Friday, March 1, 2013

On our way to Resistencia

We are on our way to Resistencia, Chaco, Argentina. From San Pedro de Colalao we are heading north on Highway 9, and then southeast on Highway 16. Not sure when we will have wi-fi so I can post this, but will go ahead and write while I have some time. Charlie is driving, Dad is sleeping (as best he can with the potholes and wavy pavement), Mom is reading a book on her iPad mini, and Loida is in the very back looking very beautiful.

I feel bad that I do not have more time to write and that I am not very eloquent in my writing. Some people, like Bro. David, can sit down and write a letter in nothing flat, and with their detailed descriptions make you feel like you were there. I wish I could describe the beauty of the country we have been driving through in the last couple of weeks. Argentina is truly a country rich in natural resources and beauty.  We have driven through cattle land, farm land, mountain ranges, and desert. The direction we are headed in now will soon turn into desert. We will be traveling about 800 kilometers (497 miles). 

We left Chingolo Monday about 4:00 PM and traveled all night, arriving in San Pedro de Colalao at 9:30 AM on Tuesday. Mom was concerned about how Dad would do on the long overnight trip; we talked about staying the night in Cordoba which would be about half way there. As it was, Dad did well on the trip and was able to sleep some. I thank The Lord for the large comfortable vehicle He has provided! Please do keep Dad in your prayers; he has been suffering quite a bit with his knees. After standing for about 5 minutes preaching, his legs hurt and he has to keep moving them. He have offered to buy him a small treadmill we could place behind the pulpit, and that way he could walk as he preaches. He says he may just change his preaching technique and become one of those preachers who walk back and forth across the platform. 

I think we will all be glad when this trip is over. We don't complain, but being in the car for 18 hours is not pleasant and it is hard on the body. This will be the last long trip. From Resistencia we have about an hour to Herradura, and from Herradura a couple hours to Asuncion. In Paraguay the distances are much shorter; the longest trip may be 6 hours. 

Well...that was interesting. I have been on a lot of bad highways, but I think this one takes the cake. I tried to film a bit, and took a million pictures, but not sure it will do it justice. I think a ship in a storm on high seas would be a smoother ride. We may need new shocks by the time we are done with all our traveling...and maybe I should have them check and make sure the motor is still there. We are driving through no-man's land, or at least that's what it seems like. The road stretches as far as the eye can see in a straight line. Vegetation on both sides is dense but short stubby trees, and the cactus must be ten feet tall. 

We should be arriving in Resistencia between four and six tonight. The brethren from San Pedro sent a sack of potatoes and and a crate of vegetables for the meetings in Resistencia. They tell us the brethren in Resistencia are very poor. I didn't think the brethren in San Pedro were wealthy, but anyway it's good to see the love of the brethren expressed in their generosity toward each other. 

The traveling, the long trips, you can have; but the fellowship of the saints is so very precious! Brother Antonio Decima is a retired boat captain who used to navigate between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Asuncion, Paraguay back in the mid seventies. I don't know the whole story, but when he would set anchor in Asuncion, he would take leave and head for Villarrica to spend time at the Bible School. He had not seen Dad in over thirty years and was beyond overjoyed to see him. We had two services Tuesday afternoon. Several of the people walked nine kilometers (5.5 miles) and others traveled from much  further. We had two morning services on Wednesday and then a 4:00 PM service where we had two messages followed by the Lord's supper. Four young girls (about eight) accepted Christ as Savior and Lord. It was a wonderfully Spirit-anointed service. The brethren greatly rejoiced and were comforted in the Lord. 

The generosity of the people is expressed in the abundance of food. We ate together at the church, maybe 100 people, and everything in abundance. Mom and Dad, Sergio and Susana, and Loida and I stayed at a house where the owners were away on vacation, and so we had the house all to ourselves. The water is heated by a wood furnace and the wood was wet. The first day, the shower was a bit cold. but by the next day we had a nice hot shower. We eat pomegranates and figs from their trees, and tried some kind of cactus fruit that tasted like watermelon, cantaloupe, and apple all in one. After every meal they served some kind of soup, actually more of a broth. 

We are now in Resistencia and have wi-fi. I will go ahead and post this as is. When we have some time I will try to post some photos on the albums page.