriages and everything and anything in between! We stayed in the classes for about 2 hours and it was a small classroom (12 by 15 feet?) with 21 students, 1 teacher, and 4 of us. It was HOT! So we felt like we were really put on the "hot seat" in more ways than one. But God is so good ... He gave words for our mouths to answer in ways that could only be from Him. I have so enjoyed spending time with Ted and Connie in conversation of memories and their future plans as well as new friends that we've made while here (Claire and Grady). I know how to pray for them in their continued work in Argentina - I'm so thankful that I was blessed to be able to come on this trip! Amelia: This was definately my favorite day out of all of them! We went to two different schools, and in both of them, I was partners with Emily. The first, we were in a group with a lot of older women and one man, and they weren't very talkative to say the least. We were kind of disappointed by the way that things turned out because we were so ready for God to speak through us and give us the perfect openings for us to share why we're here. That was a fallback, but after that experience we were even more excited for the second school. It was so worth it, too! We went to the second school and God gave us EVERY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY to share God's love with them. This was one of the best times of my life. I think that Emily, Nolan, and I really got to share the story of Christ's love for us at least five times! The teenagers were very interested in what we had to say and they really wanted to listen and enjoy the joy WE had to be there! I feel like the teacher especially really got to here why we were here and to experience just a taste of the joy that God has given us in our lives. I will never forget when I was talking about how important it is to share your faith and one girl who had been really quiet, raised her hand and said "I believe." It was a great moment. Wendy: Today we met a woman named Andrea. She was sitting outside as we were leaving the first school. Ted initially started talking to her and she asked what we had been doing at the school. When he explained our reason for being there, she immediately shared her story with us. In the past, she had attended church but her marriage ended in divorce because of a relationship her husband had with another church member. She was still very hurt by this, even though she has remarried. But, she asked if Ted and Connie would come and talk to her and her family at her home, and would they come this Saturday? She appeared so anxious for their visit and made arrangements with them on their first available day after we leave. Before we left, we exchanged e-mail addresses and the last words she said to me were to keep in touch with her. We need to keep her in our prayers. I feel confident that if she is saved she has a strong personality and will be a great witness. At the second school we visited, there were two girls who came in late during our visit. During our discussion, when we were asked why we had come, her and her sister got very excited to know that we are Christians. She immediately said we are too. And for the rest of our visit, any time we spoke about Christ, her face looked so joyful. I will never forget that. We felt an immediate connection with them. Matt: well i went with Eli Brendon and Ted and we were with a class that was around age 15-19 so i could kind of relate. So we started talking and one of the students asked Eli if he could write down the lords prayer and so Eli said yes even though Eli could'nt remember the prayer we still had a disscusion of why we didnt say the lords prayer daily we said we speak to god like he is a person and that we have a system to pray with but we dont say the same thing every time i thought this was the best memory of the day. so keep it cool in Texas and remember to comment (>^-^><(^-^<)

Krissi: I can't begin to describe to you how much fun I had today - the first class I got to visit was a Literature class! Brendon and Nolan were with me and we got to share a lot about our culture, about literature, and about why we were there. At the end of it, several of the girls came and gave me their email addresses and asked if they could write to me to practice their English -- YES, OF COURSE! What an opportunity! Then the second class we got to sit in was all teenagers and Carolina was their teacher - a girl I had met earlier this week and really connected with. I have to say that middle school-aged boys are the same in Argentina that they are in America! I was sooooo missing my students as I sat in there laughing with them, answering their questions, and watching them get hyped up on sugar. It was a lot of fun. There were two girls in there who were Christians and I have to say that I never get tired of the connection we have to other Christians - it is indescribable because it bridges language, culture, and social differences. What a blessing to get to meet them and encourage them to be bold in their faith! All in all, this was one of my favorite days and I was sooooo very sad when it was over.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day of the Penguin (Tuesday)

Sam: What's a pirate's favorite country?

Youth: What?

Sam: Arrrrrghhh-gentina!

Krissi: And that is pretty much how the whole day has gone ... lots of cheesy pirate jokes. It just seemed appropriate to start the blog out that way.

Rebekah: Breakfast was muy delicioso!

Brice: You mean "desayuna" was muy delicioso! (Spanish for "breakfast")

Rebekah: We started the day with waffles, bacon, eggs, jugo de naranja, y leche. YUM!

