The hope and dream of this trip started at least 2 years prior to our going. When Phil and Denise started ministry in the Dominican Republic, we desired to go and spend time with them. Their time there did not work out and they accepted the call to South Africa. We still had a desire to go see them, especially when the photos of zebra, giraffes, lions and cheetahs started pouring in.
We were to go December 2010, but that summer of 2010 was rough. It was a cold wet spring and a wet summer. Normally this would be wonderful, but too much or too little moisture just is not helpful in farming. We were short on funds and time. The summer was hard as was the fall with both Collin and Erin in Junior High. When we priced the tickets for going during Christmas break, it seemed way out of our reach, to fly over holiday season was $2000 a person. So we decided to back up and pray about it.
2011 was not farmer friendly at all, however fall 2010 was and Chris tucked some money away when the grain prices rallied the end of 2010. We were plagued with drought and heat this summer. Yet the desire to go see Phil and Denise for a work and witness trip was still present. But the details were downright scary! It was homecoming weekend when we finally had a Saturday morning available to get into the post office for passports. To get the kid's passports both Chris and I had to be present. It was crazy. We thought we had veverything together but when we got there Collin's birth certificate was not with everyone elses. Ugh. Chris found it and we were able to get it done, but it was stressful! As we were finishing up we took some seriously funny monkey shots!
Christmas 2011 we sent out support letters to inform our friends of our trip