We just completed our first week in Mexico and we're excited to share our first update from the field. Before we share about our first week in Mexico, I wanted to share about our final week in the USA.
Leaving The USA
One of the last things we needed to do before leaving the USA was to sell my truck. With just a week left, Amy listed my truck in a neighborhood group on Facebook. Fortunately, we were contacted by someone who was interested in the truck.
He was a Christian man and had apparently been looking for a truck for 2 years. But for one reason or another, he was always a day late and a dollar short on getting the truck he wanted. Someone in our neighborhood told him about my truck and he arranged to see it. The next day he made me an offer.
Later, I realized he was a brother in Christ. When he found out our family was going on the mission field he prayed for us. He said getting to buy my truck was an answer to his prayer, but I felt the same way. In God's perfect timing, I had a buyer for my truck with just 2 days left in the USA.
With my truck out of the way, we still had to manage getting 20+ bags to the airport by 3:30 AM. Again, the Lord graciously provided. Over the past few months, our family has attended Grace Community Church in Dawsonville, GA. When the associate pastor (Kevin Gerrard) found out I was going to be serving overseas with the IMB, he graciously offered to help us transport our luggage.
The fact that it required him, his wife, his daughter and his son-in-law to be at our house at 2 AM didn't deter him the least bit. He and his "crew" were ready to go with two SUVs. They helped us transport our luggage to the airport, unload it from the SUVs and get it moved to the baggage check-in area. What a blessing!
As we checked our bags in at the airport, to our surprise we were able to check 5 extra bags (another unexpected blessing). This allowed us to check my guitar, a car seat, and 3 carry-on bags. Just enough for the kids to be able to travel without their carry-ons. That made the trip a lot easier for the kids (and us as well).
We did hit one unexpected snag when we arrived in Houston for a brief layover. Our flight to Mexico ended up getting canceled due to weather. We ended up spending the night in the airport hotel, getting our meals covered by United Airlines, and getting a good night of rest before completing the second leg of our trip.
Despite the change in plans, we arrived in Mexico the next day, where our team on the field greeted us. In less than 30 minutes, we made it through customs and had our bags loaded on a van headed towards Puebla.
The Lord truly made our paths straight as we headed to the field. We are extremely grateful to everyone who helped us get here by purchasing our stuff, giving us a place to live, and helping us get to the airport.
A Special Thanks
I also want to personally say a word of thanks to Amy's mom Melody for opening her home to us for the past several months. The kids enjoyed spending time with "Grammy" and I think she enjoyed the time as well.
More importantly, I think we converted her to become a Tennessee Volunteer fan. If she denies it, we have picture proof below!
Our First Week In Mexico
Once we arrived in Puebla, Mexico, we were greeted by our mentors, Joel and Melissa Williams. They welcomed us to our temporary home which was arranged by another team member named Chad. The house was nice and clean thanks to other team members who helped paint the walls and made sure the house had a nice cleaning. They also took us out to eat on Sunday after church.
Our first week was spent getting settled in and purchasing everyday items for the house such as cooking supplies, toiletries, and groceries. The kids have enjoyed meeting some other kids in our neighborhood and playing soccer with them. Joshua was extra motivated to learn some Spanish so he could tell the kids to "paseme la pelota" (pass me the ball) and tell them "buen tiro" (good shot).
We got the kids registered for their new school which starts on Monday, January 9. This happens to be the same day that Amy and I will start language school. This is a big point of prayer as it will be a day of many firsts for the kids. Their first time at a normal school (not being homeschooled) and their first time spending a long time listening to Spanish all day.
I imagine we will all come home on Monday with headaches! So please keep us in your prayers on Monday.
Another wonderful blessing so far has been getting to know another missionary family with 3 kids that are a little younger than our kids. The wife went to college with Amy and the husband is a fellow Tennessee Volunteer fan and a Southern Seminary graduate. So naturally we've all hit it off quite well.
We are all getting lots of chances to practice our Spanish. Most of the time this happens with Uber drivers and with our neighbors. But we also had a visit from the pastor of our local Mexican church on Thursday. He and his wife came for a visit and told us all about their church. We look forward to serving with them more in the future as our language grows.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We've got a busy week ahead of us and we appreciate your prayers for us to continue learning language, abide in Christ and develop a deeper heart to glorify God by sharing the gospel with those He places in our lives.
