Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What we'll miss

This will probably be our last entry until we get to El Salvador. The packing for all intents and purposes is done. The house is getting bare, as we are also packing many of our pictures, knick knacks and other items that made our home, ours.

This brings me to a question many have asked us… what we are doing with our house?

We are very fortunate that our children will take care of our home for us. Our son, Phillip, daughter, Denise and her daughter, Madison already live with us. Our other daughter, Cheryl, and our son-in-law, David will move in when we leave. The siblings, son-in-law and grandchild living under the same roof will be quite the experience for them.  It has sitcom written all over it, let’s all hope and pray they feel that way 6 months from now J.  All kidding aside it is a huge relief to be leaving our house in their hands.  We’ll also leave our car for them to use. It helps them out and it gives us peace of mind knowing loved ones are watching over and enjoying the gifts God has given to us.

We have also had other questions about missing our lifestyle, our culture, the language, clean and hot water. That’s all part of what we consider the adventure and challenge.  I’ll tell you what’s caused the deepest struggle and heart ache; we already miss our children and grandchildren.

The last few days have been very difficult as I’ve had to leave rooms and excuse myself so I can go and collect myself because I’ve emotionally become overcome. I thought I had this under control and well thought out but apparently as the time dwindles the feelings grow stronger and I misjudged that. Fortunately we live in a technological age that will allow us to see and speak with our family from El Salvador. It’s not like Mission work of 200 years ago when you truly left your family behind but right now that doesn’t provide much solace. This too shall pass. Once we leave in two weeks, I’m sure we will be so excited and challenged by our new friends and surroundings, the feelings of heart ache will pass.

For Those We Love.

Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to thy never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come; knowing that thou art doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.




Tom & Dianne

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ramblings of preparing missionaries

Saint Expiditus AKA Saint Elpidius, Patron saint against procratination

We’re still ironing out details with less than a month to go. Things get hectic but we get something done every day. There's no time for procrastination.

 The required vaccinations are almost done, one more round of rabies and we’ll be done. There are a lot of dogs in El Salvador and few have shots. Being na├»ve, it’s easy to want to pet a cute dog but rabies is no joke, it would end the mission and pose serious health risk fast. The rabies shot doesn’t give immunity but buys you time to get more vaccine in case it’s not readily available. 

We’ve made lots of progress packing, we have lists of lists. I’m a list person; Dianne is a person who puts up with list people like me. Armed with the lists we’ve started to pack. We estimate that we will both have a carryon, a personal item and then check 3 bags each. 1 piece of luggage and 2 plastic totes each. FYI, plastic totes aren’t always allowed on flights, check with the Airlines 1st. During certain times of year there are tote embargoes, why? I have no clue but we ran into this when we travelled in Aug 2012. Luckily the airlines recognized that I was about to have a conniption fit and they very graciously gave us a very large piece of luggage to swap the tote with, conniption averted

Luckily a friend reminded us about international driving permits. Finding out that as an American I can’t just drive wherever I want, at a heavily armed Salvadoran checkpoint would qualify as a bad thing. They are very easy to get at Triple A. Bring your current license, $15, have a passport picture taken, fill out a form and you too can drive internationally. It was an international treaty in 1949 signed by numerous nations that allows this. El Salvador never signed the treaty but they do honor the permits. Stay tuned, that could be another blog entry depending on the accuracy of that statement.

So we’re making good headway but Oh yeah, that’s just pragmatic planning. What about the Mission!? It’s the pragmatic planning that causes the stress, angst and concerns. We’ve found that the best boost for our spirits and energy is thinking about our friends in El Salvador, the children we’ll be working with and a new life of learning. Not often do we start from scratch learning a new culture, language, and spiritual view point. It’s a great opportunity to grow as humans and children of God.
Tom & Dianne