Last October we packed up our house and put things in storage, packed our bags and left for six months. It was crazy, amazing, hard at times, wonderful most of the times, a life changing experience. Andrew decided we needed to take a Family Sabbatical to South America. In Colombia we met up with a missionary family, Jorge and Ginny and their little girl Matilde. It was so humbling to see how they live every day life serving, being available, totally other'focused. Most of their ministry at the time involved reaching out to children in the neighborhood and orphans. We also were able to spend time with my extended family for a couple of weeks who lived a plane ride away from Bogota (where we stayed for our sabbatical). We spent last Christmas with our old friends who I had not seen for over 13 years! It was a quiet, sad, joyful, sweet and simple Christmas we'll never forget. When we came back in April we definitely had culture shock. I remember Josiah being SO excited for warm water to wash his hands :) Living in Colombia for six months changed our lives in many ways. We realized the boys were absolutely happy and content with the toys they had in their backpacks. They also found joy in sharing those with kids who had none. We were convicted about how busy our lives had become. We learned that God wants our family to live life, and minster to people as we go about our day. There are plenty of opportunities to reach out to others in very simple ways. To not just have stuff, but use it, take care of it, share it, or give it away. There are so many things we have some people wish they did, and we complain about it! We are forever changed by each person we met and all the wonderful things we were able to experience in another country.
Well around here the boys are usually playing pretend with their friends (aka stuffed animals), doing a craft project, wrestling daddy, or chasing each other around the coach in the family room. Javier was accepted to an Arts Charter School, he's in third grade now. He is still very much our 'artsy' child. He had his first musical this Fall and did awesome. Javi enjoys playing the piano, reading, writing, and drawing. He's a great big brother and very patient with Jojo who is usually following him around the house. I would describe him as sensitive, kind and sweet. Josiah is going to Preschool twice a week and loves it! He's very interested in letters and numbers and very much a hands'on type of boy. He likes to figure out how things work and doesn't like it when things are broken. Jojo loves playing with cars or his soft animal friends. I love that he speaks Spanglish ('Mamita, I want some lechita con chocolate please'). I would describe him as intense, thoughtful and energtic.
We want to end this newsletter by saying THANK YOU to all of our family and friends. For everyone who helped us pack and unpack, brought a meal, took us to the airport, watched our house, emailed us, prayed for us, helped buy bedding for orphans, visited us, met us somewhere for dinner, on and on...we are so grateful and blessed. Gracias y Feliz Año!!!