Needless to say it's been an exhausting and busy week. We all feel like Caleb in this picture by the end of the day. Thank you again for your prayers and your support on this journey.
Keep praying for you knowing that the Lord has great plans for you as a family. The kids will learn faster to speak Spanish and you will picked it up easily if you listen to the news and the TV only in this new language. Wishing you lots of success in this mission for Christ!
Thank you Delia. Yes, we hope to keep growing in the language as we immerse ourselves in Spanish. Gracias a Dios, Él nos ayudará.
WOW! You all have been in a whirlwind and God has safely gotten you to your destination. PTL!
It’s amazing how happy we are when we are serving in the place God wants us to be. You all
are special to us and we will be praying for you daily. May our great God continue to supply all of you needs.
Love to all,
Doris & Gale Bandy
Thank you Doris and Gale. It is always good to hear from you guys. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement. Hope you guys had a great Christmas and happy new year.
Praying for all of you! So good to see the excitement in the chaos. God is good! I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing more of your journey.
Soli deo Gloria
Hi Kandy! Yes, God has definitely blessed the journey. We know this transition is different for every family and we are thankful for how smooth it is going so far. That being said, we are still in the “honeymoon” phase and we know days are coming that will test our faith. So we appreciate continued prayers.
Thank you for sharing. Praying for you all and so grateful for the impact you and Amy had on my family and my life when you were at Central. So excited to see your families journey continue.
Thank you Sharde! So great to hear from you and hope your family is doing great. Tell everyone hi from us.
I love reading how God is showing His faithfulness to you at every point. Tonight I am praying for the kids’ transitions into school. I am also praying for you and Amy to have clear heads as you begin your language school. Sending love to each of you.
Thank you Leslie! The prayers have made the difference. The kids first day went great and there were no tears (maybe a few from Mom as we dropped them off), and our first day of language school went great as well. Keep praying!
Love hearing about you and your family’s journey. Makes us feel like we are there with you. So many times we hear about missionary work and yes we understand the sharing of our faith but the steps you and your family take to achieve what God has called you to be is another whole story. Love you guys and are praying for the transition.
Thank you guys for commenting. We are just getting started and we know there will be ups and downs so we are grateful for all the prayers.
Love you guys!! Thanks for the update. We are so encouraged by how the Lord is providing and caring for you all. Praising Him!
We are asking and confidently trusting God’s hand of protection and encouragement for the kids while they transition to school…I’m sure it’s hard on Mom and Dad too.
Thank you Kelly and Jerry. The kids had a great first day of school yesterday and were so excited to tell us about their day. Thank you for your prayers.
Such great things ahead for each of you. I’ll be praying for “no headaches” with all the Spanish and mainly just a great transition. Love and hugs.
Thank you Sue! We start our second day of language school today. Hopefully no headaches! It’s been a smooth transition so far. The kids have had great attitudes and lots of excitement so far, praise God.
I love you guys and I am so thankful for the ways God has blessed your family already. I know He is preparing those you will share with to help them know Him as Lord. I will be praying for a great week of school and language learning this week. 🙏🏻❤️
Thanks Melody! The first day of school went great for the kids. They are ready for another day. Our language classes went good as well. We are praising God for answering our prayers for the kids regarding school.
Such a sweet picture of Caleb..
I think we have all felt like this at the end of the day this past week. It takes some time to adjust to the altitude as well, which causes you to feel more tired than usual.
Please keep us posted on the goings on and the many ways God will be using you. We are so excited for y’all… and will continue to pray for all, pastor Ethan started a new sermon series on who is our neighbor, you are showing us with your commitment. it challenge me to be more involved here in Sanford
Fred, thanks a lot for your words of encouragement. God has been very gracious to us and we trust He will continue to help us. Thank you for always being encouraging and praying for us.
Thank you for sharing with us. You are in our prayers.
Thank you Gayle. Tell Lynn hello from us. We appreciate your prayers.
God does provide at the perfect time. Continuing to pray for all the ‘first’ for the children. God, open their ears to understanding the Spanish language. 🥰
Thank you Melinda! It’s good to hear from you and thanks for the prayers.