July was a month of travel: we traveled and others traveled to be with us. When we arrived in Peru, we began the process of getting our residency visas. The parents must get the residency visas approved and then the children can begin the process. Due to a paper work conflict with our residency visas, the process took longer than expected and by the time Debbie and I had our residency visas, the original tourist visas of our children had expired. In order to begin the process for them, we were required to leave the country and re-enter with fresh tourist visas for JD, Amy, and Julia. We joined another missionary family who needed to do the same thing and traveled down to Chile. We traveled 22 hours on a bus to Tacna, spent the night, crossed the boarder into Chile (after spending a couple hours at the Peruvian boarder paying the fees), spent about three hours in Arica, Chile; drove back to Tacna, Peru; went straight to the bus station and boarded the bus for another 22-hour bus ride home. We have decided that the next time we take that long of a bus ride, we really should stay longer.
About a week after returning home, we had the opportunity to host my sister and a group that she had brought with her from the States. JD, Amy and Julia were able to accompany them as they ministered to a couple groups of children with puppet shows, children's Bible stories and gospel presentation.
We also had the privilege to host the Bucknam family from our home church in Pennsylvania. Joy and Luke had both been here to Peru before as members of the teams that I had brought over the years but it was the first time for the parents, Mike and Laura, to experience Lima. We were able to attend one of the main churches with which we had worked on those trips so that the parents could see some of the places and meet some of the people in person. Having visitors from home was a great encouragement to us all and a reminder of all the friends that are praying for us.
Thank you very much for your prayers (and your visits). Please continue holding us up in prayer so that we can continue to serve here in Lima.