Krissi: Today was "tourist" day so we loaded up a private bus with a tour guide and drove an hour and a half to Penguinero -- a ranch that hosts over 750,000 penguins! We were joined by three Argentinian girls - Florencia, Valentina, and Cynthia.
Emily: One penguin tried to attack Nolan - he poked his head out and raised his wings as if to say, "What up, fool?"

Matt: The penguins all huddle up together even though it was really hot. We were so close to them that they could have pecked our eyes out!

Amelia: We had to walk 1 km one way over gravel and rough rocks to see a huge huddle of penguins, but it was so worth it!

Chris: It was very weird to see an alpaca/llama/camel - called guanaco - standing right next to the penguins.

Sam: Krissi told me to mimic the penguin by waddling behind him. So I did. And I got in trouble by the tour guide who told me to "Behave!" Apparently, penguins have feelings, too.

Rebekah: My favorite part of the whole thing was standing on the top of the cliffs where I could see the blue ocean and the penguins swimming and playing.

Krissi: I agree - I thought the ocean was beautiful. I will always cherish sitting there on the cliff listening to water rush into a little arched nook below us and hearing the distant cries of the penguins. I felt like I was in a totally different world that I'd only ever seen in movies.

Nolan: Penguins have showdowns, too - they fight with each other and they headbutt each other to knock them down.

Connie: Teri is the Penguin Whisperer. She was looking at the penguin and she would tilt her head to the left and say "hello!" The penguin would copy her. Then she'd go the other direction and the penguin would do the same. It was very funny - we got video of it.

Brendon: I just really liked the ocean. Period. I did think it was pretty cool how there were that many penguins in one area.

Krissi: On the way home, everybody slept while Emily and I had some really fun conversation with the three Argentinian girls. Little Valentina was just in love with Emily! We were so impressed with their English and had fun practicing both languages together. 
Emily: They liked to ask general questions like, "what's your favorite color?" and I was impressed by how many actors from the USA they knew.

Chris: Tonight we went to dinner at a restaurant for the first time. The meats were all cooked over an open fire. The chicken was delicious!

Amelia: We really got to relax at dinner because there was no rush to leave. The custom here is just to chillax at mealtimes - they do not push you out of the restaurant like they do in America. Meal time is social time. We got to watch tango dancers and that was pretty cool.

Emily: We actually got to see Dancing With The Stars live! Except there were no stars ... 

Eli: The dancers are in incredible shape. I think they'll both live till they're, like, 100. 

Sam: I'm pretty sure that 60-year-old woman could beat me in arm wrestling.

Rebekah: The dessert was so good - it was a raspberry and blackberry mixture with vanilla ice cream on top.

Sam: Actually, the dessert was gross. It was so sour that I paid Chris two pesos to take a big bite.

Brice: By the way, I wore a mohawk all day. I am so "gopalo" - Spanish for "cool."

And now we're sitting here in Ted and Connie's living room, making more bracelets, stuffing Easter eggs, being entertained by Chris's voodoo toothpick magic, and struggling to stay focused enough in our conversation to complete this blog. Ay caramba!

Day 3 ... Monday (Part II)

OK, so we are back! Happy St. Patrick's Day! So sorry we couldn't update last night, but the evening was full of surprises and a lot of fun. Here we go --

Krissi: Yesterday we slept in and got up for breakfast and a devotion. The day was relatively easy for us - for Connie, it was a different story. That girl can COOK and not only that, but she's hosting twelve new people and is doing an amazing job organizing us and making sure we are taken care of. (Please pray for Connie when you read this and ask God to bless her for all her trouble!) I have to say I have been so impressed with her use of the language and relation to the people here. Go Connie!

Sam: Don't forget to mention the Great Chocolate Incident of 2009. Poor Connie was making chocolate icing in a rush for our party last night. The pot slipped and it spilled all over the floor, the curtains, the rug, her clothes, the cabinet ...

Connie: Yeah, it was all over me and the house. 

Krissi: In addition to the Great Chocolate Incident of 2009, we had some really cool experiences yesterday.

Rebekah: In the afternoon, Sam taught us how to prayer walk by claiming Scripture because you know it's God will. So we all separated and picked out our own personal verse to pray while walking the streets of Trelew. After we came together and discussed our verses and why we picked them, we split up and each group took a street to walk along and pray aloud or silently. While we were walking, my group saw many students - one of which I locked eyes with and immediately prayed for. She had long dark, wavy hair and was about fourteen years old. Imagine my surprise later that night when she showed up to our party at Ted and Connie's house! 

