"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!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Partnering with Forum Christian Church

We were blessed again this week to have a group of 9 from Brice's home church to come and serve with us here.  Here we are one night visiting the hospital.  We love going, praying with them, hugging the children there, and painting the ladies fingernails.

Showing off her nails.

The Reach Project from their church got together and made personalized bottles full of love, prayers, salvation bracelets, notes, and snacks.

Loved this- praying over our students.  Keep praying for them in their commitment here.    We were thankful to have the Abernathy family in to help take over Brice's classes for a week.  Brice was gone last week in Jamaica at a youth conference recruiting more students.  Praise- as we have several students already enrolled from several surrounding countries.  Please pray they can get the finances for their plane tickets to come here and support of their home churches.

One of the work projects this week was to extend the office/washroom below into the new preschool.  It is starting to shape together.

They put in the toilet and sink and it worked!

And we discovered some amazing waterfalls- only a 5 min. walk from our house!

God's beauty, faithfulness, and promise showing.
And finally today was the completion of my sister's adoption.  They got his passport!

They got to meet the birth family and thank her for her sacrifice.  Please be praying for her too.

And we also had another family staying with the WISE family while they finalized their adoption.  She is the precious little girl Naiyah is holding.  What an amazing few weeks here!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

We wanted this year to be about giving love, so in Kids Club rather than getting Valentine's- we made them to pass to the community.  8 of us adults helped take 32 kids around our town. 

Jim and Melanie Abernathy (Brice's former Sunday School teachers growing up) came in special to help teach Brice's classes, since he was in Jamaica for a conference and recruiting students.

In preschool, we have been working hard to write our own names.

And it worked- we wrote them on our special Valentine's hats we made. 

Our kitchen crew made special red and white Valentine's rice!

Our Mimi grandma sent us special Valentine's, so we made them and passed them out to all the students at WISE. What a special Valentine's for us here!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Celebrating So Much!

The little boy living with us officially became my nephew this Friday!  Here he is meeting his sister's for the first time!

Our preschool was officially certified this Thursday.  After a grueling inspection- we passed!
We had a party to celebrate everything last night- Sister Ethel made an amazing pot of soup for all.  And behind her is Sister Diane from our visiting church in Ft. Collins, CO.  They are from our first ministry Brice and I ever served at, so having them here is like having family.
Students, staff, visiting group, 2 adoption families, community friends, and the lawyer's helpers were all here to celebrate!

And we were also celebrating Andre's "Proud Papa" Status.  He is one of our current students, and his wife just had their first baby back in his home country.  Mom and new baby boy are doing well!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Only 11 years old

     When she is intently listening she will suck her thumb.  Her eyes still light up if she gets to color or is given a piece of candy.  Today in Sunday School she grabbed my hand and whispered, "Miss, sit with me."  She is only 11 years old.  
      And for the last year I have seen her walking our street with her 3 younger brothers.  She is raising the baby.  It is rare to see her without the diaper bag hanging off one hip and the baby hanging off the other hip.  She is the parent figure who came to our orientation to see if her brothers could attend preschool.  She is the one gets the boys dressed and up for church.  She is the one who makes sure they eat.  She is only 11 years old.
     As a child who was given so much love and attention, I became a mother who showers love and attention on my kids too.  I teach them and try to show them God's love.  I want them to see themselves of His deep love for them and in turn share that love with others.  Lately, I get discouraged when I see them fighting with one another or unwilling to share something they have with a friend they are playing with.  And I pray, "God, how can I help them to have Your love?  How can I teach them to have this consuming, sacrificial love?" 
     We need to do more.  So we bake and share cookies with our new neighbors.  We pick up others trash.  We deliver pizza to those who are hungry.  We kept an orphan boy in our home to love and become our family.  But none of these things make them catch this Amazing Love.   What am I not saying or doing for them, so they get this Great love?  And I think, maybe because they are only 6, 3, and 1 year olds?
   Worship and preaching continued on, this little girl swung her stockinged feet.  The right side of her stockings had a hole all the way up to her knee. She laid her baby's brothers head in her lap and positioned his feet to lay on the bench.  Then, she whispered, "He has been sick and not sleeping much at night."  She rubbed his head and back until  he fell asleep.  And then she plaited (braided) his hair for him to make him look nice for church.  When she finished, she pulled out a wad of paper from her bag and started cleaning his face  She is only 11 years old. 
    Somehow with a mother's love, this girl gets it!  She didn't have to read a book on how to care for siblings or have counseling on how to deal with a mother's abandonment.  She didn't have anyone showing her love constantly.  But she knows there is love.  And she gives all she has to her brothers.  Doesn't matter her age or what she needs.  She gets God's love and gives it.  And she is only 11 years old...

"Thank you for showing compassion to us.  I pray that all of us would follow Your example, being compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love, (Psalm 103:8)