"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!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Heeding God's whispers

I love how God still speaks to us in different ways. I am in awe that He who created the universe wants to be in intimate relationships with us and use US to do His work. I know I could share countless times how I have ignored His word and His nudging. I am constantly reading in His word each day how Jesus listened, how He loved, how He fed. Even the story of how He told his own disciples, who only wanted him to care for himself and rest, that they needed to let the children come see Him. Those kids weren't a disturbance.

Sometimes I am trying to get the kids to nap and clean the house and when local kids stop by for a snack or are an hour early for Kids Club, I turn them away to get my chores finished. Even if I don't have much, I still have a piece of bread to share. And the floor can wait a few minutes to be swept, it often does anyways! This happens a lot where I don't help and am only focused on me. I keep praying and everyday hope I am more like Christ.

Yesterday was one of those times, I did listen. I felt like this was a crazy, busy week.

And the ministry here of WISE is being expanded constantly. Originally WISE was started as WIE (Windward Islands Evangelism) to evangelize, not just as a school, but through everyway. And that's what we hope to be doing too, with WISE and just as followers of Christ. We have the Bible College to train leaders, the preschool to start training children young and impact families in the community, the Kids Club to continue to teach the children of the community of God's love, the church to minister to the community and help our students train and practice in, Maddie's dance class this year to minister to the girls in a unique way, and small groups to reach out to our neighbors and impact students and church members. It is easy for me to say there is our work, God. That's what we are doing. Pretty busy. But, loving and listening to Him is not a schedule of when and what time I plan for Him to use me.

Recently one of our past grads, neighbor, and friend started an orphanage in her home and is helping orphaned children unite with forever families to love and grow them. Because of extra space and the fact that we want WISE to be a place of love that people can come and grow at, it has been perfect that the adoptive families have chosen to stay at WISE for the time it takes for them to get their paperwork. It is a challenging time for the families as they wait and hope. While it has only been 3 families, we see how our students are encouraging them as they come to adopt.

So, this week one of the adoptive mom's is here at WISE. And I had been thinking I was so busy, but would love to have her over for dinner at some point with her newly adopted son. But, for several days I thought...God you know my house is a mess, I am tired, and this mom probably does not care about making new relationships. I listened to God's whisper and not my own excuses this time, though. This sweet new mom and her son came over, we enjoyed a great fellowship time, got to know her better, and she stayed for our small group. This is what she had to say after, "Blessed to have been fed both physically and spiritually by awesome new friends tonight. Thanks again! You have no idea how much I needed this evening."

I don't share this to give us glory at all, please know I mess up more than I listen. Besides, some of the food was burnt:) But, I am so thankful I listened this time to God's whispering. He knows what His children need and sees this bigger picture when I usually can't. Jesus just saw people and met their needs one by one and filled them. I just pray I can do that and be open to His promptings.

Sometimes when I read of how Jesus met each need, giving a drink, healing, and praying - I wonder how can I do this? And I am reminded again, just stop, He'll guide us and show us and use us, whether a drink for someone, a dinner, teaching a lesson, or even a smile. Because with all of us combined doing His work, He is using us to impact the world for Him!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Summer happenings

Since graduation has occurred at the college, what we call summer term has begun.  Each of the teachers takes a turn doing intense courses, where they teach for 4 hours each day.  Brice is doing his term now, since we are headed back to the states to update churches and hopefully continue to raise support for WISE.

Here is Brice with our summer students teaching Galatians and Ephesians.

We finally got a shot with most of our students and us teachers.  If you are sponsors Adonal, Dhalia, Kiara, Keren, and Diego are not pictured.  

The past year and half we have been studying through the Old Testament in Kids Club.  We started with few of us knowing the stories, so what a time of growth it has been for us.  We also learned to sing the books of the Old Testament.

Here is Ribinson teaching us about Daniel.  He is one of our students at the Bible College.

Alix, another Bible College student, is reading to us a story of Daniel with pictures to show us.

We made books and learned that Daniel prayed, was sent to the lion's den, and yet still God kept him safe.

They only ate healthy foods from God.

And they would not bow down to anyone, but God!  And they were kept safe in the burning furnace without even smelling like smoke!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

New Friends, Food, and Fellowship

St. Vincent actually has a pretty big community of people from Syria.  Since we don't have TV, we don't see the news.  But apparently there is much unrest in Syria.  Please pray for their country and the war going on there.  This sweet family is from Syria.  The boys go to WISE preschool.  Their family owns a shop downtown.  And we have become friends.

