Stuck

Author: Trisha Goddard
"The international airport is canceling all flights, leave now or be prepared to stay.” This news came out in March, a little over a week into our stay-at-home order here in Paraguay, and we had already decided that we would stay. Yet when that last airplane took off, it became reality. We were now stuck here, without any way to leave.  

For our family, the capital of Paraguay has been home since 2004, and staying-at-home is a part of our daily life. Our three teenagers are homeschooled and find ways to stay connected with cousins and friends through text messages and social media. Our Paraguayan nonprofit has no office of its own, and therefore, we always use our home office. We have been intentional about making our nonprofit as virtual as possible, allowing our team to work from anywhere in the world. Our ministry involves a lot of administrative roles, including legal paperwork, accounting, and communications. We also have impromptu visits and meetings in our home office and people in our home for meals, but those all had to be canceled and some meetings moved to Zoom or Skype. Communicating with family and friends around the world through emails, I-message and whatsapp messages continues, and we have also even enjoyed Skype meet-ups with all of Mike’s family, who are spread out in four different countries as well our Partners For Paraguay team.  

There was just something about the international airport closing to commercial flights that affected me. The international airport is only about 20 minutes away from our home, and we no longer have the freedom of being able to purchase a ticket and be on a plane to the USA within a few hours in case of a family emergency. Last year, my husband and I decided that we were going to “be there” more often for my in-laws. They served in Paraguay 43 years and have lived in a retirement community for missionaries since 2009. All three of their children continue serving overseas and have invested everything into advancing the Kingdom of God. Yet right now, there is no way that we could even get on a plane and be there in person, if we needed to be. We do utilize the internet more by helping however we can practically and touch base with our church family that live close to them for any immediate needs.  
During these uncertain times, I was encouraged during my personal devotions, when I was reading in Deuteronomy: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV) God has not changed. He goes before me. He is here with us in Paraguay, and He is there with my in-laws. I am so thankful that I can trust Him, and know that As a tender Father who’s always present, He guides every step of His beloved children. God is interested; God is involved; God intervenes. (quote from Becoming Whole by Brian Fikkert and Kelly M. Kapic) What wonderful truths to ponder during this time, and I will hold onto the truth that He is my omnipresent God!

We may be stuck here for quite awhile, but we are safe in a country that we call home. We are thankful for good health, no lack of food or essentials, internet, and the ministry that can continue even though meetings and discipleship may look different at times. As for the international airport, it will open again; I just don't know when. But in the meanwhile, I will rest in the truth of God's Word - knowing that God is always present, and He wants me to continue to thrive right where He has me.

As a tender Father who’s always present, He guides every step of His beloved children. God is interested; God is involved; God intervenes. (quote from Becoming Whole by Brian Fikkert and Kelly M. Kapic)

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