Friday, September 23

Arrival in Ecuador

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After many struggles with the documentation , we can finally say - We have arrived in Ecuador!

However, our trip was not uneventful. Our trip from Argentina to Quito, would take us through Santiago, Chile and Guayaquil, Ecuador. The check-in went fine in Argentina and supposedly our bags would go through all the way to Quito - which was an important aspect of our trip especially thinking that we had 6 bags total + the carry-ons).

The trip went normally, until we got to the city of Guayaquil, one of the important cities of the Ecuadorian coast. The pilot started to say that we had bad weather in Quito, and thus we had to wait a little bit to see if the weather would clear out. In the meantime a flight assistance came by counting the passengers and their families. One hour later, we finally got the notice - the Quito airport was closed due to bad weather!

We all had to leave the plane, do immigrations in Guayaquil, and get our luggage, yes… all 6 bags and it was already 1am when we finally were able to clear the whole process of immigrations and customs.

The airline took care of everything, but the part of the ground transportation was terribly organized, and because of that we had to haul around 6 bags and carry-ones, from one place to another, until we were able to find the bus that we were supposed to get on.

When we got to the hotel, very good one I must say, we were still able to eat since we had had no dinner, the only thing was that it was a meal at 2am and we were thinking more in bed than eating. But since it was there prepared for us, we decided to eat and we were even able to eat an amazing ceviche of shrimp as it is prepared in Ecuador.

While on the bus, the airline employee told us that we could rest well and have a late morning until 10am of the next day, since only around this time they would start to re-schedule everyone to go to Quito. He even told us to enjoy all the hotel had to offer… as we say in Portuguese: "He would have done better by keeping his mouth shut!" At 7am we got a call in the room (of course we were sound asleep), and we were told we had to rush immediately to the airport. It was another rushed day starting, as you can imagine, and with the 6 big bags and carryons again. And to make things worst, no ground transportation was provided - it was more of the style "every man for himself".

We managed to arrive at the airport, do the check-in, and around noon of the following day we made it to Quito. We were very well received by our new direct supervisor, the Field Director and his wife.

We arrived at our new home to rest about 3pm, after having a good lunch with our new missionary colleagues alongside whom we're serving in Ecuador.

Our move was not without challenges, but we feel very blessed and with great expectations for what the Lord will do in us and through us in our new ministries.

Thursday, September 22

A much expected move… but too sudden!

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In my home Country we used to say that life takes many turns. Nothing could be more true! We experienced this last week.

After almost a month of delay in the process of our move to Ecuador, which was actually making us very anxious, last week on monday we went to the Ecuadorian Consulate in Buenos Aires to present all the documentation they were requiring for the visa. This time all was in good order, but they said we would have to wait to see which date the visa would come out. They said they would call us.

As a very pleasant surprise, on tuesday we got the call from the Consulate saying that our visas would be ready on thursday.

As a result of this news chaos installed in our home: goodbyes, time with friends, running after the last documents for the shipment (yes… I did at least three trips to capital in this week), sell the last things, close suitcases, buy the tickets, take more and more trash out in order to empty the house (yes… I know this seems insane to leave in such a short-notice, but we did not want our kids to miss another week of classes).

But we didn't leave without eating a great Argentinean Asado cooked by our friend Ever, in which we finally tried the famous "chicholines". This was a closure with a golden key of our last night in Argentina. And as we say in Argentina… "let's give a hand of applause to the Asador".

It's true that we had been waiting for a long time for the day of our move, and all of the sudden, in the space of 4 days, since we learned of the visa being issued, we left Argentina.

We left some pending issues and ask for your prayers for the sale of our last things, one of which is our car, since we cannot purchase a new car in Ecuador before selling the car in Argentina.

Tuesday, September 6

Our things are leaving!

IMG 0413Last Wednesday the day started really early. It was the great day to pack our stuff for the move. The moving company came in really early, and after we showed them around what had to be packed, they immediately started packing stuff.

It was a day spent running back and forth, searching for things that needed to go, separating the things that had to stay, and trying to keep the process as much organized as we could.

The truth of the matter is that the team that came really surprised us. They started around 9am and before 4pm they were already leaving the campus on their way to the deposit where our things will be stored until all the processes are done with customs. They packed 282 cubic feet in more or less 5 hours, since we took a 1 hour lunch break.

Now the only pending thing is the documentation for the visa. Without it we cannot travel, and we cannot start to process the shipment through customs. We have 30 days of free storage offered by the moving company, but we would rather spend this time with our shipment on the way to Guayaquil (port of entry in Ecuador), rather than having it sit in storage.

We ask for your prayers through this process. The document that was missing was not ready, as had been promised, last Friday, and we were given a delay for having it for another week.

We are exploring a few other options to see if we can get the document any time earlier or accelerate the process for issuing the visa in the passport. Please pray, that we find the best solution to this problem. We really need to start our trip over to Quito due to our kids schooling needs, since the school year already started.

We are confident in God's promise:

"But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard" (Isa. 52:12, NIV)

At the same time we believe that our God is the owner of time and space and He oversees over all earthly authority. We trust that in His time, He will move things around so that we are able to leave in peace, and tranquility, leaving the things pertaining the current assignment solved, and being ready to take on the new responsibilities.

Thank you for supporting us with your intercession!