Saturday, June 11, 2011

He's Alive!

In our final months in Córdoba, Argentina we'd grown accustomed to things not going as planned. Power outages before a showing of the Jesus film, having to visit 6 different hardware stores to find a part we needed, or a bus strike at the most inopportune time. But it's not always so.

Ezequiel invited one of the boys from Las Violetas to study the Bible with him. One turned into two, and two into ten. I was asked to come alongside and help.

Now, some of the same boys who, not so long ago, were throwing rocks and causing trouble, are sitting around a table, reading from the Bible, and sharing with one another. The Bible study was going so well that we offered to show a movie for Easter the following week.

We got the movie and setup the projector and sound system. The kids filed in, took their seats, and shared the chocolate eggs they had brought. “It's like a movie theatre,” they cheered when they saw the movie title projected onto the wall. They behaved so well, we hardly recognized them. They followed the story of Jesus from His birth, to His death, and to His resurrection. Towards the end one of the boys asked, “So . . . Jesus is still alive?!” Yes, He's alive indeed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We're Back!

We'll be sharing about our time in Argentina Sunday, June 26th at 9:30a in the Fellowship Hall of Country Bible Church.
We'd love to see you there!

   - JD & Heather Hall

Country Bible Church
13121 COUNTY ROAD 16  
BLAIR NE 68008

Sunday, April 24, 2011

We Believe

Why are we here? Because we believe.

[We] believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.

[We] believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Christian Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. AMEN.

- the Apostles Creed

We're here because we serve a God far bigger than ourselves.

"It is the change from being confident about our own efforts to the state in which we despair of doing anything for ourselves and leave it to God." - CS Lewis

And we're here in the freedom we have in Christ.

"Saving faith may thus be defined as a voluntary turning from all hope and grounds based on self merit, and assuming an attitude of expectancy toward God, trusting Him to do a perfect saving work based only on the merit of Christ." - LS Chafer

Happy Easter, everyone! He has risen indeed!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

things i'm going to miss...

B° Las Palmas! | OM Team | Maria Elena, our Cordoba mom | siesta | our neighbors | the giggling sounds in our house full of girls | greeting people with hugs and kisses – even strangers | line-drying laundry | the girls from the Panaderia | dulce de leche | hip-hoppin' it up, and passing it on to a group of ballerinas | orange maté | Donny, our friend, team member, and fellow world-traveler/Big Bang Theory enthusiast | asado

taking a bus to wherever I want for a mere 2.50 pesos | Coca-Cola - it really is better here | UNO and SET | European cars | Jose, my best friend, and the sundogs, Pablo & Nelson - along with their cologne and funny haircuts | empanadas | the ability to literally walk around the corner and buy a dozen of said empanadas from Ruben at Las Lenas – for dirt cheap

warm nights downtown | pedestrian sidewalks | random men shouting “hola hermosa!” as they buzz past on their motorbikes | american candy - its more valuable when you don't have it at your fingertips | the gypsy fair, complete with incense, bartering, Bob Marley tunes, floating lights, pop corn, and endless booths of hippies selling hand-made wares after the sun goes down | English Talk, and all the fun and friends that go with it | wine and chocolate nights with the girls

cheap produce | the cheery lady at the verduleria who calls everyone “mi amor” “mi corazon” and “mi vida” - even if she doesn't really know you | a caffe havanna at Havanna Cafe | Luciano | getting a package! | convincing the post office guy not to charge you for picking up your package by sharing some American candy – bribery? No, successful. | the fragrant aroma of the panaderia that blankets our neighborhood at night when they bake | drinking sweet maté with strangers | being blonde = celebrity status | banana-ginger-mint liquados | simple living | Manuel, the butcher and friend | teeter-tottering while we wait at the bus stop

returnable bottles for pop and beer | Beto, the friendly old man on the corner who tells us wild stories of made up things when we walk by | criollos | Daniel and Marcelo, our hardware store friends | merienda | consuming copious amounts of sugar being the norm | cooking dinner with Maria Elena every Friday night and being yelled at for speaking English – her house is a strictly Spanish-speaking zone - the punishment for breaking the law, a spoonful of dulce de leche – its just terrible ;)

