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Hi Everyone!!
It was a great day for flying. Dan and the Welshes got a fair bit of time out in the village since the pilot had to make a couple of shuttles for some human rights group guys that were flying out. Everyone was very excited to see the three of them, but upset when they found out that they would be leaving later in the day. They were not upset with Dan, Scott, or Nichole. Just disappointed about the situation. A few were downright ticked because they felt that it was an issue of discrimination against their tribe (the bigger non-native airstrips are open). Several of them have vowed to do what they can to put pressure on the government by writing letters and so forth. The human rights group also expressed a desire to go to bat for us in their spheres. Hopefully, between all of that and a meeting between SAMair and the guys we need signatures from, all of this will blow over soon.
A few pieces of good news were that two healthy boys were born in our absence. I was a little concerned because it was one girl’s (Anita’s) first baby, and he hadn’t turned head-down by the time we left. The other mom was Sylvia, whom you might remember is the young girl who lost her first baby last spring (little Jenny who was blind). Dan says that her little guy is fat, healthy, and by all appearances, normal.
The other good news is that although our houses were indeed broken into, it seems as though everything was returned after the thief was caught. He sliced through our bedroom screen, broke the latch on our locked storage room, and made off with mainly clothing and knives. He also went through two of our teammates’ windows, but did not seem to have taken anything from their house. We are not exactly sure how he was caught or what happened afterward, but the Caquinte was very intent on assuring us that he was “punished well” whatever that means. Dan said that he has the feeling that we should be feeling sorry for him if anything.
Dan and Scott are all the more interested in hiking in some time soon if we aren’t allowed back in the next couple of weeks. The airstrip needs some TLC, and the jungle is taking over our yard quickly. Obviously our screens need to be replaced, and whatever critters that used them to access our house need to be… um, evacuated. But we’ll give it a couple more weeks to see if the pressure from SAM, the Caquinte, and the human rights group does any good.

Thanks for praying. They all had a great time visiting many of the people in the village and felt very loved by the reactions they got. It was hard to come home in some ways. Anyway, we all feel much more at peace knowing that our friends in the jungle know that our desire is to be there and that we are doing what we can to make that happen.
Much love to you all!
Dalaina for the Mays

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday, we got some rather crummy news that might make a big difference in our short term plans in Peru. The Peruvian government, in an effort to stop drug trafficking, is requiring all aviation services to get approval for each individual airstrip that they land on. South America Mission’s aviation program here (SAMair) has been working to get approval for all the places that they serve, but has yet been able to get approval to fly into a few places, Tsoroja included. From the sound of things, we are just waiting on 2 signatures. This seems simple enough, but in Peru, this could mean 4 days, 4 months, or 4 years. We are really hoping for the days option, planning for the 4 months one, and refusing to ponder the last.
We had a team meeting yesterday to try to figure out a game plan. Our other option to get into Tsoroja is to take a boat for a few days and then hike into the village (2-3 day hike through the jungle including a river crossing that can become impassibly high this time of year). We pretty quickly concluded that wasn’t a viable option for our family of 4 little boys, but even for our teammates (who have teenagers that could do the hike) there would be no way to get food & supplies in and getting their school books in and out would be very challenging as well. In addition, the river usually gets too high to cross at the end of the year, sometimes for a period of months, so they would literally be stranded out there. So for now, we wait. We’ll be doing our annual team business (generally done in January) next month, so that when the green light comes, we will be ready to jump on the plane as early into the new year as possible.
Our teammates were scheduled to fly out tomorrow via special permission for a single landing and take off but decided not to stay until December as originally planned since they have no way of knowing when they might be able to come back out. They are going to go on a day trip instead (the plane will wait on the ground for them) in order to explain to the Caquinte what is going on and why we are delayed in returning to them. If we don’t get the signatures that we need soon, Dan and Scott might hike out sometime in the next couple of months.
Please pray:
1) That those signatures would be given very soon. There is some politics involved that could hold things up (apparently the two men who grant the signatures are mortal enemies and not very inclined to work together).
2) That we would have perfect flying weather tomorrow so that the Welshes can fly out early and make the most of the time that they have.
3) That the Caquinte would be understanding of our predicament and realize how much we want to be out there.
4) That God would use this time that we are away to do great things in the tribe. We are trying to remain aware that He doesn’t actually need us to do His work.
5) That we would not be anxious, but at peace, knowing that this was not a surprise to Him and that He is capable of moving this mountain if, when, and how He chooses.
Thanks, and we will keep you updated as things (hopefully) move forward!
Love,
Dalaina for the Mays

