Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Details, Details, Details - SO MANY DETAILS!

I am breathing a HUGE sigh of relief this morning.  We don't have everything in our hands yet to be able to leave for Bolivia, but we are a whole lot further than we were 2 days ago!
We are waiting for our flight information from the school in La Paz, then I will overnight all of the paperwork (so far) to our friend - Jay - (Did I tell y'all what a TOTAL BLESSING he is being to us?!?!?) and he will courier our items to the US State Department in Washington, D.C.  Then he will proceed to the Bolivian Consulate and deliver ALL of the necessary paperwork and money orders and the Consulate General will send our temporary Visa back to us after two days.  So, by the end of next week, we should have IN HAND the documents we need to leave the US and enter La Paz, Bolivia!!!

Of course, as soon as we arrive we have to start the process to obtain a 1-year Visa so that we can return for the Christmas break.  It takes quite a while to jump through all of the hoops required to get that done, but there is a Lady at Highlands who physically walks us through each step of that process, for which I am SO relieved!
So, folks it looks like pretty easy sailing from this point on.....let's keep praying, though, you all know "who" does NOT want us to get to Bolivia and preach the Good News to the children and he will do anything possible to thwart our plans.  The battle has just begun!


 Ephesians 6:10-12 ~ English Standard Version (ESV) ~ The Whole Armor of God
 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

AMEN and AMEN!!!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

I know better and yet....

Okay, so it IS a big deal - I have to take our marriage license to a professional translator, have them translate the document into Spanish and have someone else notarize it.  THEN, I have to go to downtown Atlanta and have the notary authenticated (not the document, but the the notary is in compliance, blah, blah, blah).  THEN, these 3 documents have to be taken to the US State Department - Yeah, that's right - good ol' Mrs. Clinton then does her thing authenticated that the state of Georgia is in compliance so that they can say okay to the notary who said okay to the translation of the marriage license into Spanish.  BUT WAIT, we're still not done - T H E N the Bolivian Consulate wants to see all of these documents and THEN they issue us a Visa to get into their country.  

Okay, some of this might not sound like a big deal- first of all, when I was notified about having to have the marriage license translated, I had no idea that that kind of thing was even done, so 
I had to find someone to do that.  When I called Atlanta to find out what I had to do, I was told  that since the marriage license was issued in Arizona that they had to authenticate it.  That was incorrect, as the marriage license isn't being authenticated - the notary is.  Wasted
a lot of time with that.
 THEN, after I figured out that the license translation had to be notarized and the notary authenticated in the same state and what with just having been told incorrect information about being able to get it done AND the idea of having to go into downtown ATLANTA and figure this out on my own when people who work there are telling me information that is not correct, I decided to look for a notary somewhere else and see if they knew what I was talking about - I did and he did and I thought it was all set until I read on in the directions....  IF we were to mail the first documents to the US State Department, they were saying that the turnaround time was 8 weeks - 8 weeks?!?!?  We only had four before we were supposed to leave for Bolivia.  Okay, now I'm pacing.  Vaughn is at work, I am freaking out.  We only have one car, Vaughn needs it for work - how am I going to get to Washington, D.C. and take care of this?  I could take a bus, then I would have to try to figure out the bus system in busy Washington and try to get this done - the walk-in hours are from 7:30 - 11:00 am, so I would have to ride a bus that got me there first thing in the morning - an all-nighter.  Fun, okay - or I could fly.  No, finances are tight.  OH MY GOODNESS, what are we gonna do?  We already have others moving into our house before the eight weeks, Vaughn has already given notice at work - no place to stay, no income - I need some chocolate and a Valium and a nap!!!!!

Breathe in, breathe out.  Slow down, relax.  WHO is in control?  WHO is not caught off-guard by this "bump in the road?"  God, that's Who - the God with whom I have a personal relationship.  Okay God, I trust You, I know that whatever is because You okayed it.  Heartbeat is slowly returning to normal. 

*THOUGHT* - is it possible for someone else to take the papers to Department of State and then to the Bolivian Consulate? Hmmmm - looking, searching online.  The word "courier" keeps appearing.  Hmmmm - maybe I could get the documents translated, notarized, authenticated and then taken to the Bolivian Consulate by a company right there in DC.  Yeah, found out that that IS an option - for $500!!!! Oh my, oh my - think Katherine, think!   Do we know of anyone who lives close to DC?  I have a friend who lives in New Jersey - is THAT close to DC?  No.  Hmmmm - we had just been up in Virginia in July interviewing for positions at a ministry up there.  A friend of ours that we know from our time in Senegal had told us at the time that HE lived near where we were going to attend church on the Sunday that we were going to be in Fairfax, but that he was going to be in Chicago at the time so we weren't going to be able to get together.....HOWEVER he DID mention that he lived pretty close to Washington, DC - Ohhhhhhhhh Jaaaaaaaay!  