Brice: I really thought that prayer walking was spiritually exhausting. I could see a lot of needs around me and it just wore me out to pray for and think about these people through spiritual eyes. It was a good kind of worn out - like an accomplished feeling.

Amelia: Krissi and I walked by a daycare and decided to stop and pray together for the children in there. It was sad to know that I couldn't meet these kids or talk to them about Jesus - I would just have to leave it up to God.

Krissi: My group also passed through a park and we took a second to sit in the swings and pray for each person walking through the park and for the children that would sit in those swings. Several hours later, when we walked back by the park, there were some kids swinging there and Amelia and Teri and Nolan and I were like, "Hey! We prayed for those kids!" 

Sam: As we were prayer walking, it seemed kind of overwhelming at times because there are so many people here in Argentina. But I really felt like God was teaching me not to be overwhelmed but to be praying for those we were specifically seeing.
Nolan: Prayer walking led us to a downtown area with a pretty park where we took some group pictures for fun. As we were shopping, Chris and I butted heads pretty hard by accident. 

Chris: I could feel his brain when we hit!

Nolan: So I decided to buy a rugby helmet and ball and run around with it on.
Matt: After shopping, Ted and Connie had invited over English-speaking Argentinians where we introduced them to tacos and queso and spicy food. (We also roasted marshmallows and hot dogs again - which we heard they had only seen in movies.)

Brendon: Bruno, Nolan, Chris, Brice, Sam, and I went out back to play some fĂștbol (soccer) in a little huddle. We kept hitting people, windows, and even almost into the fire several times.

Sam: I got to spend time with one of the men and we talked specifically about Christ and spiritual things. I enjoyed that.

Emily: I met several girls my age at the party last night and found out that it was their school that my group had been praying for on our prayer walk. These girls are no different from girls at home -- they were crushing on boys (even some of our own American boys) and they had read Twilight and said it was very popular here. We had a lot to talk and laugh about.

Chris: About halfway through the party, we were asked to do our skit for the party visitors. It was really good because there were a lot of people at the party who were not believers and we got the opportunity to share it directly through song and actions.

Krissi: After the skit, a man named Javier spoke in Spanish and explained the skit, sort of sharing the gospel and that was really cool -- we were very blessed by it.

Rebekah: We had a lot of fun teaching our new friends games from home -- like the "UH!" game that we eventually changed to the "UFA!" (Oofa!) game and some of us got out just because we were laughing too hard. They taught us some of their games, too, and it was so fun!

Wendy: I talked with Letecia a lot - she was an English teacher. She had a great sense of humor and reminded us of our own Michele Rye. [we are all agreeing here.]  She was very friendly and her English was so very good. She told me a lot of stuff about "mate" - that it's kind of like an art and you have to get your environment ready so that you can share that moment with someone. That's also how people settle their disputes -- by discussing it over "mate" as a cool-down attempt.

Krissi: Wow, I'm so glad to know that stuff has a greater purpose! I have to say that I really had a great time at the party - the first person who arrived was David, who is 18-years-old. He said he learned his English in classes and by listening to Broadway musicals -- well, you can imagine my joy when I heard that! So I was like, "have you heard Wicked?" and he said yes, it was one of his favorites! The funny thing was that I had debated on if I should wear my Wicked shirt to the party or not ... I opted to do it in case it could be a "talking point" with the people I would meet. And then here came David ... a Wicked fan! I felt like I had found a little Argentinian soul mate! We discussed musicals the rest of the night. He is a really strong Christian and I think every one of us got along great with him. I also got along really well with his cousin, Jacqui and her friend, Carolina - can't wait to see them again on Wednesday! Rocio was also there and it was sooo good to see her again. I can't explain it, but I just feel a connection with her and was really blessed when she overcame her shyness and spoke with me in English. 

Teri: I enjoyed watching the kids play their games ("UFA!") and I could see through that that kids all over the world are all the same. Through something like a game, they could communicate regardless of any language barriers and become friends and laugh together. Having the kids do the skit again in front of all their peers was just wonderful. To me, that was God working in something we didn't even have planned.

Rebekah: At the end of the night, it was SO hard to say goodbye to our new friends. [We are all agreeing here.] A few of them we will see again before we leave. Most of them have Facebook, so we agreed to find each other on there - leaving names and email addresses. 

