“So when are we going out again?” Tania leaned forward as her eyes lit up.
I was a bit startled, not knowing that last month’s beach day and slumber party was about to be converted into a regular event. “Um…soon. What do you want to do?”
“Let’s go someplace else. Ask Aracelly; she always has good ideas!”
When we moved out of the pastor’s house, we knew we were going to have to take more initiative to keep up with our friends and “family.” We also know from our ZF days that living life together is the best way to do ministry. As our work schedule starts falling into a pattern (more or less), we’ve started taking time to enjoy community and keep building relationships with both new and old friends.
In March we had two sleepovers: one with our ‘little sisters’ Aracelly and Meybelline (Alejandro and Lourdes’s girls) and our ‘cousins’ Tania and Jonabe (Tia Fresia’s girls), and then another sleepover with the Bible study girls. Both groups are already clamoring for another round, and we couldn’t agree more! In April we went on two double dates – one with Meybelline and her boyfriend Adolfo, and another one with Axel and Josie (Veronica’s son-in-law and daughter). Axel and Josie have a little girl and don’t get to go out much, so they really enjoyed our time. In fact they both dressed up so much that we almost went home to change! On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, we go to pick up Heymmi – one of the Bible study girls to go exercise with us. There’s still at least one more couple we want to go out with, and we’ve started spending 2-3 Sunday evenings a month with James, Kim, Kora, and Jaden Bracken – another missionary family here in town.
While all these events take up our free evenings, we have loved building more community with our friends here in Leon. Events like this are really helping us to form relationships that open up opportunities for ministry, and help the people that we work with really feel valued and important to us (which they are). In addition, these events are giving us the encouragement and nourishment that we need to keep going strong.
Praise God for friends and for the opportunity to build a small but rich community in our city!