Quarantined!!  ...and much more
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Hello <<First Name>>, 
How are you doing?  How is your summer going?  Are you going to take a trip or vacation this summer?  In May we were planning on going on one to my brother’s wedding in Wisconsin, but God had other plans.  I’ll let Hector tell you about the first part of the trip.

The Great Quarantine

The story of a displaced man and his family

It was a hot day, and as we approached the border, we prayed, and hoped for a quick uneventful crossing. Little did we know that this was going to be about a 6 hour process, involving quarantine, an interrogation, masks, gloves, handcuffs, a mug shot and time in a holding cell.  Amy, Judah, a friend of ours, and I, made it to the border at around 1 P.M.  The waiting line was actually very short, and within minutes, we were talking to the border officer.  He checked our documents, and asked who had recently had a medical test, we explained that as part of my visa process I had a medical test, whose results had recently come back negative and been sent directly to the consulate.  He waived us to a separate area, where they asked us for some paperwork and took around an hour to talk to the consulate, since it was Sunday, they were unable to reach the consulate (or at least someone who knew about our case, as it was probably buried on a desk somewhere), so, they didn’t have any update about my medical results.  We had called the consulate just a couple days before, and they assured us that there wouldn’t be a problem, if we tried to cross, and that we could travel on my tourist visa.

So,  after a half hour or so, of waiting in the truck, the whole thing went south, an officer approached us, and asked if we had any proof of the medical results, and we explained that the medical center had send it directly to the consulate.  He left and returned with a medical mask on, and all of a sudden, every officer that came near us, had a medical mask and gloves on.  They asked us to roll up the windows as we continued to wait while they tried to get a hold of someone at the consulate.  After awhile the truck was low on gas and it was so hot, they finally said we could lower the windows if we wore masks that they gave us, (fortunately, they didn’t ask us to put one on Judah).  After 4 hours waiting on the truck, they gave me gloves, and asked me to come inside the building. 

Inside of the building, they explained to me that we hadn’t done anything wrong, but they couldn’t just ignore what they had on the system, (that I possibly had tuberculosis, that my tourist visa was cancelled, and that I was trying to cross the border with an invalid/fake document, which happens to be a federal offense) they assured me that this kind of things happen all the time (really? Are you kidding me?) and that after due process I would be let go, without further consequences, except for losing my tourist visa.  The tourist visa was cancelled a couple days before (but after we had called the consulate), as part of the normal process of the resident visa (green card) that I am applying for.  However, we were not informed of that.

They proceeded to take my fingerprints, a mug shot, and then handcuffed me, and took me to a cell, and interrogated me for the space of an hour. Finally, after an hour and a half after entering, they took another short statement, and released me back to where Amy, Judah, and my friend, had been waiting.  We drove back to Juarez, with barely enough gas in the truck to make it, (we had been using the A/C in the truck, after the four hour drive, and that drained the gas tank).  We stopped for pizza (we had planned to eat lunch in El Paso, and that never happened), and then located an hotel in Juarez.

As hard as the whole day was we are very thankful to God for a few things.  The people who were dealing with us were very kind, and tried their best to help us and explain what was going on even though they, themselves, didn’t really understand.  They told us numerous times, they wished they could do it differently, but they had to follow procedure.  They offered us food and drinks (some of which I think was from their own lunches).  Judah did pretty well considering the circumstances.  We had all gone to the bathroom at the toll booth shortly before arriving at the border, and so we were able to survive the entire time in the truck.  We had some snacks that helped us.  These may not seem like much but with a 1 and a half year old and a 7 month pregnant wife, it is.

