So we're home. It was a long trip. The girls were perfect on the plane. A little hard to handle on the ground - all the pent-up energy I guess.
After a tearful goodbye to "our girls", dropping the keys at the Frog Center, the car service drove us to the airport and then the fun really began. We had 4 boxes, 4 suitcases, Kevin's guitar, the diaper bag, two backpacks, three carry-ons and Katie's car seat. Oy!!! We had 4 guys pushing our stuff to the check-in! Out of the 9 items we checked in we were charged for 7 of them ($1100). Kevin's guitar ended up being an overage charge ($200), but it was still cheaper than shipping it FedEx or DHL (the only services available in SA). So not too bad.
We headed to our gate, but not before security checks, then a bag search before getting on the bus that took us to the plane.
We flew from Cape Town to Dakar, Senegal. That was an 8 hour flight. Arrived at 3:30am (SA time) and had to go through another security check even though we did not get off. There was a refuel, crew change, restock and security check. Two hours later we were airborne. Then just over 8 hours to JFK in NY. A queue through customs, then we had to reclaim our luggage!!! WHAT? Yea, we were like, "how are we going to do this?" Well there are guys there to help (for a fee). But we claimed our 8 pieces of luggage, then went through a second security check, then loaded our bags back on the conveor belt to be reloaded onto the plane. We had a three hour overlay in NY. We actually met a family that was from South Africa there on vacation! Too funny. They were from Johannesburg, north east of Cape Town. Then we boarded our last flight to Miami.
We caught a good wind because we landed 30 minutes early. Got our luggage and my sister Melinda and Joe and Jescel showed up to help us get everything home. Such a blessing!!!
So we divided everything between their two vehicles and headed home. I have to say that when my sister started driving, I was a little freaked out. She was driving on the wrong side of the road!!! LOLOLOL!!! I didn't realized how accustom I got to the driving rules in South Africa! It looked weird even though I knew it wasn't wrong.
So 31 hours and over $6000 later we're home. Family is glad we're here and in the end, we're glad we're here. We will miss all the kids we worked with, especially our girls. We know that God has a purpose for us and we will follow His lead. If 9 months in South Africa is all He required of us, then that's what we have to have faith in. We committed to 3 years and made the necessary adjustments in the face of the obstacles to fulfill that commitment. The Lord, who knows all, had other plans for us. Maybe He just wanted to see what we were will to do. Maybe there will be political difficulties in the coming months as SA is about to have an election in March. Maybe we'll never know this side of heaven. But we can stand before our Lord and say we did all we could, we were willing to serve out our commitment no matter what, and we continue to say, "here am I, send me."
Only God knows.
We'll be living with my parents for the next few months until our renters find another place or April 1st which ever comes first. Luckily they have a spare room that will fit us nicely.
We still don't know if Kevin will get his job back with AT&T. We've been in contact with an organization that works with military kids. Another organization contacted us about working on college campuses, and a church has offered Kevin a position as youth director (it would be bi-vocational).
So God is already providing options, we just have to rely on Him to know which is the right one. We're knocking on the doors and we'll see which one He opens. All we can do is trust in Him, because He is faithful and He is trustworthy. We are blessed by the opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior in South Africa. We're blessed not just for the fruit God blessed us with, but seeing Him change the lives of those who now call Him Lord. We are blessed by the seeds that has been planted and will rejoice in the harvest. That is what we are focusing on because that is the only sure thing and our purpose for us going in the first place. All the rest is laid at the throne of our King and He will sort it out.
So thank you for your encouragement, support, prayers and love. Thank you to those few who took the time to love on us during our time in Mitchells Plain and thanks to all of you who are excited about us being home again. We will keep you informed with the plans God has for us, for we know that are for good and not for harm. They are plans for hope and a future and we know God keeps His promises. So until the next adventure...