Goodbye house, goodbye community…

This past Saturday, Dale and I took four car loads of stuff over to the new house. Also during the week we made three more trips.  You don’t think you have a lot of stuff until you have to move!  But today is our actual moving day. The day when we move our furniture and other random odds and ends out of the home we have been blessed to live in for more than five years. But since our two boys are in Canada and it’s just the three of us now, we no longer need such a large home. We’ve made a lot of wonderful memories here. Our kids have spent their teen years here. It’s the longest we’ve lived in any house.

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This home has been a huge blessing. I  love this house and I will miss it. A lot. I will list the many things I will miss. However, I was thinking of all the things I won’t miss about living in this location. I could only think of four and most are traffic related.

  1. The noise of the traffic when I am trying to sleep. Elisa has said however, that the noise lulls her to sleep.
  2. Getting out of the driveway is a pain and very stressful at times. It’s a busy road and cars come around the corner super fast. You have to watch three directions…left, right and infront of you, and get across the road while trying to get the gate to shut with the tempormental remote. We have had many close calls.
  3. When walking our dog after dinner, it is really difficult to cross the road to get into the community across from us and back again because there is so much traffic.
  4. I don’t mind people going through my garbage. It’s a normal occurance here, and I am used to it. If someone needs something I am tossing out…I’m cool with that. By all means, please take it if you can use it/sell it. However, what I don’t like is when someones sorts through the garbage and tosses what they don’t want on the ground, outside the bin. That happens often.

What I am going to miss about living here.

  1. My neighbours. We have been blessed with great neighbours that we get along well with. And we all have schnauzers so that doesn’t hurt. Four houses =7 schnauzers.
  2. Monte Verde…the community with the mountainous view that I walk in across the road. I almost get emotional when I think of this one. Over the last five years I have gotten to know so many wonderful people who live there. I have loved talking with them and getting to know them. I’ve been sharing with some of them that we are moving out of the neighborhood and have had goodbye hugs and surpisingly there have been a few tears.  One lady kept saying to my dog in her broken english..”Goodbye Abby….Goodbye.”  I’ll miss the guards who work there, and the sweet, and lame guard dog Ranger who always limps his way over for a pat.  It will be weird when they are no longer a part of my everyday life, my routine. 

  3.  Sitting on our balcony. Enjoying the spectacular view. Fireworks at random times throughout the year. Devotions in the morning. Sleeping on the balcony on Christmas Eve. Church services in the distance. The sound of their worship carries and at times. And then there is the odd concert at the stadium that we can hear from this home. 

  4.  The fruit truck down the street I will miss walking to. The fresh fruit that is so delicious and not badly priced… pineapples for a little over a dollar and creamy avocados that are about three for a dollar. However, I’ll never forget  the one time Ben walked down there and they tried charging him the equivalent of four dollars for one mango! He asked the man if that was the gringo price and the guy just grinned.
  5. Walking to the pulperia whenever I run out of eggs or something else. ( They sell pretty much everything…even mascara!) I have enjoyed being able to purchase just one egg for 3lps if that is all I need. I’ll miss the women who work there too. Like a lot. They have always been so kind and honest and nice to talk with. I remember one time they owed Dale 3 lps in change and Dale walked away with out it. That’s only about fifteen cents. The next time I was there they took 3 lps off what I was buying. “Because I am an honest woman” she explained.
  6. I will miss our landlords. God truly blessed us in this area who a couple who have been amazing. Sweet and gracious. We felt a bond with them from the first time we met them, seeing as they had been to Stratford Ontario…the last place we lived in before moving here. We consider them friends.

There are many things I will miss and it is going to be hard to leave these things  that have been such a part of my daily life here behind.  At the same time, I am looking forward to making new memories in the new place and a new community to settle into.

A tale of two houses

For the last few weeks we have been packing and selling some of our things and giving other stuff away. We are moving. We are still going to be in the same city but on the other side of it. Closer to where we work. Closer to the team house/office. (A three minute drive!) And close to the airport. However, we are not going to the house we originally thought we were going to.

 

There is a neighbourhood in the city called Portal del Bosque that we had wanted to be in. It is safe. We know a number of other missionaries that live there and we even found a house on the same street as at least two other missionary families! I was looking forward to walking with some of the ladies I know who live there. It was difficult to find much of anything in that area within our budget but the landlord of this house agreed to come down in price a little. It was a house a third of the size of the house we have lived in since moving here more than five years ago. But we were ok with that because we wanted to downsize anyway. It didn’t have the view that was so important to Dale, but it did have a nice sized back yard, perfect for the dog, and it had a fire pit! Compromise.

We could easily see ourselves living there even though it was so much smaller than what we are used to. With two of our kids now in Canada we no longer need the spacious home we have now. I was picturing in my mind how I would arrange my kitchen in the limited cupboard space and what dishes would I need to part with or make do without.
Yet it seemed every time we were to sign the contract, something kept coming up. The landlord there kept asking for one more document, one more thing, one more hoop to jump through or so it seemed. We’d be all prepared to sign when something would inevitably come up. It was frustrating. I remember one night telling Dale that I didn’t think we were going to get that house. It was just a feeling in my gut, a sense that for whatever reason the owner of the house didn’t want us to have it, and we would not be moving there. Even though he or she had not even met us and even though we were going to be finally signing the contract in two days. I didn’t think it would actually happen because something always came up. It was down to the last minute…as we had to be out of here the end of the month.

