"So, have things settled down there a bit?" This question from my mom always gives me pause. Literal pause, as I wrack my brain to remember what has happened in the last 24 ... 48 ... 72 hours - and beyond - when I often can't even recall what I ate for lunch! There is never a lack of busyness in our lives, that is for sure. And in true Latin American fashion, much of it is in response to last-minute changes and challenges which definitely keep us hopping.
When I began this post, I had some examples fresh in my mind. I'm pretty sure they were related to the seemingly endless paperchase for property-related documents for FLORECE, which is now in a temporary lull (so thankful!) Since then those memories have been chased away but new ones have replaced them. No two days are exactly alike.
As I write, jackhammers are vibrating in my ears like they have countless times since we returned to Chile ten months ago. The soundtrack to our lives has been the demolishing and rebuilding of our neighbor's house. It really makes homeschooling "interesting" (read: impossible) some days. For a while, "life imitated art" as we ourselves attempted a seemingly simple remodel of the parking area alongside our house into a multipurpose room with a roof. I say "seemingly" because the appearance and then disappearance of multiple workmen has dragged out a three-week process into five months and counting. Recently the builders next door breached a section of lightweight wall between our two properties, breaking ours in two while concrete poured through it over our boys' bikes and the newly installed ceramic floor.
Those are the types of unforeseen challenges which can eat up chunks of our days and test our testimony! Frankly, I had to leave the interaction to Pedro because my words would not have been lovely. Only once did I give verbal vent to my frustration - and would again! - as it involved the well-being of my children who were unnecessarily placed at risk. (In that instance, the workers failed to install safety netting as required and thus a hammer hurtled three stories down to the patio where my preschooler normally played.)
Now, the two paragraphs above had absolutely nothing to do with my original intention for this post! Oy vey. Let's see. What I meant to write about was the early Saturday morning airport run that Pedro and I recently took to pick up Allison and Emily, two short-term missionaries visiting us for different and exciting reasons. Allison is creating our first storytelling video of the FLORECE ministry, featuring our friend Catalina's testimony. Emily is testing the waters of Iquique, so to speak, as she considers the possibility of full-time ministry with us (yay!) I also meant to write of the seventeen people we had at our home for lunch yesterday, and the nineteen we hosted the weekend before (including two Americans I "randomly" met after overhearing them speaking English in an Indian restaurant near FLORECE.) I was going to point out that in between running Silas to and from preschool each day and the older boys to and from basketball Tuesdays/Thursdays and Eva to and from riding classes Wednesdays/Fridays and Isabel to her first reponder class Saturdays, we had some extra (but exciting, because we're glad she's here!) errands like taking our new missionary colleague furniture and car shopping and explaining the intricacies of necessary paperwork for every aspect of life in Chile.
I might have mentioned how this morning I had a Skype meeting at 9 AM; then translated for a video interview around noon; and now Pedro and I are headed to a team meeting in half an hour. Or shared some recent disappointments such as a friend's cancer not responding to treatment and a FLORECE client whose decisions have saddened us and most especially the family who invested months in her child's life. Much more happily, I would have described the search for housing and airfare and planning as we have not one but two teams of people coming from the States in what will be the craziest June/July yet in our Iquique history! And also rejoiced that between March and mid-April, a dozen new clients arrived on the doorstep of FLORECE.
These are the days we are living as a family. Sensational. Shocking. Sensitive. And sometimes supernatural, as we sense the Spirit of God moving in ways we cannot always see. There is nowhere else we'd rather be!