Archive for the ‘traveling’ Category

This blog is an addition to our newsletter. I can’t fit all the pictures in it to tell what has been going on in our lives since we left Cali, Colombia the end of April. You should know me well by now that I love to tell our story through pictures. These last three months have been really busy and intense. To be honest, I thought the transition would be faster/easier. It has been more challenging than I expected for many reasons. Some of the major ones are: Chilean Spanish really is a new language for us, living here is 3 to 4 times more expensive than Colombia, we are experiencing winter (cold temperatures) for the first time in over 5 years, and we moved from a tropical environment to a desert.

…ask for our newsletter by commenting on our blog or by emailing us at acork@extremenazarene.org and you won’t miss out on the details.

 

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US Travel Photo Gallery

Posted: August 18, 2015 in traveling

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These are not in chronological order but it will have to do on my time crunch I am in right now. These pix are from April – June. Enjoy!

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We have a multi-colored calendar on our wall to keep track of the people that are coming and going and detailed list of arrival and departure information. From March 26 – today we have had a total of 45 people in and out of our house(s). Right after our March short-term team and a day before the arrival of the Cordoba, Argentina Church Plant team we moved into a new home (#6 in 4 years). The team stayed in the old house and our family, 2 short-termers, my mom and other long-term team members of Extreme stayed in the new house. While the team was in training the two short-termers we had worked on projects to prepare the new house for the Antofagasta, Chile Church Plant team we will be having in Oct. Our Training and Logistics Coordinator, Sandra Villa has also been staying with us with her mom. She fell a few days after the Cordoba team arrived and broke her hip. She is recovering in our home as Sandra works on her practicum for the university. After the Cordoba team left we had 2 weeks to recover before we hosted the Extreme Board. After they left, we had 6 days before we received a group for the 40 Days Experience; they will be here for two weeks. In less than a week, we head out for a working vacation to the States. It has been 2 years since we have been back. We were waiting on the adoption of our son during our typical travel time last year. Ferley and Wellington are so excited to go and are counting the days. We plan to take things a little slower and focus on time connecting with family. If you would like to see more photos you can see them here on our family blog www.hotelcork.wordpress.com. We are in need of raising more funds while we are home, but our family time/connection is taking priority since Ferley still hasn’t met his whole family. If God is leading you to help, you can support us through this link www.extremenazarene.org/cork.

Thank you for all your support both prayerfully and financially. We have been truly humbled by your “being the body of Christ.”

Prayer requests:
God’s protection over us during our travels.
Ferley to bond with his new family, even if they don’t speak Spanish.
God to use us however He sees fits.
Enough time so we can finish the repairs and the new roof on our home in Missoula before the next renters come in.

So much has happened since our last post at the end of Aug. Wellington began skating classes and enjoys another opportunity to spend time with kids his age and older. With tremendous help from our friends managing our home rental in Missoula, MT we have new renters and it was a smooth transition. More dear friends helped out on the maintenance of the deck in our backyard which was in great need of some care.

We continued the search for a new location to live and host church plant teams and we have not found anything that is a good fit except for this frame of a building which is the Cali’s Nazarene district center. Vincent has been extremely occupied drawing out multiple floor plans. He would show them to me; I would suggest some changes and he would have a few more ideas… he would draw a few more. We then went to the site to visualize what it would really look like. He has been working with architects to have professional plans drawn and is waiting on quotes for the project. After he has all these pieces put together he will be presenting the project to the local leaders in charge of this building. There was a Work and Witness team that worked on it in the early 2000’s that put in a floor and built four walls. We also had several short term teams work on this building as well. God is so good as the original plan when we arrived in Cali was to finish this building to house the short term teams we were receiving. It didn’t work out at that time but God knew what He was doing (as He always does). Everything our teams worked on has the potential to be have preparations for the future Extreme Center Cali (ECC). Hopefully next month’s post will have news on the green light to start the project. Once  we have that we will be looking for some specialized people to come help with the construction Feb – April 2015. Interested? A huge blessing we have received is the approval to stay in our existing home at least until Feb or until they sell it, which ever is first. This eliminates extra expenses in moving twice (temp house and then the new building) and the complications of changing our address in the middle of the adoption process.

