Posted by: Conce Team | January 23, 2011

First Post from Chile

Wow, we are horrible at keeping up this blog. It takes enough effort to keep up our own personal blogs so if you want to see what is going on with each of us in more details you should look there.

But guess what! We are in Chile!!!! We arrived over a week ago and hit the ground running. We have been getting settled into our homestays with Chilean families, working on visas, getting cell phones and preparing to begin language school. It is all very new and exciting. Every meal and every outing is interesting. We get to see new parts of the city and culture we have never known before . Right now we are in Santiago and will be for a few months while we work on language.

This is a huge city! We have been greatly blessed though by one of the churches here and their missionaries. They have gone above and beyond in hospitality, the missionaries and church members and we are so thankful.

Here are some of my pictures from our first week. Please keep us in your prayers as we start language school tomorrow.

Taking a walk near the mountainsTaking a walk near the mountains

Chatting on our new cellphones

Eating empanadas at the feria

Nos vemos,


Posted by: Conce Team | August 18, 2010

Our Final Training Event

This past weekend our team gathered in College Station, Texas, along with our families and sponsors for the Family and Supporters Workshop.  This was our fifth training module put on by the Halbert Institute for Missions at Abilene Christian University, the organization that we have been training under.

This module is designed to get all of our supporters and family on the same page and to equip them as partners in our mission.  As a team we gave a presentation about our formation, training, and plans for Chile.  We had lots of prayer time with sponsors and family.  There were topical presentations by Halbert on culture shock, how to be good supporters, and other significant topics.  The icing on the cake was Saturday night when team members blessed their family with special words of gratitude, recognition of their role in our formation, and hopes for their future.  The weekend was incredibly emotional with all these special people gathered and the reality sinking in that we are nearing our departure for Chile.  It was a wonderful weekend!

We were hosted by the A&M Church of Christ.  It was great to spend time with the church and for all of our family and supporters to see how much this wonderful congregation has blessed us over the course of this year.  For those of you who don’t know, this church has provided our team with a salary for 2010 so that we could commit our time to training, fundraising, and strengthening our relationships before we hit the field.  We are always impressed by their hospitality and generosity.

Here are some pictures from the weekend . . .               -Wes

Posted by: Conce Team | July 24, 2010

Exciting News

I am happy to announce to the blog reading world that every member of the Conce Team has a sponsoring church!!!!!! We have all worked very hard for this and are very excited, blessed and humbled to have found people and churches who want to partner with us and with what God is doing in Chile.

This does not mean that fund-raising is complete but that a large part of the effort is figured out and it is such a relief. Here is who we will be working with:

Reid and Meriden- Richland Hills in Forth Worth, TX

Wes and Ellen- Southern Hills in Abilene, TX (other support provided by Richland Hills)

Chad and Sara- an amazing house church in Edmond, OK

Deanna- Falls Church in Falls Church, VA (other support provided by Grace Crossing in Houston)

Dispersing to work with our sponsoring churches had already begun with R&M moving to Richland Hills. W&E have also begun their residency with Southern Hills. I will soon head to Virginia and soon after me C&S will head to Oklahoma. We are excited to get to spend time with these churches, forming relationships and growing in our ministry.

We are also sad to leave each other. We have spent a lot of time together over the past two years and have formed wonderful relationships that are very important to us and it is going to be hard to live so far apart. Please pray for this time a part that we can keep up our relationships that are so important to the work we plan to do.

Posted by: Conce Team | July 9, 2010

Moving Adventures

Our team has been very busy with various moving activities lately! The Overalls packed up their apartment and moved to Forth Worth to begin their residency with Richland Hills. The Shutts shared the moving van with the Overalls in order to return some furniture to Ellen’s parents. The day before moving day we brought our big muscles and loaded up the moving van.

Mer doing some heavy lifting

It was a lot of work but we rewarded ourselves with a late movie that night to celebrate our success and to say farewell to our teammates. The Overalls are the first to move away for their residency and we were sad to see them go. We know they will be blessed to be at RH for the remainder of the year and will form many wonderful relationships.

Moving van puzzle

In one day the Shutts delivered the Overalls and both family’s things and came back to Abilene to start our Moving Sale Adventure. While they were gone I made and distributed signs all over the area where the Shutt live. We were well advertised and it worked!

