Well, I didn’t realize that it has been 2 weeks since I last posted. In my mind, I’ve posted several times already! Here’s the scoop:
1) On Monday, April 22 we went in and got our fingerprints and signed the forms and began our “2 week” wait for our renewed visas to come back to the immigration office in Querétaro. We’re still waiting and it could be they’ll be ready for pickup next week. They won’t tell us over the phone, but we have a website we can check for the current status. However, we don’t know how accurate that is. Going in and checking in-person is the best way to find out. Unfortunately, that takes at least 6 hours including travel. We’ll keep checking online with high hopes and low expectations!
[EDIT/DISCLAIMER: A friend here has corrected my time estimate as being way too high. I was thinking of the time it takes to get ready, get there, do our typical wait in line there, and then return. Since it often takes long enough, the family is hungry by the time we’re through, so we stop for an early lunch, and often run another errand or two which we wouldn’t have done had we not had to go over there anyway. I guess I should say this takes anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, not including getting out of bed at least an hour earlier than I would like…and that might be the worst part of the whole thing!]
2) On that same Monday, Beth’s mother attempted to get her car papers renewed since she had just received her renewed visa. Ooops! There was a problem. A serious problem. Apparently, she had renewed her car in 2012 35 days after receiving her renewed visa. This meant she had gone 5 days past the 30 day window for doing this (even though they told us in-person that there was no real time limit since the rules were being changed). What does this mean? It means she has been driving her car illegally for the past year (good thing she never got stopped…although she had a legal document showing she was legal!) and she would have to submit some documents and a couple of homemade letters to receive a 5 day permission to drive the car out of the country and re-enter on a new sticker. She’ll have lost her $300 USD deposit on the prior temporary permission. Are we having fun yet?
3) We’ve been trying to figure out how to best manage this time-sensitive trip to the border and with all the conversations and emails that several of us have been engaged in these past two weeks, let me summarize by saying, we still don’t have a solid plan, but tomorrow, we may have one. If so, this trip will likely happen next week on Wednesday or Thursday at latest. Depending on the issuance of the 5 day permission which we were told would take up to 10 days by one office and by the issuing office, we were told it would take just 2 days. Can you see there might be some challenges in planning on when this trip would take place based on an 8 day range of potential dates?
4) Beth’s mother is on a small committee for the annual ladies’ retreat. For her, it begins in earnest when a legally blind lady arrives from the USA on May 14 to be a part of the retreat which is from May 17-May 19. If her mother were at the border without us, we could receive this lady easily enough, but we’re not quite sure what exactly a blind American lady would need from us in the terms of care. Our house has a number of stairs scattered throughout. Such a border trip really needs to be completed before May 14 so Beth’s mother could be here as planned. The border trip could happen after the retreat, but then Beth’s mother only has a few days before she flies out to the USA and there isn’t enough time to get the permiso and make the trip. That is not to mention that she realized that her Texas driver’s license expires on June 15! So, next week it needs to be or maybe the end of summer or maybe just a co-worker and I go up without her as the trip could be done without her presence. The problem then is I need my visa to do this. She also doesn’t get to Texas to renew her driver’s license. Also, well…there are others involved and each person has a set of variables that do or don’t work depending. Believe me…it’s complicated!
5) Apart from visas and car permissions, we’ve been trying to keep up with normal routines. The boys are still homeschooling, although after numerous interruptions this past month, Dayton has pretty much checked-out. We’re trying to help our co-workers, the O’Briens, as much as possible as the Lord is leading them back to the USA. Their upcoming move this summer has already commenced and it is a tall task for them (and for anyone who goes through this repatriation process). We’re finding it a continual challenge to find growth in the small house church plant when everyone is forced to work 7 days a week or always on Sunday. Even our one consistent weekly Bible study is hampered by the work schedule of the wife who usually only has Mondays off but sometimes they switch it to Tuesday and their only time to study then is during my English class, and that doesn’t work.
6) I’m tired of talking about work schedules!
7) I took ill Tuesday evening and was in bed all day yesterday. I’m still ill today but feeling a bit better, although not well enough to leave the house. My gut is killing me but my head is not pounding like it was yesterday when I was running a rare fever over 100. Last time I had a fever over 100 was when I had amoebas back in 2005. It’s a rare thing.
8) I’m trying to figure out logistics for a visit to my parents this July. We have to be in Dallas the first two weeks of July for meetings, and I figured since we haven’t seen my elderly parents since Thanksgiving 2011, this may be our only chance for at least another year or two. So, if anyone has a lead on economical housing in central FL, for the 3rd week of July, let me know. The best thing I’ve found so far is nearly $1,000 for the week. Ouch. So, I’m looking but don’t have a lot of time to look. DeLand, FL is the town we need to be near but we could be up to an hour away if the situation justifies the commute. As it is, I want to fit in 2 days of actual vacation wherein we just hang out on the beach somewhere. We haven’t been to a beach in a couple years. I love some beach time…I don’t even care about the water…I just like the sound of the waves. It’s therapeutic. Maybe I should just get a beach soundtrack for my iPod and find a sandbox and walk in circles for awhile.
9) My best English student ever, Mario, ended up getting a job in Guadalajara about 4 hours away. I have had some communication with him since he moved. I also met one of his two brothers and his sister while dropping in to visit his parents. The brother I met wants to study English, but according to Mario he’s not the best at following through on things like this. He wants to know English, but he doesn’t really want to invest in studying it. He loves tinkering with cars and would rather do that in his spare time than reading a book or taking a class. Too bad I’m illiterate about cars in over 150 languages. Alex (the brother) said he would come this week for the Tuesday class. Wednesdays don’t work for him. Of course, this Tuesday came and went and Alex didn’t show. So, that may be the way this connection goes. I’m hopeful to have some contact with Alex, but I can already sense that this may be a long-shot. I do have his email address so I can work with that for awhile. Poor guy! 🙂
10) All this good news and I’m on #10. I think I really should think of something that is going well to put here! Well, other than the government dealios and the frustrating work schedules and the cost of visiting parents and the ongoing illness and the homeschool attitude, everything else is just great! Haha…my mind isn’t clear enough to tell you what that is, but I’m sure there is plenty! God is good…all the time…all the time…God is good! Hey, this is what will make eternity so great. We’ll never have frustrations, trials, tribulations and challenges so that we can see how God works through them. This is the only time we get to enjoy seeing God do that so what more could we ask for?!? (not that eternity in God’s presence will lack for anything even without trials and tribulations and sin struggles!)
I’ll try to keep you posted on the visas, car situation, border trip, etc. Things should be happening within days on all of that. Thanks for joining us in prayer that we’ll clearly see God’s plan for all of this. We know He has one and we know it will be amazing. I don’t think we have any other choices now except for…amazing! 🙂