by Krista Frohling
We have some exciting news to share: in less than a year, our family (including Buddy the dog) will be moving to Córdoba, Argentina! Our hope is to spend four years there, partnering with a local church we’ve become acquainted with (La Gracia de Cristo). Specifically, we plan to help this group further develop the microfinance program that they’ve begun and to implement other tools of economic development to help the poor. Come August, we will move to San Jose, Costa Rica to further our studies in Spanish and will then transition to life in Cordoba in January of 2011.
As we’re sure you can imagine, the idea of moving abroad and inland took some getting used to for our family. In some ways, this step could appear more like a leap, but as we look back and reflect, these next four years simply represent the next steps on the path we’ve been on for quite some time.
Back in college, we can both recall unique opportunities we had to connect with the Latino population: in Honduras, Mexico, Costa Rica, and in Santa Barbara at La Casa de la Raza. These experiences certainly left an impression. And, over the past four years our eyes and hearts have been opened in new ways to this group of people in our hometown and around the world.
As a family, in 2006, we traveled to Guatemala for two weeks with the high school youth group. Looking back, we realize what a significant seed this short-term mission trip planted in our minds and hearts, in addition to the life-changing effect it had on the high school seniors and recent graduates. It is exciting to receive letters from the current youth on the Guatemala 2010 team who are in the process of preparing for this service trip. What a blessing it is to partner with them and their leaders in prayer; we know what an impact this service opportunity will be for them. (They will be in Guatemala from July 23th-31st, 2010.)
More recently, we traveled to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico for two months (to attend language school with the boys). At home, through the many years we have spent as a part of Santa Barbara Community Church, our understanding and commitment to missions has increased as a result of the lives of service we’ve seen here, in this body of believers that has truly become a community for us. In addition, we had the chance to become involved with a local Latino church and were welcomed with open arms in spite of our broken Spanish and blond hair. Through all of this and more, our hearts have only grown for the people of Latin America, leading us to ultimately decide to live and work alongside them for an extended period of time.
Thankfully, we’ve found a wonderful organization with whom we will partner. It’s called Latin American Mission (www.lam.org). This past summer, our family spent two weeks in Florida at an intensive orientation and found our confidence and excitement growing exponentially over the prospect of partnering with this group. LAM is nearly ninety years old and has a rich history full of stories of service and partnership with the people of Latin America. As a result of LAM’s knowledge of us, of Latin America, and their connections with its people, they encouraged us to consider partnering with La Gracia de Cristo in Argentina.
So, in October – after much prayer and encouragement from close friends and family – we left the boys with Grandma and headed to Argentina for seven days. We spent a considerable amount of time with Rubén, the pastor of La Gracia de Cristo, as well as the Vice President of LAM. We also ate more meat than we’d like to admit. It was there that we began to really see how our family of five would fit within this community and how our business skills, experience and education could all be used to bring hope in the name of Christ.
Santa Barbara Community Church has decided to carry a significant percentage of our operating budget for the work we will be doing in Cordoba. How thankful and humbled we are to be a part of such a generous and missions-minded church. Your regular giving to our church is also regular giving to us and our work in Argentina. Thank you.
As we’ve traveled this journey, so much of our confidence has come from knowing that friends like you are with us. We’re humbled by your partnership and pray that God will continue to grow all of us in our ability to care for those less fortunate than ourselves. It seems that a microfinance venture in Argentina is what He has slated for us in the coming years.
While an article feels so limited in its ability to relay all that we have in our heads and hearts regarding our impending departure, we hope you will be in touch in order that we can fill in the gaps and expand on things that are most interesting to you. –Chris, Krista, David (10), Andrew (7), and Johnny (5) Frohling…*protected email*, www.familiafrohling.blogspot.com.