The Short Story….
- We left Costa Rica at 2 am on 1/8/17. We were using a tourism service that several other of our missionary friends had used to move to Panama and Nicaragua. This was a blessing because we did not have to sell/give away all of our things or weigh our bags for the plane.
- We arrived at the Panama border at 7:30 am. The “normal” is for it to take 3-4 hours max to get through the border. It took us 3 days. There is not a specific reason…. they gave us many different reasons, put the van and our things in a holding lot, took hours to process paperwork, then needed different paperwork that took more time, etc. But after 3 nights in a hotel and $306 in “taxes” we were back in transit.
- We arrived around 7 pm on 1/11/17 to our new neighborhood west of Panama City. In about an hour we unloaded the van, grabbed and packed up clothes for the next 3 days, and loaded back up with our team leader to head to the ReachGlobal Panama team retreat that had begun that afternoon.
- We spent 3 days at the retreat. This was a great time of relaxation, getting to know our team, and setting some exciting ministry goals for the next year.
- We arrived back at our house on Sunday night where we were greeted with the smell of mildew and dog. We had two 50 pound bags of clothes that were on top of the van. It stormed while the van was in the lot and the bags and clothes got wet. FYI… 100 pounds of clothes equals about 15 loads of laundry:)
- The residents before us had a large dog that apparently both Reeves and I are allergic to….. no bueno! Just for fun, we walked the neighborhood and stopped by leasing to inquire about another house that was empty and had never had tenants. Y’all….we signed a 2 year contract for that house 2 days later. We are so excited…not only is it clean, but it also has backyard space. Double yay!!
- We are now in the process of prepping the other house. We are waiting for power to be connected and are looking forward to moving in and getting settled soon.
The Bigger Story….
- Y’all, to say that the last few weeks have not been stressful would be a lie. BUT, to say that God is faithful and was not surprised by any of it is the complete truth!
- I have been amazed by the resilience and flexibility of Ian and Reeves. We have found the ability to laugh through many of those “that just happened” moments. Yes, we have had some times of discontent and unkind words, but overall our family has had a peace, unity and perseverance beyond comprehension. God is good!
- PERSPECTIVE….I know that many times people choose a “word” for the New Year… I have never done that and never planned to. However, over the past week God has been putting this word on my heart. Our perspective changes EVERYTHING!!! It doesn’t matter if we are on the mission field, in the states, single, married, parents, kids….whatever. What is it that you are troubled with today? Maybe change your perspective? So many times I come before the Lord with my expectations, asking for the things I think I need or deserve. Really? Instead, let me come to the throne seeking the grace and mercy to accept what He has given me (Hebrews 4:16). Instead, let me come before the throne praising Him for not giving me what I truly deserve. Instead, let me give thanks for all the blessings in my life that I take for granted everyday. Instead, let me look for ways to bless others instead of looking at myself. Instead, let me have a perspective that seeks to glorify the Lord in all things.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We have seen the Lord answer so many prayers over the past few weeks. Thank you for standing with us.