 

However, we had been praying that if this house in Portal del Bosque was not for us, that God would find another house for us. We later found out in chatting with our current landlady here (whom we have been so blessed with) that the owner there was apprehensive to rent to us because we were North American and he/she had only ever rented to Hondurans.
It was a few minutes after learning this information, that our real estate agent friend called. She seemed excited and wanted us to see another house the next day. (Sunday). We were to sign on the house in Portal del Bosque on Monday! Sunday morning rolled around and we met up with Jackie and we drove to a new house in a newer area, just around the corner from the Schools of Hope team house.  We loved it! We noticed how the neighbourhood was also very secure and there are not a lot of neighbours, so it sort of felt like country living. The best part….it had a view…something Dale has wanted all along and something he was sacrificing to move to the other house. And I love the kitchen! While it is still much smaller than the house we’ve always lived in since moving to Honduras, it is larger than the one at Portal del Bosque, and the same price. Ironically, we actually would have room for some of the stuff we sold. But we are ok with less stuff anyway, so it’s all good.  We signed the contract  a couple days later and move in officially in less than a week. However this morning we are going to be taking a few loads of smaller stuff over in our car…ministry stuff, some kitchen things etc. The furniture will go on Thursday.
So all along God had another plan different than ours…and his plan is always better than ours and always right on time.

 

 

 

The accident and the delays.

I originally wrote this for We are his daughters but have added a little because some things have transpired since I first wrote it. So, I guess this is the extended version. 🙂

A few days ago, Dale and I had a rather busy day of running around and doing errands. For some reason doing errands takes way longer than what you would normally anticipate here in Honduras. Our first errand was at the bank, where we needed a letter, (constancia) stating how long we have had our bank account here for the house we are going to be moving to. That alone took an hour and a half. Then we had to go to Elisa’s school, the team house and we had a few other things to accomplish.
Finally after being away from home since early that morning we made our way home a little after 3 in the afternoon. Suddenly Dale exclaimed, “Oh my goodness! That truck!” I turned and looked out his window in time to see a transport truck speeding, and evidently coming right at us. But at that moment he veered to the left and sailed over the median and into the oncoming traffic. The truck hit a man on a motorbike who went flying through the air and crumbled like a rag doll on the ground before it landed in the ditch on the other side. It was horrific. I don’t know that I will ever be able to shake the memory of that day from my mind. (Since then Dale and I have been a little more on edge while in traffic. I catch myself bracing myself a lot.)
We pulled over, as did a lot of other people. All of us were in a state of shock. I couldn’t stop crying. Dale was trembling. The paper said it was mechanical failure. The breaks had failed. Two people died that day, and it is a miracle that more people were not killed. It’s a busy highway and realistically more cars or busses should have been in the path of that truck. But  Praise God, they weren’t.
Another thing is….a few seconds more and it could have been Dale and I that were taken out. He was so close to us. But at the last moment the truck flew over the median. We were going around a curve in the road and there was no way the truck could have made it. At one point Dale looked at me and said, “That could have been us.” And it’s so true. We clearly saw the Lord’s protection in that moment. It was a very close call.I am and always will be thankful for his protection and his hand upon our lives that day.
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and salvation—so why should I be afraid. The Lord is my fortress protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
We never know when our time will come. Things can happen so fast. In the blink of an eye, things can suddenly change. Unexpected things can and do happen. Certain events can change the course of our lives. Only God knows the number of our days, and when he will say our time on earth is done. It’s so important to be ready, to know where we are going should our time on earth come to a sudden and unexpected end.
A few of days ago, we were driving back from the school we were teaching at. We had not left immediately because some of our staff had stopped by to chat, so we lingered outside the school for a little while. Eventually we left and were on our way back home. We had our translator Dannyel to drop off and then our friend Rossy who teaches the Semillitas course. However There was major traffic. No one seemed to be moving. We had heard earlier that there would be paros that day and sure enough. In the distance we could see the black smoke billowing ahead and all traffic was being prevented from getting through. Some university students were protesting again by burning tires. Cars were being re-routed.

Eventually we were on our way and dropped Dannyel off, only to be held up again in more traffic. We were not able to get through to drop Rossy off at the usual drop off place. It was so stressful because we were all tired and all any of us wanted to do was to get home but we couldn’t because of all the hold ups and sitting in traffic not moving for so long.

Sometimes things happen that are out of our control. Happens a lot here.

We thought it was another protest, because often times they can be spread throughout the city, but yet we later read in the paper that a bus driver had been gunned down by someone getting onto the bus. Because of that, they shut the street down and were not letting anyone through. However had traffic been moving along at the normal pace, or if we had left the school right away instead of stopping to talk, maybe we would have heard the gun shots and been caught in the chaos and fear that must have ensued. God knew that, and while being stuck in traffic and not going anywhere is not fun and something that is super annoying, very often there is a reason.  Maybe it’s construction, maybe it’s an accident, or maybe it’s a protest, or maybe something else is going down. And maybe we will never know what that reason is.  For none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

And as my friend Linda commented on my status one day; maybe when we get to heaven God will show us how many times his hand diverted danger from our path.
James 4:14 How do you know that your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.