**Final update: Jared and the McInteers have all made it home safely (after a few more delays and bumps)! Praise God!
**Update: Got a call from him last night that they made it safely and had an uneventful trip! Thank you for your prayers...keep them coming! (or going, I guess)**
My man is in Venezuela right now, hopefully close to being at his destination city of Barquisimeto. He is with a couple from church who are going to be conducting a marriage seminar for the church we work with there. They were supposed to arrive yesterday early in the day, but due to bad weather in Houston Tuesday, they are just now getting there! This trip has been a lesson in patience for us...in giving it over to God: The original couple who went last year had a conflict come up after dates had already been confirmed--God provided a couple to go in their place; The translators who went last year and are amazingly qualified had a family emergency last week and could not go--God provided a translator from the church in Venezuela (meaning we didn't have to make last-minute travel arrangements); After arriving at the airport to leave Tue night, they were told the Houston flight was cancelled--God provided open seats on the same flights the following day; In trying to change the Venezuelan legs of the trip, we discovered that there were no seats on the commuter flights to get them to Barquisimeto on the new date--God provided 3 seats on an afternoon flight, meaning they had to spend the day at the airport, but didn't have to ride the 8 hours on a bus! Anyway, they are arriving late and missing some of the counseling sessions they'd planned to have with couples from the church, but we trust God will bless them in the conference itself and that He will bring many couples to the church that would not otherwise be there. Marriage is a huge problem there...many couples outside the church (or even newly converted) just do not see the purpose in getting married. And of those who do, many of the men leave after contributing a houseful of children, and are never heard from again. Even those who want to have a Godly marriage have so many difficulties because they've never seen a decent example. This is one of the greatest needs in the Venezuelan culture (as it is for us here in the States). This congregation has done amazing work to build marriages and reach out to non-Christians through Christian counseling. We just pray for God to show up in a mighty way this week as they seek Him!
In preparation for this trip, Jared and I have stopped and looked at each other and said, "Wow, Satan REALLY does not want this trip to happen!" He has put up so many roadblocks and tried his best to stop this work. God must have something great planned this week for His "counterfeit" to be so jealous! Still, I ask for your prayers for safety for Jared, Mark & Melinda. Mark & Melinda return Friday and Jared on Monday. Thanks!!