Mar 20, 2015

Our day...

I have a story to share about our day; it is quite long so be prepared!

Epilogue: for the past 3 weeks we have been traveling back and forth from our home in Juana Diaz (aka “JD”) an 1 ½ hr to the city where we have our current Deaf ministry in Hormigueros. We have been renovating a 3 apartment condo due to water damage and poor maintenance through the years. In exchange we are allowed to stay in the 2 bedroom apartment on the weekends so we can spend more time in this area in order to make more of an impact with our ministry goals; currently we are unable to spend more than a few hours every Sunday in Hormigeuros because of such a distance from our home and traveling with small children.  After the baby is born we are looking forward to being able to stay there on the weekends and teach language classes and hold Bible studies at the local university close by.

Chapter 1: So,today we had finished apartment #1 and because I am 37 ½ weeks along we need to

pause with ministry for awhile until after the baby is born, thus returning to our home in JD where our Dr. and hospital are for the delivery. In order to stay in this apartment we have to bring bedding, cooking + eating supplies, toiletries,cleaning supplies, food, toys, tools for repairing the condo, our bunnies and there accessories, and whatever other miscellaneous items a family of 4 needs in order to live away from their home for a week at a time. All the above fits into our Volvo and Chevy van (i.e. 2 vehicles). This morning as David was finishing up the final details of apartment #1, I was packing everything up and cleaning our apartment with a toddler in toe. This project started after breakfast, about 8am. David & Hannah began to leave to run errands in our van but discovered the battery was dead.  It took about 10 minutes to get the battery fully charged. After that little set back they finally left and I continued packing and cleaning. They returned at about noon and found the luggage,bunnies, various bags, coolers, and boxes ready to be loaded into the van. At this point Jacob was pretty bored with his movie and was getting into several different adventurous things. We all were ready for lunch as well and questions about when we were eating and where began at 5 minute intervals. We finished loading our 2 vehicles and cleaning both apartments with promises of eating at McDonald's playland before starting our 1 ½ hr trip home. It is now about 1:30pm. I followed David down our street to leave but when I came to the stop sign something odd happened…I had no breaks. At first I thought it was just the incline of the street and me not paying attention to how fast I was going and thus needed to apply more pressure to my peddle in order to stop, “Surely the breaks couldn't be bad” I thought. Then came the slowing down as I approached a speed bump and it happened again: I heard a soft “whoosh” as I pressed on the breaks and felt my foot go all the way to the floor before our car gently came to a slow halt. Jacob currently has my phone saying his last goodbyes to his daddy so I try to “calmly” ask for it back so Mommy can speak to daddy. Hannah’s antenna’s perk up at my fake calm voice and starts asking, “What’s going on?!” I get the phone back and say, “David, I have NO breaks; the peddle is going all the way to floor before I can stop”. We pull both vehicles over. Hannah is now beginning to get excited and Jacob recognizes that where we have stopped is not at McDonalds and begins complaining. David quickly realizes that the car is leaking brake fluid. We switch cars and head back to the condo. Now the children are in full mutiny. He inspects the car further and calls AT&T roadside assistance for a tow to the nearest PepBoys. AT&T gives us the terms and we agree so the tow truck service is ordered and expected arrival time is 3:18pm, it is currently 2:30pm.  Because this is PR there is not always an address to give so a person can quickly find you, many times we give step by step driving directions in order for someone to find us. In this instance the condo has no address and the tow truck driver does not speak English and our limited Spanish is useless. Both our cell phones are complaining of a low battery but my husband brilliantly remembers our GPS in the van has a feature that tells you where you’re at. We look up the coordinates and relay it to the company to relay them to the driver. About 30 minutes later we get a call from the driver wanting specific instructions…apparently he does not have a GPS.  So we call the owner of the condo and patch him through to the tow truck driver and listen in on the precise directions to the condo. We are told that the driver will be here in 35 minutes, making his ETA 3:45pm. At this point it is inevitable we are spending 1 more day in the area and I enlist my understandably grumpy daughter to help me unload some of the lighter things from the car we will need for spending the night, with the promise of snack food and another movie while we wait for the truck driver to arrive.  The snacks and movie rerun only last so long and boredom again sets in. Oh yes, at this point,cue the rain. It is now 4:10pm when we hear the long awaited sound of the tow truck arriving. However, upon his arrival he hands us his phone to speak to his boss. David is told the terms of service have been changed. As he watches our car get loaded onto the truck we’re told that instead of the $11.44 charge there is now a $3 per mile charge and AT&T will only cover the initial $50 service fee. We all quickly load back in to the van and as David is pulling out we are abruptly stopped by a light pole in our way. David and I both exclaim, "Seriously!" at the same time. We decide to inspect our bumper when we arrive at PepBoys. As we follow the tow truck to the PepBoys, in the rain with hungry & tired children, I call AT&T back to try to find out why the service terms were changed and what could be done about it.  By the time we arrive at the PepBoys I still am on the phone wondering what to do. The driver unloads the car and David once again speaks to the driver’s boss, explains the confusion and informs them that unless the driver takes debit or credit, he only has $10 in cash on hand.Miraculously the company agrees and all is settled. I reminded David to check our bumper and brace myself to hear about the damage. However, there is none, somehow! Chalk it up to being a Chevy, I guess! As often times happens with unexpected car repairs, we aren't prepared and are leery of the cost, thus we have picked up the habit of finding coupons for various repairs. David thankfully finds one for PepBoys for break inspection/repairs. He presents it to the service manager and thankfully they accept it and we get a discount on our repairs, thank you Lord!

