Putting Ferndale and Washington State in our (literal!) rear view mirrors this July came at a cost for our family. It seemed we had just re-acclimated to being with family and friends for the ‘regular’ parts of life… such as birthday parties, soccer games, and quiet morning lattes. Leaving meant a return to scratchy phone calls, seeing a few select moments frozen in photos, and missing the smaller things “you had to be there” to experience. For us, this shift arrived in stages: our travels began with an extended family reunion in Cannon Beach, and our goodbyes continued over a few days as different people departed on their respective paths.
Packing and moving were also difficult, but – just as when we arrived Stateside last year – we had an incredible amount of help, including finding homes for our apartment’s furniture after our departure. Plenty of work remained to tire us out in the pre-move weeks, yet the subsequent week at Cannon Beach was a true gift: we left encouraged, and – if not completely rested – ready for the road ahead. Indeed, we found one prayer answered with great kindness from the Lord during our travels: with Amy needing to drive our minivan south, God granted her strength and endurance for those long road days far beyond what we had imagined. Finally arriving in El Paso, we initiated importations of our minivan and household goods, and crossed back into Mexico.
One of the first things we noticed in-country was how much green surrounded us! Driving south from El Paso is always prettiest in August, when sandy vistas temporarily fill with plant life springing forth from summer rains… but this year, the desert truly seems to bloom. The reason why became apparent as we started settling in to our new home: over several weeks we grew accustomed to heavy cloud formations, distant flashes of lighting, and evening rainfall. We have always enjoyed the relative fertility of late summer in Chihuahua, but this year’s notably abundant greenery has been a particular blessing as we leave the Pacific Northwest behind.
Against this surprisingly Seattle-like backdrop, we have had plenty to do! After unpacking our truck, we acquired basic furniture and appliances beyond what we bought from our house’s previous renters. Next, we returned to El Paso for the load our minivan carried from Washington – that vehicle had to arrive empty in Mexico when imported. Unloading again, we then cleaned the mold-impacted belongings our coworkers had kindly brought us from Las Moras. We set up utilities, made a few in-house repairs, and addressed pressing government paperwork: importing and insuring our minivan was followed by registering both vehicles, renewing our older kids’ permanent residency visas, and establishing proof of residency.
Though several projects still lie ahead, we are grateful to have finished the most pressing priorities kick-started by our arrival. We are enjoying both reconnecting with old friends and meeting missionaries who arrived since we last lived here. Our kids are thriving in the MK school, doing well and relishing its social opportunities. Additionally, I have started my work as the field’s IT Coordinator and am enjoying the early days in that role (more on that in our next update!).
It is true that leaving Washington comes at a cost, yet we have also found returning to Chihuahua a different kind of homecoming – and not just because of all the rain! Living here has already blessed us… and as we continue settling in to life and ministry in this context, we are so thankful for God’s continued outpouring of kindness into our lives. As He has done with rain in the surrounding desert, God is refreshing us yet again – and we look forward to seeing what He brings about next.
- Our kids’ MK school is lacking a second and third grade teacher, and they are looking for immediate help! Please click here to read the school’s SOS flyer, and pass the word on to anyone who might consider assisting!
- Moving back to Mexico has been very expensive. Travel costs, importation fees, appliances/furnishings, and government paperwork all hit at once… and our budget cannot cover it all. Anyone potentially interested in helping can click here for more detail about this outstanding shortage.
- For a successful transition from Ferndale back to Chihuahua – the work accomplished, safe travels… and in particular, the Lord upholding Amy during four straight days of driving!
- That we are so ‘at home’ right away in Chihuahua, settling in and reconnecting well as we begin ministry here. Also: for an encouraging start as the field’s IT Coordinator.
- For consistent and faithful financial support during our US medical leave… though we could not communicate as well as we prefer, God provided for us through all of our faithful partners.
How to Pray:
- As we get into the groove of ministry in Chihuahua, a few settling-in projects still remain (Mexican passports, furniture needs, et cetera). Pray they are resolved quickly and easily.
- We are in the process of working through a couple challenging interpersonal disagreements – please pray with us for healthy resolution which honors and glorifies the Lord.
- Health issues continue to affect each member our family. Pray in particular for Amy’s sleep needs, our kids’ ongoing stomach pain, and the impact of past stress on us going forward.