Well after a couple of the most stressful weeks of our lives, we made it to Chile this past week. It surely has been a roller coaster of emotions. I am still trying to process all that has gone on and I am sure it will take along time to truly get a full perspective on from that side of things. In about a week I will make a post sharing some of my initials thoughts. But while it is so fresh I want to just recount the events of this past week or so.
Our last Sunday at Refugio Community Church in Baños Del Inca was nothing short of special. It was extremely hard knowing that it was my last Sunday there, but at the same time is it was so exciting looking forward to what the Lord will do once I am gone. On Monday all the pastors and leaders in our ESI training program had a going away dinner for us. It was another humbling and incredible night. Nicole and I couldn’t just stop thanking the Lord for all He has done. After that though is when things started to turn for the worst. Four out of six of us came down with this nasty body flu type thing. I was at the peak of it the day before I was to get on the Combi and begin the trek from Northern Peru to Southern Chile.
We loaded up the Combi with our stuff and my son my dog and I got in and headed out. The girls were flying down. On top of dealing with the flu, I got crazy car sick for about the first 6 hours. I had plenty of plastic bags so we didn’t need to stop. We left Cajamarca at 3pm and we got to the Lima airport at 8:30 the next morning to pick up Don.
Let me just at this point say Don is an incredible blessing. Without even getting into the issues and the pain he is dealing with in his back and leg, this guy is a trooper. What blows me away is he has made this trip once before. I don’t care if I had a good back and could sit in a vehicle for 5 days, I don’t think I would ever in my life do that trip again. Miserable doesn’t describe it.
Well, we made it to the boarder and sparing the details of corrupt police and all the hoops to jump through with our dog we got to the Chile checkpoint around 4:30 on Monday. Our combi drivers dropped us off in Arica and headed back to Cajamarca. We ended up having to rent an extra vehicle cause we couldn’t get everything to fit into the truck we had rented. The Lord was with us at every point of the way though. For some reason the rental company has this French made delivery van thing that they let us rent too. The downside though is now we are in two cars and will have to stop to rest.
We got on the road and just mobbed. We made our first stop somewhere in the middle of the Chilean desert around 3 am. We grabbed an hour nap and got back on the road. We ended up stopping only three more times for a total of five hours and we got into Valdivia Wednesday around 5 pm. That was two days ahead of the expected arrival day. But when I got to the house, my poor wife had come down with the sickness that ravished our house. Praying that she gets better quickly.
All that to say, it was a mission but the Lord had grace upon us. As we begin to unpack and get some things organized, we have a busy few weeks ahead of us. We were able to go already and get insurance for our car and a couple other things. It was good to get out into the city, but I definitely had some culture shock. At one point I was going back to the car and I took a wrong turn andI just had to stop and breath cause I was totally about the break down. It will be a rough adjustment. My son earlier was also dealing with some culture shock and I am sure all the others will to. The good thing is we can all lean on each other. Friday is a holiday so it will be a down day of rest and relaxation which is good before we hit the ground running. In the next week or two we will meet with Raul (the pastor of the church who is sponsoring our visas) to get our letter of request and some fellowship and then we can start on our residency. Please be praying for that process as it is a lot to go through.
That was a brief sketch of our journey from Northern Peru to Southern Chile. From one chapter to another. Looking forward to seeing all the Lord has in store.