Finding refuge.


Psalm 16:1 Keep me safe, O God, for in You I take refuge.
With all our luggage - 12 bags, 2 cat crates, 1 stroller, 4 pillows, and 4 carry-on bags!
Saturday and Sunday was probably the most intense, stressful, adrenaline-filled 24 hours of my life.  After a day of packing and cleaning with our wonderful family, we decided to head to the airport earlier than we planned to eat dinner.

But then we headed into a mix-up with the airline that started with 
"Oh no, you can't leave tonight, you're going to have to reschedule," 
and led to several Delta managers' involvement and 2 1/2 hours at the ticket counter.  Our emotions were already high as we prepared to say goodbye to our family, so being faced with this at the eleventh hour was crushing, and worse, kept us away from spending those last couple hours with our family.  Our brothers and sister took the kids to dinner while we sorted it out.  Finally after Elise's brother rushed home & back to get our second cat crate we were cleared to get as far at Puerto Rico but there was a chance me and the kids would have to stay behind in Puerto Rico overnight, sending Jon alone to Dominica (he had to  report on the island by the 30th or lose his spot in the class).

All that time at the ticket counter left us just enough time to go through security and get on our red-eye to Atlanta, so, no dinner for us.  We had kept the kids from napping so they would go right to sleep on the red-eye which… didn't happen.  I think they (and subsequently us) slept maybe 45 minutes of the whole 4 hour flight.  We were in 1st class, which we had been excited about up until now but found out that really just meant surrounded by a bunch of old grouchy wealthy people who hated us.

On our final flight to the island. Almost there!
Then in Puerto Rico we found out Jon would not be allowed to leave the country with the issue unresolved, so we had to claim our cats out of quarantine, re-check them at the ticket counter 
(where they at first told us we couldn't leave the US -!!), 
spend precious minutes sorting that out and convincing them to take our animals and extra luggage instead of making Jon stay behind, and RUN through security to our gate.  But we all made it, thank GOD we made it!

The plane to Dominica was little and the flight was really fun with beautiful views of Caribbean islands below.  Coming up over the Dominican mountains was exciting, we flew so low I swear I could almost touch the trees and houses we were flying over.  We landed on a tiny airstrip that came out of nowhere in the middle of the jungle.  The airport was a lot like Haiti's but much smaller.  We were the last through customs, and the agents got a good laugh over how much  luggage we had - which was good because they didn't tax us anything!  Then after waiting in a van for 30 minutes we took the hour drive up to the Ross campus.

The islands south of Puerto Rico.
We've been living the last month under a lot of stress.  It seemed like every move we made carried so much weight with it, so much depended on the accuracy of some form, or strategically allocating funds, or correctly understanding some procedure, or meeting deadlines on time.  It was on that drive that Jon and I were hit with an immense wave of relief.  Windows rolled down, we breathed deep all the wonderful smells of the island - flowers, rain forest, camp fire, beach, BBQ - and realized for the first time in a very long while, we had some

Relaxing in our new house.
 stability.  Funny to find stability in a tiny developing country most people think is adjacent to Haiti, but it's true: we don't have to wonder where we're going to be living, if Jon would get into med school, how we're going to scrape by financially, if we were going to pull it together to make this move happen, if this is really the path God has us on.  Psalm 16:1 was in Jon's devotional this morning, and we felt like that exactly fits our lives lately.  God has been faithful, and that drive through Dominica was the first time we could relax and bask in His faithfulness.

There's so much more to tell as we're starting to get to know our new home, but we'll save that for next time!  We get our barrels Wednesday so after we unpack those we'll give you a tour of our house!  :)

Thank you for encouraging and praying for us!

Our little house with the mountains behind.


Wow, what a trip. I'm so excited for you guys and your new adventure, and I cannot freaking wait to see pictures of your house!

Charity Feb

Elise, I can totally hear you saying, "surrounded by a bunch of old grouchy wealthy people who hated us." LOL!

Thank you so much for sharing this. I can almost feel the relief, as you describe that drive, the smells, the feeling of *stability*.

ADORABLE house. :)

Will show these pics to Elspeth.


I'll just have to second everything Charity said. And add for emphasis that that is the cutest house ever. So very thankful that you all made it together and in time. And totally looking forward to two years of colorful dispatches from Dominica! :)

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