Tuesday, May 31, 2011

First post from the Southern Hemisphere!

Greetings, dear family and friends in Christ!

We are finally connected to the World Wide Web, and look forward to bringing you up to date on our journey to Peru' and our first weeks here. The Lord's tender mercies have been evident, not the least of which is the support in prayer, help, and financially, from many of you - we are grateful!

The weeks before we left were busy with packing, finalizing details of our move, getting our container. We couldn't have done it without the help of so many folks in Charlotte and at our home church, Matthews OPC! The many folks who packed, watched our kids, cooked meals, brought packing supplies, helped load boxes, haul trash and recycling, ran errands, cleaned our house, and encouraged us with farewell visits were truly the hands and feet of Christ to us and a precious gift from our Father! So many people's lives are invested in our going, and we know they go with us in prayer and through the Spirit!

We flew out of Charlotte on May 10, spent the night in Lima (we arrived at about 1:00 AM), and continued on to Arequipa the next day. When we arrived, we were welcomed and helped by the people who run the language school. Since we don't speak much Spanish and don't know where anything is or where to look for it, they took us by the hand and helped us in multiple way to get what we needed.They took us to a hotel where we spent the next five days. During that time we looked for a house (!), visited the language school and met more of our fellow students, and attended the church which many of our fellow students and teachers attend. We also visited the school which the children are attending during our stay - Rey de Reyes (King of Kings) Christian School.

We found a house on Saturday, May 14th and moved in on Monday, May 16th. The house is about 1500 sq. feet and is partially furnished which is an enormous blessing! We still needed to get beds for all of our kids, a washing machine, and a few other small items. Our friends at the language school found beds for us to borrow for all of the children, provided sheets for us to use until we could get our own, and allowed us to wash some clothes, which was fantastic....we were reaching a crisis situation with the laundry 8-). It took a little while to get all of the details wrapped up, washing machine delivered, clotheslines hung, internet on, etc, etc, etc. Things move more slowly down here and we are continuing to learn to be flexible! Last week was our first full week of school for all of us, and we are beginning to feel like a routine might be in sight ;-).

We leave the house at 7:45 AM and ride a small city bus called "la combi" from our house to the language school and the kids school, which is about half and hour away. Riding on the combi is quite an exciting start to our day! It is like a very cheap roller coaster ride, with a minimum of personal space 8-), but the kids love it, and Joseph asks every morning "Ride the big bus?!?" with excited eyes.
We drop off the four youngest at their classes at Rey de Reyes, and then we and the older boys walk to the institute. We spend the morning there in language classes - conversation class, which is one-on-one, and grammar class, which has 4-5 people. After that we head back to school to pick up the kids and ride the combi home for a late lunch and an afternoon of naps for the littles, homework for the rest of us, and housework.

All in all our adjustment has gone smoothly, but there have been difficulties and homesickness. The two youngest boys, in particular, are finding it hard to adjust to a much more bustling schedule with so much more time away from home. All of us would covet your prayers that our eyes would be fixed on Christ and His Kingdom first, even in the midst of so many changes and things that need to be attended to as we begin our lives for this short time in language school. Pray that the Lord would bless us all with quick acquisition of the Spanish language and perseverance in our schooling.

We look forward to telling you more, in words and photos, about our life down here!