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Argentina Mission
November/December 2004
 

On Monday afternoon (Nov. 8th) I flew south to Argentina for a month-long missions trip. My friend from Guadalajara, Mauricio Palacio (a gifted artist serving with Youth With A Mission) asked me to consider joining him and a YWAM team as they pull together a ministry project in Buenos Aires. They're planning to put on an exposition to present the Gospel through various mediums like art, music, audio/video, drama, etc. and they're needing some help setting up the lighting, sound & video equipment, etc. so I'll be going to volunteer for a few weeks. The use of a large abandoned factory building has been donated and we'll be spending a good bit of time fixing it up for the exposition.

As a young child (3-11) I lived in Rosario, a city about 3-hour's drive away from Buenos Aires (Dad worked there), so I'll also be able to go down memory lane after 33+ years. I'm looking forward to visiting the houses where we lived and the school I attended. I've been in contact with one of my grade-school teachers and we're planning to get together too!

I'd appreciate your prayers as I travel and serve in Argentina from Nov. 8th thru Dec. 8th. Thank you for your prayers & support!

Blessings, Roland Heddins
(rjheddins@aol.com

P.S. Check out the website I built for Mauricio Palacio at http://mauriciopalacio.tripod.com which contains a large collection of his amazing artwork.

 

UPDATES

Saturday, 20 Nov. 2004
I've been here nearly two weeks now and have stayed super-busy since I arrived. I've plugged in with the Buenos Aires YWAM base in preparing for the "Sentires" (the senses) art exposition, beginning with cleaning up the huge, abandoned two-story building. I had expected to be well underway with the electrical installations by now, but there have been some delays, but we expect to begin this coming week. We're in the process now of drawing up the electrical plans and buying materials.

Since I've been here my computer graphics skills have been put to use as I've designed a brochure/booklet for the upcoming exposition, as well as building a website for the event (www.sentires2004.com), all in Spanish. It's a good thing I brought my laptop computer with me!

It seems the hours of the day have been zooming by and it's late in the evening before I know it. Sticking with the culture of Argentina, we're oftentimes eating supper at midnight and getting home in the wee hours of the morning. The food here is wonderful and very affordable since there are three Argentine pesos to the U.S. dollar. Argentina is comprised of a high percentage of Italians (along with Spaniards, Germans, indigenous, etc.), so there's a lot of excellent Italian food here which I've enjoyed a lot. And Argentina is well known for it's excellent beef.

We've had very little time off, so I haven't had the chance yet to visit my former hometown of Rosario, but I hope to be able to next weekend. Being here in Argentina has been surreal, bringing back floods of memories from my childhood years here. The people here are warm and friendly. The temperature is also starting to warm up as it's spring time here below the equator.

Click on the thumbnail images below for larger views

The Andes mountains over western Argentina on my flight from Santiago to Buenos Aires YWAM staff & students at the Buenos Aires base where I'm staying (me in upper-right-back) Me at the main YWAM base on the outskirts of Buenos Aires (not the one where I'm staying)

Some of the clean-up crew at the building where the exposition will be held Mauricio, Diana & me The factory that we're fixing up to use for the exposition (1st floor)

The factory that we're fixing up to use for the exposition (2nd floor) Trees blooming in Buenos Aires (it's spring here in November) The obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires (looks identical to the Washington monument)

Email Updates sent to my parents & brothers

1 Dec. 2004
Hey y'all, please pray for us. We found out today that they're requiring us to conform to commercial codes on the electrical installations. We have been doing temporary wiring (safe, but not permanent) but they say that's not good enough. We don't have the money or time to do permanent installations for only a 10 day event. So we need a miracle. God has already come through on a couple of other "impossible" situations. One alternative is to rent some generators so the city is not involved, but that's big bucks...or pesos. Thanks for your prayers.

5 Dec. 2004
Things are going so much better here. What looked daunting last week is coming together beautifully now. A few days ago I had a "divine appointment" at a local hardware store where I've been buying wire. I found out the owner is a Christian and I've been getting to know him over the weeks. The other day I asked him to pray for us because of the logistical stuff we're encountering with the electrical installations. He told me he is friends with a professor who grants licenses to electricians, and he gave him a call and had him come over to the building to talk with me/us. He bent over backwards to help us, assuring us that we'd have no problem getting the electricity hooked up. He said that since it's a temporary hook-up, our non-commercial wiring wouldn't be a problem at all. He even said he could come over and make sure the 3-phase connections were balanced properly if I had any doubts. What an answer to prayer! Then yesterday a former YWAMer came over and installed the main breakers for the power company to hook up the electricity. Things are falling into place. Oh me of little faith!!

I still have plenty to do and my departure is scheduled for Wednesday evening. I've been praying/thinking about extending my stay, and I sorta put a fleece before the Lord about it, saying that if the money came in to cover the cost I'd take that as a sign. Well, yesterday the YWAM team took up a collection for me, so that's my sign. I'll be calling Delta in the morning.

10 Dec. 2004
The exposition started this evening. It's been a hectic, busy week as we've gotten ready for the event. I've worked some really late nights. Last night I didn't get to bed till almost 4:00 a.m. We were having problems with the main breakers tripping because we were so overloaded (LOTS of lights). The electrician that installed the main service into the building didn't put in a large enough main, so today I worked on adding additional breakers (in parallel with the existing main), using some old breakers that we already had. It seems to be doing a lot better today. There were a lot of people at the opening tonight. I've still got some things to do, but I'm hoping to get a breather soon. I'm really tired out.
 


I'll try to have another update/report uploaded
before too long

 

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