Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We've arrived in Lichinga!

The Zambezi River
Well we finally made it to Lichinga and have internet access. It has been quite the journey. Here is a little synopsis of it. We left Chicago friday afternoon, March 15th and flew to DC, from there we headed to Joburg. The 15 hour flight, went very well. The kids did great, including Jurnee. They slept for a lot of it. We had to spend the night in Joburg and left the next morning for Maputo. We spent two nights in Maputo picking up our car and doing all the paperwork to put it into our name. We are very happy with our car and the family we bought it from were so incredible to us. They housed us and fed us and took us around to get all the paperwork done. The kids played with their kids and swam in their pool and had a blast. It was a nice break after the long plane ride. Then tuesday morning we headed out to make our way back to Lichinga. We spent 5 days driving 8 to 10 hours per day until we finally arrived in Lichinga. If you really want to know what that trip was like, we encourage you to load up your vehicle with 10 suitcases, 7 carry on bags, 4 children (including an infant seat) in the backseat and drive through an open field for about 8 hours and you might want to drive some of them in the rain as we did, and then see what you think! It was exhausting and every night when you climb out of the car, your whole body hurts from the bumping. The kids did great though. They never complained about the room or the length of the trip. They sang, colored, and we played enough I spy to drive you crazy. And we did have a few perks of the trip. We saw some amazing scenery and got to spend an afternoon/evening at the coast. It was good to see more of this beautiful country we live in.
We are thankful to finally be back. We came back to "life in Mozambique", no hot water, broken toilet, dirty house, inconsistent electricity, and crazy rules that make no sense. So it has been and continues to be a process to get our house back in order. It will take a little while. We have also been working on renewing our resident visas. This is always a fun process! Just to give you an idea of what that is like here, this is how it went for us...On monday, Tim went to the immigration office to turn in all the paperwork we had gathered and filled out to renew the visas. We have to pay about $2 for each of the applications, which are just a simple piece of paper (you would think when your visa costs $600 each, the applications would be included, but not here). He fills out the applications, but their electricity is off, so they tell him to come back in the afternoon. He goes back in the afternoon and it is still off, so they tell him to come back tomorrow. We go back the next morning and turn in the paperwork because the power is back on. They tell us Tim made a mistake on his application and needs to pay another $2 for a new one. He fills out a new one and as we are writing the check they tell us we cannot apply for visa until we get the check verified by the bank (that we have the money in our account to pay for them). So we head to the bank to get the check verified and wait in line for an hour. We then return to the immigration office and can finally turn in our paperwork and get the visas taken care of! And that was just for Tim and I. We still need to do Jurnee's, so we'll see how long that one takes. Besides that though we have been reuniting with friends and Jurnee is the star of the show. Everyone loves to laugh and pinch all her fat. She is referred to as "gorda" or fat. Of course in the states she is only in the 20th percentile for her weight, but here she is just huge!
Thank you to everyone who prayed for our trip, for safety, that the kids would do well on the plane, that our luggage would all arrive without problems, they were all answered! We cannot tell you enough how much your prayers for us mean to our family. Please continue to pray as we get our house settled and get things fixed and figured out. The kids are loving not having to wear shoes again and play outside anytime they want. Jurnee had some rough days after the 5 days of driving, but is settling down again. Just continue to pray for our health as well. Jurnee is too little for the anti malaria medicine, so pray for that. Thanks and we will keep you updated!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Trip to Disney!

The High family all made a trek down to Florida for a week in the sun and a trip to Disney and Sea World. Grandma and Grandpa wanted to have one last hurrah before we leave for Mozambique. We rented a house in Orlando and had beautiful weather. The kids had so much fun with their cousins swimming and going to Disney and Sea World. Here are some pictures of our time there.

Everyone got their picture with Mickey and Minnie!
In front of the castle.
The girls got to meet all the princesses.

We also celebrated Aunt Kristi's birthday while we were there.
Traeger, Ethan, and Kallen with Shamu.
All the grandkids, except for Jurnee. Yes, we took 9 kids, 7 and under to Disney World and Sea World. It actually went pretty well and we only lost Kallen twice!
We also had many days to enjoy the sun and swim. Here is Traeger and Ethan.
Karis really improved in her swimming this week and can even dive down and retrieve objects!
Traeger is a fish and I think he seriously spent more time in the water than out of it when we were at the house.
Kallen also loved the water.
Jurnee even got to lay out a little.
But mostly spent her time being held by grandma....
and grandpa.

Our Junee and our journey....

Many of you already know, but in case you haven't heard Jurnee Kae was born on Feb 2, 2012 at 8:04am. She was 6lbs 10oz and 19 in long. Her brother and sisters adore her and she has truely been a blessing to our family.
As many of you have also heard or received our email, we are scheduled to leave on March 16th for Mozambique. We will be flying out of Chicago, so we will head down there on the 15th of March, exactly 2 weeks from today. We have been given permission to leave by SIM, but we are short of our monthly support goal. We are making a last appeal for people to become our partners with God's work in Mozambique. When we first returned from Mozambique and did our budget with SIM to determine the amount of support we needed to raise, we did not know Michele was pregnant. We didn't give it much thought, until after Jurnee was born and we moved up to a family of six, which changed the amount of support we needed to raise due to travel costs and visa costs with an additional family member. So SIM came back to us that we needed to raise about $600 additional monthly support. Praise God, since we sent out the last email, we have gained an additional $175 in monthly support, but that still leaves us short by $425, so in these last two weeks before we go, we are asking that you please pray and see where God leads you as far as becoming our partners financially on a monthly or yearly basis. Every amount helps. We have a direct link to SIM's giving site on the right hand side of this blog page to set up online giving. We need the money in our support account, not ministry account at this time. If you want to give a different way just contact us at and we can give you other options. If you are not financially able to join us, please partner with us in prayer. Please pray that God would bring in this support and please pray that the journey to Mozambique goes well. We have many details that need to fall into place before we leave and we are a little nervous about the 17 hour plane ride and 3 day trip with the 4 kids. Thank you for considering this and we look forward to watching God provide.