February 2022 Report

Two Great Faith Promise Conferences

We could easily fill up several pages just talking about the great time that we had with God’s people during our sending church’s Faith Promise Conference as well as the following week with Sublett Road MBC.

Two Attempts to Fly Out

Our return flight was supposed to be on the 15th of February but upon arriving at the airport, there was a major problem with our ticketing.  Our tickets had a 15 hour layover in Brazil which would have required us to have Brazilian visas and immigration papers and vaccines for the whole family including five year old.  As this was the return portion of our tickets we should see a refund on it within 6 weeks.  

Our second attempt was a week later going from Dallas to New York and then to Buenos Aires and then finally to Cordoba.  We had absolutely no problems until we arrived at the Argentine airline in New York.  They were having difficulties processing our paperwork and told us that we will need to speak to the Argentine Consulate.  They were at least able to pull our checked luggage off of the plane before it left for Argentina and before they all went home for the day. 

After two arduous days at the New York terminal and many flight delays and cancellations, we finally arrived back in Texas.  We are currently trying to set up a consular visit to the Houston Consulate.  Please pray that we can get updated papers from them that will show our Argentine proof of residency.

Thoughts from Stacie

Saying Good-bye

When we bought two way tickets for this furlough we purposely planned our return trip to be after our church’s Faith Promise Conference. We wanted to have that week to spend time with our church family and to say our final good-byes.

The following weekend we spent with my parents at Walnut Street Baptist Church where my dad pastors. That Monday we went to Dallas to get our Covid Tests done and all came back negative. That Tuesday afternoon we thought we were all set to fly out.

First Flight Itinerary Fell Through 

We showed up at the airport for our flight. The problem with that flight was the 15 hour layover in Brazil where we would have had to met all their Visa requirements. We had to cancel those tickets and find another flight without that long layover in Brazil. It was interesting the next day to find out that the city we would have had our layover was having major storms and mud slides.

Divine Appointments

A couple days later Scott and I were at Walmart picking up a few things we needed for our flight. The cashier asked us if we were traveling. That opened up the door for us to explain who we are and what we are doing and invite her to Walnut Street. As we were walking out another lady quickly stopped us and handed us a paper with a prayer request on it. There wasn’t much detail but she asked us to pray for James and his mother Margie. Then as we were showing our receipt to the greeter he started talking to us about church and asked us questions. We invited him to church as well. 

Second Flight Itinerary Almost Successful 
We are so grateful to the Reynolds for opening up their home to us Monday night. Sis. Kelli offered to drive us to the airport early Tuesday morning for our flight to New York. We landed at the JFK and ran to catch the flight to Argentina. Scott explained what happened there. Basically we were denied entry into Argentina until we were able to get things cleared up with the consulate.

Stuck in New York 
With around 28 suitcases counting our carry-on and bag packs we were stuck in New York. We had too much luggage and no vehicle for us to get a hotel. We also had to find a flight with 7 seats available.

Airport Slumber Party 

At least that is how Joanna felt. Joanna dubbed the terminal we spent the night in as the napping room. She later told us that she wanted to go back to the airport where she got to stay up all night and play.

I guess it is a matter of perspective. She was happy to have watched Paw Patrol on three different airplanes “even the one we didn’t fly in”, meaning the flight to Dallas that was canceled while taxiing on the runway. I would say that’s turning lemons into lemonade or rather being stuck in an airport into a slumber party.

November 2021 Report

Our passports were finished early

Thank you so much for the prayers last month about us getting our passports back on time.  All of the kids had to have their passports renewed during our short time back in the US.  The passports were all finished and came back to us almost two months earlier than they estimated!  Again thank you for your prayers!

Three Great State Meetings

One of the things that was such a great blessing to us was getting to be present for the Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas state meetings.  It felt surreal this month getting to see so many individuals that we love so much! We felt  several times that reuniting with so many friends at the  association meetiis a very small taste of what the glad reunion day in Heaven will be like when we get to reunite with our friends and loved ones that we haven’t seen in so many years.

