"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. We worked day and night in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you." 1 Thessalonians 2:8-9

This blog is much more than our family and our crazy antics. After being overseas in Haiti for 4 years we prayed about coming back to the States and just still felt like God was going to use our family overseas...so here we go again. The big move to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and now the school growing and moving to Barbados. We just can't seem to rest until our family can love as many as we can to relationships with Christ. We always feel so blessed to meet the many people we get to serve with overseas, and of course love that you are reading with us as we serve in a new culture!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Things that made me tear up......

     Yes, I am highly emotional and cry at the drop of the hat with post-pregnancy hormones.  But, some very neat things this month made me tear up this month:

- Our 3 students from Dominica lost their homes and all their belongings from the hurricane last month.  And yet these boys give so much of their lives to love here.  They have carried on with strength only from God.  They continually think of their families struggling to find shelter and food back home and yet they live each day with such joy as they study to go back to love others to the Lord in 2 years.  One of the students has a young son my youngest son's age and he has patiently helped my son build bird traps to catch birds here, all the while I can see he is missing his son so much.  He recently said that he was so grateful to be at WISE and that while he may not go back to be a preacher one day, he will be a better father and able to lead His son to the Lord.

- Our students in our home Bible study shared their testimonies - they give up so much to come study from here.  Leaving jobs they won't have once they go back, family, familiar foods, and cultures.  And yet they write us letters and tell us constantly how thankful they are which makes us feel so blessed to be here.

- We recently went to an event with the students.  One of them declined to go.  Finding out later- he did not even have $1 and thought he would have to pay for the outing. We take so much for granted on spending a $1.

- Our littlest Greeley is getting dedicated this Sunday for baby dedication.  We picked 2 people to stand up with us as her prayer warrior and supporter.  One of our past students and now staff we have grown to love as an auntie is standing up with us.  Seeing her choke up and feel honored when we asked meant so much to see how well loved our kids are here.

- My kids love each other so much.  The 3 bigs help with the 2 littles, with chickens and dogs, with laundry, and with dishes. They love God and teach us so much.  We feel so blessed (and tired :) ) that God gave us all 5!

- My husband God gave me.  I recently celebrated my birthday - we always do simple gifts- letters to one another and a candy bar is tradition.  We started this in Haiti as it was all we could afford and now just cherish it.  My note this year on the envelope said - To my wife and mom of 7.  The fact that he acknowledged the 2 babies we lost to miscarriage ( 9 and 2 years ago) meant the world to me.  He loves me so well and helps in so many ways- the biggest right now doing the midnight bottle feed, so I can get some extra rest :)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

God Moment

    Groups coming means encouragement, so much work being done, a busy crazy time, and seeing old friends and making new ones.  This time week we had a really neat experience that we were able to see happen.  Often times we may hear from what others experience when they get back, but don't see the change firsthand.

    It can often seem when groups come that it is about work projects getting accomplished, and while that helps so much - it is much more than that.  This week because of a cancellation a brother came along with his family.  He had fallen away from the Lord and while here was immersed in life here.  He heard the students testimonies they shared one night.   Then, he
said he was having trouble finding a place to serve, so we mentioned the 2 bikes we had on campus were out of commission from so much student use (a chain was broke and a wheel had come off).  He fixed those and then wanted to purchase 4 more for the students ( Keep in mind things are so expensive here and a bike can run about $350 US).  His brother told us this was very out of character for him to do.  And then at the end of the week he shared a testimony of wanting to recommit himself to the Lord at the end of the week from all he had experienced!  We love seeing God work and seeing his kingdom grow!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October Life

A few pics of what happened in October!


Kensington has kept getting ear infections - the doctor says she needs tubes, but can't do here.  So, we have been praying she has no more until we are back on furlough next year.  Pray she can sleep well- she has been up lots of nights from this.  But her joy and fun personality keep us smiling.


Brice and I moved into the living room - hence the mattress there :). With Kensington sleeping little this allowed all the kids to not be in the same room and wake up from her crying.  These sisters sure do love one another :)


Our teammates arrived!  They have 2 little ones also and we found a community doing Trunk of Treat here - so the kids got to make costumes and dress up!


