May 26, 2006

Through Caracas airport security and headed home

To say the least, there is a lot to catch up on. But first...the team is all well and we are waiting for the second leg of today's journey that will get us back on US soil. This morning started early (6AM) with a trip from our hotel to catch a Venezuelan air carrier flight from Porta La Cruz to Caracas. Everyone made it through immigration just fine. With a lonnnng layover here, the team is buzy in the secured areas of the airport doing some shopping and seeking food.

We have a short layover in Miami. By the time we get through customs, there may be little time for any more updates today. If all goes as planned, we should be back in Nashville at the regularly scheduled flight time (10PM, I think).

There are still unpublished stories waiting to hit the journal...including stories on why the flow of information slowed to a halt earlier this week.

Oh, by the way... parents: The darker skinned children getting off the plane in Nashville really are yours!
See ya'll soon!

May 20, 2006

Flexibility in the schedule

Printed schedules on mission trips just need a new name...they are really more like moving targets or outlines. Opportunities arise and you take advantage of those opportunities. Arrangements change and you simply adjust to what is coming up next. It is what makes a mission trip an adventure.

Yesterday evening was one of those "arrangement change" times. We were scheduled to go to a park located near one of the Baptist missions. Our driver (and my self-claimed, private Spanish teacher), Roberto, knowing that there were some less-than-friendly activites going on in the area, drove the route we would have taken and called to say that we shouldn't come. It happens. If you've been keeping up with any recent news about Venezuela then you understand that there is a shopping list of political, economic, and social issues that are troublesome. Last night, some of those issues got in the way. Our friends and hosts here have been exceptionally cautious to keep us safe and secure...and we are grateful to all of them.

Continue reading "Flexibility in the schedule" »

May 15, 2006

Arrival in Maturin

We all arrived safely (and a few hours ahead of schedule) in Maturin, Venezuela. The team is settling into their rooms at the moment and will head out on the town for a nice meal in just a few minutes. There will be more, later, but for now I just wanted everyone to know that everyone and all of the baggage is here.

Verrrrrry Early Monday Morning at Nashville Airport

group_lg.jpgThere are always new things that team members learn on mission trips. From the sleepy-eyed looks on many of our faces, the first thing that some of our team learned on this trip is that there is a second, rarely seen, time when the hour hand of the clock reaches the four! We will spare you the yawning pictures.

Everyone made it to the airport. The team circled B-Dub (Betty Wiseman) for a few final instructions followed by a time of prayer. Deb busied herself getting signatures on meal allowance receipts. New luggage tags are in place. Passports are in-hand. We're hoping that boarding passes have us assigned to long-legged seating positions. The ritual of dis-assembling and re-assembling oneself at ariport security is over. We are at the American Airlines gate in plenty of time to get a team picture and scavenge the concourse for stale breakfast foods. Whew! As many times as we do this, the first real sigh of relief comes now; knowing that a year's worth of planning and preparation are over and it is time to put wings on those plans.

The next time that you hear from us, we will be in Venezuela. We know that Paul and Shelley, our missionary host familiy, have a full schedule planned for the you may not hear from us immediately. However, just as soon as there is a break in the travel activity and Internet access is available, we'll give our families, friends, and prayer partners a shot at the second real sigh of relief: a safe arrival story. Until then, we covet your prayers and are incredibly thankful for your support of this mission.
God bless!,
Betty, Debbie, Paul, and the student team