Happy Thanksgiving

We also had a wonderful time with Stacie’s family. It’s been several years since Stacie’s whole family were all together for Thanksgiving. Not only were we able to spend time with all 7 of our own children at Stacie’s parents but also her brother’s and sister’s families came in to have Thanksgiving Dinner with us as well.

Thoughts from Stacie

Trip Down Memory Lane
We have been so many places this month as we attended three different State meetings. In between meetings we tried to throw in a few fun things as well. One of the activities we were able to attend was the annual Heritage Syrup Festival in Henderson, Texas. I have wonderful memories of attending the Syrup Festival as a child and it was fun to share those experiences with our children. Joanna was a little nervous about riding the carousel at the Henderson Depot Museum until she found out that I rode that same carousel when I was a little girl. It’s fun to relive those childhood memories through the eyes of our children.

Silver Anniversary
Scott and I were married on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1996. This year our 25th Anniversary was on a Sunday and we were honored to be guests at Longbranch Missionary Baptist Church where Dr. Ray O. Brooks still pastors at almost 99 years old. We truly enjoyed visiting with them.

That evening we headed northward to visit Scott’s family up in Michigan. That also became a trip down memory lane as 25 years ago we went North for our honeymoon. We reminisced over all the places we stopped at along the way. It was kind of fitting to start the month in the town where I grew up and end it where Scott grew up.

Bonus Pictures

Above: Elijah dreams of being a fire fighter. He enjoyed meeting a fire fighter at the Heritage Syrup Festival in Henderson, Tx. 
A special thank you to Jeremiah Mattingly for letting us ride in his 1927 Model T Ford truck!
November 2021

October 2021 Report

Mission Conference and Marriage Conference

At the beginning of the month we were able to attend MTM, (Missionary Training Ministry) in Mountain View, Arkansas.  This ministry is a great blessing to all missionaries and sending churches. 

Later in the month my wife and I were able to attend the Homebuilder marriage retreat.  This is something that we wanted to do for years but were not able to do before.  It was a great weekend to spend together away from the kids for a few days.  The kids had a lot of fun with their grandparents while we were away.

Passports Sent off for Renewal

One of the things that was on our list to finish early was the renewal of the kids’ passports.  Passports for children are only good for 5 years.  The renewal process takes between 16 and 12 weeks to renew and have back.  That is one more thing that we can cross off our list!

Oklahoma State Meeting and Time with the Churches

We were able to attend the Oklahoma state association meeting held in Vian, OK.  It was a great blessing to be able to reconnect with so many brethren that we had not seen in so long!  We are also thankful for the opportunities this month to share and fellowship with several chuches in the area!

Thoughts from Stacie

Family Time
I’ve been having a hard time keeping up with what day it is. Time is passing so quickly. Some of the plans we had for October got moved on us. While I hate to mention the “C” word, but one person at a meeting we attended early in the month had gotten sick and tested positive for Covid. So we had to change some of our travel plans just in case we had gotten too close to that individual during the meeting. Thankfully none of us got sick and we were able to enjoy the extra time with our oldest two children. Joshua and Ruth both had a day off at the same time so we were able to plan a family field trip to a Heritage Village and the Zoo. It was such a blessing to have all our children together. We also enjoyed having one Sunday that we were able to attend Church altogether as a family.

Weekend Get Away It has been at least 4 and a half years since Scott and I have been able to spend more than just a few hours together away from our children. In Argentina we weren’t comfortable leaving them all overnight much less for a weekend. So we took advantage while on furlough of having family nearby to watch our children while we got away for a much needed alone time as as a couple. The retreat really helped us step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and take a good look at our marriage and family. The end of November Scott and I will be celebrating our 25th Anniversary. I can’t think of any better way to celebrate than spending quality time together at a marriage retreat in Branson.

Bonus Pictures

October 2021

September 2021 Report

We made it safely back to the US!
Thank You for Praying!

