After having spent several weeks visiting family and friends, we arrived back in Florida on July 26th. We hit the road running, trying to get the junk cleaned out of the house. Between that day and August 3rd, we had very little sleep and infrequent meals. There was so much to do and so little time. We did not finish the way we wanted to (with a totally clean house), but thank God for a good friend who was willing to go in afterwards and finish the clean out to get it ready for renting.
That last day, I was still running around town trying to finish up car business. I was supposed to try to sell the van at one of the dealerships. I had to call Keith and tell him there was no way I would have time to do that and finish cleaning out. So, it looked like we were going to be storing and paying for a vehicle until December when I might have time to try to sell. it. I called a friend to see if he would allow us to leave it at his house. He agreed. Within a short period of time, he called me back wanting to know how much we wanted for the van. To make a long story short, we finalized the arrangement for him to purchase the van on the way to Miami. PRAISE THE LORD!!!
We pulled out of our driveway right around midnight on August 3. As we were driving away, I had the distinct feeling that we will never live in that house again. It was a bitter sweet moment, to think of all we have gone through in that home. After dropping the last of the stuff off at the storage unit Keith and our friend dropped the van off at the friends house, while I drove to Rosalyn's house to wait for the them to pick us up. We left her house around 1 a.m. and got to the hotel in Miami at 3:40 a.m. We caught the 10 a.m. shuttle to the airport and then started checking weights of bags. We discovered that a couple of our bags were overweight. This meant we had to do a shuffle between bags to reduce the weight. With only a bit of a struggle, we were able to get all of them at or below the 50 lb. limit. Check in after that was a breeze. We had nothing more than the usual issues going through the security checkpoint (Keith has a titanium knee and Roslyn has a metal rod in her back). Due to our exhausted state, we pretty well slept through the flight (except when they served dinner),
As we began our descent into Quito, the clouds rolled back revealing a lush green countryside with beautiful mountains. It was definitely awe inspiring. We landed and rolled up to the terminal. Quito airport is not the most modern. Only a few planes have the luxury of a covered gangway. We were one of the lucky ones. Going through customs was nothing more than a few minutes at a desk after waiting in line for about ten minutes. Then on to pick up our bags. Four of the six were easy to find. One had fallen off the belt and landed between sections of the belt. The other one had been pulled off on the far side of the belt. PRAISE GOD all bags arrived safely!
We were met at the airport by Dwight and Carolyn Rich, the field strategy coordinator and his wife. They took us to the home of another one of the missionaries for dinner and fellowship. We had a great time sharing and finding out other points of connection. When we finally headed to our apartment, we brought the stuff in and put some of it away before collapsing. The seminary campus is at 9,400 ft. Needless to say, it is sometimes hard to catch our breath. Other than that, we have had very little trouble adjusting to the altitude so far.
We are thanking God for the privilege we have of serving him in such an awesome place. I know that we will have "those days", but we cannot deny that God has called us to this work. Please continue to pray for us as we prepare for the school year. God is SO GOOD!