We hosted a team of 10 for the 8th annual International Master’s Plan Convention the end of Sept with Pastors and leaders from, CO, KS, CA, AZ, FL, and Ecuador. They were a great and dynamic group. During the week, Vincent and those attending from Ecuador (part of Extreme) were able to present Extreme to the internationals attending the convention. We hosted the 3 Chileans for lunch one day to share more with them about Extreme coming to their country. We were also honored to have Dr. Jerry Porter and his wife accept our lunch invitation one afternoon during the convention. He loves what Extreme is doing and it was great to share with him specifically about what our role is in Cali. Our guests arrived as we were all getting over difficult colds and right in the middle of their stay I got the body aches and a fever but continued to push through and provide meals for the team. I missed the big evangelistic event as I still had the fever. A few days later, Wellington got the same yuck. He stayed home from school for 3 days. He would have fevers at night and waves of feeling better and worse. Due to the team and the sicknesses we were behind in our electronic work. Wellington finished out the week going to school for 2 days and then following week was a vacation week. We all needed a little recuperation so we took a day trip to the nearby town of Popayan and got away for the 3 day weekend in the mountains. Vincent still did some work but we were forced to get some true relaxation with the power out for 24 hours after a big thunderstorm.

We are full fledged this week back to our normal routine, playing some catch up. I am busy with Brian’s schedule as he is doing a lot of traveling and Vincent is chasing down the remaining pieces he needs to complete his research for the construction project of the new ECC.

Adoption update: The i800a application was finally assigned to an officer on Oct 6th, 6 weeks after it was received by them the second time. On Oct 10th, we received a request for evidence. As of today they have all been resolved but one. Hoping for approval next week. Hoping the process is like a super slide after that. It seems like all the next steps are ready, we are just waiting for the one ahead of it to be completed/approved. Our new goal is to have our son on our 4th anniversary of leaving the country on Nov 17. Pray for this with us.

Looking ahead:

Nov (trusting in faith) – Travel to Bogota to receive our son. Anytime Wellington hears the name Bogota or knows someone is traveling there he asks if his brother is coming home.

Christmas in Colombia – Still planning on family coming for the Christmas season, just trying to pinpoint our travel dates to Bogota before making plans.

Jan 5 – Wellington’s baby passport expires. We are hoping to time his renewal when we go to Bogota for our integration week with our new son. He has to be present to renew since he is a minor.

Jan 20 – 24 – Whole family traveling to Quito, Ecuador for the leader’s summit.

Feb  through April – (trusting in faith) Receiving short-term construction teams to help construct the ECC

May – Cordoba, Argentina Church Plant team with us for 30 days of training

Sometime in 2015 – We will be traveling to the US at some point, just don’t have a good measure on when that will be yet. Stay tuned.

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I want to start my catch up with an amazing story of a miracle we witnessed first hand. We were invited to celebrate the Christmas festivities with our good friends. We were at their house visiting on Dec 23 talking about our plans. They received an email while we were there with results of tests their 4 yr old daughter underwent after a trip to the ER a week prior for respiratory issues. My girlfriend began to explain what the results said and she ran into the laundry room and broke into tears, not wanting her kids and her mother-in-law who just arrived to see. She had explained to me that in a chest x-ray they had found a mass pressing on an artery near her lung. Instantly my friend was thinking of the worst case scenario of cancer or tuberculosis. I hugged her and prayed with her a simple short prayer asking for God to heal her daughter and that the follow-up tests would come out clear. They made several calls that evening to other medical friends and contacts of friends to help interpret the results letter. They found a pediatric specialist to see the following day. They met with him in the morning and showed him the results that we had printed out for him. They said his face went from normal to looking very serious as he read the results letter. He immediately asked them to start making a list of those their daughter had been in contact with in the last 3 weeks and sent them to another clinic for tests. These tests showed a completely healthy little girl. They were home by lunchtime. What this family endured for 24 hours, some have had to endure for days, weeks, months and even years. A Christian friend of the little girls dad said you have 2 choices, her medical results were in error or this was a miracle. They are choosing to believe this is a miracle that happened in the life of their daughter. One wonderful thing that we heard from them is that we keep drawing them close to God during trials and challenges in their life. Continue to pray for this family as they have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.

Other happenings and highlights over the last two months shown in the slideshow below:

  • We moved to a new house closer to the church on Nov 15.
  • The Ibarra, Ecuador Church Plant Team was with us for training from Nov 21 – Dec 19 (17 people).
  • We took a few days off and went to Armenia, Colombia with some friends from Dec 28 – Jan 2 to rest and recharge.
  • We traveled to Quito, Ecuador Jan 8 – 20 to visit the church plant in Ambato and attend the Summit (annual meeting of the Extreme leadership).
  • Since returning, we are re-moving into our home in a more organized fashion, getting back into routine and gearing up for another team in March or April.

