Oct 23, 2012

Boxing up our igloo

My bookcase is getting boxed up!
We are getting things boxed, bagged, and labeled for our upcoming move.  I want to say "Thank you!" to those who have been praying for us lately.

I finally decided on a container.  We will be going with a 20 ft container instead of the mini container.  This size did cost more, but after running some measurements through a 3D home design program called Sweet Home 3D, I found out that our stuff just wouldn't fit into two mini containers thereby negating the cost effectiveness of them.  It was either go with the bigger container or get rid of our couch and various shelving/cabinets, so that made the decision a whole lot easier! (^_^)

We will be loading our container on Monday, Oct 29.  We're not sure of the time, so we have to be on standby all day. (Stop by if you're in the area. ^_^ We'll let you help!)  Please pray that the container makes it to Ilulissat without any delays.  If all goes well we should be unloading it on Nov 12.  There is the problem of the ocean (or even the bay in Ilulissat) being impassible because of sea ice.  This happens every year for them, I'm just not sure if it happens this early in the year or not.

We will fly out from here on the following Friday, Nov 2.  Once again, please pray that we won't have any weather delays with the flights.  This flight isn't a direct flight to Ilulissat though; we have a short layover in Aasiaat, so we are hoping to get a few pictures of the airport at least.

We are excited to be moving up to work with the Shull family, but also sad to be leaving Sisimiut.  We still want to see a good, strong, independent Baptist church started in Sisimiut one day.  Not just Sisimiut only, we want to see them all throughout Greenland!  Whether those churches are started by us, another missionary family, or some saved, discipled, and sent-out Greenlanders, we want to see Christ taken to all of Greenland.

On another note, I have changed this blog back to the old style.  After tweaking and changing things in the Dynamic Views, I just didn't like it.  I still hope to get more personalizing done with this layout, just at a later date.

Thank you for the prayers for our family and for those who have sent notes, cards, monthly support, and special offerings to our family.  We are very grateful to be laboring in our little patch of ice for our Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Oct 4, 2012

The dog sledge is booked

Actually we're flying, not traveling by dog sledge.  I think Masey would end my life if we were to travel that far by sledge (about 175 miles).  I did purchase the plane tickets this past Tuesday, Oct 2.  We are scheduled to fly out from here to Ilulissat on Friday, November 2.  Please continue to pray for us as we have lots to do.
Dash 8 - We're hoping for this plane (it's the nicer of the two)

In order for our belongings to get to Ilulissat we will need to ship a container.  You might be wondering why we need to ship a container.  We cannot use a moving truck because there are no roads between here and there.  In fact, there are no roads that connect any of Greenland's cities or villages.  I have a choice between a 20 ft container or I could use two or three mini containers.  For those that may not know, a mini container is about the same height and width of a 20 ft container but it's about a quarter of the length.  It's also about a quarter of the cost to use a mini container. 

This looks the same size as the mini one we're considering

When we moved here from America we used a 20 ft container, but it wasn't packed full.  What I see as a draw back would be the cost of getting the containers to and from both harbors.  If the truck has to do multiple trips, that will eat up any money that we might save by using it.

Please continue to pray for us to have wisdom with these decisions and needs.  More specifically: (1) I need to decided something definite in about a week concerning the type of container to let the company know in plenty of time, (2) the approval of the rest of the family's paperwork, and (3) the rest of the money needed for shipping the container (or containers) which is about $1000.

We are so grateful for those that pray for us.  If you have any questions about this move, any advice, or just a note of encouragement, feel free to email me (email address is on the "Who we are" page.)

Oct 1, 2012

Up and down and up

This past couple weeks have been filled with ups and downs and ups for us. (Kinda makes me think of a roller coaster in that regard.)

On Sept 17 I called Danish Immigration on a whim, not thinking much would come of it. The lady I spoke with gave us great news, the paperwork had been approved and we could move to Ilulissat! In fact, it had been approved for a week when I called them.

We were ecstatic! I called the other missionaries in Ilulissat to let them know the great news. We set a date of November 2 to move to Ilulissat. I got a letter in the mail a couple days later stating that I had been approved to work as a missionary in Ilulissat. We were eagerly awaiting the actually residence cards all week, when last Friday a horrible thought struck me. The letter said that Marty Arnold (that's me) had been approved, but it said nothing of my family. OH NO!

Because of the time difference between Greenland and Denmark it was too late to call Immigration on Friday to check on our fears. I did go by our police department to ask them as see what they could find. I was told they would do some checking and let me know on Monday. Monday came and I never heard from them, so I decided to call Immigration on Tuesday morning to try and find some answers for myself.

The phone call didn't go at all like we hoped. The woman told me that I had misfiled my family's paperwork and that was hindering the progress. I tried to explain that I filed the same way this time as I did in 2010 when we originally applied and had no troubles then, but it didn't matter. I asked her why hadn't anyone told me before now, since the paperwork had been pending for over 7 months. She informed me that: (1) They never look at accompanying family members paperwork until the main paperwork (mine) is approved and (2) That she was now informing me that it was wrong.

From what I gathered while conversing with her is that Danish Immigration will let the paperwork stand for now, but the review process will be when they get around to it. Meaning that, although they claim it was done wrong, it will be ok. She flat out told me that they have NO time line for my family's approval.

This crushed us! Now what are we supposed to do?!?! I immediately called the other missionary family to inform them. We were praying for a miracle now. The police department here was still checking to see if there is something else that can be done while we wait, but they have not given any answers.

I called again this past Thursday to let them know that my residence card had not arrived yet. I was told that it can take 4-6 weeks to get them printed and then Immigration will ship them here. I thought I was going to pass out when she told me that. It seemed like more bad news for us. I talked with her about getting the card sent to Ilulissat since technically I had already been approved to move. Thankfully it doesn't look like that should be a problem.

I had her check on my family's paperwork again. We had been praying for a miracle. She told us that their paperwork looked fine and that the case worker had been looking at it. That was good news for us! Apparently they have changed the rules for some of the filing, but she didn't know if that was before or after we had originally filed in January.

I asked her if it would be OK for us to move to Ilulissat while their paperwork was pending. After some checking she told me that it should be fine to do that. She did caution us that if Masey and the kids were to be denied, they would have to leave Greenland. As I was getting off the phone with her, she was going to send a note to their caseworker telling her that I had called to check on the progress and asking her to email me if our moving would be a problem while the other paperwork is pending. Praise God, so far I haven't gotten any emails from them!

After praying about it we have decided to take a step of faith and go ahead and purchase the tickets for our original moving date of November 2. We will be buying the tickets either tonight or in the morning.

Please pray for us concerning Immigration. Please pray:
  1. That Danish Immigration will approve my family quickly
  2. That Immigration won't have any problem with us moving to Ilulissat if my family is not approved by the time we desire to move. 
  3. For us about this move. We have a lot of work that needs to be done in packing, arranging a container, getting the container up there before the sea ice gets too thick, and also paying for the shipping of the container. If I'm not mistaken we still need about $1,000 to finish covering the container costs, so please pray that this would come in also.

We have a place to minister and a place to live waiting on us in Ilulissat, now we are just waiting for the approval. Within two weeks we have gone from great happiness and celebration, to sadness and uncertainty, to where we are now: hopeful and optimistic. At times like these I can be so grateful that even though I have no control over the situation, God still does. Please pray that God's will be done, and if He sees fit, the family will receive approval swiftly so that we can arrive in Ilulissat on November 2. Thank you!