Happy Birthday Jim!
Trip Start Jun 14, 2007
27Trip End Aug 04, 2007
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Having lived 2500 years ago Lao-tzu didn't know that a journey of 1000 miles actually begins with a a delay. Of course, that is because of the modern convenience of not having to walk the 1000 miles! Due to our plane arriving late from Barcelona and Bogota's laws to keep air noise out of the city after 10 p.m. by using only one runway, our flight took off about an hour late. The flight was long, the night short. Our first attempt to sleep while traveling was a success in as far as we all got 3 seats on the 767 to lay down in and didn't even realize they were serving a meal (who wants to eat at 11:30 p.m. anyway), but there simply weren't enough hours to sleep before arriving in foggy Santiago.
David and Ruth Ann Rodgers and David Jones had an even shorter night, each driving an hour from the south and north respectively to meet our 4 a.m. arrival. David Jones took most of our luggage to his house and the Rodgers took us to theirs (we'd packed accordingly). The temperature was a brisk 32 and the fog was dense as we drove over beautiful freeways to Rancagua. When we arrived the electric blanket was clicked on making the bed even more inviting and we had another hour nap before breakfast.
After running some errands we took off for a tour of the surrounding area, including actually touching some snow, seeing many snow covered peaks and investigating a copper mine slough. Jim stuck his hand in the sulfuric mixture and still has all his fingers! The fog burned off and the sky was clear blue--an absolutely gorgeous day! We also walked around a former monastary built over hotsprings that is now a tourist attraction.
I had brought along all the collected birthday cards for Jim to open today, thinking they'd wake us for breakfast and I could give them to him then. In retrospect, I'm glad there wasn't breakfast on the plane, but that meant I completely forgot it was his birthday until we returned from our tour. Jim opened his cards before lunch and the Rodgers gave him a giant chilean chocolate bar. Good thing we had the family celebration last Sunday at home while Daniel and Abby were there!
Tonight is the first meeting of the trip. The Rodgers sent an invitation out to several surrounding assemblies to hear about the ECS courses. The Emmaus name is known here and respected, but there has been no one who has the vision and time to commit to the ministry. Please pray that God would move in the heart of the person He has prepared if an office--or offices--is to be opened in this long, thin country.
** Note for American, Canadian, Australian and Mexican travelers to Chile: there is a reciprocal entry tax (in other words, getting back at us for our nations' visa costs). For Americans it is $100US each; Canadians $125US (I believe); Australians about $85US and Mexicans $10. Thankfully we had been warned about this before hand. The visa is good for the life of your passport.