Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Furlough - A leave of absence or vacation

We are ready to TRAVEL!!!

We have talked about an extended trip to the States for quite some time and now it is becoming a reality! Last week our tickets were reserved. We will be flying with our 6 younger children to Dallas, Texas on July 15 and our return to Nicaragua will be September 18. Cheree is studying Graphic Design at the University of Commercial Sciences in Managua and does not have breaks between trimesters, therefore she will not be traveling with us.

So, what do the kids remember from the 3 week trip we made 6 years ago:
  • Kelsy: going to the zoo with Grandma and Grandpa (from the pictures she has seen)
  • Luke: "Pastor Craft's" church
  • Lance: eating Krystal hamburgers and riding in the car
  • Judah: seeing "my breath" in the cold air
  • John: Uncle Lloyd's, youth camp, a worship seminar and working for Mr. Iwan (John went for a 4 week visit with Earl 2 years ago)
Our planned route is over 6500 miles, +/- 500 gallons of gasoline, that will be over 110 road hours which should leave us a good 40+ days to visit friends, family and sites of interest... we are looking forward to our "visit to a foreign country". The main purpose is to take our 6 younger children on a travel / camping trip so they can better appreciate their American heritage and experience some of the enjoyable points of the United States. In the past 15 years we have traveled to the States as a family only twice and the cumulative time is 7 months.
We are preparing everything here to function smoothly while we are gone and to transition into our move to Jinotega for new ministry there when we return. The "To Do List" is lengthy, with the following being among the most crucial:
  • Passport renewals, two U.S. and a few Nicaraguan, with 9 people and four Nica among us there is always a passport that needs attention
  • Distribution of all church responsibilities, big and small, to the elders at La Fuente and their emerging leaders
  • Finishing homeschool for the year
  • Preparing the house for our two month absence and future move
  • Finalizing contacts and scheduling for our trip while in the States
There are several things we need to make this trip a success. Maybe you could help with something on the list:
  • a roadworthy vehicle for 8 passengers and limited luggage (a 12 passenger van would be nice) to use for 2 months and 7000+ miles
  • finish payment of the plane tickets - $2500
  • camping equipment for our 2 month "tour" - tents, sleeping bags, camp stove, utensils, cooler, etc. (a combination of fun and reducing lodging costs)
  • funds for travel expenses - gasoline alone is projected to be $40 a day or $2500 (at least it is cheaper there than in Nicaragua), plus food, lodging, and other
  • car seat for our growing two year old
We still need to finish paying off the last portion of the plane tickets and, above our normal monthly expenses, we will need several 1000 dollars more to make the most of this special trip with our children. If you would like to help with this dream please send your financial gifts to our World Outreach Fellowship address [checks payable to World Outreach Fellowship]...

World Outreach Fellowship
2011 West Marshall Ave.
Longview, TX 75604

...or, communicate regarding items you could loan us during this time at .

We look forward to seeing many of our friends and family as we travel... see ya soon!

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