Thursday, July 20, 2017

April 2017 Update

Dear Friends & Family,

By the grace of God, we are excited to announce that we have made it to Canada and are now settled into our new home in Sant-Jérôme, Québec!!  We have greatly felt your prayers and support throughout this entire process and know that God has specifically sent us here for such a time as this.

Here are some photos and explanations of what this move has looked like for us:

On April 15th, a beautiful, sunny day, we were able to pack-up our entire house into two sections: u-haul trailer #1 (for us to take with us) and u-haul #2 (for Jason's parents to take at a later date).  We had quite the crew of helpful hands that day and were able to get much more into the trailer than expected (thanks, specifically, to one of our long time friend's tetris-like moves).
We then spent a week, deep-cleaning our home, putting up a new fence, and finishing last-minute details.  We departed the following Saturday from Andréa's parents house.  This was probably one of the hardest things we had ever done.  Not because we wouldn't see family again but because it was the official end to our "Vancouver lives" as we knew it.
We took 10-days to travel across the US and to our destination.  We had it planned for fairly easy drive days of maximum 6-hours, however, we didn't take into account that we were not able to go the speed limit (as our trailer would cause us to sway any time above 60 mph).  So, our days ended up being quite long, especially with stops for Lydia.  Lydia did amazing; it was definitely the best time possible to be traveling with a child.  We could tell she was tired at the end of each day but she exceeded our expectations!  Half-way through our trip, we got caught in quite the snow storm, where the free-ways were closed down.  We made it about 40 miles and then were stuck in Buffalo, Wyoming.  We tried waiting it out to see if they would open the freeways but ended up having to get a hotel that night (and therefore make up more hours of traveling, in subsequent days).  Thankfully, we were all safe and able to continue the journey the next day.
We had the joy of meeting friends along the way and this was definitely the highlight of our trip!  Our friends and family provided hugs, food, respite, and support.  It was lovely!
We crossed the border on Saturday, April 29th and it took a little more than 2-hours.  The custom's officer had his work cut out for him with our request for a "clergy" visa, as he was not familiar with the process.  Thankfully, we had the papers necessary for all that was demanded and in the end he granted Jason the visa!  So, now, he has a 1-year visa that can be renewed until the paperwork is completed for permanent residency.  It was such a sigh of relief when that unknown was finished!!

We arrived in our new city on May 1st and were greeted by a crew of people from the church, as well as, Andréa's mother and two aunts.  The crew was quite efficient and everything was in the house in less than an hour and then the aunts were able to get all of the kitchen items out and ready for a home-made meal that evening!

Andréa's mom stayed with us for that first week, which was a huge blessing as we unpacked and settled into our home.  We couldn't have done it without her!
Since then, we have been able to attend our first church service at our church, where we had a great, heart-felt welcome.  That evening, we also had an elder's dinner where we were able to meet many of the leaders in the church.  Since then, we have been taking part in various meetings, as well as, Jason getting the opportunity to go to the Global Leadership Summit in Magog, yesterday.  Here he is with one of the pastors-in-training at the church.

The pastor of Ecclésia has shared his schedule with us and we are planning on spending time observing and connecting with the church body as we take part in his weekly schedule.  We have started "French only" in our house for the morning (6 - 11 am), each day, and will slowly work our way up to longer periods of the day.

Thank you, so much, for your prayers, texts, and emails throughout this journey.  We have felt God's presence throughout, down to the most minute details.  We are thrilled to be here and to finally have our feet on the ground!

We are ever so grateful for your prayer and support in our lives!

For His Glory,
Jason, Andréa & Lydia Maul

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