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Stateside Trip Summary :

We traveled close to 4,000 miles driving through 10 states in 5 weeks. We had prayed over our path for several months before we started piecing it together and God did an amazing job giving us so many opportunities to share, to see to friends and family (several we had not seen in over a decade), and to meet new people who are partners in our ministry whom we had never met face to face. We want to say a great big thank you to the all that opened up their homes for us to stay. In our first two weeks on the road we stayed in one house a night with the exception of two nights in Meridian, ID where we took Wellington into Urgent Care thinking he may be suffering from parasites from our travels to Peru. All the test results came back negative and they deduced that it was just a virus that had to run its course (10-14 days). He was a trooper doing all that travel when his mouth was full of sores which made it hard to eat, some belly aches and occasional diarrhea. Grandma Book (my mom) treated his sores with frankincense and that gave him great relief. The day he started to turn around was obvious as the Wellington we knew was coming back. I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story of our time in the States. Hard to believe but I had to cut back on my original picture selection. I love how pictures capture so much of the story.

Something to laugh about… arriving to Seattle with Wellington in “high-waters,” we immediately picked up some clothes for him at a second-hand store as he was quickly growing out of everything we had for him. By the time we returned to Seattle and were packing… we realized we had to leave the pants we had just bought with his little cousin as they were now too short!!! We had a week after our arrival home to prepare for the Prairie Lakes District Team  who stayed with us for 2 weeks which is why I am so behind in getting this blog out. You will also see an update from that project soon. God is so good to us giving us the strength we needed to get through this time with such a packed schedule.

NEW items added to the Blog:

  • Calendar of Events link to a new page on the top bar so you can keep up with who is coming and going from Cali, Colombia and what we are up to thanks to the suggestion of a good friend who wants to be praying specifically for us.
  • I also added the image of our prayer card on the left side.

Coming up….. (also listed on the NEW Calendar of Events page)

Oct 11 – 15, 2013: We will be hosting a Vision Casting Team of 5 who are applying for positions within Extreme Nazarene Ministries from finances to HR. We cast the vision of what we do to support the 40/40 church planters here in Cali and then they travel to Ecuador to see directly what the 40/40s do on a daily basis.

Nov 21 – Dec 19, 2013: The Ibarra, Ecuador church planting team will be with us in Cali, Colombia for their 30 days of the Master’s Plan Training.

Mid Jan 2014: We will be traveling as a family to Quito, Ecuador to take part in summit meetings with the officers and managers of Extreme.

April 25 – May 25, 2014: The Manta, Ecuador church planting team will be with us in Cali, Colombia for their 30 days of the Master’s Plan Training.

Prayer Requests:

We are looking to rent a new house in Nov before our big Ibarra, Ecuador team arrives. We had been praying for this house over a year ago and it had been sold and resold over this time and now the owner is willing to rent. God is so faithful, even when it appears impossible. We need it to be in our budget and for us to be able to gracefully exit our contract with the current house.

For God to open the doors to a big change in our family I will blog more about later.

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We were delighted with the invitation from Brian Tibbs to come and serve with our Extreme family for the Love Extreme 2013 mega event. It has been wonderful to be back in Peru seeing old friends such as our host family and our Spanish teachers. Sometimes it can feel like we are on an island in Cali with Vincent, I and Sandra (our Master’s Plan Training Coordinator) being the only ones with Extreme in Cali, Colombia.

It was very cold upon our arrival in Arequipa and it took several weeks to get somewhat used to it. Vincent was sent off to Puno to set up a mobile church just days after our arrival. I got Wellington all set up to attend the same jardin (pre-school) that he attended for a month at the tail end of our time in Arequipa in the beginning of 2011 after our language studies. He attended the jardin for a month while Vincent and I worked out of the office. The “Love Extreme 2013” short-term volunteers began to arrive and we were given the job of hosts for the construction portion of the project. We worked with 2 teams and built one foam chapel before the event. We had 1143 people attend the mega event on July 20 with Colombia comedian Jose Ordonez. He had a wonderful show with jokes about marriage and tying it all together at the end with a challenge for all those who were there. About 150 people came forward and 105 filled out cards wanting to receive Jesus Christ as their savior. After the mega event we worked for three days at Tio Chico to construct the second church and then we traveled with them to Puno, Peru to install one of the mobile churches in the nearby town of Juliaca, a very dark city in great need of Jesus. Since the first day of construction with our last group we have been attacked with at least one person being pulled off the construction site each day due to illness. Each day we pray over the one who had fallen ill and they are ready to go the next day, maybe not feeling 100% physically but they are ready in their hearts and minds to continue to press on with the work that the Lord has laid before us. The inauguration of the church in Juliaca was Sunday, July 28.

