Monday, July 25, 2011

Hello again

It's been two months since I last wrote and a lot has happened. I've been busy and putting more energy into my facebook account.
To sum up, which will be hard, but for this post, to sum up we got Beto's residency! It was a miracle we got it so quickly, but with lots of prayer and faith God was so gracious! On June 9th my childhood friend Katy Yates, her husband John and their three kids McKenna, Brooklyn, and Josiah came to visit us until the 14th.  John spent all his time building 3 bunkbeds for "our" three kids, Jorge, Miguel, and Fatima.  It was great for Katy and I to catch up and for Santi to make three new good friends. We had lots of adventures and they brought tons of donations and money to buy pillows, mattresses, etc. to abundantly bless that family before we left Honduras.
The Yates were so gracious to be patient while we sold/gave everything the night before we left to take them to the airport, so we stayed in a hotel our last night in La Esperanza, and then drove to the capitol where we stayed in a hotel that was afraid to give us just enough towels.  We needed to be in town a day early since the Yates' flight left the next day around noon.

On June 14th the Yates flew home in the morning and we flew to Guatemala in the PM and stayed with Beto's family for about 4 days. After that we flew to Ft.Worth, TX to stay with Beto's childhood friend and his wife Manuel and Nancy and their new baby Lito, whom Santi, and we, fell in love with. They are spanish church planters which is who we want to be so we were also "doing research". Manuels' sister and bro-in-law are living there too so beto enjoyed being with old friends, and me with new ones.

Finally we arrived in LA on June 22nd and hit the ground running.  We've enjoyed swimming in our aunt's pool, going to the library, beach, free concerts in the park, and ofcourse spending time with family, friends, and our church.  My best friend and I have even started a cleaning business! (It's called L.L. Clean, by the way, and we're looking for clients!)

The most eventful...well, event, since we've been back that Beto and I have participated in is called Discovery Lab with Kairos Church planting. It was five intense days in a Portland camp where we gave testimonies, led worship, sat through 12 rounds of interviews, and learned about our calling, gifts, talents, strengths and growth   areas.  Before we left we spent what seemed like about 60 hours answering 100's of questions on multiple tests such as "Prepare/Enrich" for couple's, questionaire's about our pasts, our ministries, experiences, personalities, etc.  The best part though was making lots and lots of great new friends.

Santi and Brooklyn on our way home from the airport

Traffic, heat, and jet lag


The Yates family in "our kids" house with their new mattresses

with close friends at our going away party at church

unloading the new beds at "our kids" house

Making a porch with cement we bought with donations

Play soccer once with them and they're friends for life

Speaking of friends forever...

Delivering the mattresses and pillows

beto and grasshopper

spending time with the fam in Antigua, Guatemala

Lito, Manuel's and Nancy's baby

Meeting our favorite band Third Day for Beto's Father's Day present

Enjoying a free concert in the park

Visiting lifelong friends the Baucums and  the Yates kids

There they are!

Hanging out with the Yates kids in Honduras

Soda in a bag!

Celebrating the 4th in Long Beach

At my uncle and aunt's pool

Voo Doo donuts in Portland, a must see.

Hanging out downtown before going to Discovery Lab

Intense DL.  We were observed...a lot!

...but it was a lot of fun too. GREAT people!

we took walks...

...and played group building "games".

yea,we love each other

Before going to the airport to return home, our friends hosted us at the Rose Gardens.

Tim and Lisa Blair. Peekaboo!

One of my many favorites

Now it's time to relax a little bit before Beto begins working at our home church Long Beach Church of Christ  part-time in August as an "outreach minister".   We plan on taking this first year back in the States settling in and adjusting back to life here, praying about our future and seeing what God has in store for us. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

My new favorite thing about the US Embassy

I forgot to tell something really important that happened to us on tuesday.  I went inside and when I realized I would be waiting awhile, I went back outside where Beto was and got my book out of the diaper bag.  Of course I had to go through security again, but I little did I know I should´ve hidden my book.

¨You can´t take this inside¨, the security guard said.

Now I was losing some patience.

¨Why?¨, I asked.

¨Because you´ll read it.¨ this point there were so many thoughts in my head I didn´t even know what to say.

