Wow, soo much has happened in the last 5 days!!! And I know the craziness isn't over yet...
Soo, after my last Blog on Friday, March 11, I was soo excited and just chatting with God about when I should book my ticket. I had started to hear rumors from my friends in Pucallpa about protests that had started in Pucallpa, but nothing too serious. Then Saturday I started looking at flights and saw that flights to Pucallpa through Monday were crazy expensive because of "last minute" bookings. But Tuesday still had flights for the regular standard prices. So I chattted with my friends about it and prayed about it and felt peace about going ahead and purchasing my flight to Pucallpa for Tuesday, March 15. I was soo excited and went ahead and announced on facebook that I would finally be heading to Pucallpa!!! Then Sunday happened..
I had emailed Pastor Victor on Saturday with my flight info and asked if they would be available to meet me at the airport. They hadn't responded by Sunday afternoon, so I decided to call them in case they hadn't seen my email. That is when Pastor Victor confirmed that they had seen my email, but that I should NOT come on Tuesday. He said that the protests were actually strikes and protests and that it was not safe to come. The people striking had closed down roads and blocked others. People couldn't leave there homes and all transportation had been shut down. Pastor Victor said the strikes were supposed to end Thursday, so I should delay my flight to Friday. Completely trusting him, I did exactly that and resheduled my flight for this Friday, March 18.
Monday came and went without any news, etc. The strikes in Pucallpa still hadn't hit national news, so we had no new info besides what my friends and other missionaries in Pucallpa were telling me. School was supposed to start in Pucallpa, but it did not. Also, I never received the awaited email from the shipping company that they said they would send.
Tuesday(yesterday), the strikes finally made it into the news and we were able to see some of the updates. The strikes had changed to being "indefinite" with a 24 hour pause officially scheduled for Monday, March 21, with the strikes resuming on the 22nd. So we quickly called Pastor Victor to get his input. He said that they now had no idea when the strikes were going to end, but to definitely NOT come on Friday because there was beginning to be a shortage of food and supplies because the road closures had blocked supplies coming in from Lima. He said that waiting until the first week of April just to be safe would be best. He did not feel comfortable with me coming at all this week and probably not next week. So after chatting with my friends here, I decided I would delay my flight until Monday, April 4 as Pastor Victor suggested. But I didn't really have peace about it and was also unable to reschedule my flight last, night, so I figured I would do it today.
I woke up today to news that the strike leaders decided to meet this morning to decide how to proceed. We also saw in the news that government officials are planning on going to Pucallpa Monday and meeting with strike leaders next Tuesday, March 22. I also received a message from a friend in Pucallpa stating that flights had gone back to normal, so why was I delaying my flight? So we called Pastor Victor again. He said that yes, flights were now running, but the roads were still closed blocking incoming supplies and there was still a shortage of food. So still best to delay my flight. So this afternoon, I called the airline and asked if there was a limit on how many times I could change my flight. There isn't, so instead of rebooking it for Monday, April 4, I decided to reschedule it for a week at a time. So I'm now currently scheduled to leave Friday, March 25. But there is NO guarantee I'll actually be leaving then. We'll see what next week brings...
Now amidst all of this is my concern/wondering what happens with the shipment? We still hadn't heard from the shipping company, so I emailed them this morning, then called them this afternoon. We had to leave a message, but then I was called back by their truck driver who is responsible for getting the stuff to Pucallpa. He informed us that he was going to have the truck loaded on Saturday and that he would ahve the items to Pucallpa by Monday morning. We were stunned because of the strikes happening and inquired if he was aware of everything happening in Pucallpa?? He said yes, but that he could bypass the blockages and will have the items there Monday. So we quickly called Pastor Victor again and told him the situation and he said that if the items actually arrive Monday, that they will receive them and take care of everything. I gave them some quick instructions for the items and then the rest we leave in God's hands and trust He will take care of everything!
I could not have even imagined the craziness that has continued to occur with all of this, but in the midst of it all I just laugh and praise the Lord because its His plans, not mine! I am still not going to go to Pucallpa until it is safe to do so, but its possible that the shipment will arrive before me this Monday! We just wait to see what happens....I don't even know how to respond to all of this except God has a plan and HIS WILL BE DONE!!!
Please continue to pray for everyone in Pucallpa dealing with the shortages, looting, violence, and craziness. And pray that the truck gets into Pucallpa during the 24 hour pause safely! To God Be the Glory!!!!