We have wanted to give you a brief update for some time to let you know that we have arrived in Santa Marta Colombia. I wish I could write more but as you will see in a moment that is not completely possible.
We departed Bogota on Saturday the 20th of February and spent a night in “Villa de Leyva” a very old and quaint city, reminiscent of the “Spanish Colonial Days”. From there we drove to “San Gil” and spent 2 nights and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly visiting waterfalls, etc. From San Gil we passed through the “Chicamocha Canyon” on our way to Bucaramanga. (For those of you who are interested you can Google any of those cities and see the beauty in each. The Chicamocha Canyon is amazing!!).
We spent one night in Bucaramanga (a beautiful city where God may one day have us start a church there?) then literally spent hours driving through the dessert north on our way to Santa Marta. It was truly a ‘hot and barren’ land and when we needed it most the air conditioning stopped working on our truck!
After driving about four hours in the heat and being only 80 kilometers from Santa Marta our truck decided it had had enough and needed a rest (read, broke down here in the middle of nowhere but thankfully under a tree!). We spent an hour on the side of the road trying to get it to start and praying and wondering what to do. Thankfully a police truck drove by and we flagged them down. Long story short (which we can tell at another time as the cultural experiences are endless) four hours later we were on our way in tow truck which could only take us about 35 kilometers further (his route stopped there!) where we had to call and wait for another tow truck (thankfully only a 15min wait).
We arrived in Santa Marta late that evening (Wed. the 24th of Feb) and said ‘Well, we will never forget our arrival to this new part of Colombia!’. The next day, Scott spent the day looking for some more permanent housing as we stayed in a ‘hotel’ the first night. We found a nice little cabin with two bedrooms and a view of the ocean in a little fishing town just outside of Santa Marta called ‘Taganga’ (also worth Googling). We had a day or two of recuperation and a traumatic experience for the kids on Sunday at a church (lots of head touching and heat and a mean teacher who yelled at all the kids!) then Scott began looking for housing on this past Monday (March 1).
That same day, Avianna’s fever which she had been having off and on for a day or so suddenly got really bad that evening (104+) and she was having lots of diarrhea and vomiting. Scott took her to a little clinic in Taganga that night and we got her back in bed around 2am Tue. Morning (1 shot for fever reduction and vomiting and blood and urine samples).
Around 5am Tue. her fever was back as was the vomiting and she couldn’t keep any of the fever reducer medicine down. So… we packed everyone in the car and went back to the clinic. When we arrived they told us the results were back from her tests (praise God some things in Colombia are faster than others) and informed us we needed to get her to a hospital ASAP. Well, about two hours later they took her by ambulance to a hospital in Santa Marta, while Scott took Jackson and Makayla to the Boyd’s home (fellow ABWE missionaries here in Santa Marta) then went on to the hospital himself.
To wrap this thing up, we finally got Avianna and Laura into a room at 6pm after a bit of ‘discussion’ with the administration and having to pay a bunch of money up front (they wouldn’t take our insurance but thankfully we can be reimbursed through our insurance company in the near future).
Yesterday (Tue) they informed us that Avianna has a urinary tract infection which has spread to her kidney’s and even her intestines. The doctors said she is pretty sick and will probably need a few days in the hospital. Thankfully they are slowly getting her fever under control (though it does flare up a few times a day) and she is now keeping fluids down.
Please be praying for the following:
1. Avianna’s recuperation
2. Laura as she takes care of Avianna in the hospital and cannot leave her side.
3. Scott as he runs around taking care of paperwork dealing with the hospital and taking care of the kids (praise God for the Boyd’s who are able to watch them during much of the day).
4. Jackson and Makayla as they are away from Mom and their sister. Pray that the hospital would grant them a visit tomorrow; we made a special request today.
5. Scott as he continues to look for a more permanent home for the family (we are currently staying in a furnished cabin and it has A/C).
6. Adjustment to the heat! It is hot here all the time. Even when it cools down at night it’s still 80-85 and that’s starting to feel refreshing!
We will try to send another update in a day or so.
If you are interested, you can call Laura on our cell phone. Check with your phone provider on what it will cost to call but the number to dial from the USA is: 011 + 57 + 321-408-6401
While we feel that perhaps all of this (there is much more that has happened to us but we will save that for another time!) could be opposition of Satan to us being here in Santa Marta and starting a healthy church here we at the same time feel confirmation that this is exactly where God would have us to be. So please be praying that he would be most glorified through this and that through this we would remain faithful and strong and be given opportunities to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
God is good all the time and all the time God is good (even when we don’t feel that way!)
In His grace,
Scott on behalf of all of us