Overall, Monday was just amazing. Today, we will be doing touristy stuff -- driving out to the beach to see penguins! We will update again later tonight. Thank you for the prayers. God is using them and we feel them.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 3 ... Monday (Part I)

So our guests didn't leave tonight until well after midnight. At that point, we sent the girls back to their house (with Sam as their escort) and we are all going to bed. We will give an account of our day tomorrow after breakfast when we reconvene ... I will only say that I truly believe we are all in love with Argentina and their people at this point. I am already dreading leaving on Friday. :( 

Buenos noches for now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day Two ... SUNDAY!

Well, we just had a really fun time reading the comments friends and family left! Thank you, thank you. We're going to try to give you another summary from each of us about our experiences today. I'll start with what happened after we blogged last night. We got to meet the precious Suarez family who have two daughters -- Rocio and Lucero -- 16 years old and 11 years old, respectively. They were a little shy with us at first, but once Bekah and I decided to make dorks of ourselves and try out our Spanish, they become more experimental with their English. By the end of the night, we had fallen in love with these girls and were making promises to see each other again before we leave. I went to bed last night so excited that, yes, even in another culture, I still LOVE teenagers. And Rocio is really not all that different from my teens at home -- she's into shopping, text messaging, Facebook, etc. No wonder we could understand each other so well. Anyway, please pray for our new friends ... we will hopefully get to see them again tomorrow night and share our faith as the opportunity lends itself.
And now, we'll tell you about today (as chronologically as possible) ...

Chris: So we didn't get up and do our group ru
n/walk/jog because we were just too tired. (We
 actually all decided not to last night.) We got up around 9:30 and got a donut and had a devotion with Ted and Connie. I played with Pebbles, the dog -- that was pretty chill.

Sam: I enjoyed Ted and Connie's insights about their time in the middle east. [We are all agreeing right now.]

Rebekah: Yeah, I really enjoyed hearing Ted's testimony about what led them here to Argentina.

Matt: Around noon, several of us walked to the "chicken place" - meat store - and it smelled,
like, super good. I think the chicken tastes better here. And, no, Mom - there is no Dr Pepper here but the Coke is really good.

Amelia: After lunch, Krissi and I made posters for the skit - we had to translate "Sins Forgiven" and "Free of Charge" into Spanish for the posters. Krissi wrote and I colored while Chris kept trying to take a serious picture of us - but we kept laughing and he didn't like that.

Brendon: When we took the bus to Rawson where the Baptist church is, I slept. We were going to hang out with the "youth group" there which is people from ages 13-30. Brice, Chris, Nolan and I got to go play soccer with a group of them. It was hard because we played on gravel and 
I'm used to grass.

Brice: I scored the winning goal!! (Actually, I kind of hit the ball and was really happy when it went into the goal.)

Nolan: My team would've won if we'd had more time!

Chris: One kid named Christian said he liked Guns N Roses and we were like, "Yeah!" Pretty crazy.

Sam: They tried to make us drink wood chips.

Krissi: Actually, it was called "mate"(pronounced mah-tay) and it was herbs in hot water that you sip through a metal straw that strains the herbs out. I'm pretty sure it was like licking an ash tray (not that I've ever done that before, but I imagine that is what it would taste like!) But it was fun to watch each of us suffer through it -- and we all had to share the same straw. It's the custom. Yep, we shared germs, too.

Emily: I did it first! So I didn't have to drink after anyone!

Rebekah: I had fun talking to Laura and her boyfriend, Axel, who are English-learning students here.

Emily: Yeah, I wear Nolan's ring on my necklace and Laura informed me that here that means I'm looking for a boyfriend. Don't think I'll wear it tomorrow ...

Krissi: After tea and "mate," they brought out a ping-pong table and we taught them how to play Around The World ping-pong with a big group. It was so much fun and a great icebreaker! We were laughing and getting people out like crazy. I think they really enjoyed that one.

Matt: The youth here are pretty much the same as us except they speak a different language.

Chris: But they didn't like roasting marshmallows! I mean, it's just sugar and air.

Brice: But we didn't like their "mate" either.

Krissi: One of the activities was that we made a fire and taught them how to roast marshmallows. We were SHOCKED that most of them didn't think too much of the marshmallows. A few of them really got into it, but the rest were like, "Eh."

Amelia: Connie got all of us together and we each had to choose an Argentine partner. We made the beaded bracelets with the colors that tell the salvation story. We read through it in Spanish. Laura was my partner and I got to learn more about her working through that. She speaks pretty good English.

