We have arrived in Quito, Ecuador!!
After a whirlwind of activity over the past months, we have landed to open arms and a warm welcome from our new friends in Quito, Ecuador. Tuesday morning started out very early (especially after the late night as we continued to find room for those last minute items) as Brad amazingly managed to somehow pack 9 suitcases, 3 backpacks, 2 briefcases, 3 heavy carry on bags, and one guitar into my brother Joel’s Expedition. We must have looked like the clown car as six of us piled out at the Minneapolis airport, along with all of our items. We only had to redistribute two suitcases a few times at the check-in counter to achieve the desired weight of 50lbs per bag…with the exception of one suitcase at 52.5 lbs which (God bless American Airlines) they graciously allowed us to pass through. God’s hand was upon us as our second bags were miraculously passed through with no additional charge.
Our flights to Chicago and Miami went quite smoothly, but, due to a late start out of Chicago, our connection time was greatly reduced in Miami. Our kids were amazing as they trucked through the Miami airport with backpacks loaded full, and everyone having an extra bag to lug around as well (two were full of books and resources, so you can imagine the weight!). We made our connecting flight and somehow managed to still get Jacob’s guitar onboard, despite being almost the last people to board. We flew smoothly into Quito, and were greeted by Lois Wells and Toby Travis, both from Alliance Academy International, the Christian school we are partnering with. As it gets dark in Quito by around 6:30-7, our kids were not able to see much on the hour ride back to the school dorm, which is our home for the next few weeks. However, Wednesday morning arrived bright and sunny, and Brad and I were up early to meet the faculty and staff at AAI and couldn’t have been more eager to have that first cup of coffee.
Wednesday was filled with meeting the administration and new arrivals at AAI, starting the visa process with Helga, obtaining internet and school email addresses, realizing our old cell phones are not global compatible so we need to get new ones to use, a quick trip to the grocery store, a walk to the bakery to get pan (bread), and a wonderful welcome dinner with Bill and Ellen Evans and their son, Jimmy.
Our dorm arrangements are fantastic…we will be living here the next few weeks to do business in the city before moving out to Calacali… the kids have a room with three beds and a bathroom, and we are across the hall with a bed and bathroom as well. We’ve obviously made ourselves at home as is evident from the clutter already starting to accumulate…
The new dorm parents, Will and Ashley, who arrived to Quito Sunday night for their first experience here as well, have already become friends and we are sharing cooking and laundry facilities and are about to share our dinner meal this evening – leftover lasagna from last night and ramen noodles for the kiddos. 🙂 We are safely tucked in the walls of the school campus, with guards at both entrances, excited to have internet access and anxious to share more details of our path as it continues to be revealed.
Today was a fun-filled explore Ecuador day, but is a post in itself as it demands a few pictures. We truly appreciate all the prayers that have been sent up for us – we have felt them along the way and we know it has helped us feel connected to all of you through Christ!
God’s Word has been our guiding path, and Psalm 27:1 has been on my heart as of late…it was my dad’s favorite verse, and it resonates with me strongly these days:
The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
We are venturing forth in faith, not fear, and we know the path will not be easy. But, our eyes are turned towards him who gives all power and strength through his name. We trust in this wholly.
Feeling blessed with his presence…