Saturday, 30 January 2016

Jan 30,2016.  This post will have no pics. We arrived in Chisinau yesterday, after a long trip. It began in Salt Lake City on Jan 28 at 7 am [we were up at 3 am]. We flew first to Atlanta, then on to Amsterdam. Each of the first 2 layovers were about 2-3 hours. We felt that was okay, less chance to lose luggage. [Amazing , it all made it to Chisinau] Just before flying out of Amsterdam, Lynn was called to the desk at the gate and told he had a phone call. It was Mette, telling about Grandpa Edwards and his deteriorating medical condition. Frankly, it was a miracle to find us and the news was not good. [As of today, he is a bit better, but still in serious condition.] Lynn relayed his opinion on how to proceed, and we flew to Bucharest with heavy hearts. Bucharest airport was a cold place, that began with a very nice, thorough patdown of Lynn by a most unfriendly agent. We then scrambled over the airport to try to get boarding passes for our last leg [different airline, could not get in USA] This was not accomplished until 25 minutes before our plane left. Unbeknownst to us, our mission president had sent a couple to the airport to find us and they were not allowed in. So a well prepared lunch went for naught. We were quite worried waiting there, wondering if we would get on; however we met a wonderful young Moldovan, Elijah, who helped us and made sure we got on our plane. He also shepherded us through the Customs in Chisinau. We have his number and will be in touch with him. He was surviving on his own after being raised in an orphanage. He was a wonderful first impression of Moldovans. Our plane in Bucharest was a 50 seat prop plane, nice and small to make Deb comfortable. Now we do need to say, this was Deb's first trip across an ocean and she is not at all fond of flying. Our trip was all done well and she coped very well. We both feel it was due to grandchildren's and children's prayers. We were met in Chisinau by all 3 couples serving there, the Cooley's x2 , [unrelated] and the Vogelbergs. They were all very kind and took us to eat on arrival in a nice Moldovan restaurant, Andy's Pizza. We were then taken to our temporary home, an apartment in an old soviet bloc type building, cement and all, the 4th floor of a 13 story building. No superstition here. We will be here for a few days; it is such a maze to find that we probably could not leave if we wished. That night we shed some tears; as Mom's funeral was just beginning as we went to bed. Mette facetimed us and showed us Mom in her coffin, then e all had some tears as well as some greetings from family. Boy, that may have been the hardest emotional time, just not being there and knowing Dad was also very illand not present. We are so thankful for family who have covered this family crisis and allowed us to serve. We will post pictures later, after going around the city and trying to buy groceries , we are in a bit, a huge bit, of culture shock. It will probably wear off in a while, but that will not be quick. More on that tomorrow; now we are grateful to be safe and are grateful Dad is still alive and maybe slightly improving. We thank God for that. We truly could feel the support of family and friends through this time. By the way, we did get a call from President Ivory at the very end of the day, telling us his fun and to let us know we were not forgotten. He is coming next week to see us. As the day winds down, jet lag is rearing her ugly head, so we will put ours to bed.

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