Hi Everyone,

After 8 hours of unpacking, cleaning, sorting, and purging the house of old, unused stuff, I am taking a break. Obviously, we are back in Pucallpa. We got back on Thursday night after an interesting adventure in the Pucallpa airport (isn’t there always one?). Apparently there was some sort of bomb threat made last week that got the airport people in a frenzy (by the way, a bomb threat in the Pucallpa airport is pretty hilarious anyway since there is exactly 1 gate). Anyway, they weren’t sure how to handle it so they just… shut down the airport. No one was allowed in the PARKING LOT without a ticket, and even some of the employees, like porters and taxi drivers, weren’t allowed in. Which means we had to hike our 4 kids, 5 suitcases, 4 carry-on bags, 5 back packs, carseat, purse and diaper bag all the way out to the street where our teammates were waiting with the truck. That was… fun. But we made it home eventually and the boys got to spent a little time playing with our dog, Samson, as promised.
Upon homecoming, we gawked at the walls in our house. We had hired a guy to come patch some of the big cracks in the wall with cement in our absence. He did us a favor and also plaster-patched the other half-million hairline cracks. So it literally looked like someone gave a monkey a paintbrush and let him loose in the house. Every single wall is crisscrossed with cement and bright white stripes. We inspected the rest of the house, and it was mostly as we left it except for our couches. They molded (ew!). It was actually kind of a good thing because it forced us to sit down and make a list of repairs and need-tos for our house that we keep putting off. We figure we will spend this month in town trying to tackle some of those projects.
We’re still looking at potential dates to fly back out to the village. Our teammates will have some visitors that are returning on the 13th of November. We are likely going to end up flying in as they fly out so that we can split that flight bill in half. That will also give us the time we need to settle back in, take care of our house, and put the boys in Spanish pre-school for a few weeks. We realized that they lost most of their Spanish while we were gone.
Anyway, we are glad to be back, but also grateful for the journey. On one of his taxi rides in Lima, Dan answered the usual “what are you doing in Peru” question. Unlike most drivers, this one was particularly interested in why we were here and asked many questions. Dan ended up sharing the Gospel with him. He listened intently and asked several questions. Dan finally realized that he was so interested in grace and forgiveness because he insinuated that he had killed someone some time back and wasn’t sure if God could forgive something that terrible. You can say a prayer that God would use their conversation to push the man toward seeking God and that God would bring more people into his life that can show him the way.
That’s it for now. Much love to you all!
Dalaina for the Mays

Hi Everyone,
Well, we are in Lima and it´s 15 minutes until tomorrow, so the short version is that we made it here with all of our luggage and on time. There were some bumps and some perks, but that sounds about right for international travel with 4 little boys. The three best perks were that the airline checked our ridiculously heavy carry ons all the way through to Lima since it was a full flight. That made our layover infinitely easier. We also scored extra seats on both flights which enabled naptime to actually happen. I even slept for an hour which was very much needed after a 3 hour night. And customs was a breeze–we walked right through. Of course there were moments of not-so-cool-ness, like when Ben barfed all over the floor in the airport terminal. And generally being in a confined space with my children for an extended period of time has been know to make me quote scripture and say bad words in the same sentence. But it was educational. I learned:

1) People usually think we are Morman when they hear that we are missionaries and see our passel of little kids.
2) The twins will get air sick regardless of dramamine and whether or not they eat before flying.
3) Trying to play a board game in an airport is a lost cause.
4) Little backpacks full of dollar store toys are worth their weight in gold.
5) My left shoulder cannot handle sustained 100 pound pressure without popping out of joint (fat baby+huge backpack+overstuffed diaper bag+biggest purse I could find…).
6) Making small children fly in pjs so that you can put them directly in bed on the other side without unpacking is genius.

Anyway, I would still rather scrape out my eyeballs with a dull spoon than travel internationally with my children, but really, it went rather well, all things considered. I am just really happy to know that we have a good long time before we have to do it again. :) THANKS to all of you who have been praying all day. It worked!
Love and Goodnight!

Hi All!

