By the time you read this, we’ll likely be sitting on TAM flight JJ8085 from Heathrow to Sao Paulo. TAM is a Brazilian airline and from Sao Paulo we’ll fly to Santa Cruz via Asuncion, Paraguay and arriving in Bolivia at midday on Saturday 4th July.
It’s strange to think that we’ll be flying over Paraguay and Bolivia whilst the Yeldall Open Day is in full-swing!
All told, despite the two stops it should be an 18hr45min journey from take-off to landing – not bad compared to the 24hr+ trips we’ve done in the past via Miami. Also on the plus side, we each have a 2 x 32kg bag allowance (yep, that’s 12 big cases to haul to check-in) and the joy of knowing we got a sweet deal on the tickets!
As I write we have a couple of hours until we head off to the airport and, despite a few tensions/disagreements/outbursts there is an air of calm about the house… the lull before the storm?! Earlier, we all sat round my Mum and Dad’s garden table with an ice-cream (JJ had an orange Calippo, the rest of us had Twisters, if you’re interested…) and we took it in turns to pray, each of us sharing one ‘thank you’ and one ‘ask’, as well as how we were feeling.
It was a special and significant time – and a key moment for us to get a glimpse into their thoughts and feelings. Daniel prayed that they wouldn’t be too nervous about starting new schools; Jemimah said thank you for the ‘incredible opportunity’ we had as a family; Phoebe prayed that no-one would get poorly; JJ said thank you for his new Lego for on the plane!
It’s exciting to be at this point! After so many months of praying, wrestling, dreaming, discussing, planning, and preparing we are about to wrap-up the Introduction and begin Chapter One. As I look back over the last couple of years my mind keeps going back to a sermon Ben Davies preached at Kerith Community Church, right back at the start of this journey.
The message was based Genesis 17:18 where Abram, laughing at the promise that God would give him (a man of 100) a son through his 90 year-old wife Sarah, prayed and asked God to bless his son Ishmael instead. The message asked the question ‘Why Did Abram pray the prayer?’, a prayer for second best. Here are my notes from sermon:
At that time (and since then on more than one occasion) we have been tempted to pray for ‘second best’, for an ‘out’ from the thing which God has called us to do. We’ve felt each of the pressures listed above but, again and again, God has affirmed to us His call to go, affirmed to us the truth that He will be with us every step of the way, and encouraged us all to ‘walk unafraid’.
We have also known the incredible love, care, generosity and encouragement of so many people so we want to say a huge thank you to each of you for the different roles you have played in getting us on the plane and the foundations laid for Novō!
We’ll write again once we’re unpacked.
With much love,
Andy & Mickey
PS: we’re planning be a little more active on social media once we get to Bolivia so if we’re not already connected on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, let’s change that!