We are entering year two of quarantine here in Cordoba, and no one is really quite sure what to expect with the winter upon us (A friendly reminder to you in the northern hemisphere is June 21 was the first day of winter in the southern hemisphere.)
After our recent summer and fall of lessening restrictions, we have again entered into another phase 1 lockdown, and week by week regulations tighten or loosen depending on the number of cases in the hospitals. But if the quarantine is anything like last winter’s quarantine, this “2 weeks” could roll into many more. Argentina is struggling with overflowing hospital beds and a low vaccination rate. Without going much into the politics of Argentina, let’s just say there is much confusion and not much understanding about where the next few months will take us.
Honestly, we are all a bit tired of it, and to see the life in the United States returning to more normal is a bit discouraging. But when we feel discouraged, we remind ourselves of what God did since the quarantine restrictions started in March 2021 and how He was faithful to us since then. It’s actually quite amazing how His plan in the midst of COVID has shaped and molded our family and ministry.
Lamentations 3 gives us hope in the midst of struggle:
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
Lamentations 3:19-26 NIV
Here are some of ways that God has been good to us during the past year of COVID restrictions:
- He allowed Eric the needed time to finish his Association of Biblical Counselors Counseling certification. With the completion of this certification, the doors of counseling ministry have opened and much of the ministry that he is currently involved in at our church is based in this training.
- With the completion of this certification, much Spanish biblical counseling ministry in Latin America has opened up for Eric. He is supervising others in Spanish biblical counseling, and he has been blessed to be a part of leadership in the growth of biblical counseling through ACBC in Latin America. He has had so much work to do, in spite of all the shut downs!
- Danica was able to complete (at a slower pace) the first two parts of the ACBC training.
- We have been able to grow as a family unit, and our boy’s relationships as with each other have grown. One of our greatest desires as a family is that our boys are best friends for life. We are grateful for how He is working to mold them together.
- We have been able to start some fun family traditions such as Friday family movie night, Sunday asados (aka BBQs), family walks around the neighborhood, and playing board games together.
- We have been able to start homeschooling our boys again. We made the switch a few months after they had done virtual public school here. We have really enjoyed seeing our boys grow academically and spiritually. Danica loves teaching and loves discipling them in this way. It has been super helpful for our boys, especially as we were able to focus more intentionally on some learning challenges with a few of them.
- We were able to see this transition to homeschooling happen with other families in our church as well, and have plans to continue to grow a ministry to a group of other homeschoolers in our city when COVID restrictions lessen.
- We have grown in the relationship that we have with our teammates, the Wrights. They live close and are pretty much considered our closest we have to “family” here, as well as our church family. They are in our smaller COVID safe circle, and that was been really helpful for our growth as a team.
- We have grown closer in relationship to our neighbor and close friend Flavia. She is often the only other person we see during a normal day, and she is an absolute blessing to our family. She is an encouragement as a friend and sister in Christ to us, a “auntie” to our kids, and helps us tremendously in keeping our Spanish current and helps us navigate Argentine culture and news.
- We have been able to just slow down and enjoy a life of less activities and more family and close relationships. Much of the extra noise of life has been less aparent this year, and that has been a great blessing.
- We have grown in our love for our church and in our appreciation of the blessing of being to meet together in person. Not being able to be at the church regularly and see our brothers and sisters in Christ has given us a deeper longing to be with them. We are thankful for how the Lord has grown our love for the local church even when we have not been able to meet. The times that the restrictions are lessened —and we are allowed to meet—is very sweet.
So all these blessings, in mind, we wait for the Lord and His timing to return our lives back to “normal.” But even now, our new “normal” has been changed, and for that we are very grateful.