You all might think I am a complete nut job. I already post a blog about my photos, I have my Random Thoughts by Pastor Deb blog and now this. I know I can't possibly be this interesting. Here is my reasoning though.
For those of you that don't know, Brian and I plan on retiring in March of 2019 and moving to Guatemala. We are not going as missionaries but we do believe that God is leading us in this early retirement and there is work for Him that needs to be done. This coming March we will be spending time before and after the official mission trip on our own time doing recon of sorts. We have already consulted with our financial planners and the retirement benefits rep at General Motors. We are not going into this blindly. We have a spreadsheet put together with a number of things we need to find out for monthly cost as well as additional expenditures.
Let's go back to the beginning for those of you that have no clue. I have enjoyed mission trips since my very first trip in May of 2007. Brian and I went to Venezuela on that trip only months after the death of our daughter, Kaitlyn. Then in August of that same year, Brian went to Columbia. In August of 2009, I went to Kenya and then Brian again went on a trip in 2011, this was his first trip to Guatemala. The stage had been set. We were short term missionaries. I have to backtrack briefly here. I fell absolutely in love with Kenya. I often say that if I had not been married, I may not have come home. That being said, let me fast forward, Brian was overwhelmed by San Marcos, Guatemala and the Canica Orphanage. He was insistent that I join him. He had just gotten back that March but he was ready to take me back on the October trip. That meant canceling our cruise and getting the deposit back so that we could afford this trip. At first, I just didn't get it, what was he so in love with? But God is so faithful and he opened my heart to the children of Canica, especially the older girls that also worked at the orphanage. I did now realize it at the time, but God's love was opening my heart for daughters to enter my life here on this earth while my daughter smiled down from Heaven. From that very first trip of Brian's he has been talking about moving to Guatemala. After our trip together, we both could see that happening "someday" in our future. So for the last 7 years we have been going to Guatemala one and sometimes twice a year and talking about moving or retiring there. Early in 2017 we met with some friends who had moved there and stayed for a year. We needed to really make a decision and stop all this idle talk. Either we do this and make concrete plans or we need to shut up...LOL They presented us with the best question and what should have been the most obvious question. "Have you prayed about it" The reality was, very little and never together. A week later, we started praying together about this huge step in our lives. We asked God not only to answer our prayers but to make it abundantly clear to us. We didn't want a hint or a nudge, we wanted a wide open door or we wanted it slammed shut in our faces. Ever since we have been praying together about this life decision and God has been faithful. He just keeps opening doors and lighting our path and that path lead to San Marcos, Guatemala.
Since those first few mission trips, I have been blessed to go on many more to many more places. Every one of those places, Honduras, Panama, Mexico and the Dominican Republic are all places that have merely been preparation for my move. Even the trip this year to Puerto Rico is to prepare. You see all of these countries are Spanish speaking countries and cultures. I am being forced or coerced to learn and obtain knowledge and comfort in a different culture. I love it by the way.
Wow, I am long winded. All of this background to explain to you, why another blog and why it is included in my Photo Journey page. I want to practice sharing our experiences with you. When we move, we don't want to lose touch or contact. We want to bring you with us. We want you to see why we love this place and these people and these children. We want you to know we are doing well. We want to invite you into our home. We want you to see how important it is to follow where God leads you. This page seemed like the best place as I will be posting videos and photos along the way. I don't want to just talk about it, I want you to see the journey.
So a couple of times a week you may see updates on the things we are doing here in the states in 2018 to prepare us for our ultimate move as we retire for God in Guatemala in 2019.