Expect FAVOR and MIRACLES in 2018! This is what has happened to me so far kicking off our new adventure in South America! 2018 is going to be AWWWMAZING!
When the storm hits when you don’t expect it… your faith gets pushed to the limit. You know how it feels when you do all you can do to line things up and nothing seems to go as planned. Tears, emotions, and doubt creep’s in and your faith begins to get hit hard. Am I doing the right thing? Is God really in this? I almost gave up a few days ago but God gave us the help we needed in the middle of the storm.
Here how things went for us.
1. We had an IRS audit 5 days before we left to move out of the country for 2 years. They didn’t like my 2014 tax returns when we started a business and had lots of expenses and not much profit/cash flow coming in. I felt that the IRS pre-determines and labels you guilty beforehand and you have to prove your innocence. They were determined to find a hidden cash source that was not reported. My CPA and I had to convince the supervisor to look at my 2013 tax returns revealing the sale of two houses giving us plenty of cash to live on for 2014 so we could start our new business. It was so dang stressful to get prepared for the audit. The supervisor walked out and left me with the auditor/interviewer. She was from El Salvador and learned that we were leaving for Ecuador to help at the orphanage for the next two years. She was a Christian. At the end of the audit, she put her hands up on the table… so I reached across and held her hands and prayed for her. Tears… she whispered and said we are good to go and have no doubts we run a clean business with no hidden unreported cash coming in.
2. We also sold off everything we owned to make the move to Ecuador and we left the day after Christmas. Note to self… don’t make a big move the day after Christmas when everything is closed. Wait at least two extra days after Christmas so we are not waiting at Wal-Mart to open up at 5:00 am on the 26th to get extra supplies needed for the trip. FYI… We did get everything sold. God showed up and we sold everything down until the last minute.
3. We downsized to suitcases and are taking extra suitcases with supplies for the kiddos. Now that is a real miracle for my wife and daughter.
4. We get to the airport on time… we have our life belongings in suitcases at curbside check-in and our skycap informs us that Ecuador has a luggage restriction embargo in place and we are limited to two bags each. Holy Shizola! Problem is that we have four bags each. Doreen is now in tears… Hannah follows in tears… the doubt hits, fear hit’s, we have just minutes to find a solution… no exceptions. We now know that Ecuador does this each holiday season from mid-November to Mid Jan. We failed to get the memo on this crazy embargo. Doreen gets upset with me because I am not being “sensitive” and “emotionally” tuned in to her needs as tears are flowing to hold her in my arms and comfort her. My attitude is that she can cry later… we have minutes to consolidate these suitcases and choose what we are going to leave behind or we will miss the flight. Note to self… next time keep the thought to myself and not tell my wife verbally out loud that there is no time for being emotional and we have to conqueror the task at hand. Yup… I had some apologizing to do… and still apologizing 6 days later. Gifts, massages, notes… this one mistake will not be forgotten soon. Maybe never!!!!
5. Listen… it took me two days to downsize and have 12 suitcases for 3 of us with all of our stuff plus gifts and supplies for our kiddos down here. Now I have minutes to leave 6 suitcases behind. We gave away so much stuff… beautiful nice stuff that we could not take with us. We have experienced amazing freedom from downsizing and the positive feeling to totally de-junk. Now at curbside, I had to go back through and eliminate more items just to fit what we needed to take… it was crazy to say the least.
6. Did I forget to mention that we have our two little dogs with us and their bags, dog food, pee pads etc…
Oh… the stress of getting their papers stamped, USDA stamps, Vet appointments, forms and more stamps to get them into the country. Guess what… this go around… Ecuadorian customs didn’t look at anything when we entered the country. They didn’t check our bags. They stamped our passports and let us walk right in. They didn’t look at the dogs or check their papers. They waived us right in without scanning or looking at one bag while others were being checked. Miracle #3.
7. Back to the suitcases, curbside… now I have to open all the bags to sift and sort one more time… get this picture… 12 open suitcases on the curb. Doreen and Piper in tears. I am on my hands and knees sifting and sorting. And then another miracle happens. But God… our skycap is a Christian and knows of my old boss… the Bishop… the skycap starts calling me pastor and is helping me. He goes to bat with supervisors and they find out what we are doing an allow us to load the two suitcases each with as much as we can pack and they comped all over the weight fees. I promise… we had over 80 pounds in two of them. My son Elisha will come down in 3 weeks after the embargo and bring extra suitcases at that time. Miracle #4.
The picture looks good today but it took a lot to get here to have this view to wake up with, sip coffee and read our Bibles listening to praise and worship by Lauren Daigle. Many of you know that last summer we came to visit Ecuador and God put it in our hearts before we left that we would help with children. We had no idea how it would happen but chose to step out in blind faith to follow Jesus. After we got here we heard about an orphanage less than a mile from where we were staying. Had no idea it was there. Another miracle. We fell in love with the kiddos. FYI… as I am making edits… Fatimat the Nun, just asked us if we can come down to the beach and see the kiddos. AWESOME!
We were in Ecuador for two months this past summer and when we came back we knew that we needed to do more. What we did isn’t for everyone but for us it was a MUST to do. We sold everything from cars to furniture, expensive purses… yeah the ones that have the LV label on them and downsized to a few suitcases and a backpack. What we own for the most part is what we can carry and travel in hand with. Scary feeling. We have been married 28 years and thought we had it all… Porsche convertible 911, BMW race cars with LS3 motor swaps in them, big house with a big swim pool in a gated community, Friends, family and living the “unfulfilled” American Dream when it is all said and done. What kind of impact are we really having with others? Sure we go to the seeker-friendly church, hug necks for 75 minutes on Sundays and then back to our own rat race of life living outside the other rat race box that we were so proud to say that we became entrepreneur and became unemployable and could travel etc… making a point to say we are not like the 97%ters out there and we are the 3%ters. I am coming to find out that there exist many levels of the 3%ters of the 3%ters. Let that sink in for a minute!
8. I lost my wallet on the shuttle bus from the airport to the Sonesta Hotel. Realized it about an hour later. Called the front desk and within 15 minutes they found my wallet with nothing missing.
Miracle… I lost count!
11. We arrive to a condo not clean and missing all bed linens and towels. The owner of Casa Qubeca Restaurant, Zack, who we befriended last summer now lives below us at the condos… he gave us bed sheets and supplies to get us by and also the phone number to his cleaning girl/maid. She was $15 for 7 hours. The condo is spotless now and smelling clean too. Another miracle!
12. The second night here… I left my phone in the taxi late in the evening. Piper my daughter was still in Montanita and went to the Taxi stand and pulled up the video of me getting in the Taxi to see the taxi number on the side of the car that I got into. Within minutes they contacted the Taxi driver and found my cell phone. Another miracle!
When storms hit and your faith gets pushed to the limits… God can show out. Don’t quit and lose faith. Keep pressing on! Psalms 23:6. Goodness and Mercy shall follow you all the days of your life.
Gods Favor for 2018. Reach out and get some! I would love to hear of your miracles that you have encountered so far!
Huge Blessings to you for 2018,