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Reflecting on that Day Nine Years Ago

Nine years ago today we pulled into Paraguay.  This is what we (and our poor truck) looked like the day before arriving to the Paraguayan border.  After being on the Pan American highway for over 70 days (we left Anderson, Indiana on Sept. 6) we were so elated (and exhausted) when we finally arrived that we both wept when we saw the "Bienvenidos a Paraguay" sign.

As we reflect back on these past nine years in South America, they've been some of the best and yet toughest years of our lives.  I look at myself then and I see myself as a kid, a whipper snapper of sixteen years or so (I was much older than that!).  I feel like I've matured decades since arriving here; the Paraguayans are so gracious and have taught me so much.  Yet, I still feel in a way like a kid cross-culturally.  I'm still making language blunders and I'm still missing social cues and I definitely still (and perhaps always will) feel like an outsider. 

I can't imagine what I would be like if I hadn't said, "Yes" to this call.  I'm not gonna lie, this is hard work and I have finally gotten to the point of admitting that I'm simply too weak to go at it alone.  I have been humbled and broken so many times and my need for the Lord is much greater than when I arrived. Without a doubt I can say that one life has been changed in Paraguay and it would be mine.

I could pull out a laundry list of really tough things I've been through here, and I'd like to tell you that I can accept the hard stuff as graciously as I accept the easy and fun times.  I believe I've grown up since that day nine years ago...I hope and pray that nine years from now I will tell you how much I've matured since 2011.  I'm pray that I won't ever get too comfy in this wonderful host culture that we are privileged to live life in.  I hope I will still count the cost and be willing to do whatever it takes to love; whatever He asks me to do.I'd like to share something I read that was especially meaningful to me this week.  It's a post by a missionary family in Haiti, called The Cost and I just have to warn you, it's tough to read and even tougher to live. 

I'd like to end by thanking God for his complete faithfulness during these precious nine years!  He has become so much more to me than I can ever come close to explaining.  He has been the only one to understand me some days.  He's been my provider, healer, protector, my comfort, my rock, and he's sheltered me under his wings more times than I can count.  I also can't say thank you enough to our friends and family that have supported God's call in our lives.  This is a shared journey and we hope you're on the road trip as long as we are.  My personal prayer is that with each passing year my love for Christ grows and I would count it ALL joy as I take up my cross.


  1. Way cool. I didn't know our anniversaries were so close. Ours was Monday and it made three years. WE're a long way from being the seasoned mission machine that you guys are.

    Thanks for answering so we would have somewhere to turn to ask questions. Hopefully we will see you guys soon.

  2. Wow, Julie! Congratulations! Our God is so faithful! And you are such a blessing because His life flows through you! Hugs!

  3. When you said, "Without a doubt I can say that one life has been changed in Paraguay and it would be mine," that really hit me. I totally agree! So glad y'all made that long drive 9 years ago!!!

  4. I'll never forget you all coming through our house in Missouri on your way. Praise God for HIS FAITHFULNESS to us all these last nine years. He is so good! We love you all!! Wagners


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