Thursday, December 25, 2014

Home Alone...

Home Alone…I must say it was a dreaded thought. Christmas without my family…Not just my immediate family, but any member of blood relative…Never in my life have I been without family on Christmas. It sounds like the makings of a depressing season. Not so fast…
Some of you may have heard that Teri lost her father a few days ago. In a mad dash to get her home, we decided that the best option was to try to get Kayle and Emma on the plane with her. We heard the news of Teri’s father on early Thursday morning. It proved to be a long day.
In Peru, as residents, one parent cannot just take kids out of the country without a very formal process of paperwork. It was not an easy task, but I started the process as soon as the notary office opened up. We had some friends manage the café for a bit which allowed Teri and I to get a good start.
It was late morning when we heard the news about the documents…There was a 24 hour process that needed to be done before we could have the proper documents. Back track a bit…While I was at the notary, Teri was reserving tickets. Last minute tickets for the three girls about killed us. Add the holiday price hike and we were in for a hefty surprise.
With tickets reserved and Teri ready to head out, we heard the bad news. There is always a certain amount of risk as one lives in Peru. You can go to 5 qualified people and all will have a different answer. However, we had some friends that ran into the same situation and even with the right papers, there were troubles. Teri was not going to wait.
She took the paperwork that we had (about ½ complete), and she booked the tickets based on what the notary lady told us (She thought that Teri would be able to get through immigration). We felt like it was a calculated risk that we needed to take.
The tickets she had booked were 1400 per person. Times that by three and we were out there on a limb if it didn’t work out. Teri would find out if the paperwork was enough when she tried to board the flight to Los Angeles from Lima.
We managed to get everything done and get the girls to the airport just in time. I gave out a batch of hugs and kisses and said goodbye for the time being. It was a bit stressful, but once they passed through security, Teri was on her own with the girls. My plan was to travel a few days later which would give me some time to prepare the café and MotoMission for my departure.
The worst possible time to have problems with flights would be this one…I kept getting texts from Teri telling me the situation as they sat on the runway waiting for visibility to increase. Teri advised me that the airport law does not allow for planes to leave after 7:45. She had been receiving warnings and information from the pilot. As I was getting the play by play, I received the last text at 7:42 from Teri saying I THINK THIS IS IT.
A few seconds later I heard an airplane taking off through the Cusco Valley. She was off. I got another text when she landed in Lima.
The next step would be to go through immigration. She went through the normal channels as they worked their way through the airport. The worst possible time to have an issue would be at this point. Within seconds, Teri found herself getting a borage of questions about her traveling with the girls and not being accompanied by me. I was not there, but I got the story from Teri. I didn’t get all the details, but it may have involved crying. The police asked a ton of questions and I think they even gave the girls a bit of interrogation to make sure there was not funny business going on. Somehow, they got through. Keep counting the miracles!
Next obstacle was Los Angeles. Once they arrived, they were notified that their connecting flight to San Francisco was cancelled. Through an onslaught of different reroutes and flight changes, it appeared there was no chance of getting home on Friday. The airlines offered to put them up in a hotel, but that would not allow the opportunity to be with her mother who had just lost her husband of over 3 decades.
They were on every standby list that one could imagine. Finally, a seat came free and Teri sent our 15 year old daughter Kayle on ahead. She made arrangements for pick up in Sacramento CA. Teri and Emma sat there waiting for the standby call. They got it. However, it was only for one of them. They ended up giving it up as Teri couldn’t split up from Emma.
Eventually, they got a confirmed flight that night. It was a late one, but it got them to the destination. It was not without its many challenges.
Teri and the girls have been in the US for a couple of days now. My plan is to fly out on Sunday to join up with them in California. I must say the timing of this has been difficult. I have never in my entire life spent a Christmas without family. I made the most of it, but I am about to go crazy here. I can’t wait to see my family in a few days. For now, I would appreciate your prayers for Teri and her siblings and family. I can’t imagine the difficult process of losing a parent. She could use your prayers for sure. As for me, pray that I can catch all of my flights and make it without too many problems.
Also, the financial part of the equation was not a planned expense. We will have about $5000 of airfare cost that just came out of our normal expenses. As faith based volunteer missionaries, that cost is a large percentage of our annual income.  I know that God will provide some way. In this case, I would ask any of you that would like to support us with this need, to please consider. Some of you have already chipped in, and we are so thankful for your assistance.
If you would like to join in helping us cover this need, you can contact our mission organization at Any part that you can do would be so helpful.
Thanks again for the constant support that many of you have provided to our family and ministry. Each month we are blessed to receive the shared financial blessing that so many of you have provided for our family. It’s a great partnership, and we are honored to be on the team.
From our family to yours, we wish you the most amazing Christmas ever. May the Peace of God fill your life with comfort for the following year.
The Englund Family
Scott, Teri, Kayle, and Emma

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