WE have a girl who has her passport and her visa and an invitation to study for 2 years in St Louis! I want to thank Andrea Durall and her husband for the invitation and I would like to thank Jake and Rachael, who walked Mary through the paperwork that is involved in getting a visa. We are super excited that she is going to have this wonderful opportunity. A lot of prayers went into this process. I am so thankful to God how it came all together.
When we went to the embassy last week, I knew I had to leave my cell phone outside, because of new rules of security procedures adopted by the embassy, however we had a few crazy things going on back at the ranch. When you don't have your phone, you have to rely on prayer only. I had prayer only.
WE left the day before, to get some errands run before our embassy/immigration visit. We had all of Mary's documents for the visa and my documents to renew my residency card and were packed up and ready to go. If I have a residency card, I don't have to leave every three months and I don't have to have a return tickets to the States. My return can be to Honduras. My card had not expired yet, but I didn't want to pay the 100 dollar fine upon my return, and have to purchase another return ticket. I had the tires changed on our little Nissan the day before and it was driving so much better. I stopped the day of the trip to get the blinker lights fixed and the tail lights fixed at the electricians, got the car fueled up and all the levels check, which took up the whole morning. While I was at the electrician's, I mentioned to him that when I would go to start the car, there was a delay in the switch and then I would have to crank it again. He told me that would have to be for another day.
The plan was to pick up Mary's mom and that was going really well, until we realized Mary's mom wasn't going to get out exactly early like we had hoped. It is the law in the US embassy that Mary couldn't leave the country without Mary's mom being present at the embassy for her visa interview. So I was feeling confident, with my new tires and electrical stuff fixed, and all our paperwork. I felt prepared. Feeling extremely organizes, I felt I could be very generous with my time and pick up the girls who were working on a project with tomatoes, that they have to do for school. Instead of carrying this huge load of tomatoes on the bus, I picked them up and drove them back to the farm. I figured we have plenty of time. So I gave the High School girls a ride home with their cumbersome basket of tomatoes.
I picked up the girls, the tomatoes and I remembered I needed to sign some checks when I returned to the farm. As I drove up to the gate the car shut off. I could't get it to crank again. I looked under the hood of the car, and wiggled one of the cables from the battery and it fell off in my hand. I guess that was going to be for that "other day" that the electrician was talking about. So now we had to unload the NIssan of the girls, tomatoes, luggage, official papers, etc. and put them in the HILUX, that was not ready to go. It has been raining and it was extremely muddy. It was making a noise since the last little mechanical disaster. I was waiting for Mr. Joe to arrive so he could check on it. So now I am am short on time, but I can still make it. My plan was to be in a hotel room in Tegucigalpa before night.
WE jump in the big truck, and off we go. I had to go by the Texaco gas station and get diesel and get the levels checked and now it is 4:00 p.m. When I get out of the truck to pay the bill, I noticed the spare isn't in the truck. I call the farm. The tire was taken out of the truck on the 15th when we marched for Independence Day and our truck was the float. So I asked Katrina, our intern for the month of September to meet us in Yamaranguila with the tire. She has been a trooper driving the girls where ever they needed to go. The day laborer from the farm put the tire in the back of the back seat on the SUV where it was hard to get it back out. My hands were black and I was sweaty wrestling that tire from the Patrol. Then I noticed the smell of gasoline. I look under the car and Mary shows me that it is leaking. I told them to call Don Jacobal and his son to come and try to fix it at the farm. I prayed for Rosa and Katrina to arrive safely. I prayed the Hilux would get us to Tegucigalpa and back safely. WE leave to go back to La Esperanza, but now I am running late. WE asked Mary's mom to meet us in the road instead of picking her up at her work. I made a call to my friend Sandi Burgess, who has a ministry in Comayagua called Enlaces, or Bridge Ministries. I asked her if we could spend the night because I don't like to drive in Tegucigalpa at night. The Hilux has tinted windows and I can't see anything at night. So we spent the night there. I woke up at about 2 a.m. and finally got to sleep at 4 a.m. however that is when Mary's mom usually gets up to get her shower. I was up. So Sandy made us coffee and we were off again.
