"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, July 24, 2017

Waiting on baby

     So we are back in the States now.  And so blessed with family basements and guest rooms to stay in, but sure longing for our own home.  We are really just waiting on this baby girl to join our family and head back!   We are still 8 weeks from delivering and while the other 3 have come a month early, 2 months is a lot early.  This past week our family all got some vomiting sickness, which caused me to go into labor.  Brice was away at camp and my sister went with me to the hospital.  Thankful for great care and medicine and baby staying put at least for now.

     Brice leaves to go back to Barbados in a few days and so praying baby will keep growing inside me, he can help get work done there with accreditation, visas, etc.  Also prayers as every week we are in the States we are sharing at a different church all over to maximize our time here and so prayers we make wise decisions with baby's health.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Crazy trip back to the States

     I can't ever say we have had a stress free travel day, can anyone?   Maybe because luggage, kids, and international travel are added in to ours?  But, Brice does say his worst days being married to me are travel days :)  But, hey- we have had a lot of those travel days in our marriage and he is still staying with me :)

     We had a totally different schedule this time.  Usually we get up at 3am for a drive, and early 6am departure.  This time we were on an afternoon flight getting it at midnight.  And then a 2 and half hour drive back to parents house.  We were thrilled to make it in one day and while getting in late, we would still make it in one day.

     A fellow teacher dropped us off and our bag we brought (full of medicines, etc) was in the trunk to have space to sit.   Naturally the bag was forgotten.  By the time, we realized it after check-in time we  kept calling him, his wife, his neighbors.  Thankfully someone reached him an hour later and he got the back to us in time, because our flight had been delayed.

     Because of the now 3 hour delay, we now had just 30 minutes in Miami to get off, walk their 10 mile long airport, go through customs, grab our luggage, recheck it, go back through security, and find out plane.  So we missed the connection.  We got in a super long line for a reconnection at 10pm and were informed all the hotels in the city were booked up (of course).  So the kids and I just kind of plopped down and laid down on the suitcases and a very kind worker said...let me see what I can do...and found us a room at the MIAMI Airport hotel for free and gave us $60 in food vouchers.  And by 11:30pm we had the kids( in the only bed left around) asleep, our bellies were full, and as Brice and I awoke early to leave at 3am, we realized we would have just been pulling in to his parents place and that the delay was such indeed a blessing!

     I'd love to hear your travel stories sometime!  We are sure thankful for quick travel nowadays, but do love when we are "home" for awhile and don't have to travel.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Resting in God's goodness

     So much good news with the mission - thought I should share with all.  So, one year ago at this time when we were back sharing with churches we were in a tough spot.  In fact, at one church we could not share all the god things happening at the missions meeting, because we felt so disheartened and just started crying.  We even talked to several mentors about moving back.  First time to ever think that way as we have always felt like not all want to go and for now we can and God was using us.  But last summer we felt defeated.  Immigration for us and for our students was blocking us, properties were not selling, we were struggling with not having a full teaching staff in place, etc.  And discouragement set in.

     Someone said.....there are seasons and I will pray for a season of rest and joy for you.  That season is here - thank you, Lord!  We have students who applied from 9 DIFFERENT Caribbean countries!  Several we have never had a student from!  We are thrilled, as our prayer has been for WISE to be a school reaching out to train leaders from all over the Caribbean and it is even more now.

     We also are excited for our teaching team.  Local teacher Andrew Best joins our staff as well as the Termeer family of 4 this Aug!  And then we have other teammates joining a few months later.

     We also received and discovered how to get staff permits here and also we have discovered how to get students here.  We would ask your prayers, though as student visas are quite a process and praying they can all be granted in time for the fall semester term.

     And we sold one of the properties in St. Vincent, which helps us purchase the new property here!

     We are so thankful for God's continual provision in the hard, growing times and the joyous times of growth.  Thanks for your encouragement and prayers and support too!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Much Better Day

     Ha!  So today was much better of just being a new day!  There is a yearly retreat for women serving overseas called "Velvet Ashes".  Two other women, one who is Bajan but been a missionary in China the last 2 years and another lady from England got together to retreat.  Brice kept the kids, and he discovered having all them without me all day is harder than he thought, I think.  Or they just really missed me :)  

     The three of us ladies have so much in common, serving in a foreign culture and feeling like outsiders often and messing up often.  All three of us have young children and run them around in various activities and church outings.  And we also all 3 homeschool our kids, which we realize we love but also often times feel inadequate.  So, it was the best time getting away together this year and talking together.  God knew it was just what I needed.  With all the moves, I rarely connect with other women and more just talk to my best friend, Brice, and hang with the kids.  So, this was such a special time to just be with them.

     All in all to say - God knows what we can bear and gives us what He knows is best for us.

Friday, April 28, 2017

A yucky day

     I can usually find joy in everyday, but today is one of those days I just got down.  Living overseas life is at a different pace - a trip to the bank can involve waiting in line several hours or more.  In dealing with the sell of one of the St. Vincent properties (Praise God!) the bank needed Brice and I to get some certified signatures here.  Have I mentioned we don't have anyone to ever babysit for us here?  And we have 4 little ones.  Two very active boys.  And an almost one year old wanting to crawl everywhere.  So, we took a day that took 2 hours to get it done and sent back.  Well, it was done wrong we found out.  And needs to go to one of the few places that will take an hour and half to get there driving, both of us going to sign where we will wait in line minimum of 3 hours to all day, with all 4 kids in tow.  And then drive an hour and half home.  Yes, I was not thrilled that we have this day to look forward to:)

     And then, we have been having an infestation of rats on campus since the cane fields were cut down all around where we live.  They are everywhere!  So I sat down to fold laundry, I kept smelling something. very. bad.  But laundry is always a longer process- getting it washed, hung to dry, praying it does not rain, and taking it off the line.  At the very bottom of my now folded pile - there was a dead rat!  And since that basket has sat for the last 2 days, the rat smelled like it was 2 days gone.  After rewashing 3 times, the clothes still stink.

     I sat down and had a good old cry.  Realized things could be way worse.  Really they could.  And if anyone has a good suggestion for getting rat death out of clothes, I would welcome it.

     Cherish. Each. Day. God. Gives. Us.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Happy Easter

Admidst the group craziness, I got behind.  So a quick catch up- we loved meeting new friends and seeing old friends and all the ways they partnered with WISE! 

Here was our Easter photo....the 3 oldest just trying to keep the baby in the picture- ha!

Naiyah was busy training to be a ball girl for the Davis Cup here.  The choices in sports in St. Vincent were tennis or cricket- we chose tennis.  And we have loved the very affordable lessons she has gotten the last 5 years.  

This past weekend, Brice was speaking and traveling to St. Lucia to recruit students.  For the first time, our family went along.  Basically all the rooms were sold out, so we were in a 8 by 8 room with all 5 of us.  Cockroaches and centipedes abounded and we were never so happy to arrive at home.sweet.home.  We did go on a really fun hike and pray the connections we met there result in more students to come to study.