Greetings from Santa Marta!
June was a very special month for us. Our daughter, Candy, was here for a two-week visit. Even though we saw her in March it was still a great joy to see her again. This visit was a little different. Candy’s boyfriend from Bogotá also spent a few days in the house with us. It was good to get to know Ernie a little better. After a few days, Candy and Ernie spent time with his parents at a timeshare resort about an hour outside Santa Marta. Happily, Candy spent the last several days of her vacation with us. It is always a pleasure to be with her. It took some doing to realize she is moving on with her life (boyfriend), but it is as it should be.
In mid-June we held a one-day family conference at a retreat center 30 minutes outside of Santa Marta. To simplify things we asked everyone to bring their own lunch, which worked out very well. We brought with us water, coffee, soda and a few snacks for all. We interspersed the messages with skits about the messages. During one of the messages with had a downpour that chased a large peacock (pavo real – royal turkey) under the shelter with us. He wandered around honking at us while we were trying to listen to the speaker. When the rains stopped he took his leave. When we finished with the talks, we spent an hour or so playing in the pool. It was a fun day and the center was easy to get to by bus. We’re thinking of returning there for our next baptism instead of having it at the beach as we usually do.
In preparation for the Seed of Wheat (Semilla de Trigo) kids retreat on July 22 & 23, we had a daylong conference to go over the logistics. Our church will send 30 kids and eight leaders to the retreat. The cost to the kids is $45,000 pesos or about $15 USD. We are working with several families who are unable to pay the cost; for one the money just isn’t in the family budget and for some with several kids in the program, they have to pick which one can go. I have gotten commitments to sponsor five kids, which helps a great deal.
Colombia does not celebrate the 4th of July, of course! But there is a holiday on the 3rd. My family celebrates the 4th on the 3rd. This year we had a family day in the church, with two messages, some songs and games, and the highlight was a five star BBQ lunch.The last game of the day was a scavenger hunt around the church following clues to words to a Bible verse. When the clues were assembled the team then had to recite the verse from memory. I was amazed at how competitive the teams were. Each team wanted the prize which was that each of the team members received a small chocolate bar. It was a great day with lots of laughter.
Patty and I are planning a trip to San Diego from August 2-10. Pastor Kevin at Valley Bible Church has arranged for us to house sit Aug. 4-10, which only leaves our first two days in town unaccounted for. Candy, who works a La Costa, is looking into our staying at the La Costa Spa at her employee discount. That could be an interesting option. Candy has to move by July 15, but has two weeks filled – one week with house sitting and another staying with friends. After that she will need a room to rent. She had a room in Oceanside, but that fell through at the last minute. We are also hoping this will be the last trip for a while. We have submitted the paperwork to USCIS for relief from the requirement to enter the states at least every six months to maintain her “green card.”
Please pray for:
- Success at the kids retreat
- Protection for our trip in August
- Approval of Patty’s citizenship paperwork
- Continued good health for us both
Please check out the web page at www.missionsantamarta.org and leave your contact information.
In His service,
Glenn and Patty