March 22, 2012

Chos Malal

We just came back from a Pastors/Leaders/Missionaries Conference in the little town of Chos Malal, population 11,000. It was great, and hard, all at the same time. The four-day trip was chocked full of so many different things that I'll have to post about it in several different enstallments.

Day 1 was taken up in travel: six hours across the desert and up along the Andean foothills. The rest of the day was taken up in delays: a flat tire, a run-in with the police, some confusion over our paperwork, and almost getting the car impounded. Much prayer as we waited for Tony to emerge from the road-side check point - thirty minutes later he did. It all worked out in the end, and we traveled on.

Sweet geologic formations along the way. Patagonia is a geologist's dream.

A church in the middle of nowhere.

Approaching the Precordillera, or Andean foothills

arriving in Chos Malal

It was hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. So much for needing the winter jackets. I packed way wrong, and the kids sweltered in their winter pajamas in a room that was at least 85 degrees at 11pm. We are learning by our mistakes. To visit the Andes in the summer means taking clothing for all four seasons, because you just never know.

Driving in Patagonia is not like road-tripping in the States. There is no shoulder whatsoever. You have to pay attention at all times. People pass you going 80-100mph, trucks come at you doing the same, the wind can whip pretty hard, and in several places there is no nice white line marking the shoulder (which doesn't exist anyway), nor yellow line marking the middle of the road, and often no guard rails with nice little drop-offs. Makes for a relaxing, good time.

But we made it, there and back again, safe and sound. And the sunsets here, no matter where, never disappoint.

Sunset over Chos Malal

We returned refreshed spiritually, tired but content, and looking forward to being able to return to do evangelism there in May.

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