Krissi: My partner was Tania and she cracked me up! She loves to laugh and talk, even when I don't understand her. She decided that she should make my bracelet and I should make hers. So, we each made a bracelet with the charm we picked out and then tied it on each other's wrist. Then, we kissed on the cheek and took a picture. I will cherish this bracelet because she made it for 
me ... what a sweetheart! We also sat together during the worship service and I wish I could see her again, but I'm not sure that will happen before we meet in heaven.

Nolan: I have to say, I've never been kissed so much in my life! But it's all good ... so, during the worship service, we got to perform a skit to the Spanish version of "Everything I Do" by Bryan Adams. In the skit, I play Jesus and I "wash" people's sins away. I didn't know how people would react to it until I could see their faces.

Teri: During the service, the music was awesome! A lot of the songs were recognizable - like "How Great Thou Art" and "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Celebrate Jesus" and "God Will Make A Way" -- after that, we moved onto the kids' skit and I watched the people as the skit was going on. At the end of the skit, so many of them were wiping tears from their face. It was just awesome.

Krissi: I enjoyed listening to them read the Bible in Spanish - I knew enough words that I could follow along in my own Bible (Tania would help me decipher what book and chapter, though). The whole service was RICH in Scripture reading. Read Psalm 47 this week -- that was one of the ones they read aloud during the worship music.

Sam: They called me up onstage at one point and asked me to share a little bit about our group and our purpose. I talked about our "think glocally" vision (with Grady translating) and when I wasn't sure what else to say, I said the one thing I had just learned in Spanish - "Dios de bendiga!" and everyone laughed and clapped. (It means "God bless you" and they apparently REALLY appreciate when we attempt to use their language.)

Krissi: Yeah, but then you need to tell them how you REALLY messed up the language AFTER the service.

Sam: [sighing] I was trying to ask a girl what her name was [which is "Como te llamas?"] Instead I said, "Te amo" which means "I love you." Good thing Tania was there to correct my mistake. It was definitely ... awkward.

Connie: I know that the church really enjoyed having yall there. It was fun to see it all come together today.

Ted: I just want to say goodnight and God bless! [It's about 12:30am at this point. Ted is tired.]

So, we didn't have dinner until 11:30 tonight and it was fabulous pizza with extra stringy cheese. Mmmm. We look forward to another awesome day tomorrow. Thank you again for checking in and for the prayers and comments. We love hearing from home.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

First Impressions

We're here! And we are sitting together in Grady and Claire's living room with our new friend, Eli -- a 24-year-old missionary from Alabama. Connie and Ted - who I must say look GREAT and who we are SO HAPPY to see - are helping cook up some amazing hamburgers -- we are VERY hungry! :) So, here's what we're going to do to give you a quick run-through of the last 24+ hours ... we're going to write this like a screenplay, so you can hear from everyone who wants to contribute. Here we go.

Krissi: Hey, guys ... let's tell everyone about our first impressions. Start with the travel.

Rebekah: I survived my first flight -- even though it was soooo long and impossible to sleep.

Chris: Yeah, planes aren't meant for people who are 6'4".
Amelia: I couldn't sleep, so I used the time to finish a 9-page book report and a geometry test. Go me!

Matt: I got a high score on Tetris!

Brice: Episodes of The Office saved my life. [Chris is tattling on Brice that he actually watched some Hannah Montana, too. Shhh ... don't tell.]

Krissi: I think the only people who got actual good sleep were Sam and Nolan. I got to listen to Teri laugh out loud as she watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

Nolan: Yeah, I slept like a baby.

Emily: I've never seen a sunrise so magnificent!! [everybody is verbally agreeing here]

Krissi: OK, so the first flight was long, but we made it. Now, let's hear about experiences since we've been in the country. I'll start -- I have to say that I knew I wasn't in Texas the moment I saw the vegetation in Buenos Aires -- there are like five different types of trees that look nothing like at home and I was just mesmerized by them! Very cool ...

Matt: The first thing I noticed were the signs all in Spanish but with English underneath. [very helpul, by the way] I did feel like my french fries at McDonalds here in Argentina taste different from at home. The Coke tastes better. [Chris is agreeing with him at this point.]

Brendon: I felt like my Pringles tasted different, too, once I ate them in Argentina. [Krissi laughs at this since they came from AMERICA - she thinks it's all in his head.]

