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Tales of Thompsons' Trips Issue #26 February 2014-Anticipating-Nicaraguan-Travel
February 11, 2014

Anticipating Nicaraguan Travel is the underlying current of our lives, these days, but nonetheless we’ve been living the normal life of most Hoosiers these past months as we’ve dealt with one of the snowiest, miserably cold winters I can recall in the time I’ve lived in Indiana.

If there were anything that would further motivate Dennis to want a move to the tropics, the weather this winter would certainly fit the bill. But, if Nicaragua is where the Lord wants us, we really don’t need further motivation.

We’d like to share with you the news of our lives since we last wrote, as well as plans, needs, and prayer requests for the next few months.

Anticipating Nicaraguan Travel
Past and Present

Anticipating Nicaraguan travel couldn’t really step into high gear until the New Year, so we spent December enjoying the holidays, and preparing our slide presentation so we could share with our local church family how the Lord is working in our hearts, and what we believe he would have us do.

Our church Christmas dinner was cancelled due to bad weather, but we were able to get together with the church family for New Year’s Eve, and I believe everyone had a wonderful time.

After several years of contemplation, we finally took the plunge and invested in some Mac computers. So we were traveling to Indianapolis to get training on the new machines whenever the weather allowed.

Due to this upgrade, I was able to make a slide presentation that is far superior to anything I was able to prepare in the past, but it still required two or three weeks of consistent work, and several trips for further training to get the job done.

My next project will be to attempt to upload it, and imbed it in a web page about Nicaragua, which I hope to finish within the next week or two.

Anticipating Nicaraguan Travel
January Preparations and 2014’s First Trip

We started on January 2nd to take the steps necessary to get the paperwork we’ll need to apply for a Nicaraguan Residency Visa. If you’ve never tried to get permission to live in another country, you probably have no idea what is involved, so I’ll try to share a brief summary here:
  1. You must get current originals of several vital documents. In our case they are as follows: birth certificates, marriage license, criminal background checks, letter from a doctor stating we’re in good health mentally and physically, and official proof of income.
  2. All the documents must be notarized or sealed by government officials.
  3. All the documents must be submitted to the state for another official document called an “Apostille” which certifies that it is an original.
  4. The approved documents must be submitted to the Nicaraguan embassy for their approval.
  5. After approval by the Nicaraguan embassy, they must be checked and approved by the American embassy here in the US.
  6. Next you must travel to Nicaragua, and the last two steps above must be repeated in Nicaragua.

To make things more challenging, all these steps must be completed within a six months time frame, in the same calendar year. That is why we weren’t able to start the process until January.

Most everything we needed could be obtained here in Indiana, except my birth certificate, so we figured it would hold us up the most, and I ordered it on January 2nd. By the middle of the month, we’d done everything we thought we needed to do, and I had already received my birth certificates back and returned them to South Carolina for the Apostilles. Although we only need one copy of each document, we’d been advised to get at least two, and just to be safe, we decided to double that, and get four.

We had all the Indiana documents we needed except for the criminal background checks, and we understood we could go to Indianapolis and get them in person.

We had needed to return to Ohio so Dennis could finish the electrical work he started last year for my younger sister and her family, so we decided to spend the last part of the month there, while we waited for my paper work to get back from South Carolina.

Dennis thought he would have two weeks of work in Ohio, but it ended up being two and a half weeks. He worked hard every day we were there, although he did finish up the electrical projects one day early and spent the last day packing up his equipment.

It was a good visit with my sister and her family. We were able to see them in the evenings a little. They were busier then we were during the day, since my sister is working her coffee business, and Phil is pastoring, and helping her with the business whenever he can.

We were able to help them out by taking my niece, the oldest daughter in the family back to college. She is attending Grove City Christian in northern Pennsylvania, and we hadn’t seen the school before so we really enjoyed the opportunity to see it. We had to take her back on a Sunday, and since Phil needed to preach, and my sister needed to play the piano for the services, it would have made it very difficult for them to get her back if we hadn’t been there.

