We’re going back to Tsoroja!!!… We think. We’re on schedule to fly the 29th and are praying that we will actually be able to get in. This past week the pilots tested out the temporary permission idea with another flight. It was pretty rough. In the end, they were able to fly, but not without some serious arm twisting and having to go to the next in charge. This is particularly frustrating because the woman who refused to give permission until her boss made her do so is the one who earlier implied that receiving permission wouldn’t be a problem. Apparently, she changed her mind. She told them this week that she really doesn’t want to deal with the temporary permit paperwork hassle and isn’t interested in signing them anymore. So we’ll find out when our teammates fly on the 25 whether or not she will continue to make this a difficult obstacle. The other issue is that the airstrip is too grown up to land. We’re trying to contact our friends in the village to let them know that if they want to see us, they are going to have to cut the airstrip so we can land. Hopefully that will be done in a timely manner and not “manana.”
In other news, the visa situation continues to draw out. The new law goes into effect on the 18th. Everyone is still pretty certain that this won’t mean that our visas will be immediately revoked, just that they won’t be renewed. Since ours need to be renewed in May, we’ll be leaving the village at the very end of March. We’ll go on to Lima to turn in our residencies, meet Dan’s parents and sister, and head to a beach near the border of Ecuador for a short vacation during which we will drive over the border and come back as tourists. We’re banking on being given 6 month tourists visas which will give us until August to either have this issue clear up so we can carry on as normal or to give us time to re-assess if staying in Peru is feasible for our family.
Our hearts are obviously invested in the ministry in Tsoroja, but we’ve felt that it is prudent to start working on a plan B should it be necessary for us to leave. We don’t want to get caught in the situation where we have to go but have no idea what to do with ourselves next. We are praying like crazy and having conversations with our team and pastors trying to solidify what that plan B might entail and at what point to we start moving toward it. It’s been incredibly frustrating the last few months feeling like we are spinning our wheels here in town. Besides not being where we want to be or doing any significant ministry, we feel very strongly about using wisely the resources that have been invested into us. Staying in town and waiting indefinitely isn’t an option for us. We will be keeping you all in the loop if/as decisions are made.
Dalaina for the Mays