Well, today marks the beginning of the end of our time in the USA. Two weeks from now we will be sitting in an airplane desperately trying to keep our children from making everyone there wish they could jump out – without a parachute. We’ve finished all of our “big” events, and now it’s just packing and trying to cram in as much time with our close friends and family as possible. I was laying in bed last night thinking about all that has happened this summer and thought it would be appropriate to share the highlights with you, especially since I might not have the chance to get another e-mail out until we are on the other side of the equator.
DAN
Dan got to scratch an item of his personal bucket list this summer. He spent several hours in a classroom, pool, and the ocean getting his SCUBA certification. It was something that he has always wanted to do and enjoys it as much as he thought he might. The best part was that he took the course with his dad and sister and got to spend much of that time with them.
DALAINA
No surprise, but getting my book published was definitely one of the highlights for me. Last week when I got the box of pre-release copies, I literally squealed and hopped up and down like a little kid.
MOSES
Living near a white water river made swim lessons one of our top to-do items this summer. Moses loves the water as much as his daddy does and has spent every second he can swimming around any pool he’s invited to and in the ocean as well. He LOVED the week that we spent in Newport Beach vacationing with Dan’s family. While there, Dan taught him how to boogie board. I think he is hooked.
BEN
The twins had a big birthday bash this past weekend. It was their first birthday party, and it was a hit. The theme was construction which fits their knock-it-over personalities perfectly.
JAKE
According to Jacob, he favorite part of the summer was attending a Troy High School football game with his grandparents and aunt. They were the loudest cheerleaders in the stadium and absolutely loved everything about football – the REAL kind not the thing the rest of the world thinks is football. :)
MICAH
Micah is THE highlight of the summer in and of himself. He is a joy and the perfect completion to our testosterone laden home. Truthfully, there were many days when I doubted that he would make it safely into the world, so the fact that he is here, healthy and beautiful, is all the more of a miracle and blessing to us.
As a family, our greatest pleasure this summer has been spending time with our friends and family. We saw just about every member of our extended families, even some that we hadn’t seen in years. We even got to meet new family members joining via birth and marriage. Dan and I both saw our best friends who came from different parts of the USA and the world to visit.
In all, it has been a full, hectic, fun summer. I don’t think there is much about that we would change. Thanks to all of you who were a part of it! We love you very much and think of you often, even when we are far away.
With Love,
Dalaina for the Mays

 

Hi Everyone!
Ask just about any missionary, and they will tell you that the worst part about being a missionary is support-raising. Even if one understands the biblical nature of being sent out by and thus remaining accountable to “senders,” the awkwardness of how to talk about it remains. We know that we need financial support to do what we are called to do, yet figuring out how and with whom to bring it up can be very tricky. How do you offer people an opportunity to invest in what God is doing in the “uttermost parts of the world” while not making them feel awkward or obligated?
With that in mind… While Dan and I stand by our decision to use this time in the USA to focus on investing in, encouraging, and loving the supporters that we have and not seeking out new ones, we do want to be realistic. The dip in the economy has trickled down to us, and as our supporters have taken a financial hit, so have we. All that to say, if you’ve been thinking about supporting us, but haven’t gotten around to it, now would be a great time! Just e-mail me back, and I can get you the info. We would love to see some new financial supporters join our team and could also use some one-time donations to offset some of our furlough costs (gas is really expensive here!).
There now. That wasn’t so painful, was it?

With Love,
Dan & Dalaina

Hi Everyone,
I am taking a brief sanity break from packing. Why packing you asked? Well, it all started when we heard that our friends, the Bonesteeles, needed a place to live as they are in between their old home (which has been sold) and Spain, where they are moving as missionaries in a couple of months. Dan and I talked about having them stay with us, but finally concluded that 4 adults, 7 kids under 7, and an infant all in the middle of packing/moving chaos was just asking for someone to have a nervous breakdown. When we heard that Dan’s parents had invited them to stay with them for the month of September, we realized that it made a whole lot more sense for us to live there instead. So, we are frantically trying to pack and clean so that they can move in this weekend, and we can bombard his parents’ house with our loving mayhem. I am realizing as I am packing into different piles (stuff we need before we leave, stuff we need to go straight to Peru, stuff we need to leave in storage here), that I am really glad to be doing this now and not in a month. I am thinking it will make the end of our trip a whole lot less stressful in the end.
Anyway, that’s what’s up. You can say a prayer that we are able to get everything done and that all this junk I am packing will fit into our airline luggage.
With Love to all,
Dalaina

Hi Everyone!
We are now counting down the hours until Dan gets back tomorrow, and I almost feel safe to say that we survived. Barely. Micah has been an easy baby thus far and I am feeling tired but pain-free, but the three older boys have had a very hard time with all the changes of the past two weeks. Particularly Moses.

Yesterday afternoon, he and I got into the fiercest battle of our relationship to date. For about 3 1/2 hours, we were at a standoff. None of the discipline tactics I tried seemed to help, and his defiance, anger, and weeping continued. At one point, I called Dan who gave him a pretty stern talking-to, but 5 minutes later it was back to war.

