Friday, January 28, 2011

Off we go!

We just took off from the Miami airport on American 922 bound for Santa Cruz, Bolivia with a stop in La Paz as I write this. The last few days might be likened to taco salad, though we much prefer life to be a neat and tidy haystack. God has been good to us, giving us encouragement and peace. And He has listened to and answered the prayers of those of you who have been praying for us. Thank you!!
Quick Recap...

We moved out of our apartment in Michigan a week ago today and traveled to Tennessee a week ago Thursday. It was a very l-o-n-g trip (18hrs.) due to bad roads but God kept us safe and awake.

Our visas arrived last Friday, fixed and ready for travel.
Mailed off our marriage certificate...we found out Friday that it has to be translated, notarized, certified, and legalized (each step done at a different place) in order to get our 1 year residency/visas. Thankfully, Tara Swanepole, another GMI missionary in Bolivia, is in the States and is helping get those steps underway before she and her husband go back to Bolivia in mid-February.

We spent some time with Jeff Sutton, the Bolivia projects coordinator. He was in Collegedale and helped us with banking things. DJ also helped him with some maintenance on his Aerostar plane.

Then there were taxes to file... Who files taxes in January? ... Anyways, after tracking down all the necessary documents and revisiting the tax forms many times, we filed them this afternoon at 2:15 pm, 15 minutes before we left for the airport. Relief.

And we mustn´t leave out packing. The big question was DJ´s toolbox. DJ was advised not to take it, but could really benefit by having it down there. We still weren´t sure how we´d pack it. Wednesday morning when we were packing, DJ checked online and found out that we couldn´t take overweight suitcases (>50lbs) or boxes to Santa Cruz. The toolbox was both overweight and would need to be packed in a box. So it will remain in Tennessee.

The rest of our belongings were successfully packed into 4 suitcases, 2 carry-ons, and 2 backpacks. Although we had tried to weigh the suitcases at home, each one was over 50 lbs. by a pound or two when we checked them at the airport. God led us to the right check in clerk though, and he let ALL of them go with no charge or hassle! The next prayer is for customs in Bolivia. We are reminded that all we have is the Lord´s and that He knows what we will need. We trust that He will continue to be faithful as he has been and help us get through customs without lining the pockets of the customs agens unknowingly through ¨required¨ fees.

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