Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Lord is Our Shield

Here's the latest update on our situation and it is truly a case of the Lord's protection. While it is not over yet, the situation has turned far better than we could have imagined. We were able to retain the lawyer and the Lord has worked miracles. Via a phone conversation with the DA our lawyer told us that it would most likely be upwards of $5000 in fines and probably a year and a half of probation. So then, a day or so later our lawyer got everything together and actually went to the DA's office to finalize everything and the DA said that he actually looked further into the case (somethiing he rarely, if ever, does) and concluded that this was most likely an honest mistake (which it was) and that if we could come up with about $3100 in fines by the end of October there would be no probation AND he would reduce the charge from a Class 3 Felony to a Misdemeanor (traffic violation) AND we would not have to travel to Abilene to resolve it. PRAISE GOD!!!

Oh wait- you're probably wondering what the actual charge was! (We weren't sure for a long time) The actual warrant was issued for 'Tampering with Government Records" which is a Class 3 (read 'very bad') Felony. We were on Food Stamps in Abilene and one of the times that we had to report our income I had forgotten to note that Michael was teaching at ACU, I had only mentioned his weekend job at Michaels Arts & Crafts. (Probably one of those times when I'm filling out the form, and then something happened with the kids and when I returned to filling out the form I just moved onto the next line! So totally accidental- in fact, usually Michael filled out the forms, so this was just an odd turn of events from the very beginning!). So we find it rather strange that a federal felony can be reduced to a traffic violation but we're not going to complain!

Now in the midst of this good news there is still the reality of having to come up with the $3100 by the end of October. To that end we are going to try and utilize Michael's artistic skills. We're going to hold an art sale to try and sell many of his previous artworks that we have as well as several drawings that he is going to draw over the next couple of weeks. We'll get back to everyone soon on the details of that. We are also open to anyone who would be willing to donate to this cause- we've had a couple of people that said they would be willing to give or donate money and so we are certainly open to the blessings of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Until then we thank everyone for their prayers and support.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Satan Attack's

So many people have asked us to blog what is going on in our lives right now. So I wanted to back up a bit and give everybody a brief summary- especially the events from this past weekend.

Michael and I were driving down to the FaithQuest youth rally at Camp Yamhill on Thursday evening. I was driving and upon entering Yamhill, the speed limit dropped rather dramatically, and there was a cop on the side of the road, and...well... you know how it goes. So he pulls us over and asks for my license and then he's taking a really long time to get back to us. Finally he comes back with a ticket and then informs me that there is a warrant out for my arrest from Abilene, TX!!! We were dumbfounded. The officer didn't have all the details but what he did say didn't make sense- that the warrant was issued in 2006- we weren't even in Abilene in 2006! Michael was told he could not follow the officer and I to the station, only that he needed to call after I was 'processed' in about an hour. Michael tried calling but basically was told there was no hope of contacting me or posting bail or seeing me until my court appearance the next day. Fortunately I was able to make a call and was able to reach him on the camp's phone (due to the location, our cell phones had no signal). So I was able to speak with him that night but because it was so late and the bail they posted was so high, there was no way for Michael to get me out so I was forced to spend the night in jail.

To make a long story short, I was able to get out the next day (due to a very generous friend) and though we will still have to go to Abilene to resolve this, we can at least make our own travel arrangements rather than using 'government transport.' We have been able to retain a lawyer in Abilene which will make our situation easier as he can do much on our behalf and hopefully make our visit shorter and less painful when we do have to actually go there.

Here's what we do know: the charge is 'Welfare Fraud' apparently arising out of a situation that we thought was already resolved. While in Abilene we were on Food Stamps and there was an issue that arose regarding one the reporting of one of Michael's jobs. They had informed us of the inconsistency, we complied with their requests and provided statements from Michael's employer and we lost some of our eligibility for food stamps and so we believed that everything had been amended. Apparently not.

The main thing right now is we are trying to raise money to help us pay for the lawyer. We were loaned some money on a credit card to actually retain him and get the ball rolling but that money is needing to be paid back and we do not have the resources to cover it. Plus we are anticipating additional fees and fines and we don't even know how much that is going to be. It was $2500 just to retain the lawyer and so everything that we are aware of to this point is in excess of $5500. (And that's not including the cost of travelling to Abilene that will need to take place sometime soon.) Please pray for us. If you have any ideas or can help us in any way, please contact us.