We are surviving most days - but loving it too.  Here Brice is holding the babies while I try to get dinner cooked.  A real life moment right now...


We started back our tradition of a student a week coming over and eating with us and spending the evening.  We love asking them questions, praying for them, and playing with them.


We have lots of students living here now and a lot of them are very talented in worship.  We are enjoying hearing them lead worship.


So much rain here.  A blessing - have not been able to do as much laundry with the rains.  And another blessing - the kids got to boat around to places on campus :)


The days and nights seem full, but we are still taking time to enjoy family time and God's beautiful creations - like the cliffs near us.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A full, crazy life!


    So enjoying life right now.  It resembles this picture a little.  Very hot, so we are enjoying popsicles (Kensington's first)!  Baby Greeley sleeping away.....   Keeping our 1 year old busy and buckled so we can get schooling done.  But, to be home is so very great.

    Upon arrival we were told and stamped on our passports to get student visas or kids have to leave in 3 months.  The process seemed overwhelming- submit a letter to the department of education, be granted an interview there, then submit to immigration to see about approval.  All these require lots of driving from where we live, waiting, and juggling kids.  Thankfully we had a group here from Elizabethtown, KY and while I usually try to just do things ourselves- this time I asked them for help watching the kids so we could get all these meetings done this week.  And we did get them done and approved and it also felt like Brice and I got a few dates with the driving time and no kids along.  So we are good to go until we do the process over again next year :)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Student visas granted!



   
     I wish everyone could know our students personally and hear their stories.  We heard today immigration granted the student visas!!!   Daily staff was calling, praying, and checking on their status.  Yesterday we racked our brains....and remembered a friend had a friend at immigration.  She gave us some great advice in a certain letter to take.  Staff took it in and ....they are coming!

     Ebi here has waited over 2 years for classes to resume at WISE to finish his degree and he finally is coming back!  Thank you, Lord!!!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Waiting, waiting, waiting

     Still we wait on immigration to let the students come to start school.  We have pushed classes back, but praying this next week classes can start as we can only push back so much for this term.  We just submitted a request as all the paperwork was in the 1st of June for the students and new staff to receive visas.  We pray they see our diligence and will grant the visas anyday now.

     We are also praising God for our grads and students coming from Aintgua that they were spared from the hurricane and we are praying for our friends in Haiti and Florida now.

     For our family we are waiting on baby's documents.  Brice hopes to travel as soon as the storm passes in a few days and then the rest of us are hoping to travel back the week after.  Thanks for the prayers, keep praying!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Greeley Arrived Today!

     Well, our other babies came early, so we had thought Greeley would come by now and we would be on our way back to Barbados.  In fact, the last several weeks we did lots of walking and trying to find hills in Kansas to climb to get her to come.  We just miss home and our own place and cooking and life in Barbados, not that our parents are not so generous in sharing their homes with us.  We even thought about delivering in Barbados since baby was not going to be so early, but without insurance there did not see a way to afford a $10,000 birth there and figure our the dual citizenship, etc.  So,  after 4 trips to the hospital and being stuck at a 4 dilation for weeks with the doctor saying as soon as you feel anything come in as your labors go fast...the 4th time she did come!


     Each of the places we have lived we have a child named after, except for our time we cherished in CO.  So....this last baby got a Colorado name - Greeley Lechelle.  She was our biggest baby even being 3 weeks early!  Brice will head back to Barbados soon to start the semester off and I will follow as soon as birth certificate comes, social security card, and then her passport.  We have heard this can be done anywhere from a week to 4, so we are praying on the shorter side but know may not be the case.


     As we waited on baby, we have also been waiting on immigration in Barbados.  Even though staff work permits for fellow teammates and student visas were submitted months ago, they still have not processed them.  Frustrating for the students waiting and our new teammates to just wait.  We have pushed back our Sept start date and praying we hear any day now that they are processed and can all come in.  This wait and see what the Lord does in HIS timing certainly is faith stretching and seems to be how everything works in our lives now :)