Amelia: On the bus to the second airport, we could practically reach out and touch the cars next to us, they drive so close! And then they get up soooo close on the bumper that it almost looks like they hit. Krissi and Emily and I also had an interesting time trying to understand our taxi cab driver ... all while watching him narrowly miss hitting the car in front of him.

Wendy: I didn't realize that Trelew was such a desert place. It looks like West Texas here! Ted and Connie and Grady and Claire have been so hospitable.

Teri: It has just been wonderful to see old friends who are so near and dear -- and making new friends who we have so much in common with. [We are laughing at Teri right now because she and Claire discovered that they have two of the same bowls that they bought 30 years ago.]

Brice: There are like a billion apartments here -- with dogs running around. You have to watch where you step in case they left you a present.

Rebekah: I got to go to the store with Claire and use my Spanish skills -- that was very cool! And I get my own room -- because I'm special!

Krissi: Yeah, I get to sleep at the guy's house -- Connie, Pebbles (the coolest dog), and me are the only girls. But, it's nice for once to get to be with my husband - that NEVER happens at youth events.

One thing that is worth mentioning is the shock on the boys' faces when we arrived to the second airport ... a group of very manly 20-something men stepped through the gate. The boys were watching them, trying to figure out if they were soccer players. But when these men said goodbye, they all embraced and kissed each other on the cheeks. Our boys freaked. We had to explain that it was the custom here -- that's how everyone greets. They soon had to engage in this kind of behavior tonight as they met new people! I think all of our boys should start practicing this custom with each other while we are here -- doesn't the Bible even say "greet each other with a holy kiss?" LOL. We are already being stretched out of our comfort zones.

So the hamburgers are smelling REALLY great about now ... our tummies are rumbling. Sam couldn't contribute tonight because he is out changing money with Ted while we are doing this. I will say that he has done an EXCELLENT job as our leader -- maneuvering a group of 12 Americans through a foreign country including three different transportation methods. He is tired, though. Go Sam!

Here is our schedule tomorrow (that we know of so far) -- Argentines don't really get up or get active early in the mornings. So, we're planning to sleep in a little bit - and since we have athletes who need to stay in shape [and old people like me who need to get in shape], we decided we would go on a group walk/jog/run around the local track in the morning. Church isn't until the evening, so we're going to drive out to Rawson to meet the teenagers there and practice our Spanish with them! We've got marshmallows and Easter eggs that we're going to introduce them to - fun!! Anyway, there is just too much to tell about the last day or so, but hopefully you were entertained by some of it. Pray for restful sleep tonight and for us to be prepared to talk with the locals about our relationship with Christ. Pray that we can encourage and serve Ted and Connie (and Grady and Claire) while we are here.

Thanks - keep checking the blog!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

And We're Off ... Almost.

A COLOSSAL thank you to Katrina for getting this thing up and running! If left up to me, I'm not sure it would have gotten done in time ... 

So I have to say that we are very excited about the trip, despite the busy-ness of getting ready for it. Not only will it be fun to see our friends (Ted and Connie) again, but it seems like we will really get to spend time with the people and community there -- that means meeting other teenagers and children! I'm totally pumped.

We leave for the airport tomorrow at 3:45pm and will not arrive at our destination until Saturday at 6:00pm (which will be 3:00pm here). That's a LOT of travel time - and I am looking forward to spending it with the crew going! Speaking of our crew ... here is a list:

Sam Dallas
Krissi Dallas
Rebekah Fahey
Teri Mullins
Emily Mullins
Wendy Wood
Amelia Wood
Nolan Dunlap
Brice Warren
Brendon Riley
Chris Mueller
Matt Mueller

While there, we are hoping to update this site with more interesting tales of our Argentinian Adventure! For now, we greatly appreciate prayers for safe travel and some kind of satisfying sleep through the night. We don't want to start the trip out exhausted! Pray for Rebekah, too, as she is a first-time flyer. LOL - this will be quite an initiation!

Thank you for the prayers, the support, and the blog visits. We'll see you back here later. And now I've gotta go -- it's 9:00pm and I still haven't finished packing. Yep, it's true ...

(Oh, and happy 50th birthday to Greg Warren!)

Argentina 2009

Seven youth and five adults will be leaving Friday night, March 13, for Trelew, Argentina.
Please pray for safe travel, health, and opportunities to share the good news even before they step off the plane.
Watch this blog for updates!