"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, December 9, 2019

Yesterday I was on my way to church, a bit hurried as usual.  I hung the laundry in my husband's old sandals and rushed the kids to the car, realizing the girl's dresses they had only been wearing for 20 minutes were stained from breakfast.  Guess the extra minute I was trying to save not putting on bibs, didn't actually save time after we quickly changed into clean dresses.  Do 2 and 3 year olds do anything quickly?   

And then we arrive at church, and I grab the bag for entertaining the kids in service (services here last a lot longer than the typical 1 hour services in the States).  And grab the girls out and look down at my feet...

I still had my husband's old sandals for church on.  Here people dress their best for church to wear their best they have for God.  This was definitely not my best or even my mediocre.  

 I panicked for a second, and then realized while I may get some weird stares, no one is gonna dislike me for my strange shoes.  We were all there to worship and fellowship.  So despite hurriedness, mistakes, and forgetfulness I hope you had a great day of worship, fellowship, and rest.  

(A fun pictures of our the future worship leaders in our church.)

Monday, April 22, 2019

So much thankfulness

     Over and over I see God's hand providing.  A giver sends $120 and it is exactly the need the school has this month for an unexpected expense.  Prayers answered when we asked supporters to pray for a specific request.  These things have happened so many times I have lost count and memory.  I really need to write them down.
   This past month 3 huge miracles happened.  Literally I still can't stop thanking God and don't think I ever will.  Not just thanking God for His saving grace in these matters, but for his care and provision. I am also praying that in knowing of His care,  if these situations had gone the other way and not turned out well we would still be praising Him for His love.  But today we are saying, "Thank you, Lord and praising Him!"
   First, while repairing a dangerous situation on campus a work team member fell 30 feet with debris trapping them.  This person walked away with nothing broken!  Only God!
   A few days later, one of our students disappeared.  After hours of searching, prayers, and fear of the unknown he was found.  We honestly did not see how he could be found alive, and He was!  Prayers he can continue to get help he needs.
   Lastly, some of the power went out in our home one afternoon. When an electrician could get here the next day, he said,  "God was really watching over this house."  He said whoever had installed the wires had done them incorrectly and they had all melted together  and it should have caused a big fire.  But in this case, it just turned it off. He said only God could have done that.  
   We are so thankful and will continue to share of God's goodness to all.  And we are especially celebrating this week of Jesus death for us and more students graduating to go out and share His extravagant love!

    As much as I would like to, these stories are limited in detail to protect those they happened to, so please feel free to message me or ask me more about God's hand in this.   This is a public post, so to protect people and the school I have kept details vague.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Culture Surprise

     Even after 12 years overseas, some things are still different for us.  Culture is defined as the customs of a particular nation or people.  So even though we have been here for a bit now, things are still different than what we would assume or even do ourselves.

    Just yesterday one of our off campus students surprised us.  She sent her 2 children over with a note saying it was one of their birthdays and her child wanted to have her birthday with us.  Cake, juice, napkins, even a candle were sent over with the kids.  (If you know me, I may have panicked the first minute thinking - what?  Birthdays take planning, time, getting a gift for the birthday girl).

   So we went with the impromptu party :). We sang, we ate, and then we asked the birthday child to tell us 9 things she loved for her 9th year...

    She listed them in this order
 - Hanging with our kids
- Getting this special cake
- Having this special birthday together
- Her mom
- Her dad
- Her brother
- Her dogs
- Her friends
- And again this party :)

Again humbled just to be in the moment and enjoy them.  Not to stress over endless details.

P.S. I didn't even take one picture of the party since we were enjoying it, so this is a just a random picture of the new dogs on campus.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Ten Idea Blessings for Missionaries we loved!

     After 12 years on the field, it's still hard to say you "thank you" adequately for all we have been given.  God has supplied our every need.  We praise His name through His goodness through so many dear people.

    Several questions were asked of me over the last year.  How can we help our missionaries physically with care packages? What can we send them?  What have you cherished that was sent to you?  So, in just a few seconds I easily thought of this list.  I could easily list hundreds of  more things of people praying, giving, loving.  So, if you are looking for a unique way of loving and encouraging from afar here are a few ways we have been:

1) One of our home churches pays half for church camps and activities for our kids to attend.  Even though it is not the home church we are currently are at throughout the year if we are back at the time of camp it sure is a blessing for the kids to be able to attend.

2) Another church found out what our favorites were and brought 6 different gifts for each, so that way at different holidays or birthdays we would have gifts to spread out and give.

3) Supporters brought school supplies and gave curriculum we were studying.

4) Sweet loved ones gave us vans, car seats, and their gas card to use when back in country since we have no vehicle and this saved so much and allowed us to visit more people when back.