Finally, I went into his room and sat across from him on the bed and said, “What do we do now, Moses? I just don’t know. Everything I’ve tried hasn’t worked, and we’re both having a hard time loving each other.” He replied, “Mom, I just want to hear God tell me what to do.”

Oh yeah. God. I wanted to laugh and cry at the simply profound answer coming from my 5-year-old’s mouth. We ended up praying together. I prayed for wisdom, and he (on his own) prayed that “God would help him to obey because he wanted to obey in his heart but couldn’t.” God answered us both. I got pretty quick clarity on how to proceed, and Moses has had a much better attitude since then.

I’m still pondering the whole conversation. In a way, I am embarrassed because my kid thought to ask God for help before I did. But mostly I am thankful for the lesson learned. God cares about my children and my relationships with them far more than I do. He’s very heavily invested in them. Yet, for some reason I often act like it is my own challenge to handle. I’d like to think it’s because I am a relatively new mom, but really sometimes I am just really dense.

It makes me wonder how often this is true in other areas of my life. How often am I battling through a difficulty needlessly on my own? How often do I think I need to prove myself somehow by showing off my great wisdom by resolving problems of my own or others without taking the time to ask the One who knows everything? How often does my pride get in the way of resolution and healing?

I’ve heard that being a parenting is a journey of humility, and today especially I am thankful that God uses little boys to knock their moms down a few notches and show her WHO really is in charge.

With Love,
Dalaina

Hi Everyone,
In about an hour from the time I wrote with a “please pray this kid comes out soon,” I dilated from 4 1/2 to 10. It took another 15 minutes to push him out. THANKS FOR PRAYING!

Here are the stats:
Micah Aaron May
8lbs 6ozs
21 inches
Not much hair, HUGE feet and hands, and looks a lot like Moses did at birth. He figured out nursing in about 5 minutes and is a big fan of that. When he isn’t eating, he likes to suck on his (big) fists.
His brother’s responses were – Moses: I love my great brother!, Ben – He is so cuuuuuute!, Jake – Where is the blood? I want to see it.

Dan was able to buy a new ticket to fly back to CO tomorrow morning. While not the ending we expected or hoped for, we’re peaceful with it because he would have had to leave 5 minutes after Micah was born. He’ll take a hit on his grade, but in all, we decided that being around for Micah’s first few hours of life was not a decision we would ever regret.

Here’s a couple of pictures of our new prize.
Love,
Dalaina for Mays

PS I feel great. Much easier delivery than the other two. I should be out of the hospital tomorrow evening or maybe Tuesday morning.

While we’re waiting for the Big Baby Micah Announcement, I have another one to share that is almost as exciting.

About a year ago, I finished a long labor of love: a novel called Yielded Captive. The idea for Yielded Captive came to me on our very first summer in Peru 7 years ago, but I didn’t start writing until the middle of the night about 3 years ago when I couldn’t sleep until I could get it out of my head. That night I wrote the entire first chapter. For the next two years, writing Yielded Captive was more than a project, it was a gut-wrenching exploration of who God is and if I could really trust Him. As many of you know, those were also the darkest moments of clinical depression in my life, and I watched God let me fall deep in the pit so that I could actually see His hands of light reach in to pull me out. Some of my questions were never answered, but as I wrote the last words of Yielded Captive, I realized that it didn’t matter any longer. I KNEW God (not just about Him), and I had come to know His character as trustworthy even when what He chooses to do makes no sense and is completely unpredictable.

Dan was very encouraging through the whole process and provided the greatest push toward seeking publishing. In May, when we traveled to Florida, I met with a publisher (Bottomline Media) affiliated with Pioneers. Within just a couple of days, it was very clear to me that God was throwing the door wide open to publish Yielded Captive. Bottomline’s vision resonates with me as they seek to encourage readers through the content that they choose to publish. If you know me, that is really my heart as well when I write. Though Yielded Captive is not the non-fiction reflections you may used to from me from my blog or many of my e-mails, I hope that whoever does read it will catch a fresh glimpse of God’s character and walk away affirmed in his faith.

I am sending in my signed contract this week, though we are already in the thick of the details of covers and the editing process. Our target date for the release of the e-format and the author release (available at the Pioneers store) is October 1. On October 15, we plan to have it released to trade (meaning available on paper through regular distributors).

If you are curious, I have a simple website up with more info about Yielded Captive’s plot as well as a free! downloadable first chapter (you’ll be able to put it on your e-reader or just download the pdf to read on your computer). The website is www.yieldedcaptive.com  Go ahead and check it out!

Happy Reading!