This week has been one to "catch up" on so many things - from housekeeping to paperwork. Duane and I had an appointment yesterday with our lawyer about Grace's adoption. Although she is officially ours, when we received her paperwork, they had incorrectly written her name as "Grace Ficker Ficker". Now, having Ficker as a last name is bad enough but to have it twice was a little too much! Plus, and more importantly, it would raise all kinds of questions when we apply for her travel visa at the US Embassy. So for the last 6 months we have been working on this paperwork only to find out yesterday that it has been filed incorrectly not once but 3 times. And we wonder why it always takes so long to accomplish anything here. We are thankful though for a lawyer of integrity who perseveres through this unbelievably complicated maze of paperwork. Abi's adoption is still in progress.
March 6 -We have been asked by the mayor of Uspantan to help out in a village called Unilla. It is not far from San Pedro where we go monthly and is about a 3-4 hour walk from the nearest road. Duane flew out there Tuesday for the first time. Unlike the US, none of these airstrips are on a map nor is there any information about their condition, so he likes to "check them out" personally without passengers. This runway (a narrow grass strip) didn't look safe enough to land on so he flew to another one which was close by. The villagers were expecting him and could see that he landed on the other side of the river so they canoed over to meet him. Below are pictures of this canoe which was a very long, hollowed out log, a man using the canoe to cross the river, and a sign outside of the clinic we will be working from. The river was deep and the current swift. The man who navigated however was an expert and easily poled until his pole no longer touched bottom and then paddled until they landed exactly where he wanted them to go. Duane was met by close to a hundred men and children who led him to the "clinic" where we will work for the first time on the 19th of this month. Unilla itself is fairly large for that area with about 500 people right there and other smaller villages surrounding with an estimated population of around 5,000. We will plan to go for 2 days, show the Jesus film in Kek'chi at night, and see patients during the day. Please begin to pray with us for open hearts to receive the good news of Jesus, pray for safe traveling, and health for the villagers and for our team as well. These trips require a tremendous amount of planning and organization and financial provision. But nothing is more important than the prayer that takes place beforehand. Without the hand of God upon them, they are nothing but 'good works'.