It’s now legal for us to stay long-term in Ecuador. It’s nice to have that stress out of the way. With our tourist visa expiring and the need to be in the U.S. in October, we were a bit anxious.
When we went to apply for our visas, we went with our flight info in hand. They noted the day of our flight and no one seemed worried. That was weeks ago. A week ago, they asked for our passports so they could stamp the visa inside it.
Surrendering your passport is an odd feeling. It’s what they make criminals do. You’re stuck, with really no recourse. Someone else has it, in some obscure government building, and all you can do is hope you get it back before your flight.
Last week I talked to the nice lawyer helping us. “We leave Tuesday night,” I said. “Don’t worry,” she said, “we’ll pick it up Monday or Tuesday afternoon.” Me, “Monday?” Her, “Yes, or Tuesday… afternoon.”
And she was right. We got them at 4:00 Tuesday afternoon. And left for the airport about 7:30. I guess not as close as it could have been, but close enough for me.
Setting all that aside, September was a good month! We began finding our footing at the Quito Connection, hosting guests and connecting with our missionaries.
It’s a fascinating place to be. We’ve hosted pastors from the U.S. who are engaged with the poor around the word, missionaries coming up from the jungle to Quito for medical exams and a couple who have spent 50 years of their life in the jungle translating scripture into native languages.
This is not a 9-5 job. On Saturday, Nancy and I had a plan for our day. Go to an artesian market, find some gifts for Christmas for our family, have some lunch and enjoy “a day off.” Nancy stepped into the QC kitchen to make sure all was well with the guests having breakfast… I didn’t see her for the next two hours.
The folks just wanted to chat, unpack their lives and Nancy was there to listen. People want to talk, they want to tell their stories, they want someone to understand. It’s not rocket science, it’s just a willingness to engage.
A number of evenings we’ve hosted Reach Beyond folks in our home, catching with them and checking on their families. It’s been good to be here with them and, hopefully, offer some encouragement.
October we’ll be two weeks in our offices and two weeks on vacation. YIPPEE! Sorry, but it’s not likely you’ll hear from me. J