Sandy told us to take the by-pass, but there was some landslides and so instead of getting off of the bi-pass before rush hour, we were right in the traffic. It was stop and go traffic, more stopping than going. I was trying to make our appointment at the US embassy. I was thinking to hail a cab and put Mary and her mother in the cab so they would be on time, when I get a phone call. Mary was answering the calls in the back seat, because it is illegal to talk or text while driving. I hear screaming on the other end of the phone. I asked "Who in the world is screaming???". "The pregnant girl", Rosa, my faithful assistant said on the other line. She is in labor, back at the farm. This young girl, who had just turned 15 years old a few days prior to arriving at the farm is 5 months pregnant. She was placed at PTC prior to our departure to the capital with her 9 year old sister by DINAF, the new children service division. She is a sweet girl, but because of the pregnancy, she has a lot of food dislikes. She doesn't like to drink water, and she only likes cokes and flavored bottles of faux orange juice. I told her after we went to the OB/GYN, that she was going to have to drink more water and eat more than just beans and tortillas. People in rural areas, don't drink the contaminated water and so they get used to drinking these sodas and drinks and a lot of coffee. Because she had not been drinking water, she went into a condition of premature labor. So if you remember the NIssan wasn't working. The Patrol had a gas leak from the fuel line of the gas tank. The girls that go to the bi- lingual school were leaving that morning in the bus, the NPR's battery is dead and so we have no transport for the screaming pregnant girl. While I was stuck in traffic, I had plenty of time to pray. Our calls kept dropping. I talked to the girl to tell her premature pains were normal and got her to breathe with me to get her relaxed. The call dropped. Then I got them back on the line and told Stephani to go with Rosa and tell the older girls to settle down and not keep talking about her losing the baby out loud. (WE KNOW DRAMA AT PTC) When I finally got a phone call to land, I told Rosa to call anybody local and asked them to come pick them up. All of our regulars were not anywhere close, but thankfully God provided a driver. They carried her to the hospital. Dr. John Tucher a missionary from La Esperanza, who is helping us from time to time, is an OB/GYN called and he told them to get some water into her. She calmed off when they finally got to the hospital. They hooked her up to IV's and she was better.
Meantime, we get to the embassy, and I am trying to talk with Rosa, and so Mary and her mom go inside the embassy, and I am getting them breakfast and talking to Rosa. I lock my phone up in the car and go inside the embassy. They go through my bag and pull out my book I was going to read and a usb plug and usb jumpdrive. They tell me I can't come in with these Items, or the food. So I carry everything back to lock it up in the car. We wait 2 hours and Mary just lacked on paper, but it looked good that she would get the visa. So we jumped in the truck and took the bi-pass, that I swore earlier in the day, that I would never go on again, and went to immigration to get my residency card renewed.
I got to the immigration in record time and liked our drive on the bi-pass. I left Mary and her mom in the Hilux in the underground parking at the Mall. I get into the immigration office and they process my paperwork punch a hole in my old card, put it in my file and say for me to wait for my name to be called for my new card. I am just praising God that it is going so well. Then, I get a wave to the front. They said I need another paper. I asked them which one might that be. They wanted another document from our board in HOnduras. I asked the supervisor, who was in charge, and clearly she hadn't eaten lunch or had just returned from a reunion of "Furious Anonymous". She was clearly upset with me, for my shoddy gatherings of paperwork and she wanted a paper on another letter head. I asked her how I could make this right, when she turned to walk away, and then she gave me some instructions to call my lawyer, and she would tell her what was needed thoroughly bothered with me. I was leaving in 2 days at this point and my old residency card had a hole punched through it and would not scan. So I raced over and Mary brought me my stamp for the ministry from the car. I told her and her mom to be praying. I got a SKM letterhead and went to a secretarial service in the Mall and had them do a couple of things of copy and pasting, hoping that the lady would accept one of them. I called Rosa to send me a fax. I raced back over a busy street from the Mall and presented my new copy, praying the whole way that God would give me favor, because I knew none of these efforts is what the lady asked for. I arrived and the serious minded supervisor, all of a sudden, changed her countenance and looked happy to see me, and said "This will be fine. We don't need this other documents" and smiled and gave me my card. I was thinking, "What in the world happened to her?". Then it hit me that God must have hit her with happiness. I received the favor I needed and jumped into the car and headed back to the farm.
I was so sleepy. I prayed that God would get us home safely. I did fall asleep at the wheel at one point and almost clipped a gray car on a mountain road. I scared me so bad, I was wide awake then. WE arrived safe and sound at the hospital in La Esperanza. I was prepared to stay with the pregnant girl at the hospital,because Rosa had been there all day. I figured as tired as I was, I could sleep anywhere, but they said I couldn't stay. So Rosa, who had been waiting outside in the waiting room all day, got into the car with us and we bought our little 15 year old, bottles of water, fruits and a enchilada.
God has been so wonderful this month with us. Prayer does work. We have had people to help us there at the farm, at the school, at the hospital, on the road traveling, with our legal stuff, and even now Mr. Joe Reynolds is there with our girls so I could come home to be at my daughter's wedding. I am so incredibly thankful, for Rosa and Lina, Anastacia, Mr. Joe, Mr. Jake and Rachael, Miss Katrina and Ken, Kelsey, Sandi, and a whole host of people, who kept watch over our girls while I am not there. Thanks to Randy and Rich for getting our container here and all the people who contributed items that were inside. Thanks to Deron, Gabe and Dan from Crosspointe Church for visiting us this month. I thank JC and Jonathon for helping with my transportation in the States this month. I thank all of you for your great support and all the prayers that you send our way. Blessings to all of you in the extreme from the Praying Without Ceasing Honduran MOM.