5) Dear ones sent care packages via teams coming to visit of favorite sweets we miss, cooking spices we can't get here, favorites of Sports teams, pictures, personal notes, new books to read, sweet prayers, favorite verses to hang, and Holiday decorations (this was special as sometimes missing Holidays, time with family, and the changing of seasons can be bittersweet).

6. A prime membership - this was such a blessing in being able to ship books and items to groups when coming.

7. A travel bag - a special person would got us a travel bag knowing ours get used so much.

8. When back on furlough we are on the road a lot so a couple gave us a gift card for fast food and bags with snacks & travel toys for a fun treat on the road.

9. Some have had us over or treated us out to food we miss - like American, Italian, Mexican. And getting to run around (one family thoughtfully took us to their blackberry farm where the kids go to run, eat delicious berries, and not have to be cooped up in chairs after the 10 hour car drive) was huge!

10. People checking in and updating us on them and what we can pray for and letting us feel like we are still remembered.  But they also specifically asked about us and let us know what they were praying for our particular needs.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Thanks for Prayers

     So many of you wrote and prayed for Brice - thank you!   After finally collecting tests, he did not have cancer.  Results did say advanced COPD, but we are thinking it was a misdiagnosis  and answered prayer as after several months he is feeling great again and all signs are gone.   Just wanted to update and thank you - we have the best supporters and friends!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Dec. Update

   Life is good and God is greater.  We can't complain at all - we have food, healthy kids, great students who show our kids what Godly students are like, sunshine, warmth, and life in Christ!  Several wrote and asked (so some must read this blog:)  about Brice and his breathing.  It is still the same.  We ran many tests here (3 were lost and even though they lost they ask you to pay again- each test is $200US).  So, they ruled out cancer and will just await to her what is causing it when back in the States in May possibly.  Thank you for praying and loving us so well.

Daily life with the girls- now Gree walks- that baby stage went too fast!

School for now goes so well - these 2 littles are the best of buddies and love hanging out while we work.

Naiyah entered a writing contest here on "Bringing Joy to Barbados"  and she won 2nd place!  Now if only she can keep that joy with her brothers every day:)

At the same time as the contest the boys played in the annual kids tennis tournament here and Beckett made it to the semi-finals.  Here he is consoling his brother after losing. 

Even though, Thanksgiving is not a holiday here - we still celebrated with staff and students and some fellow Americans here.  And the girls got into the pie Naiyah made...
This kid peeled all the potatoes- 40 pounds for Thanksgiving!

We are so thankful for so much!

These students love and teach our kids so much - they are great role models!

My biggest and littlest helpers!

Since Brice was sick, I entered a 1.5K swim in the open ocean with these 3...with no training- 3 of us finished!  So, if anyone wants to come down next Oct to join us - it was pretty intense and fun!

We enjoy our teammates :)

And love doing life with them.

One of our staff ladies (above) is a very gifted musician, so she gives the kids - even Kensington music lessons and in exchange we make her dinner one night a week. We definitely got an amazing deal!
So, here we are in December - it went way too fast!  We baked cookies for the elderly and caroled to them last night.  We'd love to hear from you this season.  Have such a Merry Christ filled Christmas!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Life is Perfect - BAM!

     The baby girls are both sleeping all through the night.  The big kids are thriving well.  Some of our students got in.  Married life is so great with my best friend and we now have times together in the evenings after the kids are all asleep.  Life seemed perfect.  I even said that to Brice and our teammates one evening, "Man, we are so blessed.  Great marriage, kids, life, team, school - just so blessed."

     Yes, the buyers who are buying the old property still have not paid the money for us to buy the school here, which is creating a tight spot financial wise until they do or we go out on faith again and put the old school back up for sale.  And due to the economy and cuts, immigration stalled and closed down for awhile, causing some of our students not to be able to come this year.  So, no things were not perfect here, but still life was so good.

     And then last month my super healthy husband who is never sick and always so strong, got sick.  We thought the flu or bronchitis or something.  After a week he went to the doctor from pain in his chest, deep cough, fever, and other symptoms.  They said it's bronchitis - it will go away.  A week later, he was so weak, breathing hard, coughing up blood, and the doctor said- pneumonia got really bad or a bacterial infection it was. So, strong antibiotics, steroids, inhalers, etc were prescribed.  Another week went by and no improvement - still weak, difficult to breathe, no voice, cough - after blood work, more samples, chest x-ray - they said COPD (what, he has never smoked before?) and some spots on his lungs.

     Deep breath - so he has a cat scan scheduled tomorrow and then will see a lung specialist to know more.  This could honestly be an infection that got out of control (we are praying for this) and praying for our daddy to be better after a month of feeling so sick.  We still know we are so blessed - good diagnosis or a harder one.  And we are so thankful for this life God gave us, not perfect, but good.  So good and God is good!