Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Our Departure Date is Set

We finally have a departure date. We will be leaving here on February 25th and will arrive in Brazil at 7:00am on February 26th. To say that we are excited is an understatement. We have so much to do that we don't know where to begin. We have some loose ends as far as paperwork that we need to get tied up. We also have some final items that we need to purchase and then we will be free to start the packing process. We will probably have to pack and repack, but that's ok. We can only take 2 suitcases per person and if they are over 50 pounds we will have to pay extra. So, we are going to try to stay within the 50 pound mark as closely as we can. The scary part is, 50 pounds and 12 suitcases is not that much for a family of 6. We are nervous that we are going to take things that we really don't need or leave things that we really should have taken. It will all work out, but it is a little crazy around here right now.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Visa update

Well, last night Paul and I got back from a whirlwind trip to Miami. We went to file for our visas and thought that we would come home and wait for them to be sent to us. God had different plans and we came home with visas in hand. Instead of a 4 - 6 week wait, we had a 24 hour wait.

We asked God to go before us and that we would find favor with the person accepting our paperwork. He answered those prayers and in a way that we never dreamed of. We arrived Tuesday morning 45 minutes early and were the first ones in line. We had heard horror stories of people waiting all day just to be able to turn in paperwork, so we didn't know what to expect but were planning on the worst. When we finally were allowed in the office at 9:00, we stepped up to the window and they had to get someone to handle the missionary visa. Antoneata stepped to the window with her checklist of items that we must have. She said several times that most people think they have the correct paperwork, but don't have all of it or have the wrong things. I told her that we had checked off everything that the internet said we would need and she said, "Well, we'll see." By the time she got to number 4 on the list and we had been able to hand everything she asked for to her, she said, "I'm impressed, but we will see." She couldn't believe that we had everything authenticated and legalized and everything seemed in order. We thought we would have to have Paul's diploma and transcripts legalized, but she didn't make us do that. As we went down the list, her face began to soften and she said many more times how impressed she was. It was apparent that we had found favor with her - no mistaking this answer to prayer! God is so good! So, we get to the end of her checklist and we had it all. She even took a couple of documents that we had but she didn't ask for. She seemed amazed, but we were still nervous, we weren't finished yet. When she got to the fees, she began to write out exactly what we owed her and it looked like she was trying to shock us. She wrote visa $130, processing fee $70 for a total of $200. When I said we have that, she then went on and said that is times 6 for everyone in the family. We said, yes, we have 6 postal money orders for $200 each. At this, she smiled and said once again that she was impressed.

This is when our mouths fell open. She asked how long we would be in Miami and we told her we were leaving that night. She said, "You mean you aren't coming back tomorrow to pick up your visas?" We stuttered and fumbled over our words and said, "Huh?" We didn't think this was an option for our kind of visa, but she said they would be ready the next day between 12:00 & 1:00. So, we made arrangements and stayed one more night. We again arrived 45 minutes early and were the first ones in line. We received all 6 visas in a matter of 10 minutes. We are just blown away and amazed at how good the Lord is. It really has nothing to do with what He does for us, but it is all about who He is and when He has a calling for you he will provide the WAY all in His timing not ours. We are so thankful that His ways are not our ways.

God is so good!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Monday, January 7, 2008

Visa Update

We received all of our paperwork today and spent several hours filling out visa applications (2 per person in our family). We have everything in order and have purchased our airline tickets for Miami. We leave out from here on Monday, January 15 and plan to be at the consulate first thing Tuesday morning to file. We come back late Tuesday night.

Please pray for our safe travel, for the kids as we are away, for whoever keeps them, and for us to find favor with the people at the consulate. We pray that the Lord goes before us and prepares the way.

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year - New Chapter

Well, we have finally figured out how to at least get into our blog, so maybe we can keep you updated on our progress in our journey to Brazil.

All of our paperwork is in and ready to take to the consulate in Miami. We have finally gotten all 45 pieces of paper authenticated by the MS Secretary of State, TN Secretary of State and the US Secretary of State. They have also all been legalized by the Brazilian Consulate. It has taken since September to complete this process and we have been working on it consistently. Thankfully the regional office at the IMB helped us out while we were at FPO. That helped us more than I can tell you. So, all of this said to say that Paul and I should be going to Miami next week to actually file for our visa's. Please join us in praying for this process to go smoothly and everything to be in order.