Paula, Vanesa, and Nati – the moms I spend time with | having a gas stove | alfajores algarrobas | Eva – friend and fellow artist/dancer | taking a train ride to a nearby river for an afternoon getaway, complete with friends, wine, sandwiches...and water guns |
trees full of flowers, even in the fall | crazy, but efficient and mostly careful driving | stove top popcorn | birds that sing to me outside our window | speaking Spanish everyday | long talks with Sarah | frambuesa Zuko and pomelo Tang | walking through history, surrounded by old buildings and cathedrals

Terma | Grido ice cream (dulce de leche granizado, coco con dulce de leche, chocolate suizo) | Agus and our coffee dates, always accompanied by my laughs and her dimples | Pa panamericano | cheap taxis | pulling fruit right off the trees | eating with our house mates on the patio | all the crazy cats at Alpha | Santi, Kati, and all my other little kids from El Refugio | being a part of what God is doing in Argentina

xoxo, heather

Friday, April 15, 2011

How Long?

Javi is our local leader for the visits to the boys' home. Chechu has been in the home the longest. He has vision problems and doesn't get moved from home to home like many of the other boys.

Chechu:   How long have you been coming here, Javi?
Javi:   About three years now.
Chechu:   And how long will you keep coming?
Javi:   Until God has me go somewhere else.
Chechu:   I hope He tells you to never go.

The boys on a trip to the museum of natural science.
Javi, middle; Chechu, to his right.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eat on Arrival

Following the food theme (see previous post), here's a list of some of our favorites from back home. We're looking forward to enjoying them once again alongside our beloved friends and family. Care to join us?

Lamb Bhuna, Garlic Naan, Goa Shrimp
Espresso Milkshake, Ice Cream (boat - 4 flavors)
Chili con Queso, Green Chili with Tortillas, Margaritas
Iced Vanilla Latte, Carmeliscious Espresso Smoothie, Pumpkin Pie Espresso Smoothie

Papa Johns
Pizza, garlic dipping sauce

Bean Burrito, Cheese Quesadilla, Chicken Fajitas

Petro Mart

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, Cinnamon Dulce Latte, Pumpkin Spice Latte
Gyro, Greek Salad
Granita, Dark-chocolate-covered espresso beans

Greek Salad, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Fuji Apple Chicken Salad

Golden Palace 
Egg Drop Soup, Crab Rangoons, Peanut Butter Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken

Granite City 
Sweet Potato Fries, Salmon Sandwich

Blue Sushi 
Edemame, Saki Maki roll, Crunchy Blue roll, Yellow Submarine roll, drinks!

Olive Garden
Shrimp Alfredo

[JD's Picks, Heather's Picks, Mutual]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Our favorite food here is definitely empanadas (little meat pies). Here's a recipe I found online that sounds about right.

Empanadas de Carne

  • 12-15 empanada shells*
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup green olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • butter or egg wash (egg and water)
  1. Defrost the empanada shells.
  2. Heat the oil and saute the onion until golden. Add the garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the ground beef and brown. Drain off the fat. Add the spices and cook until the meat is done. Add the olives, raisin and egg, mix well.
  3. Scoop the meat mixture (about a tablespoon worth) onto the shell. Fold the shell, forming a semi-circle. Close the empanada by passing a fork though its open edge, merging both sides of the shell.
  4. Brush the tops of the empanadas with butter or egg wash. Bake in oven at 400 F until golden.

*Here, we usually buy the shells pre-made. If you can't find them, you can try puff pastry, pie crust, or the following recipe.

Empanada Shells

  • 500 g flour   (~17.6 ounces, by weight**)
  • 1 T salt  
  • 125 g butter (~4.4 ounces), room temperature  
  • 170 cc water (~7.8 fluid ounces)
  1. Mix the flour and salt, then the butter, and then the water. 
  2. Knead.
  3. Roll out to a thickness of a little more than 1/8 inch.
  4. Cut out circles, about 6 inches in diameter.
**We're on the metric system here.

Yankees, let us know what you think.

If you're from Argentina, please, feel free to share your favorite recipe in the comments!
Si sos de Argentina, por favor, compartí tu receta favorita en los comentarios!