So, I quickly wrote an urgent email to Jay as I did not have his telephone number.  By Saturday evening, I received a phone call - it was our friend Jay. He tells me that he only lives 15 minutes from DC and that he is very familiar with the area and enjoys going there.  And even better than that - he then tells me that he not only is willing, but would consider it a privilege to be able to take our documents and get them authenticated!  

BY this time, my heart has completed stopped and I am in tears!  Oh my, oh my, oh my!  God this is going to work out in much less time than we even need it to - we should have all of this accomplished and all of the papers back in our hands at the very latest the week of Labor Day - and we don't even fly out of Birmingham until September 27th - oh my, oh my, oh my!   

All of this happened in the span of about 4 hours; a very stressful, emotionally and physically draining 4 hours, but it DOES look as if all of it will come together and 
that it really isn't going to be all THAT bad, after all.

Thank You, Lord for taking care of this; for putting me in contact with people who know what they are talking about and for people we met and befriended in Africa who became best friends within that time we spent together so that they would be willing to go to the trouble to do this for us and thank you for taking us to Virginia last month for that interview (even though we decided that the jobs were not a good fit) all so that I could have Jay's name come to mind when I needed help and reassurance.
The process has just begun, the translation and notarization
is complete - I just need to go pick it up today.  Tomorrow 
I get to tackle Atlanta, get passport photos for Vaughn and I, 
3 money orders, go to the post office and send all of the 
documents (along with one that we will get notarized this 
afternoon at our bank - giving Jay the power to act on our 
behalf - just in case that is questioned) overnight up to 
Virginia- along with a prepaid envelope addressed to us so that when the Consulate has their two days with all of our documents, they will mail them back to us.  Doesn't sound too bad.

NOW that I know what needs to be done, how to do it, how much everything costs and remembering to take Vaughn to work at 6:40 this morning and tomorrow AND remembering
to go pick him up (and then run the errand to the bank and to a place to get our passport photos taken) - as long as I remember all of that - OH, and yeah, the church called and a couple is in need of food - so I need to go to the Food bank this morning and "buy" two week's worth of groceries for  them; have it all weighed and sign out for it, then go to the church and deliver it to the couple.  Oh yeah and while I am
there, clean up from yesterday's communion and gather the linens to take home and wash.  And, oh yeah, I need to complete our visa applications while I am there, too, because our printer has gone kaput - but, hey this IS do-able and I have the means to get it done and HEY GOD - everything is great; thanks! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Does a heart good!

 What a delight to find out from our mission agency that some "old friends" made a donation into our account.  Our friends didn't even inform us of it; what a great surprise!


We are so blessed by our supporters!  
Some from high school (boy, was THAT a long time ago!),
some new friends, some former co-laborers!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our Bookmark Prayer cards have been ordered!

This is what our new Prayer cards will look like:  In color on front and b/w on back with all of our pertinent  address information:

If you have signed up to be a financial supporter and/or prayer supporter, please make sure that we have your mailing address so that we can send you one when we receive them - sometime next week.

We also have some people planning on coming by and looking at some of the things we have for sale...hope they take it all!  LOL

A BUMP in the road

So many details to take care of on our journey towards Bolivia.  Yesterday we found out that we must have the following immunizations:  Hepatitis A/B (combo - series of 3 shots), tetanus and typhoid.  Our doctor's office directed us to the local Health Department.  So, in order to get these shots, we must pay an office visit:  $70 for the first one of us, $40 for the second. Then we EACH pay:  $70 for the first Hepatitis shot, $60 for the tetanus shot and $75 for the typhoid shot.  Even without a calculator close by, I figured this out to be $520 - like I wrote on my facebook page... O U C H x 2!  We discussed this with our mission agency to see if our new insurance just might cover these charges (reimbursed at best, because the Health Department does not accept insurance).  We are waiting for a response from Aetna.  
We remain unpoked for the moment...more to follow (I'll bet you just can't wait to hear more of THIS story!).

And, YES, I did choose RED for the color of the font for a reason!  he he he

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Moving to Bolivia becomes more real...

We sold a car, our bed and our pool/patio furniture in the last few days.  Still LOTS to go, but we are beginning to see a dent!

Trusting God's favor for the sale of the bedroom furniture, hutch, TV, and MANY other items!

Struggling emotionally with what has sentimental and "real" value for when we return from the mission field.

Ordered thermal underwear and flannel sheets tonight; "I don't think we're in ARIZONA any more, Toto!"

Friday, August 19, 2011

We're OFFICIAL! "Another Door is Opening for us!"

We got word today that we are official missionaries with N.I.C.S.  We can even start accepting support funds!  Our Project number, which all supporters will need to use to send support through N.I.C.S. for us is:  003559.  From N.I.C.S. to our supporters.  The following is the explanation given to the donors for this:
"The IRS has expressed concern to all nonprofit organizations when donors indicate an individual’s name on the check. The IRS wants to make certain that the gift is made to NICS/OASIS for that person’s project related expenses, and is not merely a personal gift for a particular individual. 
In order to legally issue a tax-deductible receipt, checks must be made payable to NICS/OASIS.  To assure that your gifts are deductible, please do not put the staff member’s name on the check (you may put the staff member’s project number on the check).  You can still indicate your preference for where your gift is used on a separate note or by using the tear-off at the bottom of the receipt we provide.  Using the response portion of the receipt is the easiest and most accurate way of indicating your gift preference."

