This week’s post represents something of a departure from previous weeks’ entries (including last week’s chuckle-inducing contribution from guest-star Amanda – alas she reliably informs me that her contract stipulates she only has to blog when I’m on sermon duty) in that we have nothing lost or, indeed, found to report. Really sorry about that, peeps. I did leave my car key in the ignition overnight with the door locked, but if that were deemed newsworthy, there’d have probably been around 57 posts on that theme by now.
No, the only keys we’re concerned about these days are those for our new house, which grinds ever closer to completion. With Amanda’s uni room-mate Shona Blatch coming to see us in a couple of weekends’ time, we had a tentative aim of moving next weekend. Not entirely sure if that will be possible any more, with the house still lacking an entry gate, ceiling fans and a few other small, but essential, features. That said, we’re hopeful we can be in before Shona gets here, even if that means moving during the working week – the house is just three blocks from where we live just now, meaning a big weekend effort is not essential.
With that date in mind, we made a few trips into town this week to make some key purchases, with a guest-bed occupying top spot on the wish-list. No Ikea here, folks – wood here is of high quality but pricey, so it’ll probably take us a few years to properly kit out the whole house.
While in town, we also submitted our permanent residency visa application, an essential item because: a) it allows us to leave the country at any time for up to two years per exit (as opposed to the total of three months over two years we have currently), crucial with our furlough year in 2014 on the horizon; and b) it significantly reduces the pace of male hair-greying, as long hours which could be spent doing important things like watching ESPN will no longer be wasted sitting in immigration offices where there is every chance the staff could be botching up the paperwork anyway and as a result will require you to return a few weeks later and endure the same process all over again.
That said, the lady who dealt with our application on Monday seemed very nice. Her name was Veronica.
The school year properly kicked off this week and I spent an encouraging few hours teaching at the local secondary school, where I also taught R.E. last year. In 2012, with the three oldest classes, we worked through a textbook on the gospel of John and many children from all three classes came to faith in Christ during the year. Now, over the summer holidays, schools here have a pretty high turnover rate as parents are keen to move their kids to institutes they might have heard are a little better than where they currently attend, meaning the make-up of the year-groups can be vastly different from year to year. That doesn’t seem to have happened to anything like the same extent this time. And so, in the upper two year-groups I’m teaching probably around 80% of the students I had last year – and many of those, of course, became Christians in 2012. I now have a chance to move into discipleship territory and that’s exciting, particularly as the vast majority of the students haven’t yet been able to start attending our church.
Work is picking up again, the sun is shining, all keys/wallets are present and correct. Cannae complain.
- Please remember the aforementioned visa submission in your prayers. It’s theoretically about a three-week turnaround, a lot quicker than before, however, as ever, all of the key documents are sent by post to La Paz in the process – including our passports. Yikes!
- During the week we put an ad in the local paper for our two, still unsold, plots of land. Pray that God would direct the eyes we need to that little square of information.
- Craig is teaching on The Prodigal Son tonight at the youth group, always a text so rich in truth, yet potentially challenging as many of our youth struggle to even comprehend the concept of a loving father. Pray for wisdom.
- For the encouragement of this week’s R.E. classes.
- For the semi-confirmation of another visitor in the next few months, Carluci Dos Santos, LAM Canada executive director who, God-willing, will arrive in Trinidad for a short visit on the 2nd of May, just a few days after Craig’s parents’ departure. With Amanda’s mum scheduled to come down in September, we’ll probably have at least four visits from friends/family members this year. Visits are always an immense source of encouragement.
¡Que Dios les bendiga!
Craig & Amanda