Monday, March 19, 2012

Cousins Share a Sunday

Uncle Dave and Aunt Terri prepare a delicious meal together

Sunday was a full and rewarding day. It was something of a feat to get fourteen people (ten of whom are under the age of eighteen) out the door for church in the morning, and we filled an entire row when we did arrive! But it was special to be able to worship side by side with family and to get to know Dave and Terri's church home.

Uncle Pedro and Sabastian go head to head with a video game

After church most of us relaxed while Terri and Dave whipped up a delicious meal of sweet ham, mashed potatoes, corn and green bean casserole. One great thing about their house is that there are spaces for different activities. So Pedro and Sabastian vied for bragging rights over a Playstation game in the living room; Eva and Benjamin headed to the office computer to build a city; Isabel kept a close eye on Nathaniel as he played his game; and the other boys scattered to the basement and bedrooms until lunch was served.

this picture is a little soft but so cute, Nathaniel snuggled up to cousin Isabel

Eva and Benjamin putting their creative heads together

Mealtime is always entertaining with so many of us. We rotate the youngest kids around a small picnic table, and on this particular afternoon it was Owen, Ian, Alec and Nathaniel's turn to eat together. This is a rowdy bunch, as evidenced by the impossibility of getting a picture of everyone sitting still! In an attempt to keep church shirts clean we had them eat lunch bare-chested and it was too cute a photo op to pass up. :)

our boisterous and brawny boys

table filled with food and family

It was a short afternoon but with the littlest kiddos (and Uncle Pedro!) rejuvenated by a brief siesta, we headed back to church for their evening service. Terri had mentioned to her pastors that we were missionaries on furlough, and they were kind enough to offer us the opportunity to share our ministry presentation and personal testimonies on Sunday night. Terri and I were also invited to sing a duet together, so it was like "old times" as we shared a hymn we grew up singing in Chile.

The church does a "family" service in the evening with a comfortable, informal feel. Tables and chairs are set up in the gym and after the service families stay to have a light snack and interact with one another. We enjoyed sharing in this setting, and our kids especially enjoyed having the run of the gym afterwards! It was a great time to get to know a number of people, even one young college student who hopes to go to Chile as a foreign exchange student in January of next year. We hope to stay in touch and see how God continues to lead her.

It's a wonderful thing to be part of a family, and especially the family of God!

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