Anticipating Nicaraguan Travel
The Snafus Begin

We left their house on the morning of January 30th, and planned to stop by Indianapolis to get the required Apostilles put on all our documentation on the way home. The trip went well, and we got to the secretary of State’s office by about ten or eleven that morning.

However, when we presented our paper work to the lady doing the Apostilles, she informed us that the birth certificates Dennis had paid forty dollars for wouldn’t work, because they had been issued by the county not the state!

Additionally, the criminal background checks had to be notarized by someone in the police department who’d been on vacation when we’d had them done. That lady worked in an adjacent building and when we called her to arrange to have them notarized, she offered to come get them, and then bring them back to us after she finished them.

We killed some time by attending the Indianapolis home show close by so we could get them done that day.

But, we found out there was no way to get the necessary birth certificates done in person, since they have to be applied for via the internet. The online service states it takes 20 to 25 business days to issue those certificates! There was also a problem with the notarization on the medical letters, so we had to take them back to the notary to be corrected.

Since arriving home we’ve gotten the notarizations fixed and applied for the birth certificates. We had hoped to be leaving for Nicaragua by the end of February at the latest, since we have a nice house to stay in there if we can get there by then, but that brings us to...

Anticipating Nicaraguan Travel
Current Prayer Requests

  • Please pray the online service will return Dennis birth certificates more quickly than what they say on the website. Mine came from South Carolina in half the time, so pray his will come more quickly as well. I tried calling customer service to speed things up, but got no where, so prayer is our only recourse. We know this is in the Lord’s hands.
  • pray the Lord will bless the presentation we make to our home church scheduled for February 16th, and that it will increase their understanding of what we’re planning to do, and why.
  • We’ve placed our house, and a lot we own close by, on the market. Pray they will sell, if the Lord wants us in Nicaragua. Since we’re planning to go self supporting, we will need to sell our properties here, to finance our move and relocation.

    Additionally, we believe it is a good way to confirm the Lord’s will in this matter. We know this isn’t the best time to sell property, but if the Lord wants us in Nicaragua, we have no doubt he can send buyers.

    On the other hand, if this is just our idea, he can keep anyone from wanting the house or the lot. We trust you’ll pray with us about this.

  • Pray the Lord will enable us to get the paperwork through the embassies here quickly, and that we’ll be able to get tickets to Nicaragua for the best price possible, when we’re able to clear the paperwork hurdles so we can plan to go. We usually buy tickets much further in advance of our departure than we'll be able to this time.
  • Pray we’ll be able to get our residency visas quickly. Our Nicaraguan guide works for a lawyer and assures us we should be able to get residency in two months, but the Americans we know there, who’ve gotten residency, have taken anywhere from five to fourteen months to get the process completed. So pray we’ll be able to get things done right the first time, and it will only take a couple of months.

    We have two grandchildren graduating from high school the end of May, and we’d really like to be here to attend the festivities.

  • Finally, pray the Lord will give us wisdom to make the right moves throughout the whole process, and that we’ll know exactly what He would have us do in each situation that presents itself. There will be so many decisions to be made, and each one has its own pitfalls.

Anticipating Nicaraguan Travel

We’d really like to share our travel plans with you so you could be praying with us as we go, but I’m sure you realize since you’ve read this far, that is impossible.

As soon as we can accomplish the necessary steps here, we need to return to Nicaragua to get the ball rolling there, since the six month time clock is definitely ticking. I’m still praying the Lord will enable us to get back by the end of February, although humanly speaking, that would appear to be an impossibility already.

We’re comforted by the recollection that the Lord is in complete control and he has a plan for everything. We thank Him every time we remember you, and your support and prayers for our ministry. Words can’t express our gratitude, yet we do want you to know you’re appreciated, and have a vital role in our ministry.

Electrifying for Eternity,

Dennis & Sherilyn (Nutting) Thompson

P.S. Please note, our sending church's address has changed to the new Pastor's, since we don't actually get mail at the church.

Sending Church:
Central Baptist Church
c/o Pastor David Simpson 483 County Road 300 North
Sullivan, IN 47882

The church accepts tax deductible contributions for us.

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