Their family invited us to a special place called Tito's not far from us.  It has the most amazing Syrian food.   It is called shawarma.  It is like a sandwich in homemade pita bread with chicken, seasonings, mayo, lettuce, and tomato.  It is a very relaxed environment outside and best of all had a kids playground.  So, we actually got to enjoy adult conversation while the kids played away nearby.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Special Events & Special People

The past 3 weeks our hearts and house have been overflowing.  Literally.  We have had guests staying with us, but it has been so great to have dear friends here.  And it does not hurt to have their help at the busiest time of the year either.

We, of course, had to take them to the hospital to pray, play, and read to the children there.  Bringing one of our own students provided the best entertainment for the kids. 

The all girls picture.

The night before graduation we all piled into the van and truck to treat the graduates to a dinner at a local hotel that let us swim while we were there too.  What a treat for us all!

We held the first ever WISE swim race between Guyana, St. Vincent, the United States, and Haiti.  I think St. Vincent won!

The kids table.

Afterwards, we came back for a special time of dessert, a beautiful tribute to the graduates through a talented video by Bro. EK, and some fellowship time and speeches.

One of my favorites!

Attending the wedding of our neighbor and friend, Curlene Cumberbatch to Rene Sergeant!

Sweet baby Robert being adopted by friends of ours.

Bro. Quaicy, past graduate from Guyana, delivering the wedding address and graduation speech all in one day.

The graduates.

Mark Sutherlin, our past minister from CO, delivering the charge to the graduates.

Bro. Quaicy speaking an amazing message on being courageous.

Brice handing out the long-awaited diplomas!

We don't play favorites and love all the students.  But, from day one Paxson has loved Jerry so much and will miss him greatly.

We are so excited to see how God will continue to use these graduates to further His kingdom as they travel back to their home countries today.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WISE Partnering with Elizabethtown Church and Antigua Churches

One way WISE is ministering is holding retreats in neighboring countries.  We hope to partner with past graduates and work alongside them in their ministeries.  The intention is also bringing teams with us to hold retreats for today's youth to strengthen their faith and recruit future students to WISE.  We worked with the
All Saints Church of Christ and the
Bendals Church of Christ.
Friends and supporters from First Christian Church of Elizabethtown sacrificed so much to come and put on this retreat with WISE.  

Helping to paint the church.

They also made it possible for us to bring one of our students, Alertha, to do lead worship.

What a blessing to partner together!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Antigua Prayers

Currently Brice, Sis Angie, and one of our students from Guyana, Alertha are all in Antigua.  They are partnering with one of our supporting churches, Elizabethtown, to put on a retreat for the youth of Antigua. Our board chairman and his wife are also there serving alongside too.   Would you pray for the following things:

- Travel and energy for the team

-For the graduates there we are partnering with to be encouraged and for the work projects on their church further glorify God.

-For the worship and speaking to spur the youth in Antigua to live strongly for God.

-For the recruiting of future students to come to WISE.

-For our graduates here at WISE, who have finals week and then graduation all in the next week!

- Huge Praise my mother-in-law could be here to stay with the kids and I!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Busiest 3 weeks ever!

These next 3 weeks are so crazy.  I want to say the craziest ever, but moving out of the country twice tops the charts.  And giving birth and then having my appendix out a few days later and the next day departing to CO for fundraising also was huge.  So, I guess we will just chalk this up to our crazy lives.  Graduation is just 2 weeks away, so we are all preparing for that.  Brice is leaving for a recruiting, retreat trip to Antigua this week. My mother-in-law flew in this week to hang out with the kids and I.  And my teeth just decided this would be the perfect time to act up.  We think it could be my wisdom teeth, so I head to the dentist tomorrow to see if that is the problem.  And I can't help, but think this is the perfect time since I have help here!

Mark Sutherlin, the pastor where Brice and I first started ministry together is here teaching for 3 weeks.  He constantly encourages us and we are so thrilled to have him here.  
He, of course, is so fun and joined right in the fellowship games with our students.

Here is Mark leading songs with some of our Kids Club kids.  

We did have to sneak in a trip to the fort too.

We all hopped in the van and truck and went across the island to Georgetown Church, where one of our students preached.

We are so enjoying grandma time, though, hard to get a good picture of us all smiling.

Some of our students and staff by the cave.

All gathering to go inside for church.

Brother Jerry preaching.