We had to depart early from our team to get back to Arequipa, Peru to catch our flight to Bogota, Colombia. We will be there a day and a half to go through our visa renewal process. Please pray that all goes flawlessly. We then fly back to Cali, Colombia for about 5 days to unpack, wash, repack and head to the US for 5 weeks. Below is our tentative itinerary. If you are near any of our speaking engagements we would love to see you. We have just renewed our contract with Extreme to continue in our current roles for another 2 years. We are excited for what these next two years hold for us as a family and for Extreme as a ministry. We are blessed to be called to serve with Extreme Nazarene Ministries.

Aug 7-9 in Lake Stevens, WA
Aug 9 – 10 in Kennewick, WA
Aug 11 speaking at Ontario First Church of the Nazarene in Ontario, OR
Aug 11 – 13 in Meridian, ID
Aug 13 in Twin Falls, ID
Aug 13-14 in Green River, WY
Aug 14 speaking at Sonrise Church of the Nazarene 7pm in Cheyenne, WY
Aug 15-16 in Lincoln, NE
Aug 16-17 in Sioux City, IA
Aug 18 speaking at Sioux Falls Reach Church of the Nazarene in Sioux Falls, SD
Aug 18 in Kathryn, ND
Aug 19-23 in Bismarck, ND
Aug 21 speaking at Mandan Church of the Nazarene at 7pm in Mandan, ND
Aug 22 speaking at Living Hope Church of the Nazarene at 7:30pm in Bismarck, ND
Aug 24-30 in Minot, ND
Aug 31 in Billings, MT
Sept 1-4 in Missoula, MT
Sept 2 speaking at Missoula First Church of the Nazarene at 10:30am
Sept 5-10 in Lake Stevens, WA
Sept 10 departure for Cali, Colombia

 

 

Vincent prepped his group last night for the time we are going to be away in Peru and the US giving each of them the opportunity to lead the group in his absence. He shared about the fruits of the Spirit last night about how it is not just enough to receive them but how we have to put them into practice showing we truly understand them. Through practicing these fruits with those around us is how we become holy as He is Holy. Please pray for each of them to grow in their faith and leadership and for Vincent to return to new cell groups started by these disciples of Christ. From left to right: Alex, Gonzalo, Raul, Vincent, Jairo, Lizardo and Eduardo. We treated them to some good old American cooking with sloppy joes, corn on the cob, coleslaw and roasted potatoes topped off with chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

We are just 5 days away from departure to the “white city” of Arequipa, Peru to be used by God and help with the project Love Extreme taking place there in July.  See the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LoveExtreme2013?ref=ts&fref=ts

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27 days — 3680 miles — 1550 pictures — 15 offical US city stops — 7 speaking engagements — 10 different sleeping locations — 22.5 hours longest road trip (includes a 2 hr dinner stop followed by a 12 hour flu bug for Alyson)

For you statisticians and those who like numbers, this gives you a little snapshot of what our time in the United States looked like. Crazy, yes…Fun, yes…Exhausting, yes…Worth it, absolutely. God was incredible in paving the way for us as we traveled cross country. The first provision was the use of my sister’s car for our travels, the second was the gift of my mom traveling with us to help with all the driving and keeping Wellington entertained in the back seat. This was just in the first 16 hours of our arrival to the US.

I tried to scale back with the pictures for the slideshow on this post but we have so many wonderful memories I want to share you may want to sit back with some coffee and enjoy. You may want to pause the slide show and scroll through them as I have added captions to the majority of the pictures. We were blessed by so many during our travels from those we have known for a lifetime as well as new found friends and now partners in our ministry.

We were privileged to share the exciting changes with Extreme Nazarene Ministries, and our new roles within the new mission, XSA (Extreme South America) God has called us to. The changes were taking place on Sept 4 during our time in the US. You can view the new site and mission at www.extremenazarene.org. You can view our previous post titled “No more Extreme Colombia, changes coming” blog to learn of our new work within this mission of XSA.

