The kids had been counting down for months, ready to be home. Actually everyone was ready to be home, to our ministry, people, and to our own beds! It was close, only 3 days to go! We left my family and headed to Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25th. We arrived at the motel after dark, I had a sick headache, it was cold and windy and everyone was ready to get inside. We opened the U-haul trailer and just grabbed what we would need to get us through the night, and dressed for church the next morning. My head was hurting so bad that all I could think about was drugs and a bed! We closed up the van and trailer, backed it up against a light pole and went inside. It was a very nice motel and seemed to be in a decent area of town (although it was dark, so I guess I couldn't really tell).
The next morning we were close to being ready to go and Delayna had forgotten to bring her church shirt in, so Stu and Juls headed out to the van to get her shirt and carry a few things out on the way. They came running back in a few minutes later, Stu frantically asked me if I had moved the van. Of course, I hadn't and when I answered he said, "It's Gone!!!". The van, trailer, 10 suitcase and 6 carry-on's were gone! We immediately went to the front desk to call the police. I called the Pastor we were going to be with and explained why we were' going to be there and then called the man who owned the van and told him what happened. We spent a couple of hours talking to the police and trying to remember all that was in the van, At the time I couldn't think of anything that was in the van! Ever since then, I have been remembering things one by one. In the middle of the night I will sit up and remember something new that we "lost". We lost Passports (11 of them, Canadian and American), Canadian citizenship cards, Dominican resident cards, a checkbook, laptop, a projector, a GPS, a camera, a video camera, books, DVD's, pictures, School curriculum, toys, a guitar, clothes, shoes, stuff for our church, etc. We still start looking for something and realize, "that was before the robbery". That afternoon the man who runs Baptist Missionary Transportation Ministry (which is where the van was from) came and picked us up to bring us back to Harrisonville (about 30 minutes from where we were). We went to church there that night, which was the original plan anyways. The next morning a lady from the church took my kids out shopping for a few clothes and undergarments and also took them to a fun place to eat pizza and play. They had a great time. Meanwhile back at the mission apartment, I was on the phone ALL day long, with the police, airlines, US passport agency, Canadian consulate, etc. I felt like the phone was glued to my ear! After all of those calls, we realized we would have to go to Dallas to get our passports replaced. The airlines were kind enough to change not only the date of our ticket but the departing airport to Dallas and only charged us the $30 fare difference per ticket (which he worked hard to get that low) and not the $150 change fee per ticket. Someone from my dad's church in Ada, OK came and picked us up on Tuesday and took us back to my parent's house. We spent the next couple of weeks there, getting our passports replaced and replacing any necessities we could. Finally on March 16th we flew home! We have spent the last two weeks here cleaning, unpacking and getting the house back in order. We are almost back to normal except we are still waiting on Delayna's school work to be replaced. This week is a big holiday here so we have no mail flight until next Thursday. The kids will be doing school all summer but we hope to be able to start next year on time.
Please continue to pray for us as we still have some things to take care of. We still have to replace our Canadian citizenship cards (mine and the girls) our Dominican resident cards and a few things that were stolen. I have to redo all of my tax information, I had already had it all totaled up and ready to go, but it was on my laptop that was stolen, so I have to start all over. Please pray for the kids, that they work extra hard to get their school work done.
Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement and love offerings to help us replace stuff. You have been a tremendous blessing through all of this. We have such awesome friends and family!!!