Chapter 2:Current time is about 5:30pm. After the car is enrolled in the PepBoys system and all gets taken care of we drive next door to the long awaited for McDonald’s playland. The children play, we charge our phones, eat horribly unhealthy food,and everyone is happy or at least feeling better. About 30 min into our wait a boy arrives at the empty playland and Hannah and Jacob have a friend to play with. However 5 min later the dad comes in to announce its time to go in English. David comments, “Oh Dad that’s not fair I just got here…” The dad laughs and makes a comment about needing to go. But like most spoken conversations with strangers we have here in PR (since we are mostly with the Deaf who do not speak), we are quickly asked if we live here or are visiting. This begins an hour and a half long conversation not only with the dad but his older daughter and wife who have eventually wondered in to the playland looking for their dad/husband in order to leave. We enjoyed talking and sharing with this family immensely as we laughed and got to know one another. By the time we realized we hadn't heard from PepBoys it was almost 7pm. We said goodbye to our new friends,exchanged contact info with the promise of reconnecting after the baby is born, and David walked next door to see what progress had been made.

Chapter 3: David returns to tell me a mechanic had been sent out to buy a new break line hose and we should be getting a , “We’re finished with your car” call soon. It is currently 7:30pm. About 20 minutes later Hannah comes out of the playland  crying and holding her bloody chin. We brace ourselves for an ugly scrape but cringe when we see a nice open slice on her chin instead. We look at each other and as only married couples can do, we have communicated wordlessly that we’ll be going to the ER to make sure stitches are not needed. We find Jacob, load both children into the van, and try to figure out where the nearest hospital is. Oh yes, cue the empty gas tank notification! Hannah is screaming, Jacob is confused & tired, I want to pull over for gas, David wants to go to the ER first, and let’s throw in some more raining while we’re at it. We discover hospital lights on the horizon and quickly agree that we have enough gas to get us down the road. I drop Hannah and David off at the ER entrance and try to figure out where to park for free that’s close. Praise God I find a spot quickly and the rain quite's so Jacob and I could walk to the hospital without being drenched. We arrived at the ER and upon first visual assessment there are wall to wall injured people, some standing, sitting, or lying in beds. Jacob is wide eyed taking it all in and begins greeting people by smiling and waving. A friendly security guard helps me find David and Hannah. Jacob happily and loudly reunites with his daddy and sissy while we talk about Hannah’s initial assessment. Needless to say there’s a long wait. Oh yes, cue the call from PepBoys saying our car is ready and they close in 30 min (i.e. its 8:30pm).David makes arrangements to possibly pick it up in the morning or make it thereon time. At that point a nurse arrives and wades through the crowd of people who are all wondering why they are getting passed up by this nurse for a little girl with a scraped chin. He further examines Hannah and David follows him back to an office to discuss treatment options. Jacob is not happy about Daddy leaving him behind and begins screaming, not crying, but screaming. While David is with the nurse for about 10 minutes I begin receiving curious, annoyed, and angry glances from fellow ER patients as Jacobs tantrum only worsens.  David emerges from the office and says, “Let’s go!” He tells us that since Hannah’s injury is not that severe enough to need stitches and that since the ER is crowded that evening, it would be better if we just got some supplies at Walgreens and treat her ourselves.

Chapter 4: Currently it is about 8:45pm. We high tail is to PepBoys, also conveniently located next to
Walgreens. David pays for the repairs as I shop for supplies. We also pick up some things we need for breakfast. As we wait in line to buy our items Hannah finds a PEZ dispenser shaped like a nurse. We decide to get it for her as a reward if she lets Dr. Daddy treat her without fighting. She agrees to our terms although she expresses trepidation regarding the amount of pain and whether or not she would be allowed to call for a “pause” during her treatment. As we’re leaving Walgreens I remember that as I was packing this morning the bed sheets for the kids’ bed is in with the dirty laundry for washing when we got home. It is now 9:30pm as we head to Wal-Mart for bed sheets and a shirt for me since mine are all dirty. Jacob denies being tired and Hannah is excited about getting a new PEZ dispenser. We leave Wal-Mart in record time and arrive back at the condo a little after 10pm. Jacob is asleep and carried in and put to bed. Hannah gets into position for treatment. We treat her as best we could with
the large butterfly band-aids and Liquid-skin band-aid ointment. There was some painful tears but she was brave and when finished posed for a picture holding her prized nurses PEZ dispenser.

Prologue: So, over 2,000 words later I can sum it all up in a few verses:  James 4:13-15 “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

Since it is past 2am, I am assuming most of you will be reading this as you wake up this morning or while eating your breakfast. As I listen to my family sleeping I am so incredibly thankful for all the ways God was with us today! I pray that each of you will have a blessed and safe day living out the plans God has for your life! I pray that tomorrow (or rather today) we will get home safely and without incident. I know full well whom I serve and am confident that He loves me, is taking care of my family, and has an awesome plan for our _______ (insert your own adjective here describing our day) day!

February 24th 2015