Chicas with the moving van and "Vamos a Chile" sign- we were having fun

Having a moving sale is a lot of work. Ellen and I put our organization and categorization skills to work and turned a huge mess into an organized mess. Our things (including items from all families on the team and other friends) were everywhere and it was very chaotic and crowded in their home but we made it work. We were prepared…

Reason we survived the week

…but not for rain. Of course, the weekend we decide to have a moving sale a tropical storm passes over Mexico and sends the rains our way.

Ellen being as prepared as possible for the coming chaos

We woke up at 5AM on Friday morning to check the weather. It was misting and more rain was on its way. We put a weather delay sign up, went back to bed and decided to get up at 7AM when the sale was starting and decide what to do from there. The next thing I knew, Ellen was in my room saying that a man was at the door wanting to see when we were going to open. We invited him in to see what we had and the crazy started from there!

Wes and Ellen making moving sale signs

Would you feel odd going into someone’s house for a moving sale? I know I would but that did not stop these shoppers. They were determined and ready to bargain. The first man came at 7AM and we did not get a break until 11:30AM. It was wild. The crowds just poured in. I guess we were popular because most sales were closed so we got the mobs. As crazy as it was we were so thankful. All our junk (and nice things) were selling fast and I think it was actually because of the rain that we did so well. How wild is that!

Rain rain go away...

We had two days of having a moving sale in the Shutts house and by the end of it we were exhausted. We probably sold 3/4 of our stuff and had some very interesting encounters. People who go to garage sales often are fascinating, they are like a little community who know each other because they go to all the sales every weekend. What they do will all the stuff they buy I have no idea. All I know is they bought our things and we are now much freer because of it.

Manning my post in the garage

Selling our things will make moving to Chile simpler and the money we made will help us get there. Thanks to God for a successful first (and hopefully last) moving sale. Read More…

Posted by: Conce Team | July 1, 2010

Conce Team Moving Sale

Anyone in the Abilene area should come to our Conce Team Moving Sale. It will be at 3186 Chimney Cr., Abilene Tx (off Buffalo Gap). We have lots of furniture, dishes and appliances and what we earn will help us move to Chile!!! This Friday and Saturday starting at 7am. Even if you are not looking to buy we would love to see some familiar faces of support.

Posted by: Conce Team | June 17, 2010

Clase de Español

So that you don’t think all our training time is spent playing tennis and climbing on the monkey bars, let me tell you a about one of the ways our team works very hard.

Five of the seven of us on the Conce Team have been continuing our Spanish education this summer. We audited a class at ACU in the Spring and decided we were up for some more. We are auditing the next level at McMurry University here in Abilene. Ellen and Meriden are taking Beginner Spanish, and Wes, Reid and I are taking Intermediate Spanish. Everyday is an adventure.

We have a wonderfully kind teacher who is from Ecuador and has a wonderful accent (in English and in Spanish). He is very funny and makes us laugh with his comments every day. He is quick to encourage but also takes opportunities to correct to make us better. It is a good balance. He makes me want to learn Spanish but not afraid to make myself vulnerable and speak.

I know that I am learning a lot. In my class, we have learned a lot of new vocabulary words like ways to describe people, sports terms, and family members. Much of what we study with grammar is review for me but they are concepts that I have not studied in months or years that were confusing the first time I learned them and still are today. Spanish is hard!!! The great thing is, we go 4 days a week for 2 hours each day so we are much more immersed in it. I have Spanish on the brain almost every day because when we are not in class I am working on homework. Dr. Gomez is keeping us very busy!

We are thankful to be able to study Spanish now. We are still going to go to language school in Santiago, but the more we know upon arrival the better. We will feel more comfortable to get around the city and get to know people and we will also be placed in higher levels of classes where we can continue to push ourselves to learn.



Posted by: Conce Team | June 6, 2010

Jugamos Tenis

I am happy to announce that the women of the Conce Team have found their new hobby. For a while now we have been looking for something to do that we could all enjoy together that was fun, active, not crafty (as we are not) and did not require much equipment or money. We really love spending time together just talking and laughing, playing games and cooking, but we wanted something more.

