Friday, March 17, 2017

Our Return to Mibu!

We made it into Mibu! The last week has been more than a whirlwind of travel and working out logistics to get here! We are reminded of the many things we take for granted, like power, and communication, and water and food. Our thankfulness for the goodness of our Creator as he bestows these things on us for our sustenance is renewed as we come back to Mibu and find things 'challenging'. Yet the big picture is still that we have what is needed, even if not in the most convenient state as we've grown used to in the US.

As the helicopter descended we saw many of our friends that we've missed so much this last year! They were all there at the landing pad waiting for us to arrive! It was so fun to see them again and catch up at least a little bit on what's been going on in their lives!

The day we flew in there were three families, plus supplies, trying to get in. And with our family having been gone for a year, we had quite a few supplies to get us started again! In addition, our pilots were needing to get people from a nearby Finisterre Vision ministry out to town. Getting it all in on that day was going to be a long shot, but we were thankful to see it all happen despite the questionable weather.

We hit the ground running, working very full days to get our house back in order so we can live and serve effectively here in Mibu. Leaving a house in the middle of the jungle for a year means coming back to much mold and mildew, dust, ants and cockroaches, a non-working solar system, and internet that wasn't working.

Each day we focused on the highest priority projects, working through each room of the house with bleach and bug spray in hand. Each storage area and surface had to be cleaned out and then things organized and put where they belong.

We came back to batteries that would no longer store power. We've now installed just a single, low capacity battery, which means that we are going to be consuming power as minimally in the next few months as possible, just to get by. In the process of checking and troubleshooting, and also trying to get our systems back in place and working, we came across many of our devices that no longer work, adding more to the workload; fixing things needed to fix other things! Whew! It's amazing what you can fix (and how you can fix it) when you can't just go to the store to buy another! We also had to move our fridge and freezer down to the office where there is more reliable power, and also install some lower wattage light fixtures in the house so as not to use up too much of what little power we have.

It's been a challenge to keep in front of the laundry. A year of storage in the bush makes for a lot of mildew. In addition, the first night back in our own bed made for a feast for the residents we've tried for years to keep at bay… bedbugs. So all bedding, curtains, anything fabric had to be washed in vinegar, detergent, and with a healthy dose of permethrin to kill the little itch inducing beasts. We also did a thorough cleaning of our room and were sure to add bug spray to each nook and cranny of our wooden bed frame. We've not had any bites since!

Regarding our vsat internet system, it too was not working. Chris and I spent much time troubleshooting, replacing and fixing parts, trying to get it to work, but to no avail. Additionally, the nearest cell tower from which Chris is able to get a weak signal at his house, has been vandalized and is no longer working. We also saw that our radio antenna was destroyed by a falling tree branch and has been strung back up, hanging by a thread. With this barely working means we were able to slowly work out a solution to get our communications system back up. It involved bringing in a technician from Christian Radio Mission Fellowship with spare parts and vsat savvy. But Lucas, the tech, was able to get things up and running again thankfully! Turns out our coax cable was corroded by moisture, we had a faulty LAN connection on the modem, and the modem had not been updated in so long that it would no longer connect to the satellite system. For now, we have a loaner modem while our old one gets repaired. By the time all was fixed the clouds had socked us in and both Mike, our pilot, and Lucas were stuck for the night sleeping in our still messy house.

Meanwhile, our friend, Dave and his son, Caleb, who were visiting with our co-workers offered to help with some projects around our house. Never having a shortage of stuff that needs to get done, we took them up on their offer and they used what window screen we could scrounge up and replaced the window screens on about half of our house. This was a big deal because the window screens here fill up with mold and mildew. The spores then blow through the house and spread causing all kinds of symptoms of irritation and allergies. Cleaning the screens no longer does much good as they're quite old. So replacing the worst offenders for now has made a huge difference!

Coming back to all these urgent matters has made it difficult to spend the time catching up with friends like we'd like to. Hopefully very soon we can get these boots back on the ground, and refresh our relationships with our friends and brothers and sisters here in Mibu.

We're looking forward to having one more week together with our coworkers, the Walkers, before they head back to town. They'll be going on furlough in a few months so we're basically just crossing paths here. Hopefully we can get caught up on the many things that have happened this last year and keep the momentum going.

Oh and one more thing, we're looking to start back up with homeschooling after the Walkers leave. It's always hard to get the momentum going when not having done it for the last few weeks. Plus everyone's in a state of transition still so that adds to the challenge. We'd appreciate your prayers regarding this please!

Thank you so much to all who are praying for us and supporting us with your finances! We're so grateful to be back and ready to serve the maturing church here in Mibu. We hope you'll be encouraged by all that God continues to do here!

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