Juliana and I spend a lot of time at the pool lately. You see, her doctor recommended water therapy for her back and so I take a water aerobics class in the same pool while she has therapy. This means we have to be at the pool by 6 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It seems early to me; yet there are lots of people already there, already swimming, when we arrive!!! (Just FYI, Juliana LOVES her therapy, even on the days when it is raining which makes the water especially cold.)

A swim team practices in the pool next to ours and I enjoy watching them train, especially when they are working on the starting blocks. Perhaps I'm drawn to that exercise because we can relate so well. In fact, it feels like we've been on the starting block for awhile...and now Ricardo is actually in the air getting ready to enter the water...the water that is his new role as Latin American Area Director.
On the block
In February, both Bishop David Roller and current Area Director, Dra. Delia Nüesch-Olver were in Colombia to help us prepare for Ricardo's job starting, April 1.

Bishop Roller gave us a broad overview of the pool (in this case the Latin American countries) and coached Ricardo on specific strategies and techniques to better complete the AD task.

Dra. Delia modeled running and annual conference for him as we traveled together to Barrancabermeja for Colombia's annual conference. She has reminded Ricardo several times that this is a long-distance race, not just a 100 meter competition and so he needs to pace himself...not trying to do too much too fast.
Bishop Roller visited us
Ricardo & Dra. Delia
The Colombian Annual meeting (despite its challenges) was a good jumping off point for Ricardo. It really was a great meeting and a great demonstration of the unity within the mission district. It was exciting to hear reports from seven (7) churches, four (4) of them new church plants, and see the board of administration/ministry & education working so well together - not just for the meeting but for the day-to-day functioning of the district. Pastor Libni Gasca's presentation on the final day was very motivational and when he was renamed the Mission District leader for this year, he received a standing ovation!

Due to Paul's accident, Ricardo is now in Nicaragua representing Dra. Delia and Bishop Roller at the annual meeting there. Dr. Glenn Lorenz, missionary in Costa Rica, joined him there to help with the teaching. He reports back that Pastor Hiuberth is doing a great job of leadership there with many new houses of peace already started. This morning Ricardo will be ordaining the first elder in Nicaragua; a great new start for that mission district as well. Please pray for the people pictured here. Pray that God will provide for them and that their ministries will be truly transformational.
Pr. Libni & the board pray for Dra. Delia
ABOVE: Pastor Libni (on right) and the national board pray for Dra. Delia. BELOW: The group from Nicaragua & El Salvador that gathered fro the meetings. (Pastor Hiuberth is in the orange shirt.)
2019 Nicaragua Annual Mtg
Ricardo will be home for Nicaragua for about 48 hours before we both fly to Argentina to celebrate the church's 25th anniversary in that country. Then, April 4 through 12th he will be in Indianapolis for his first round of official AD meetings. Please keep the kids in your prayers as we and/he are on the road. A friend will be staying with them when both of us are gone but the separation has been hard on Juliana.

Jonathan's health appears to be good lately. He has been sticking to his very restricted diet and growing.

Since many have asked...we haven't moved yet but plan to do so sometime after returning from GC19. You can still help with those expenses by donating here...Latin America Area Director Transition Fund
Prayer SOS

While you are praying for us and for Paul & Delia, please pray for the rest of our missionary family in Latin America and all the country leaders here as we all navigate this leadership change together. Pray for JR Crouse (missionary to Ecuador) as he completes a medical treatment that required him to be in isolation and pray for Pastor Patricio Alvial (Superintendent of Chile) who is recovering from a serious car accident.

Particularly pray for the people in the country next door who are struggling so much right now. After praying together for the country, we sang a song at the annual meetings in Colombia that said, "You are the God of miracles. We trust that you are working even when we can't see it." We trust He is at work...and He has given us all the task of praying for those in need. Let us join together and stand in the gap for them!
the gomez family
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,    fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." (Hebrews 12: 1-2a). We are ready to get set and go. Thank you for your support every step/stroke of the way!

Ricardo, Beth, Juliana and Jonathan