We did arrive in America safely after our adventurous trip. I could tell we had arrived when I saw a sign at the airport advertising the airports chapel welcoming Jews, Muslims, Christians and those of any other faith. My senses were shocked upon hearing and understanding so many conversations around me, and hearing English spoken in an American accent as opposed to a Balkan one.
We had to accomplish two things during our visit to America. One was to go to New York City to the office of the Consulate General of the Republic of Macedonia at United Nations Plaza in order to get the infamous stamp placed on our paperwork. Secondly, we had to get our Criminal Record Searches re-done since the visa process had taken so long the original ones had already expired. We arrived in Virginia and left for New York City within a couple of days. Upon arriving at the Consulate General's office it took all of about ten minutes to get the stamp that was required, for which we had traveled all that way. The receptionist was apologetic about the fact that we had to travel so far to get it done. I wanted to laugh out loud and tell the story of what we had to go through to get there, but I refrained. The Criminal Record Search came in the mail with about a week and a half to spare.
Shortly before returning home I was having a recurrence of knee pain from the Lyme disease I was diagnosed with the week before I moved to Macedonia. I got to see my doctor in America, and was diagnosed with Lyme arthritis in my knees, and am being treated for it now. In the middle of my visit I started experiencing a number of other serious symptoms that sent me back to the doctor, who ordered an EKG, and some other testing, which all came out fine, so it was determined I was experiencing a side effect of the medication. Since then the symptoms have subsided and not bothered me any longer. The arthritis posed a challenge when I returned to Macedonia considering the fact that I walk an average of something like 3-5 miles a day just to get where I need to go. But just this past weekend the pain has begun to subside and make life easier. Please pray that my body will be completely healed of Lyme disease and anything associated and I will be free to live life here without these physical hindrances.
My family was all together for the first time in at least a year, and we enjoyed a canoe trip together, playing with the horses and doing a family photo shoot.
It worked out nicely that we all happened to be there to celebrate my mother's birthday, an unexpected pleasure. It was a blessing having my dad's help figuring out my taxes and other paperwork, and just getting to spend time with everyone.
God's provision for this unexpected trip was awesome to watch. I have a few monthly supporters but am mostly living by faith from month to month. When I heard I had to go home, it posed an opportunity to exercise even more faith. My financial situation was such that to purchase a plane ticket would drain my finances to the point where I would have almost nothing to live on when I returned to Macedonia. I prayed and stepped out in faith. Two people, unaware of my situation gave large donations at just this time that were enough to cover most of my travel expenses, and then other friends heard and blessed me. The result was that by the time I returned to Macedonia I had close to the same amount of money, if not more, to live off of than I had before I left. God has always been faithful. It amazes me, how from the biggest to the smallest things, he takes care of it all. So many times I have thought I didn't have money to take the bus when I needed to, or to buy food for the last week of the month. But then the next thing I know someone offers me a ride, or offers to pay for some food, and it's all taken care of. I have never yet been in lack of a necessity. I look back at God's faithfulness and wonder how I ever doubt Him.