You may also give online.  The N.I.C.S. website is:  When you are on the site, simply  click on the gray box on the left that says, "Donate."  At that point you will be able to choose recurring donation (such as those individuals/families who have chosen to send in a monthly amount), and/or one time gift, for those who have chosen to help us with finances that we are incurring to leave for Bolivia and also for finances that it will cost for us to set up housekeeping in our apartment in La Paz.

We are so excited!  We have come a long way in less than a week!  It has been a week full of roller-coaster emotions, decisions, plans, purging, a few tears shed hear and there, thankfulness, blessings, prayers, etc.  We are humbled by so many partnering with us on our journey to serve the Lord at Highlands International School in La Paz, Bolivia.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at (706) 207-2303 (Kathy's cell) or (706) 207-9056 (Vaughn's cell) or through our email:

We are going outside now (at our daughter's house to have some pictures taken so that we can start designing our prayer cards), which we hope to be able to start mailing out to our support team in the next week or so.  Please let us know, if you haven't already, if you will stand with us in prayer, through financial support or both.

Time to say," CHEESE!"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


 "Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age a great many of us are possessed by our possessions."    

"Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. 
If you have them, you have to take care of them! 
There is great freedom in simplicity of living. 
It is those who have enough but not too much 
who are the happiest."
   - Peace Pilgrim

Well, today is a very different day; I am purging.  I stopped and thought about the word, "purge," and decided this called for a look-up.  The first definition is:  verb meaning "to rid of whatever is impure or undesirable." Okay, well, maybe I am actually cleaning, throwing, giving away and/or storing more than I am purging.  However you want to look at it, my list of things that I/we can live without is growing.

Vaughn has mentioned (quite a number of times, in fact) that it didn't take us long to start acting like "Americans" again after we returned from West Africa.  I am just beginning to understand how true that statement is. Things I thought were necessary while living here in the states are becoming a lot less necessary when I start considering what will go into a storage unit and how big that unit needs to be and how much that will end up costing each month.  Think about it; how valuable does something have to be to have to pay to store it for an indeterminable amount of time?  There are definitely items that will be stored and the monthly charge doesn't matter; things such as scrapbooks and my Precious Moment collectibles.  Other things like 3 trifle bowls, not so much!

So, as I continue writing my list, taking pictures of each item and finally list each item on craigslist for sale, my hope is that other "Americans" think that my items are necessities for living in the states so that I can make some money to take with us to Bolivia to buy those things necessary for life there!

And just a bit of wisdom learned by Tony Shaloub...

"I was one of those people who put too much emphasis
on work and career and material possessions, 
and it took its toll on all my relationships, 
on my physical health, my emotional  
and mental health. "  - Tony Shaloub 

(for any of you who don't know who Tony Shaloub is; 
can there BE such persons?  
He is the man who played the character, 
Adrian Monk from the sitcom, "Monk," 
one of our all-time favorite obsessive compulsives!)

I only hope that I can learn/am learning/will learn 
what Tony has learned.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One more item to check off our "To Do" list before we go

Had the privilege of meeting tonight with the sweet young couple who are buying our house; their first home purchase.  

Just one more affirmation of the provision of the Lord.

More and More Blessings!

This is the way that I feel today; 
blessings like rain continue to fall on us. 

We are so thankful!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

God's overwhelming goodness

Sunday evening our small group expressed God's generosity to us, several will back us with both prayer and finances.   


It's gonna be a whirlwind, but over the weekend we got offered and accepted positions to serve the Lord at Highlands International School (H.I.S.) through the mission's organization N.I.C.S. (Network of International Christian Schools) located in La Paz, Bolivia. The school's website is: The mission organization website is:

So, sit down, buckle up, hold on and get ready to go on a CRAZY ride with us!

First of all, we sent an information/prayer and support letter out to many friends and family. We have started adding names of those who are committing to pray for us as well as those willing to help out financially. If you didn't receive the letter, please let us know and we will forward a copy to you ASAP!

We are hoping to get everything accomplished here and be headed towards La Paz the last week of September. There is certainly a lot to do; purge our house - selling, giving, storing, etc. Getting through all of the paperwork needed to get a visa for Bolivia, doctor appointments and (FUN!) immunizations. Figuring out what to take, how to take it, etc. Closing accounts, finalizing the lease-purchase agreement with our lessees, selling a car, renting a U-Haul and a storage unit, etc., etc., etc.

So, I just wanted to get the blog started (thanks Julie for the "push" to start it) so that you can check in and see how we are doing and where we are in the process.

More coming soon!

Vaughn & Kathy