Saturday, August 31, 2013

One year

"What have we gotten ourselves into?"  That has been the question we've often asked ourselves over the past year.  And at times we're still not sure!  But it has officially been one year that we've lived in Venezuela.  At times it feels like it's been longer while other times it seems unimaginable that we've been here that long.
Within days of arriving, they're enjoying the riding toys
Some interesting numbers from the past year:
14 - the number of flights we've been on for visa trips
4 - the number of visa trips we've had to take to remain in the country legally
6 - the number of Americans we've had to say good-bye to
5 - the number of student retreats we've had
2 - the number of staff conferences
36 - the number of weeks of pre-school with Noah & Leah
16 - the approximate number of peanut butters we've gone through
1 - the number of new interns we have from last year
11 - the number of years since we started dating (it was 8/31/02)
47 - the number of students who came to our national student conference in March
16 - the number of students who committed to coming on summer project to Panama next month
1 - the number of doctor visits (Leah had a UTI)
3 - the number of times we've been to the zoo
15 - the number of pieces of luggage we brought with us
2 - the number of presidential elections while we've been here
300% - the value of the dollar versus when we arrived

The oh so many times we played in the rain
-Countless times to the amusement park, McDonalds, Burger King and pizza places
-Countless hours in staff meetings, Bible studies and prayer
-Countless tears shed for the difficulty of life in being here, for our marriage, our family, our team, the students and many others
-Countless emails to friends and family, Skype dates with loved ones and facebook connections
They just downright love the buses here,
especially when they get their own seat
0 - the number of hospital visits, so no major health issues
0 - the number of times we've been robbed
0 - the number of times anything dangerous has happened to the team
2 - the number of apartments we've lived in (praise the Lord we found housing!!)
Countless protests and marches as a result of the political situation here, but we've remained safe through it all

It feels so difficult to sum up the past year.  It's been hard.  It's been good.  It's been discouraging at times.  It's been really exciting at times.  This is such a roller coaster we're on.  I think when we look back over the past year, we're just really grateful.  We're grateful that our marriage hasn't fallen apart.  We're grateful that our kids are doing well.  We're incredibly grateful for really good health while we've been here.  We're grateful for the relationships we have as a result of being here.  There is just so much to be grateful for.
Waiting for Papa as he leaves for campus
so we can wave goodbye out the window

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