While in Colorado, with the help of her mom, Ellen decided that we would become tennis players. It fit all our requirements and since none of us really know how to play, we are all on the same level. No one will be getting frustrated because everyone else is bad, and no one will be feeling bad because they are worse than everyone else. It is a sport that can be played almost anywhere and is very healthy for you. Ellen informed us women of our new hobby and we were all very excited.

The day finally came today when we got to try out our new hobby. The guys were busy playing disc golf so we got our gear together and met at the courts. We decided the best way to learn would not be through reading the rules, but by just starting out hitting it back and forth and slowly learning as we go. This was a great plan.

This is our normal smile for the camera pose

We had an amazing time. We ran all over the place hitting, chasing, dodging, and of course, laughing. I wish I could say we picked it up right away, and while that might not be true we also were not awful. I can say for myself, and I know the other ladies can too, I had some good hits (it makes a great sound when you hit it right). We all had many, many bad ones as well, but nothing unexpected. Many hard swings without contact with the ball, many serves over the fence, many apologies to the basketball players next to us, many hits from out-of-bounds, one swing where the racket slipped from the player’s hand and got thrown to the ground, and one hit where the player thought she hit it high in the sky and was waiting for it to fall until she realized the ball got stuck in the little triangle on the racket.

This is our serious tennis player pose

Despite these mishaps we did very well for our first time, and I feel like this is something we could be good at. I know we all got a good workout, and we all have sore parts of our bodies (backs, wrists, calves, arms), but we had a great bonding experience and cannot wait to play again, hot Texas sun or not.

It may sound strange but this is something we are not only excited to share with each other but to share with people in Chile. Did you know that tennis is the second most popular sport in Chile? This is second to soccer of course, but we remember when visiting last summer that there were tennis courts everywhere. What a great way to meet people right? While the guys have soccer tournaments we can have tennis tournaments. Thankfully we have a few months until arrival to work on our skills but they will come. They will come.



Posted by: Conce Team | June 3, 2010


As I said, this is our team’s first attempt at having a team blog. I have no idea where this will take us but we are giving it a shot. I hope it makes it easier for people to learn more about us and to connect with us. We are 7 months away from our departure date and are excited to begin working.

For those of you who do not know us well, let me introduce you to my teammates. I could share the normal “this is Joe Schmo, he is from Kokomo and studied to shoot a bow….blah blah blah,” but instead I will tell you an interesting fact about each of my teammates so you can know something more unique to them.

Chad is an excellent disc golf player. He recently was the champion of a local disc golf tournament. We were very proud.

Ellen is a great story-teller. We love to listen to her share because she always makes us laugh through the funny things she says.

Reid is a huge baseball fan. He loves to go to baseball games, watch games and play. He is our resident Rangers fan.

Meriden loves her diet beverages. I love that she calls them diet beverages. Although it will never replace Diet Dr. Pepper, we are all relieved that they have Coca Lite in Chile.

Sara love to sing random songs, either ones she knows or ones she makes up. No matter where she is or what she is doing, a song could always potentially be performed.

Wes likes to surprise people. He will randomly just yell out “bah” or laugh really loud so that you jump and then laugh because of how unexpected it was.

Now I, Deanna, am the author of this post so I feel strange sharing something unique about myself but I will just say that I love to bake. My favorite thing to bake is cookies because of how much I love to eat them but I like trying to bake new things too like pies and cakes and breads.

Some things that characterize us as a team are that we all love to be outside and be active. This ranges from grilling out at a park to tubing on the lake to hiking in the mountains. We love it all.

We also enjoy watching TV together whether that be a movie or a TV show. We are all LOST fans and in an effort to find a replacement show we have started watching Fringe. It is exciting!

The guys all love soccer. This love ranges from watching it. playing it on a video game, talking about it, going to games or playing it themselves. They are very excited about the World Cup.

The girls are about to take up playing tennis. We wanted a hobby we could all enjoy and decided tennis would be it. None of us have played much but watch out because we are going to be awesome!

Well that is us. The Conce Team.


Posted by: Conce Team | June 2, 2010

Conce Team

This is our attempt to start a team blog. Hang tight!