We’ve gone a little radio silent here lately. And I can’t blame a lack of internet this time, we’ve just been busy working.
As of mid-March, for the first time in the last six months, we actually knew where we were we going to be FOR THE NEXT TWO MONTHS!! I realize that probably doesn’t sound as shocking to you, but for us it’s insane! The first stop has been San Martin, doing volunteer work with a bible school…
and the second stop will be Tumunan Lodge in Chile. We will be working there in exchange for room and board! It’s our first Workaway job. It’s located in the Andes, has fly fishing, horseback riding and it’s own little vineyard. We aren’t sure what all we’ll be doing, but it could be anything from general lodge cleaning, cooking, garden tending, to helping in the vineyard, to helping guide guests on fishing trips. The owner was also excited that we have marketing and graphic design backgrounds, so probably a little of that thrown in too. They have a couple horses on property which they say I can ride in my free time! Oh, and did I mention they do wine tours of the Colchagua Valley? We start on April 15, so more to come. Here’s the website if you want to check it out: http://www.tumunanlodge.com/
Anyway, since mid-March we have been here in San Martin de Los Andes, Argentina. We are volunteering with a Christian ministry here started by a friend of Rick’s, Pablo. Rick met Pablo about ten years ago; Pablo was the translator for a 10 week mission trip Rick went on to La Plata, outside of Buenos Aires.
Pablo saw a huge need in this area of Argentina for people to be able to understand and apply the bible to their lives in a transformational way. Traditionally here the only way people hear the bible is through a sermon on Sunday at church. This area, and Patagonia as a whole, is very cut off from the outside world – mostly due to the government. Importing anything is crazy expensive, sending any kind of package here means you have to pay 50% of its value in import fees (we speak from experience on that – long story!), and outside information or goods are not taken kindly to. So there is just not any resource for people to know how to read the bible, or how it can transform their life.
So Pablo started a bible school here, and we learned earlier this year that it has been struggling to get attendance and really take off. Pablo asked if we were in Argentina if we would like to come help – sort of a consulting job, see what the situation is, what improvements might help, give some marketing advice and redesign the website and materials. So that’s what we’ve been working on for the last few weeks. Rick has designed an incredible website that will really draw people in and engage them! We were able to share with Pablo a lot of the successes we’ve seen with equipping classes at Watermark.
And as we studied the situation, we came to the conclusion that Pablo needed a new target audience, and we got leadership to agree on that!! (ok, marketing nerdiness – but that’s HUGE!). The leadership has even asked that we rethink all of the courses for the year – all new topics – and I’m taking the lead on that! It’s very exciting. So we have developed a whole new marketing strategy, course content, radio ads, Facebook content and strategy, rebranded everything, including the website, logo, flyers, everything!
Pablo and his family have been incredible and generous, they invited us to share their home while we are here. We have laughed and learned so much getting to spend this time with them… so much so that it deserves it’s own post….