After months of planning, and almost a week of paperwork at the port city of Cortes, the container from Maryland is scheduled to arrive at our house tomorrow morning! Hurrah!
You may recall that this container was originally scheduled to leave Maryland in November. There were multiple reasons for delaying the shipping, but this has created the humorous situation of our distributing Christmas gifts in February. This seems highly strange to North Americans, and not at all odd to the Hondurans. Interestingly, Christmas is not a big gift-giving day here. The pastors and their families are delighted to get their gifts, sometime around this time of year, without worrying much about it being a specifically "Christmas" gift. The timing of the gift distribution has more to do with the North Americans (who give the gifts) than with the Hondurans.
So, we are gearing up to get back into the gift distribution mindset. This week, while Allen was in Puerto Cortes getting the shipment through customs, here at home we were organizing and tightening up the remaining boxes of gifts and donations from the previous (Florida) shipment, to make room for all the newly arriving stuff. This container has a lot more in it than our last one did, and the last container also had about 10 motorcycles in it, which did not have to be stored in the house. So, we expect the available storage space in our house to be FULL! We hope we can manage to get everything in . . .
Russell has also been working on entering information we have received (from the pastors who have already gotten their gifts) into a database on the computer. We have each pastor fill out a questionaire at the time he receives his gift, so that we can get a general idea of how the pastors and their families are personally doing, how their church is doing(or churches . . . as many of the pastors are leading more than one church), and how the gospel is advancing in the mountains of western Honduras. We also take this opportunity to update their contact information.
Today is the final day of our pre-shipment homeschooling blitz. We crammed as much school as possible into these past two weeks, and now we'll be back to squeezing in school around the ministry work. We're thankful to have the Hayes family here to help us this year - hopefully this will mean that we can continue to school part time. My parents are coming for a two week stay in February, which will be another break in our school schedule.