Thankful November

Thankful November

The Thanksgiving Spirit is in the air! The days are getting colder, everything seems to have pumpkin spice in it, houses are being scrubbed clean, and the stores are packed with people buying all they need for the perfect family dinner.


Pollen floods the air, at times even looking like snow! The days are a weird mix of cold, jackets, and boots in the mornings and hot, sandals, and tank tops in the afternoons. Absolutely nothing contains pumpkin spice, maybe some houses are being cleaned, and the stores are already decorated for Christmas free from the “it’s still before Thanksgiving” shame.

The pilgrims did not land on the beaches of Chile, and thus Thanksgiving is not celebrated here. Turkey is not common, canned pumpkin rare, and sweet potatoes non-existent (well they could exist, but I haven’t found them yet).

We certainly won’t be celebrating  a traditional Thanksgiving on Thursday. In fact, I completely forgot about Thanksgiving until last Sunday! I believe we have a fun trip to the vet scheduled instead. (:

Regardless, one doesn’t need a pumpkin pie, a turkey, or sweet potatoes to be thankful, and man we have so much to be thankful for this November!

Where do I even begin?

1. Church Construction Continues! After a little lull, church construction has picked up again! We now have the foundation in and have poured enough cement to level the floor with our other building. The old building is getting a makeover as well with new coats of paint on the inside and outside. It is always fun to come to church on Sunday to see what changes happened during the week. We are so very thankful for the Arriagada family who have been the backbone of this project. Their love for God and for His people is overwhelming!


2. Two More Years! This past week we were called to a board meeting to “defend the English Program.” Basically, it was time to renew the contract between Kingdom Workers and Longaví, and the board wanted an update. Thanks in part to very kind words given by our directors and co-teachers in support of the program, our contracts were renewed for 2 more years! This is especially a blessing since generally teacher contracts run on a year to year basis in Chile. It is such a relief to have job security for the upcoming two years, and it is an incredible blessing to continue to serve in Longaví.

3. Vacation Bible School: It is only November, but we are already in full force planning for our two VBS’s coming up in January. It is very exciting to think of the kids who will be able to hear about Jesus in both Linares and Longaví! Also, a volunteer from the States will be joining us to lend a helping hand. It is going to be a fun summer!

4. Puppy Love: So no, we did not give up the dog that was abandoned outside of our house… and that is fully my fault. Never did I think we would end up with three puppies, but it sure is fun! They force us to take daily walks to play in the empty lot across the street, and they love when they are able to go to the mountains with us. More importantly, Coli has stopped jumping on my face in the mornings! She now prefers to drop her bone loudly on the floor to wake us up. (:


5. Family Visits! Even though we won’t be seeing family for Thanksgiving, in January MY PARENTS ARE COMING TO VISIT! We already have their entire trip planned and are most excited to introduce them to friends and church family. Their only request was to NOT go on a 18 mile hike. (:

6. Social Media: It can be tough sometimes to not be close to family, but it is such a blessing to hear from them or see them through video every single day. Every morning I look forward to my Tinybeans updates that show my little sister, nephews, and goddaughter, and every day I look forward to texts and photos sent on our family Whatsapp threads. We love and miss you guys!

7. Devotions: Every week (Men’s Bible Study) and every month (Women’s Bible Study) fills us up. I am also beyond thankful for devotions that I have daily through email with friends from high school/college. Digging into the word pours so much joy into life and doing it with others is even sweeter.


8. Our Home: About 5 months ago we were desperate to get out of the house we were living in. The many problems and black mold was making us both sick! Now we are so blessed to live in a beautiful home with space for the puppies to run (and dig – ugh Coli), with beautiful tile floors, and with a fireplace that kept us so warm this past winter.

9. Our Team: Man we have a loving and gifted Kingdom Workers team that we are blessed to work with! We meet to have devotions every Friday and have often prayed prayers of thanks that God brought us together here. We are especially thankful for Jenny’s fellow love of traveling and puppies and Kathy’s joyful and positive attitude.


10. Busy Schedules: At this time last year I felt like a lump on a log! I could barely speak Spanish and some days felt so directionless. God certainly answered many prayers and now our schedules are happily full with so many exciting things and wonderful people. Big things are happening that we are so blessed to be a part of!

11. Poor Internet: Our struggles with internet seem to have been endless; however, our internet problems have been such a blessing in disguise! We are currently unable to watch any videos or download anything with the internet that we have now. That plus the fact that we don’t have a TV means much more quality time with each other and with others.

12. Travels: I knew that Chile was beautiful, but I never could have imagined all the amazing things that we have been able to see in this past year and a half! It is incredible that we live somewhere where a quick day or morning trip takes you to mountains, the beach, waterfalls, hot springs, volcanoes, etc.


13. Juanito: God has blessed me with such an amazing hubby. I can’t believe that we are going on year 4.5 of marriage! Taking this leap of faith together has been such an adventure, and I thank God for him every day!


14. Answered Prayers: Over 2 years ago, Jon and I prayed for a change in our lives. We realized our lives were “off-kilter” and desired to focus on filling up our cups with God so that we could in turn fill up the cups of those around us with Him and His incredible promises. Sitting here writing this, and thinking back to those original “what do we do” conversations brings tears to my eyes. God holds our past, present, and future now and forever!




2 thoughts on “Thankful November

  1. Grandma

    Hi Lisey & Jon,
    It’s so fun read your blogs. Amazing what you’ve been able to do in the congregation and schools and all the traveling. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Ruth Hirschfeld told me she’s been in touch with you and her students are excited to gather VBS things for you. They are having a bake sale soon and have other fund raising planned.
    We had a fun day yesterday. So nice that Bruce, Jon & Polly, Al & Cindy, Jeff & Dave and Mary’s families and Kyle were able to be here. I’m spending the day making leftover stuff and cleaning up. (-: at my own pace.
    Much love to you both,


    1. Thanks Grandma! We are excited to share and are just loving being here. Yes, we are sooo happy to work with Ms. Hirschfeld and her students for VBS! Very cool that they are having a bake sale. Wow you had almost the whole crew there! It is such a blessing to have so much family close by. We got together with other volunteers and ate sushi for Thanksgiving (: Not the same but still delicious. Love you and miss you!


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