Our latest newsletter for November and December is available for you to download and read. What a year it has been. We are excited for what 2012 has in store.
Immigration called and we are supposed to pick up our residence permits next week – which is awesome. Thank you to everyone who prayed – it made a difference. Not only will this make my travelling to Thailand possible but it also will allow us to get back a deposit we had to give to customs to bring in our container when we moved. Good day.
Does it date me that I relate a lot of life to Seinfeld memes? When the answer is not yes, I tend to think about the soup nazi. But moving back to reality – we do have a prayer request. When we arrived in Hungary the five of us were given 90 day tourist visas. (The stamp in our passport.) As soon as we had the proper documents together we applied for our residence permit that allows us to stay longer. That is supposed to take a maximum of 30 days.
Unfortunately due to heavy work loads the immigration department is running behind and we are outside the maximum window. This wouldn’t be the biggest deal but I need to go to some meetings in Bangkok at the end of the month. If my permit hasn’t come through before I’m scheduled to leave I may not be able to go. Leaving the country would be easy, but getting back in could be challenging.
So please pray that our residence permits come through soon. It would be a huge help in a few ways, my trip being the one that is the most urgent.
We’ve been here for a while, and I’ve been updating a lot on Facebook, but I realized I hadn’t put anything here. I don’t think anyone but family reads this regularly – but you never know. I guess I could check the logs – but that’s too much work.
We arrived safely in Hungary and so did all our stuff. School has started for Ingrid and the kids and I’m in the office, digging in to work. We are very blessed that the whole transition went so well. Our August newsletter is late, we’ve been so busy, but should go out soon with the latest update. When it does I’ll get it posted here as well. Thanks for praying for us – we need it. More later.
Things have been very busy for the last couple months. We frantically tried to get rid of all the stuff we could not take to Hungary with us. We were able to save much of it to make some money to help with the move. Then the movers came and took all the things going to Hungary. Shortly after that we all made our way to Phoenix.
After we got here things stayed very busy. We’ve been trying to see family and friends to say good-bye while at the same time we had to complete raising the support we needed to go and live in Hungary. With a couple days to spare, we hit the point where we have been officially cleared to go. We are in a very celebratory mood this morning.
Of course, I’ve still got a lot to do before we take off. I have to make sure all our luggage will fit in the airlines weight limits and we need to get a newsletter out. We’ve got new fridge magnets for all the folks on our mailing list. If you aren’t on that list and want one, let me know and we’ll see what we can do.
Wednesday we’ll all be in a new country for the very first time. God has been so good to get us this far and we look forward to seeing what He will do going forward.
The date on our departure from Arizona changed by a few days because we got a better deal on air fare and this post has been changed to reflect that.
Well, for the second time, I’ve got the newsletter going out in the following month. You can download it from our Newsletter page. Better than no newsletter at all and things are crazy busy in the Peck house. We have 3 more weeks in Florida, including today. Then we will be on our way to Arizona for a couple weeks before we head to Hungary. So here is what our schedule looks like:
June 17th Our container leaves for Hungary
June 21st Our family leaves Orlando for Phoenix
July 12th Our family leaves Phoenix for Budapest.
We have a little flexibility on when we leave Phoenix but not too much. Ideally we want to get to Budapest with enough time to find a place to live before our container gets there. Otherwise we would have to pay for the moving company to store it until it can be unloaded. It takes a little time for the ship to bring it across the ocean, then it has to go to Hungary by rail and clear customs. So we should be o.k.
That means June is a busy month with lots happening. It’s been exciting to see God clear the way for all this to happen. He brought a great family to rent our place in Florida. They are on staff as well, they work for the Jesus Film Project. God also helped us raise some of the funds we need to move through a successful garage sale. And really money is the only thing that we still need to be completely released by CCCI to go. We need another $400 in monthly support and right about $10,000 to cover the cost of getting us and our stuff there. Then that will also cover the costs of getting settled in and purchasing some of the things we’ll need in Hungary. You can pray that in the next 5 weeks this will all be in place. In fact sooner than that would be a little better as we’ll need to report that we’ve finished and get formal permission to leave. It’s all pretty exciting.
This month we’ve focused on Ingrid’s new work assignment that she will take on when we get to Hungary. Ingrid has been asked to teach junior high math at the International Christian School of Budapest or ICSB as most folks call it.
