Wednesday 17 August 2016

Travelling to Romania

Hi friends,

In case you missed it, we posted a video update on our YouTube channel featuring a farewell message from us, as well as some of the highlights from our last week in Canada. If you haven't already, check it out below and subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you don't miss any of our video updates!

In other news...

We made it!! Last night was our first night at PDF and our second in Romania. We arrived Monday night in Bucharest and we stayed at a hotel by the airport before making the 3-hour journey to PDF the next morning. It's a little funny to us that we left Canada only a couple of days ago - we feel like so much has happened since then!

Our flights were good; the kids enjoyed flying for the most part and they only had one small meltdown each (not at the same time, thankfully), which we thought was pretty good. And of course any meltdown while flying overseas can certainly be attributed almost completely to fatigue, so I'd say we did pretty well!! Our itinerary was excellent. We had only enough time in Frankfurt to eat a quick meal and our other layover was short too. We met some very nice fellow passengers along the way and we even got a few hours of sleep on the plane, which was unexpected.

The kids got to visit the pilots in the cockpit before our flight out of Winnipeg, which was very fun...well, for one of them.

In advance of our trip to the airport in Winnipeg we felt somewhat stressed about our luggage - we were only allowed 1 checked bag each, and each bag had to be 50 pounds or less. This seemed like an impossibility, and in an effort to be prepared with clothes for all seasons we ended up with 9 big suitcases, 2 of Jerry's guitars, and several carry-on bags including Jerry's djembe drum. We figured that based on Air Canada's policies we'd have to pay somewhere in the neighbourhood of $750 for all these extra bags and the extra weight. Somehow, and we're still not quite sure how, our final bill for 12 checked bags (including the djembe, which we were dreading the idea of carrying on the plane with us) was only $100!!! We walked away from the luggage counter shaking our heads in disbelief and praising God for His provision, yet again.

Of course, any trip overseas isn't without its challenges and there were a few minor mishaps along the way: our stroller was damaged on our transatlantic flight and 2 of our checked bags were lost for a few days. Thankfully our lost bags were one of Jerry's guitars and one of our car seats, so at least we had clothes to wear for our first few days here. And both of these items arrived safely at PDF this morning. Because the drive to PDF from Bucharest is about 3 hours, we weren't comfortable with Miriam riding the whole way without a car seat so we purchased a good toddler/preschooler booster seat at Carrefour in Bucharest (a discount department store here) for 240 lei (about 80 Canadian dollars) which she used for the trip. It was a minor expense that the airline may even reimburse for us, so instead of grumbling about what was lost we decided to take the opportunity to be thankful for all our bags that DID make it to Bucharest with us and, more importantly, that God brought the 4 of us here safely.

And not only that, He provided wonderful friends to meet us at the airport! It was a total surprise that Manu and Felicia Ionescu showed up to greet us at the airport in Bucharest, just to make sure everything was okay and that we had all the help we needed. We are so thankful for the Ionescu family and how kind they have already been to us, and we're very much looking forward to moving in with them next week for our cultural immersion time (more on that later!).

We stayed at the Hotel Angelo near the airport in Bucharest after we landed and we had a great experience there once again. We stayed there in 2013 when we were here visiting PDF and so it was an obvious choice. It's such a great hotel - it's very clean with updated rooms and a nice restaurant with a delicious breakfast buffet. And the staff speak English, which is very helpful when you're sleep deprived and barely speak Romanian on a good day. We'd definitely recommend staying there if you're ever in Bucharest.

Here's a short video update of our travel journey to Romania. Feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don't miss any other video updates we post!

Well folks, that's all we have for today. Our first days at PDF have been great, and full of great moments that we can't wait to share with you, including a tour of what will be our home here. We are excited to share it all with you, so please stay tuned to the blog, to our Facebook group, and to our YouTube channel for more updates soon!

In the meantime, please pray for us and our time here. We've shared some prayer requests below.

Prayer Requests:

-  Please continue to pray for Jerry's back. He struggled with back issues for several years but he hasn't had any back pain in over 5 years. His back pain returned a few weeks ago and he continues to struggle with pain off and on.

- Please pray for our truck to sell. We had to leave Canada without the truck being sold and we need to sell the truck before buying a vehicle here. We're already feeling a bit trapped without a vehicle of our own since PDF is so remote, so please pray the truck sells soon!

- Please pray for our financial support situation! We are still in need of monthly supporters to help us meet our financial support goal and we're still about $600-$1000/month short.

- Please pray for our financial situation, specifically with regards to paying taxes and preparing for the financial changes and added costs that come with living in another country, that God would prepare us for these changes and help us making sound decisions.

- Please pray for students to sign up for the bible school at PDF this spring! There are already 3 students who are very interested in attending, and we can't run the bible school with fewer than 10 students so we're trusting God to bring the students He wants to participate in the program.

- Please pray for continued protection for our children as we travel and adjust to a new place, and for how they're coping emotionally with all the change in their lives.

- Please pray for the visa process to go smoothly. Romania requires far more paperwork than other countries in the EU and navigating this as a foreigner can be quite challenging.

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Of course, we are still in need of monthly financial support and one-time donations. All information on how to donate is HERE.



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