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October 27, 2008
I’m missing you!! Sorry I haven’t written but the internet has been down for few days at our hotel here in Argentina. I must admit that the busier I become the harder it is to email as often but I enjoy keeping you updated and reading your replies.
My time in Buenos Aires has flown by and I’ve been very busy speaking on the radio, in churches and at a city meeting. Buenos Aires is a city that literally never sleeps. In most homes, dinner is served at 10:30 p.m. here. Restaurants are packed and streets are crowded with cars and pedestrians as late as 1:00 AM on a school night. I just can’t believe it. It’s exhausting just trying to have dinner with people!!
With its wide avenues and beautiful architecture, Buenos Aires is the most European city of Latin America and many call it the Paris of South America. But behind all that beauty is a city in tremendous need for the Gospel. Everywhere I go, I see well dressed homeless people who have jobs but the money is not enough for a home while others live in near slum conditions in the outskirts of the city. Drug addiction, prostitution and homosexuality are rampant here in Buenos Aires and prostitutes commonly stand naked as they market themselves. Imagine this: transvestite prostitution has gotten so bad that rather than tirelessly arresting and patrolling, the city actually designated a nearby park as an unofficial gathering point so it won’t fill the city streets. How aweful.
Tony has been my interpreter on this trip so Jeff is once again trying his hand as a cameraman and filming all the events. A couple days ago, I spoke at a city hall meeting in a poor town outside of Buenos Aires. I was told that this area is known to be “left” and in favor of communism. This area is not usually open to the gospel so I was invited as a “motivational speaker” who has a disability. Many parents with disabled children were there as well as others. The place was full – standing room only. As I neared the end of my testimony and begun to talk about Jesus I could see that some people started to leave, but the majority stayed to hear what I was saying. At the end, at least 10 gave their lives to Christ and several parents of disabled kids left with renewed hope and encouragement. The most amazing part is that the city organizers now want me to come back next year and speak at a larger event, wow.
Well, I’m all done with my speaking engagements here and now starts the retreat portion of our trip to Argentina. Pray for us as we finalize our schedule for next year and as Jeff and I work with Tony on our “end of the year” video.
Love to you from Argentina,
Posted by Bernadette at 01:36 AM
October 23, 2008
Greetings from Argentina!
Just a quick note to let you know that Jeff, Tony and I made it to Argentina safe and sound. It was a difficult flight for me this time. The flight was 9 hrs and I got about 1 hour of sleep, so as you can imagine, I'm driving my chair in circles today.
We reviewed my schedule this afternoon and as always my time here will be fast an furious with speaking, planning meetings and video production. After that we will go on a little retreat for a couple days in which I will (can't believe I'm saying this) shut down my laptop and cell phone to disconnect from the world for a while. Wow... it will be HARD for me but it's necessary sometimes.
Pray for me that God will not only use me while I'm speaking, but also that our planning meetings will go well and that we will make great contacts here in Argentina and continue working here next year.
Pray also for Tony who will be interpreting for me on this trip and who's working with me on our "end of the year" video that will give you a closer look at all that God has done this year through our ministry. We just received news today that his aunt (who he was really close to) passed away this morning. Please pray for Tony's family as they face this difficult time and for Tony as he tries to be an encouragement to his Mom from so far away.
Well that's it for now, I need to get some rest before I get started on my schedule. Thank you so much for your partnership that is allowing me to answer the call that God has on my life.
Love You Much,
Posted by Bernadette at 10:08 PM
October 12, 2008
Finally, An Update!
My Dear Friends,
THANK YOU so much for your love and concern. Sorry I haven't written sooner, but it has been a whirlwind of events since I last wrote.
For starters, we never made it to Bolivia in September after our Brazil trip. American Airlines canceled our flight due to "civil unrest" the day before we were to leave. With the political unrest escalating AND the expulsion of the US ambassador, the United Sates suspended the Peace Corps program in Bolivia and evacuated its volunteers. The embassy also advised Americans to leave the country if they can and suggested that we "defer non-essential travel to Bolivia." The Bolivian people were in need of hope now more than ever so I still wanted to go but we couldn't get a flight (on any plane from any country) into Bolivia that week. I was sad.
Just days before all that, we received a frantic call from Tony in Bolivia that his aunt and uncle and their 6 yr old son were here in the States on vacation when the boy suddenly collapsed. Emergency tests proved it to be Leukemia and the doctors were saying they needed to stay here for 6 months to save his life. No insurance, no family here in America and they don't speak English -- what a nightmare! Tony asked us to go to them so immediately we went and have literally been by their side for the past month in the hospital, ICU, through chemotherapy and everything.
Wow, it's clear to me now that God wanted us to be here - for them. I didn't make it to Bolivia but God brought Bolivia to me and it's been a life changing experience so far. We have been on our "Mission of Hope" right here at home and friends have been able to join us in helping this family get settled here in Miami. Together we found housing for them and were able to fill their apartment with donated furniture, appliances and kitchenware. They will even receive a donated car this week! Isn't God awesome??
However, just when I think I know what God is up to, He changes the plan. In a few days I’ll be taking my testimony to ARGENTINA!! We leave on Oct 22. Please pray for me!!
Thanks again for your love and for helping me spread the gospel with your ongoing support. Together we are making a difference!
In His Strength,
Posted by Bernadette at 11:53 PM