Time is flying by! As of two weeks ago we have tickets for our trip to Peru. We will be flying out of the Atlanta Airport on February 28, 2021, from there we will fly to Huston, then Lima and on to Pucallpa. Expected arrival time in Pucallpa is March 1, 2021 at about 6:00am. It has really begun to sink in how real this is. We are going to be either storing or selling most of our personal belongings and living in a different country! There has been many a time we have wondered if what we are doing is completely crazy. With all the political upheaval in both the United States and in Peru, along with COVID-19, you just can't help wonder at the amount of time we have left on this earth. However, with all that going on and the occasional moments of wondering, God has been showing us that this is what we are supposed to do. Here are a few of the ways that we see His working.
Let's start with some of the impressions we received that God was leading in this. When we first looked into going to Peru, we knew that we had a few obligations that had to be met. The two largest ones being our lease on the apartment and Brad’s work contract. The fun part about this is that when we switched apartments back in February of 2020, instead of continuing the lease from the original lease date ending on June 1st, they started us on a new one that ended in January. At the time we thought that this was going to mess things up with the timing on the end of Brad’s work contract (at this point we hadn’t decided to go to Peru). However, once we decided to go to Peru, and we talked with Brad’s work, everything began to fall into place. Brad’s work was going to release him from his contract a little early and the lease on the apartment would line up perfectly, allowing us the leave Bismarck, at the end of January.
The lease on our apartment and Brad’s work contract, built our faith. But we knew that the next big step was going to be getting the fundraising going. After discussing prices and details with Eben (president of Peru Projects) and doing as much research as we could, we came up with some dollar amounts that we could set as goals. $8,000 was a rough estimate of what we were going to need to launch. This was going to include mainly what was needed for travel, basic furnishings and to set up of our home. We would also need $800 a month for our stipend. I don’t know exactly what we were expecting, but the Lord is moving! Through several very wonderful and giving people we have almost reached our $8,000 dollar goal. Many of these gifts were completely unexpected.
About a week or so ago I wasn’t feeling well and began to show some signs of COVID. Due to my job (registering and screening COVID patients) I figured I needed to go in to the walk-in clinic. This meant being off work till the results of the test came back (thankfully they came back negative). I was feeling very bad about this, but figured better safe than sorry. At some point during the visit the conversation turned to our mission plans. The doctor was supper excited and wanted to help. I was not expecting a God moment. Something that seemed like a bad situation was exactly what God had planned. Another situation was that someone that Brad had worked with a few times, and who on occasion came to our church, asked to help after hearing about our trip via word of mouth. Several church and family members have surprised us with their love offerings. The list of how God has been using acquaintances, family, friends, and church members to support us is growing by the day. We sent out our fundraising letters about three to four weeks ago and we are $685.00 from reaching our $8,000 goal! $800 is needed for our monthly support, and we have $660 more to go. We don’t know what all awaits us financially when we get to Pucallpa, or on our way there, but God is showering us with his blessings. Thank you to all who have or are planning on helping us!
The last God thing that I will share with you in this post has to do with our travel vaccinations and needed medications. Some of you know that Brad has an allergy to bees, which causes him to need an EpiPen. Thankfully we have never had to use it. However, he has not gotten new ones in a very long time, and those he has are beginning to discolor and are expired. We knew that this is a very expensive item on our list, but one that is necessary. We also needed to get our vaccinations for travel. Brad made an appointment, and was able to get one of the needed shots and a prescription for the EpiPen, and typhoid pills; this whole situation has many a blessing tied into it. Brad has not met the insurance deductible; thus, we will be paying out of pocket for most everything. However, when he looked at his past vaccination records, the doctor informed him that the shots he had gotten before leaving for Guyana, for his student missionary year, were still valid and other then the tetanus and typhoid pills, he was set. These are two of the cheapest vaccinations on the list! Praise the Lord! When Brad went to pick up his prescription for the EpiPen, he was informed that for two pens it was going to cost over $500.00, but the pharmacist told him to look and see if he could find a coupon, using the product company name, which she provided him. He was able to find a coupon for $300.00 off, making the needed medication, much more affordable. It amazes me how God has people placed all over to help us on our journey.
We are now working on checking things off the list of “To Do’s”. It seems at times that this list just keeps growing longer, but one thing at a time is the name of the game. I have about two weeks of work left at the clinic and then I will be home for the remainder of our time in Bismarck, which couldn’t come fast enough at times. I will then begin the process of sorting through our home and getting us packed. We are experiencing a wide range of feelings at this point as well. Fear and extreme sadness of leaving family and friends, as we don’t know when we will see them again, as well, as finding relief and comfort in knowing that we are doing what God wants us to do.
We can’t wait to see how God keeps directing and what He has in store for us.