¨People have missed hearing their number called because they become so engrossed in their book¨, she said.

¨oH, well, I´ll hear my number.¨I said.

¨Ok, take it in, but don´t read it.¨ many more options about how to respond!

¨If the other guard sees you reading it, I will get in trouble¨, she said.

¨Oh fine, I´ll just leave it here.¨

Seriously, punishing everyone for the few who won´t hear their number called is absurd.  If those other people didn´t hear their number, oh well, that´s not my problem.

Besides, the embassy has TV´s in the waiting room. Hello???

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Another fun day at the embassy

Where to begin? At the beginning, I guess.
Monday May 9th was Beto´s interview appointment for his residency at the US embassy here in Tegucigalpa.  What that means is that we´d already turned in his basic information to one office at the embassy, they approved it and sent it on to the consule´s office.  That process took a couple of months longer than expected but after making a TON of phone calls to the embassy, one nice lady gave him an early appointment so we wouldn´t have to wait till July.

The appointment went really well. That´s when we turn in all the rest of the very detailed paperwork that I worked on like a part-time job to get together.  Tax forms from the last three years, THANK YOU MOM!, and a bunch of other boring forms. The stack of papers was about 3 inches high and probably weighed about two pounds, at least I think so.  I felt good that the first girl we saw, behind a window of course, congratulated me on how organized the paperwork was. I wanted to make it easy on them to find what they ask for and make a good first impression.

She then sent it all on the the consul while we waited. About an hour later we were called into a little room to talk to another lady behind another window.  And they can´t ever tell us their names. Probably so mad people who don´t get VISA´s can´t look them up!  So she had each of us raise our right hands to solemnly swear that everything we were about to say was the truth.

She only asked why we were leaving Honduras.  We told her, she requested one more paper, told us to take it to window 2 the next day then see her again at her window 5 and she would give Beto his Residency the next day or WEdnesday.

So the next day Tuesday we went back to the embassy but nothing went as we expected.  first of all even though we got there when they told us to come the guard wouldn´t let us in until 10, 30 minutes later.  Then he wouldn´t let Beto in. Then instead of going to window 2 I had to take a number and wait an hour for my number to be called.  It was called by a different lady at window three. I gave her the document they wanted and she said they would call us in 2 weeks.

I wanted to argue and protest but I couldn´t say anything. The atmosphere in the embassy is so scary and intimidating.  Sometimes I have had the guts to fight with them but not this day.  So I walked away but started thinking about going back, but when I looked there was already another person there.  I walked outside and talked to beto about it and then decided that, no, I should explain to here that I was supposed to see the consul again and she said she would give Beto his residency this same day.  But when I tried to go back in the guard wouldn´t let me.  He called the lady at window three but she said I already had my chance and I would have to call in the PM.  Nah, I didn´t have the energy to do that because I could already predict that they would tell me I would just have to wait.

and all that afternoon and evening I was kicking myself for not having been more aggressive.  And being upset about how unorganized the embassy is, each person telling me something different. they should have their information straight!

But i had to leave it in God´s hands and trust that it was His perfect timing. Plus, it was only two weeks! We met a girl that was there with me that was told she would have to wait another whole year, although that´s because of certain issues she has in her history.

So the next day which was Wednesday, yesterday, I´m sitting in the car while Santi sleeps in the back and Beto goes into the bank. His phone rings with an unknown number and at first I hoped it would be the embassy but then I didn´t want to get my hopes up.  Sure enough, they said Beto got it approved and we could go pick it up next week!  good thing we only live four hours away up a steep, curvy, mountainy road that is being worked on!

We are very grateful for all the prayers.  We have just about a month to sell everything, then make a trip over to Guatemala to see family before we move to the States. It is all bittersweet to leave here after so much time, but we are confident that God is in control. 

fun in Tegucigalpa

Learning how to use toothpicks

Waiting for yummy chinese food

AT Chili´s for Mother´s Day

He LOVES iced tea

Pretty fresh flowers on the table. My favorites!

Praying for the meal. Not really. Don´t be that impressed

with Rosi

Our new puppies

Santi loves holding them

Pantera is a very good mother.