Well, tomorrow we leave around 5:00am for Aruba. One of the things we have to do here is take visa trips every 90 days. Technically we're not allowed to be in the country for more than 90 days at a time unless we figure out a way to get a longer-term visa. It is something our family is looking into though so we don't have to kill our bank account every 3 months. But there is something refreshing about getting to leave for a bit and reconnect with each other (and in this case, be in a culture where more people speak English).
The best thing about Aruba though is that my (Melissa) parents are coming to visit us there. And we were able to use a timeshare in which we will have a 3 bedroom place. One room for the kids, one for my parents and one for us. It will be great to get to actually live with them for a few days and they get the extra time with the kids. We've been counting down the days until we get to see Grandma and Grandpa and the kids are really excited.
It has been somewhat of a challenge to help Noah understand that when we see them, we're not going to be at their house in the U.S. So we could use prayer for that. And that we all would have excited hearts to come back to Venezuela. We've never been to Aruba, but our guess is it's the type of place that would make you not want to go home to the U.S., let alone Venezuela! But I think we're trying to prepare for that and not get our expectations too high. We just want to enjoy time with the family.
This will be such a nice break after a long weekend and long week. Our national staff conference was the past 3ish days. All of the staff and stinters in the country met together and talked about life, ministry, planned some things and even celebrated Thanksgiving together. So we're all pretty tired from lots of meetings (and Thanksgiving can be tiring as well). But we are hopeful to come back and jump right back into the swing of things.
Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. I did a decent job delegating to the team so that I didn't have to cook for 19 adults and 5 kids. That was a good decision, especially since we have what I call a mini oven. The turkey barely fit. The $65 turkey. Yup, you read that right. Turkey is expensive here, but divided amongst everyone, made it not incredibly terrible. But all in all, everything tasted pretty similar and the food was really good. We even were able to find some type of sweet potatoes to throw together sweet potato casserole the morning of. I think almost everyone was grateful for that!
So as I sit here and wait for the washer to get done (sometimes I wonder why I do clothe diapers), I figured I might as well get on here and write a little update on our lives. I hope you feel connected and enjoy my ramblings. One day I'll figure out how to get Bart back on here....one day. Until then, I must go kill some mosquitos.