This is a tremendous opportunity for Ingrid to use some God given skills and talents that she has not really had an opportunity to employ for a while. Before Ingrid went into the software engineering field she worked as a math teacher in Ghana and the United States. (She’s an incredibly smart and competent woman.)
ICSB was started by Campus Crusade for Christ Int. and some other partner organizations that also have staff in Hungary and other parts of Eastern Europe. Our children will be going to school there. You can read a lot more about it by clicking on the name of the school. I think the school video is incredibly informative. It’s a little dated now, but still very informative. They talk about construction increasing the size of the school and that construction is done now. They also show a young woman sitting in class as a teen. That young woman is now full time CCCI staff in a rather high risk portion of the world. It encourages and frightens me at the same time. I hold my kids with an open hand but that doesn’t mean I’m without emotion at the thought of where God may call them some day.
We are still working on raising support, but 96% of our monthly support has come in. We need to raise a healthy amount for the move too – but we are starting preparations for the move itself. We’ll be nailing down dates soon but right now it looks like we’ll be in Phoenix for a couple weeks at the end of June and on our way to Hungary at the very beginning of July. There is a lot to do between now and then and we covet your prayers.
God continues to move things forward with our support raising. We are at 92% of our monthly goal and are making plans based on the assumption that we’ll hit 100% by July. There is a lot to do when moving a family of 5 to another country. My brain has a hard time getting around all of it but we just keep trying to tackle one thing at a time.
We’ve started meeting with team members already in Hungary via Skype. This is a great tool as we can get good advice and guidance from them as well as getting up to speed on what is going on in the office.
Thanks to everyone who is praying for us. It is awesome to see how God is providing and how he keeps moving us forward.
Today we finished X-Track, our training to serve cross culturally. It’s been an amazing five weeks of learning and interacting with others. Last night all of us that have finished the program were commissioned. It was a beautiful service that included those of us being sent out being prayed over by the others. We grouped up by area of the world, we were charged, prayed over and then there was a prayer said in one of the languages spoken in the area where we were going. For us that prayer was in Russian.
At the end we sang praise songs and it was wonderful as well. Unknown to me though, my wife was experiencing something a bit difficult. We had the kids and the whole program ran about two and a half hours so we had them in our laps, close by, etc. Rachel was sitting on Ingrid’s lap as we sang a song that included the line, “If you want me to go, I will go”. Rachel looked at her mom and asked, “Do you think God want’s us to go?” Ingrid answered yes and Rachel replied, “But I don’t want to go.” and began to cry. We know parts of this move will be tough for the kids, though we also believe they’ll be very glad later when they can look back on it all. But it can still be tough right now.
There was of course a reception and food afterwords. We were talking to friends, and the kids were playing together. I began to look around to make sure I knew where all the kids were. I found Rachel sitting on a chair next to a young woman.
The young woman next to Rachel, had grown up in Budapest, where we are headed. She had gone to the school our kids will attend. She loved it so much that after college, she returned to the school as a teacher. Last year she taught the 4th grade. Her class will be Rachel’s class mates. She had her camera out and was showing Rachel pictures of all her class mates. She told Rachel each of their names, where they were from and a bit about them. She wont be there as a teacher next year, because she’s following God’s call to a very difficult place. She will be a team leader in a part of the world that may ask all of her, including her life. But last night God put her in the gymnasium of a church in Ft. Collins Colorado to minister to my daughter.
This is why we are going. Not out of obligation or because we think we have anything to offer of ourselves. We are going because there are people in Eastern Europe who have not met our Father who loves us like this. He’s given us more than we can imagine, and as if that wasn’t enough continues to lavish upon us more and more love. We just want everyone to have a chance to experience that love.
Today our Global HR department informed us that we are now officially IRs. (International Representatives) This means we have met the organizational requirements to serve outside the US full time. We still have a lot to do before we move, but this is a very exciting milestone in the overall process.
Now we need to work on setting our support goals. One for the cost of moving our family and another for our cost of living in Hungary. We’ll set those goals and start working on raising the needed funds. You can start praying now for that process as it will probably be the primary factor in determining when we can leave.
God is so good! We are so excited about this.