March 2024 Newsletter

Written By César Arreaga

Published March 4, 2024

Major Step

At 65 years of age, most people in Canada have a desire or goal to retire from work.  We are able to collect a pension from the government that we have paid into all of our lives.  Many people travel to the southern USA or other warm places to escape the cold and snow.  Over the years that I have been a missionary, Marni and I have talked about when would be a good time in our lives to retire.   We have always said that as Christians, we never really retire, however, we do stop doing the heavy work and continue to share Christ with others.  Everyone has a different definition of retiring which is personal to them.  As believers in Jesus, scripture calls us priests.  So no matter what you do, you do it as a priest, whether you work in a factory or in a church.  I am 70 years old; I could retire but what would I do?  Travel?  Help others?

Last year I began to think that I should try to learn more Spanish so I can communicate better when I travel overseas with our mission.  As I looked into it, I found a Spanish language school in Cartagena Colombia.  I must be honest, Cartagena is a beautiful costal city of 1 million people, but is it HOT!  That is the only downside with 33 degrees during the day and 26 degrees at night.

Marni and I arrived here in Cartagena on February 14th and we will stay for one month.  I began my education on Monday the 19th.  Today was the last day of my first full week of classes.  The more I study, the more I realize how little I know.  Please do not think that after a month I will speak Spanish fluently; however, I am hopeful I will be a little better off than I was before arriving.  A few years ago, Marni also went back to school.  For two years she studied TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) at our local community college in the evenings.  Her goal was to teach English when I travelled.  Marni is teaching twice a week here in Cartagena — one lady in the evening, and another in the morning remotely through Whatsapp since she lives in another city.

To come here is a privilege as well as a big challenge.  As we age, memorizing becomes more difficult and I sure am seeing that this first week.  Thank you for giving us this opportunity.  Every day in my class our last hour is for conversation, and today I was teamed with the teacher.  We were to find out information about each other and then tell the class.  For about 30 minutes, the 23-year-old teacher asked me about what I did and where.  We had questions on paper but she never asked them and only asked me about my work.  I was able to share with her what we were doing to help churches and individuals.  What a great opportunity to plant seeds.  Please pray for our safety and our health.  I still have another three weeks of classes.  Walking two kms each way to and from school is hot and tiring.  Today I took a taxi back at a cost of $3.30.  A good investment!

God bless.

Doug Springer
Executive Director

  • Continue to pray is for Doug and Marni Springer as they have another 2 weeks in Cartagena. Doug is finding language school very challenging. Marni is teaching 2 ladies English.  From the 8th to the 10th, they are traveling to Bogota to minister to our Indigenous contacts and meet with a pastor to make plans for the future.  Pray for safety and wisdom.
  • Pray for Jesus and Marisol in Peru.  Jesus is suffering with back pain and Marisol recently had eye surgery.
  • Pray for our supported pastors in Cuba living in these exciting times, as many new people are coming to churches as they struggle with the economy.
  • Prayer for Karen as she disciples the girls in our education program in Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon.

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