We are very thankful for your prayers as we travelled!  We would not have made it had it not been for God’s people praying!

A Large To-Do List

We have already crossed of at least 11 important things off our list in the first week and a half of being back.  Pray for us that we will be able to find a time to rest. 

Faith Promise Conference and a Great Conversation

It was a great blessing to be invited out to West Monroe, Louisiana by Hyde Park Baptist Church for their faith promise conference.  The whole time spent there was a tremendous blessing to us.  What a blessing to have a time to be with God’s people! 

Please pray for a lady that we spoke with on our last night in West Monroe.  We were recommended a Mexican restaurant in town to eat on Sunday night.  We spoke with the waitress in Spanish and later had the opportunity to speak with the owner for at least ten minutes after our meal.  Please pray for her and her family!  Her name is Norma and her mother’s name is Rosa.  Her mother and father are in Mexico with COVID.  The concern for them was evident as we spoke.  Pray that the Lord will continue to touch her heart with the need for the Savior!

1,000 Gospel of John booklets printed

Thoughts from Stacie

Travel Preparations

So a lot actually happened in September but it feels like multiple months. Actually just the trip itself and all the airports we had to go through felt like it belongs in it’s own month but there really was a whole lot that went on besides that. The first thing we had to do was prepare to go. At the beginning of the month we had to make sure all bills we normally pay monthly were paid ahead for six months. Then we started going through our things and deciding what we were going to take and what we would leave behind. Once we had our belongings somewhat organized we then had to pull out and dust off all our suitcases from the different areas of the house where we had them stored for safe keeping. 

Then we had to determine which instruments we were going to bring and which we would leave behind. Then we had to figure out how to pack the instruments. We waited to pack the rest of our things until the Friday we had our Covid Tests done. That in itself was a fun experience. (I don’t have room in this report for all the experiences we went through to get to the United States. That will have to wait for a blog post… or two… or three.)

Covid Tests

An Argentine friend of ours that was about to travel to Europe around the same time we were recommended her friend to us that could do our required Covid Tests and get our results back the same day. They were expensive but worth the speed we were able to get the results back in. The younger three children had their throat swabbed but the rest of us had the ones that go in the nose. That was quite an experience but praise the Lord, all tests came back negative and we finally felt free to finish packing.

Crazy Travel Drama

So I’m going to have to do a blog post of all the crazy stuff that happened in order for us to leave Argentina. Getting to the first airport with all our luggage and children was quite an event. It took a trip by car to get our luggage and half the family to the airport. Then being held up at a traffic checkpoint, finally getting released with just a warning, and finally parking the car, picking up the two remaining children, and a crazy taxi ride to the airport. Then we had to fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina get off the plane, retrieve all our suitcases, find transportation to the next airport for our departure flight (Another long story in which one taxi driver almost dropped me and three children off at a Holiday Inn.) 

Once we finally got to the airport there was a whole lot of things we had to do just to leave the country but to spare the details and make a long story short… We barely made our flight by the skin of our teeth. I was the last passenger to board the plane with flight personel running with me with a two way radio saying they are with the last passenger. It was such a relief to finally be on board that plane. There was a couple of other things that occurred during the flight but I will save that for a future blog post. 

We arrived in Houston and had no problem catching our final flight to Dallas. My parents and our daughter, Ruth, met us at the airport. We were also surprised by Bro. Chase Reynolds and Bro. Jonathon Smith greeting us with a basket of goodies and they were there to help Scott retrieve and load our luggage into the van my parents brought to pick us up. Of course a crazy trip wouldn’t be complete without a tire blowing out on our way to my parents’ house from the airport. 

We did finally made it to my parents’ house in Hillsboro and were so happy to spend a few days with our eldest son and daughter and even getting to see my brother’s and sister’s families before we headed off to the Missions Conference in West Monroe, Lousiana. God is good and we praise Him for helping us make it safely to see our family and friends.

Thank you so much for praying or us! God hears and answers each and every one.