Amy and Judah’s trip to WI and MI

Exhausted and emotional, after a long stressful day of driving four hours and then being quarantined for five hours in a hot truck not knowing what was going on, we found ourselves at a hotel, dropping Hector off, and I was faced with the decision of leaving Hector again and going to my brother’s wedding, or going back to Chihuahua with Hector.  Just a couple months before, I had been gone from him for three weeks, and I really didn’t want to leave him for who knows how long, again.  However, by nine pm, with the point made that I wouldn’t want to regret not having gone to my brothers’ wedding, I decided I should go.  So we said goodbyes, and our friend Don, took Judah and I across the border to the mission guest house.  There, in the next day I rearranged our travel, canceling tickets and figuring out where we could stay in Wisconsin.  Then on Tuesday, Judah and I flew to Wisconsin.  There was an extra hour delay, but we made it and, my brother David took me to my future sister-in-laws house, where we were able to stay, and my sister Beka was already there.  It was so good to be with family and have them spoil us a little bit after such a stressful ordeal.  The next few days we were able to help a bit with wedding details and spend some special time with family.  Tim and Charity’s wedding was beautiful, and I’m so glad we were able to go and spend some time with them beforehand. 
After the wedding, my parents and grandparents had made plans to go to the house in Michigan (that we went to almost every summer, when I was growing up).  Judah and I were able to get a ride with David and his fiancé Joice.  Helping open the house for the renters that are coming this summer, was a lot of work, but one of my dreams was to show my boys this place.  It was sad to not have Hector there, but I was thankful to go for a boat ride on the lake, walks in the woods, and play at the park with Judah.  Also, watching him play and interact with my parents and grandparents, made it a very cherished time.  I’m excited for the time when we can show it all to Hector, too.  Two weeks from when we flew to Wisconsin, my dad drove us the three hours to the airport and Judah and I flew back to Chihuahua.  Once again there was another delay, this time about an hour and a half, while we waited in the plane, for a storm, to break enough for us to take off.  Although we arrived home, tired after a long day of traveling, as on the flights to Wisconsin, God allowed us to have empty seats next to us so that Judah (flying free as a lap baby), did not have to share, what little is left of my lap, with the baby (as I was 7 months pregnant at the time).


A couple days after we arrived in Chihuahua, God worked it all out, and provided financially for us to go to our mission field conference.  It was at a beautiful hotel in Camargo, and even though we dealt with Judah being sick a few days, and then very reluctant to be in child care, it was a relaxing and refreshing time.  Visiting with dear friends and coworkers around the pool and during meals, was wonderful.  We were encouraged to hear about many things God is doing in the works both in the tribes and cities here in Mexico.  One of our good friends even wrote a song for Hector (about how hard it can be to get to the US), if you want to hear it or see the lyrics, check it out here.

Interview Date

All this time during the trip and conference we had been waiting to hear from the consulate about what the next step in Hector’s visa process is.  We had been told to contact them five days, the ten days, then fifteen days, after the medical results came in saying that Hector didn’t have tb.  The results had come in on April 14th, and still no word from the consulate even though we kept calling to see.  Well, the day after we arrived from conference, the email finally came telling us that someone had done something at the consulate and so we could now schedule another visa interview.  We immediately checked it out and scheduled the soonest available appointment.  July 16th is the new interview date.  Please pray with us that everything goes smoothly and that Hector will be granted the visa.  We are also hoping that the baby will be born soon enough before then that we can get his US paperwork registered during the same trip, so we will all be allowed to go to the US at the same time.

A friend of ours here designed a brochure about us and our ministry.  Since we have not had the opportunity to visit people, and share in churches as we had hoped, we would like to send these to people who are interested, and want to know more, or share with others about how God is working. 

If you are interested in having us send you some of these brochures, let us know and we would be glad to.  Please let us know how many you want too.  We are also considering putting together a dvd presentation.  Let us know if you are interested by clicking here.

Baby and Other Prayer Requests

~Pray with us for a safe and healthy delivery.  Although he is due July 5th, the doctor says our baby really can come anytime now. 
~Pray for Judah, as well as the rest of us as we adjust to another baby in the family.
~Praise the Lord that so far everything looks good, and it has been a healthy pregnancy
~More financial partners: As we look at the cost of the baby, the costs for the MTC, paper work we have to do, to be able to go, and some debt to pay off, we have faith that God can provide.  We need more financial partners to be able to go to Missouri this August.  (If you are interested in helping financially with a one time gift or monthly donation, or in praying with us more specifically, please let us know, and see the "Give" section below).  
~Thank God with us for the way He has provided so far, and for the many special partners He has put on our team!!  We are so blessed and thankful for you!


You can set up monthly "electronic funds transfers" through your bank account.  
Find out how or Click here to give.
By Phone:  To give by phone using a credit card or debit card, call 866-547-2460.
By Mail:  New Tribes Mission, 1000 E. First St., Sanford, FL 32771-1487.  
Make your check payable to "New Tribes Mission"  and include a note that says your gift is for Amy Heckman-Flores

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