The last three days have been the longest of both mine and Jamie's entire lives. It has been nothing less than a journey and an adventure. After saying so many bittersweet goodbyes on Sunday the 20th, Jamie and I set out on the open road Monday morning at 6:00 am with a truck full of everything we own and maps directing us to Miami. The first 4 hours or so started out rough because of torrential rain. If anyone has been in a rental truck, you definitely understand how uncomfortable the ride is, and we endured almost 24 hours in that truck. We avoided Atlanta because we didn't want to get stuck in traffic, especially with a truck. So we took some interstates through the mountains of N. Carolina and as soon as we got in the mountains we saw black clouds and sure enough the torrential downpour began again. It rained for a solid 4 hours or so, to the point where visibility in the truck was very bad. Through the ups and downs of the mountains and all of the curvy roads, it was definitely stressful. Also we were trying to get on the phone with our rental truck company because they had double charged us for our rental. With all of this chaos going on, Jamie and I began to rebuke the enemy in the name of Jesus and asked the Lord to take away the rain. Lo and behold, as we rounded the very next mountainous turn, we saw an incredible contrast of black and white in the sky. The road was headed directly towards sunlight breaking through the clouds and behind us was utter darkness. PRAISE THE LORD.
Thankfully we were able to stop at a hotel that night in Georgia and were able to get some rest despite some serious sanitary problems in our hotel room. : / Tuesday morning began at 6:00 am once again. Tired and weary already, we made our way to the shipping warehouse to drop off our cargo. We arrived at the warehouse around 1:00 pm and it was chaos at first, they waved us in to go park our truck and of course there was no where to park. After a few minutes someone left and we were able to pull into their spot. We then proceeded to wait in line for about 30 minutes or so to just see what we were supposed to do. The guy was helpful but he said they were understaffed and could not help us unload our stuff and help us palletize it and wrap it. So they gave us pallets, shrink-wrap, and some tape and then let us have at it! Unfortunately for us, Jamie weighs about 100 pounds and could maybe lift 5% of all our boxes and furniture. So after a long three hours of intense work we were able to unload the entire truck and palletize it all. Seven pallets in all and we were finished. Hopefully the shipment will take about two weeks to get here to St. Kitts.
Okay, so it's hard to keep track of everything that happened but after that we checked into our hotel, went to eat at a Cici's Pizza for our last meal in the states, and returned the rental truck. Once again, Wednesday morning began early at 6:30 am. We took the shuttle the hotel provided to the airport and got checked in just fine. We made it to our gate very early and had plenty of time to wait. About 30 minutes before we were supposed to board at 10:30, an announcement came on saying that their was on going maintenance on the plane and to expect a half hour delay. After the half hour was up they apparently could not get the plane fixed so we had to change gates all the way at the other end of the American Airlines terminal. When we got to the other gate they began boarding and finally we were on the plane and ready to take off, or so we thought... About 10 minutes after sitting down, the pilot came on and told us that a live bullet had been found outside of our plane by the baggage loader. So they proceeded to unload all of our bags and they had to be re-screened as a precaution. An hour and a half later and we finally were ready to take off. We arrived in St. Kitts around 5:50 pm St. Kitts time. Just when we thought we had finally made it, the enemy decided to make one last huge effort to keep us from getting here. We were told that we would be able to get in to the country by telling them that were beginning to work with the Ministry of Homeland Security to get our visas and we are here to do missions work. The woman who was our customs agent was really difficult to work with to say the least. She was telling us that since we aren't legal residents yet, that we needed a return ticket to the states because we are only allowed to stay 30 days as a visitor. We tried and Brandon also tried explaining to her that we are going to be hopefully getting our visas within those 30 days but she was not having it even one bit. So Brandon was downstairs trying to get tickets for us when he saw a girl named Chantel who comes to Bible Study and also lives down the street from the Grayson's. She works for American Airlines and helped him print out some random tickets that were supposed to return to the states in a month or so. We gave these to the customs woman and she finally stamped our passports and let us go. So after all that we finally got all of our bags and headed to the Grayson's house where Bible Study was just about to start. It was a sweet time to just finally sit at the Lord's feet and worship Him and dig into the Word. Even when our minds were restless and the whole trip had been utter chaos, God was there the whole time, challenging us with the question of "Do you still trust Me?" We understand that all of the trials we endured the past few days were all a ploy from the enemy because he doesn't want us to be here. Usually when this happens it is because God wants to do an amazing work. Pray that we would not get in the way of this plan but God would be able to use Jamie and I and the Grayson family to carry out this awesome work He has for St. Kitts. Thank you all so much for your prayers, you have no idea how much we appreciate it! Happy Thanksgiving!