Saturday, April 28, 2007

James' First Marathon

Well, he has done it!

James finished his first marathon at 11:31 a.m. eastern time! He completed the 26.2 mile run in 4:01:59. I was so proud of him as he ran across the second street bridge in Louisville, KY (mile 24).
So many people were walking up the hill but James just kept trucking!

They started the run at Iroquoios Park which was filled with hills, many more than he expected. At mile 9 he entered Churchhill Downs and ran the inner loop while race horses practiced for the Derby on the outer loop. He then ran through the University of Louisville campus and then turned east.
While James was working hard, we took a donut break at Krispy Kreme. Ummmm good! Hot fresh, melt in your mouth donuts!

The kids and I drove around the city following James with our friends, Josh and Gretchen. We had lots of fun figuring out the city and God always got us to the next spot just in time to see James. The last place we went to watch James was the Second St. Bridge that goes over the Ohio River, connecting Kentucky and Indiana. We got to take lots of pictures and the kids even ran with daddy for a bit of the race. Hannah tried to climb the bridge!

The last mile was the hardest. The route took you down 3 city blocks for the last mile. Not seeing the finish line was difficult at that point. But...
James finished well. When he turned 30 he decided to start running again and soon became interested running a marathon. In less than one year he has accomplished his goal.

Praise the Lord! For in ALL things, "May He have the PREEMINENCE"!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Things are Coming Together!

On Wednesday we were able to ship the last of our books to Brazil! Yeah!! Five more boxes and approx. 260 lbs. We spent the rest of the week focusing on packing the rest of our household items and we have gotten a lot of it done. We are so excited as we see so many things coming together.

We found out a little about our language school and wanted to update you on that. We will be going through an official language school in Curitiba where they will teach me in the classroom and then take me out on the bus to the market, and let me practice what I have learned. I am so excited to have such a hands-on approach to learning. It sounds very practical and we are blessed to have such qualified teachers. James will be taking a test that will give them an idea of what he needs to brush up on. Class starts in August.

At this point we are still waiting on our passports. We expect them any day. Once we have our passports we will go to the consulate and turn in all of our paperwork. In order to apply for visas we have to have a date in mind for entry into the country. We are currently shooting for the week of June 18th. Less than two months away!!

Keep PRAYING! We wouldn't be here without the prayers of all of you! THANK-YOU!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ready with Boxes and Packing Tape!

We have really started packing now! On Friday James and I made our first shipment to BRAZIL! We shipped 8 boxes, approximately 350 lbs of books. We spent several days last week sorting through what we really want to send. We were able to donate the extra books to our home church library.

Moving to a foreign country has turned out to be an interesting experience. Usually missionaries will send their belongings in a container. Everything is packed and put on a ship to Brazil. Containers usually cost between $2,500 - $4,000 from port to port. Once the container is in port in Brazil the customs official have to clear it before it can be sent to your home city. What often happens though is the customs officials know you payed top dollar to send your possessions, so they tack on an extra fee, often more than $1,000, to release it from customs. They know you will pay because you have already invested so much in the container. We would like to avoid a container!

Shipping books turns out to be the easy part. Not only are they the easiest things to pack, since they stack so nicley in a box, but they are fairly cheap. The post office has a wonderful thing called 'M' bags.
'M' bags are for books or media. You pack your books in boxes and then take them to the post office where you put them in large white bags. You can put up to 66 lbs per bag. It cost a little more than $1 per pound. Our 8 boxes will arrive at James' parent's house in 2-3 months. They are on the SLOW boat to Brazil!

We don't have any furniture or large appliances so we have been looking to ship our household items in boxes. We leave near a large airport with a big shipping center so one day we walked into the warehouse and started asking questions. We learned there is a section in the yellow pages called "freight forwarders" and so we started calling and doing price comparisons.

Have you heard of of Freight Forwarders?

After a few calls we decided we need to get all of our boxes packed and know exactly how many pounds we will be shipping before we can really know what it will cost to ship our boxes. We'll let you know. It looks to take about a month for our boxes to get to Brazil. One other intersting piece of information: We learned from one freight forwarder that we need to "declare"all of our stuff to the Brazilian consulate. They will give us a form of some sort that will allow us to get our boxes once they arrive.

It's definetly more intersting than moving across the USA! Pray that we will have wisdom and find a good, inexpensive freight forwarder.

Visa update: We are expecting to receive our passports by the end of this week. We are also waiting on a couple of documents from BMM. We hoping to apply for our visas this month.

Support update: We are at 85% of our support. We currently need around $700 of committed monthly support.