Strange Winds

The plan for the entire last three years has been to sail south. The first missionary contact we ever made was with a family in Honduras. An old Navy friend introduced us to them through social media. Our other missionary contacts have come through various sources – missionary member care groups, meeting one family which lead to an entire agency with missionaries all over Mexico, local churches, and new friends. It’s been a wonderful adventure, as we trusted God to lead the way. 

Wherever the wind blows…that’s the name of our website, but there’s a lot more to that, a little play on words. We live and travel on a sailboat, so yes, the wind fills our sails. Sometimes we can adjust the sails and harness the wind to take us where we want to go. Other times, the wind is against us and it’s what we sailors refer to as a bash. Loosely translated, it means absolutely no fun at all (okay, that may be my personal definition). Going against the wind is not where we want to go. The Greek word for wind is pneuma, but it has a secondary meaning. In the New Testament of the Bible (originally written in Greek) the word pneuma is also used for Holy Spirit.  We try to listen to and go where the Holy Spirit is leading us – wherever the pneuma blows – wherever God is sending us. Much of the last three years has not looked like we expected, and that trend is continuing with strange winds surrounding us, but we will continue trusting God.

Our plan was to go to Bahía del Sol in El Salvador (the white arrow). The map depicts all category 1+ hurricanes over the last 30 years in the Eastern Pacific, which clearly shows why we must have a plan for hurricane season (May 15 – November 30). Once we’re in the estuary in El Salvador we would be “stuck” there until the fall. We planned to use El Salvador as a jumping off point for land travels to visit a missionary family in Guatemala and the family in Honduras.

Well, the actual wind is not blowing us south. The swell in the Eastern Pacific has been much larger than normal for this time of year. The sand bar that must be crossed to get into Bahía del Sol has been closed for almost 3 weeks. It isn’t looking good for the near future either.

It appears that the Holy Spirit isn’t sending us south either. The missionary family in Guatemala has returned to the US. The family in Honduras is actually on the Atlantic (yes, big mistake on our part, we thought they said Pacific and we never googled their small town until recently).

We are currently in Marina Chiapas, Mexico (the red arrow on the map). It’s a nice marina with a great manager and it’s a safe place to leave the boat (plus a discounted summer rate). Yep, I said leave the boat. As much as we don’t want to leave the boat for a few months, the 90-100 degree temperatures INSIDE the boat (heat index is 100-110), no AC, swarms of mosquitoes, and daily rain/thunderstorms that require we close up the boat, just makes it unbearable. The marina is 30 minutes from town and the only thing out here are tennis courts (yeah, I don’t think so!). We’ve decided it’s best to head back to the US, take care of our yearly medical appointments, and spend some time with my parents in Colorado. We also plan to send Dennis off somewhere so he can finally finish his dissertation for his doctorate. The constantly growing list of things to fix or maintain on the boat doesn’t allow him any time to sit and research/write.  

Such a quiet and calm place
Marina Chiapas – evening thunderstorms beginning to build in the distance

We need a week or so to secure everything on our boat. Our insurance considers southern Mexico still in the hurricane zone. Even though it should be perfectly safe, we must follow the recommendations from our insurance company to protect our boat. We’ll be flying into Tijuana on June 6thand walking across the border into San Diego. Dennis and I each have a medical appointment and then we’ll be heading to Colorado on June 11th. We will probably fly back to Mexico (not quite sure when yet) through San Diego/Tijuana so hopefully we’ll get a chance to spend some more time and visit with more friends. 

We appreciate your prayers as we continue to strive to follow God’s leading, wherever the wind blows, in our ministry to missionaries.