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"This month Iíve been reflecting

on one of the hardest things

about being a missionary..."

Over the past few months weíve talked about the highlights of our life in Mexico: the joy of being a part of God building up his kingdom here. This month Iíve been reflecting on one of the hardest things about being a missionary: the good-byes.

This fall we had the opportunity to be involved in two conferences and a retreat in the US. But before we could see our family and friends there we had to say good-bye to our friends (and our two dogs) here. Just to let you know how wonderful our friends here are,

Vero and Gaby house sat

one stayed in our house while we were gone and another couple drove us an hour (one way) into the Mexico City airport at 10pm for our red-eye flight.

Our first conference was in Orlando so we had a few brief but wonderful days seeing old friends and making some new ones. It was impossible to squeeze eight years of friendships into one week.

Orlando friends, Chris and Christy Heavener

But at each stage of our trip God worked out perfect connections with friends, some from our time at seminary, some from different churches, and even some students who used to be in Timís youth group.

Matt & John used to be
in our youth group

The hellos were wonderful, but were followed a few hours later by a good-bye that will last a few years.

Before our next conference in Colorado Springs, we had a week in Wichita, KS. Being around for my Dadís birthday, meeting my 6

Annabella and her Aunt Annette

month old niece for the first time, having time to go to Bible studies and ladies circles, and of course seeing old friends (one from when I was in kindergarten!) were real treats.

Finally we spent a productive, encouraging week at a "tracks conference" where OC missionaries who work around the world with a focus on similar ministries give and get help in their specific area. Because of the upcoming launching of our curriculum for youth pastors we were in the publications track. Weíve never met most of the other OC missionaries, especially if they live outside of Latin America. But every time we get to be around our old OC friends, and when we get to know new ones, we have a great time. C. S. Lewis said something like "talking divides, but working together unites." I guess we worked hard enough together to feel deeply united with the other seven people in our track.

Ongoing training is a hallmark of OC Int'l

We really feel like we have pieces of ourselves scattered literally all over this earth. How we would love to be near you to share the daily ups and downs of life. How our hearts ache for a home with you, a place with no good-byes. But I guess that longing is part of the sense of eternity God has put in our hearts. I guess thatís part of the plan that Jesus birth set in motion, "In my Fatherís house are many roomsÖI am going there to prepare a place for you." We canít wait to spent eternity with you in our Fatherís house.
Till then we celebrate with you God With Us... Emmanuel.

Merry Christmas

P.S. Some people have asked if our new address in San Diego means weíve moved there. No. Weíre still in Toluca. We just have a P.O. box in CA linked here via a courier to facilitate our mail service. So you can send all of our Christmas cards there :-)

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