Michael Hassett - Spring in Argentina 2010

Date: Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 6:43 PM
Subject: Spring in Argentina

It has been a long time since a general copy has gone out from this corner of the vineyard. As usual, I am writing from the top floor of a double decker, rolling across the plains of Argentina. Alex and I weren´t lucky enough to get the front row this time so we are sitting in the second one.

Most of this field had a severe drought in 2008 and a serious one in most of 2009 but in the last few days we have had about 10 cms (4") of rain so farmers are smiling today. It´s seeding time and the conditions are excellent at the moment. The winter wheat is thriving. The rain came gently over several days so very little ran off. This part of Arg. is very dependent on agriculture so everyone is breathing a sigh of relief.

We are concerned about one of our native sisters here. Mirna Barjacoba, just 39, suffered what appears to be a blood clot in the brain last week and it left her completely paralyzed on her right side. She is gaining ground and with help was able to walk a bit yesterday but she has a long way to go. Tests have not yet found anything but all the symptoms point to a clot.

Most of you have probably heard by now that I have been asked to return to Canada to labor. Jim Atcheson is overseeing the now joint staff of Saskatchewan-Manitoba-NW Ontario. It is a huge area geographically and as well as the 40 or so workers on the staff, there are another 35 of us who work overseas, to look after. It seems there is a shortage of men in my age group as most of us are overseas. It´s not that they haven´t produced enough workers but rather they have maybe been a bit too generous in the past. I think you can understand that it is not easy for me to leave South America but in this work we don´t get to choose where we labor. I look forward to working together with those who are there now and hope that I can somehow be a help to someone. Present plans are for me to fly from Buenos Aires Jan. 26th, right after our conventions, and into Regina Feb 10th. I leave here at the hottest time of the year and arrive there at the coldest so will have a bit of time at the coast to let my respiratory system adjust.

We are studying in 11 Corinthians with our friends each morning. I used to think it was so unfortunate that those churches had so many problems but now I´m thankful. It is from Paul´s letters to them that we get a lot of our doctrine. Were it not for their difficulties we wouldn´t have the instructions about the order of the Sunday morning mtg. It is there also that we have guidance about hair, the marriage relationship etc. Paul had laid the foundation there and he knew it was well placed. That´s why he wrote them so forcefully. They took it, reacted to it, and prospered because of it.

We continue to labor in hope. At this moment we are on our way to Venado Tuerto, the east side of our field, where there is a church and two university girls who listen as well as an older prodigal lady who comes to all the mtgs. We are invited to spend a night with her and her son this week, for the first time. In Rio Cuarto we have three men who come regularily. This is enough for now.

Trust all is well in your corner.

michael