The search for a new place to serve…
The “interviews” for a new home began in earnest with Portugal.
This was a 3rd visit for me, and 1st for Juan. Mari had already cast her vote after our mommy-daughter trip last summer. I did love Portugal as a vacation spot, and cultural roots do run deep. However, vacationing in hotels, taking pictures of monuments and chatting it up with tourists is a very different animal from leaving home, family, friends, congregation and country to live as an expat Needgreater there. I needed to look at this country with different eyes. Juan needed to really get to know both the place and the needs in the preaching work. He also had to consider the spiritual implications for his family, safety, economic stability and many, many, many other moving parts.
We had our short list of candidates: Ecuador, Portugal, Bolivia were at the top. Dominican Republic and Panama were already approved since we’d either already lived there or vacationed there frequently as “locals”… *Read: seen “the good, the bad, and the ugly” and still loved it!
So, 2016 was set for the first “interview” with… Ecuador. We have friends serving there happily, and after the experiences in our monthly broadcasting…. We decided to go there first.
However, one of our dearest friends decided to move to Portugal in September of 2015. Since our interview process requires “talking to people already successfully accomplishing the goal you have,” the opportunity for an onsite visit with a new Needgreater in Portugal was just too great to pass up. So, we revised our schedule to visit Portugal first. A flash sale from Aer Lingus decided the date for October 2015.
And so, it begins.