This past week I went on a whirlwind tour back to the states and it was a WHIRLWIND to say the least!
The reason for the Whirlwind Tour back to the states was to renew my 90 day visa and to acquire documents from the states that I will need to secure a yearly work permit. (Read "Immigration Issues").
All of these things had to take place before the 25th of February due to my visa expiring on that date. Plus, I am scheduled to preach in Nassau at the Central Church on that same day my visa expires. Needless to say, a hasty trip to the states was required.
So... I was able to book a flight to Tallahassee on Saturday and arrived at 5:00 PM and with the help of my sister and brother-in-law, I was able to orchestrate a surprise homecoming for my mother. They dropped me at one of my favorite places to eat, (Outback), and then they went a picked up my mom under the guise of taking her out to dinner for her birthday. When they came back to the restaurant, I already had a table and when mom rounded the corner, I stood up. She stared for a moment and then her mouth dropped open as she froze in place. She just stood there with her jaw on the ground and I had to go fetch her, pick her jaw up off the floor, and bring her to the table. Once the surprise wore off, we all had a wonderful dinner together. Thanks Lisa and Steve for help with that whole undercover surprise operation.
Thanks to Allen Gonzalez at the Capital City Church, I was able to preach the next morning. After sharing an update with that supporting church, I preached on the topic, "Do Something Eternal." The Capital City Church was as warm and welcoming as always... and as a added surprise, some members of the Spring Hill church, visited. It was great to see my brothers and sisters from North Florida and South Georgia.
Monday through Thursday brought lots of running around gathering documents, letters, and certificates necessary for the Bahamian Government to issue me a yearly work-permit.
Friday was upon me before I knew it and I had to say good-bye to my mom which is always hard. I then headed to West Palm Beach in a rental car. I had to purchase a round trip ticket upon re-entering the Bahamas, (proving I could exit the country upon my visa expiration). So, because it was more cost-effective for me to purchase a round trip ticket out of and back to PBI (Palm Beach International Airport), I chose to make the drive.
Thanks to Ed and Ricki, (Elder and Elder's wife of the Westport Church), I was given a place to sleep. Thanks for the flop and the delicious dinner Ed and Ricki. It's always great to see these faithful members of the Lord's Church.
The next morning I enjoyed breakfast with the minister, men, and elders of the Westport Church and we discussed the mission here and the work in Port St. Lucie. The time spent with these brothers was far too brief, but refreshing to my soul.
My flight back to Abaco was great, but upon my arrival I was informed the power was still out on the island. I was told the night before (over the phone when arranging my pick-up at the airport), that the power went out that morning and had been off all day. I thought it would be back on by the time I arrived Saturday evening. Not so. Actually, the power just came back on this morning. That is why this post was not published until now.
Wheeew! It was a Whirlwind Tour but an amazing blessing to see so many friends and family and share updates on the work here in Marsh Harbour.
God bless you all for your support, prayers, friendship, and the comradery we share in Christ.