We want to express our thankful hearts and gratitude for everyone we met with, everyone who housed us, everyone who fed us, everyone who supported us and everyone who prayed for us. Without all of you we would not be able to do this work that God has called us to. May God shower his blessings upon you as you fulfill his will for your lives as the compassionate and caring people He has made you to be. Praise to God for his hand of protection over us for the many hours on the road (and the hundreds of animals that stayed out of our path), orchestrating special reunions and being present with us in all we did and in all the places we traveled.

New prayer requests as we settle back into our lives in Cali, Colombia:

  • Discernment as we prepare all the training materials, schedules, and the plethora of details that need to be in place before our first our first team coming for the Master’s Plan Training in the beginning of March 2013.
  • Guidance as Vincent and I continue to learn more of the Master’s Plan, attending classes, finding disciples and opening our own cell groups.
  • Pray for God to reveal to those coming His power we can have through the infilling of the Holy Spirit  for a team coming in Nov this year and another possibly in Jan 2013.  I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses…For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

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I have not been writing letters or updating posts much in the last month as it has been busy here with the holidays and with Wellington out of school for almost a month. He returned the middle of Jan and it felt so good to have some uninterrupted time to work in quietness. Several times during his vacation when we were at the park he would ask/motion to go by his school, always being disapointed when no one was there. The first few days back to school he shed a few tears, but they were quickly gone as other kids arrived. He is going through a stage of being timid and a bit clingy. He still loves to hand out high 5’s, hugs and kisses but he is a bit more choosey as to whom they go to. It doesn’t take long to get into his good graces. This last weekend came number 3 of his 4 molars. All weekend long he had fevers and didn’t want to each much except yogurt. He was really snuggley which I thoroughly enjoyed. He is waking during his naps in soft cries and falling back to sleep. The fevers come and go, I have been using oral gel and he understands that relieves the pain so he can go back to sleep or playing but that still doesn’t make it easy to put on his molar that is coming in.

We passed the holidays with friends and even though it wasn’t the same without our families, it was still a special time celebrating the birth of our Savior. We got to experience many cultural things over the holidays. We attended a horse parade and an antique car parade with Wellington. We also spent Jan 1 at the Pance River which is a custom for many Colombians. We had the incredible opportunity to go to a finca (farm, rather it was an urban community) with Pastor and almost his whole family. It was really nice to connect with them and their family on a deeper level and just pass some time together. There schedules are incredibly busy so we feel fortunate we were able to spend this special time with them. We were blessed to attend an overnight trip to another finca (farm) which was a youth camp with a local church we have become very close to. Vincent and I shared a message with the youth around a bonfire, it was the exercise we learned with LWM (Lay Witness Mission) of a quiet time with the Lord where you write a letter to yourself from Jesus. Our dear friend Myra helped us through a few tricky times with the language but we were able to share everything in Spanish. Praise the Lord, your prayers are being answered. For us to be at this point in our Spanish communication is a miracle in our eyes and we cannot thank you enough for all your prayers as far as learning the language but there is much more to learn so please keep praying. Here are some other prayer requests we currently have:

1. New projects and website design for Extreme Colombia at www.extremenazarene.org/colombia. This is a project we have been working on for the last month and a half and it is almost complete. Pray for this to be a tool that will draw people to Colombia to fill the vision of 300. We are praying for a total of 300 people to register for projects this year. Movement is starting to happen with a few teams deciding on dates to come and registering. We also have a Jesus Film group coming. God is so good and faithful to our prayers. Pray with us to hit the vision of 300!

2. Praise the Lord that my family is coming to visit us at the end of March (my sister and her daughter, my mom and my aunt). Pray for God to prepare them for mighty things while they are here and for safe traveling mercies. They will be staying with us through Easter.

3. Wisdom for Vincent and I as we discipline Wellington. We pray for creativity in parenting. Wellington is an incredible and intelligent kiddo and we are working to keep up with his level- working to raise him to be a Godly young man.

4. Praise the Lord! As of Feb 1 we will have renters for our home in Missoula, MT. It has been vacant since the beginning of Dec. We trusted in God that he had very specific people to rent our home. We are grateful for our dear friends who are managing this for us. We had to drop our rental price below our monthly expenses but know that God will provide as he has called us to do what we are doing.

5. We have our flights purchased for our trip back to the States for 2012: Aug 23 – Sept 18. Please pray for God to work the details of our travels and speaking engagements. We will be working to make contacts for these during the months of Jan and Feb hoping to have our schedule in place by mid March.