"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, July 27, 2013

Settling in

Arriving home was a busy adventure.  I had thought to be unpacked, house swept and mopped, and start having old friends over by the next day.  Ha!   We, of course, arrived home after 5 hour delay from LIAT Airlines at 10p.m.  
Upon entry to our home we realized -
The water was not working, there had been a leak and needed to be repaired.
We had no cash on us and our debit cards to get cash had been turned off since we had again traveled to another country.
We had no groceries and no money to get groceries.
We had no internet- this can be a blessing too!  But since our phone is through the internet, could not call to get our cards reinstated.  
The AC unit in the house had a bees nest inside and no longer worked.  
The stove was out of gas.  

And you know what.  For 2 days we were smelly, hot, and hungry. It is so hard to imagine that so many in the world live like this everyday. I pray we love others and when aren't as comfortable as we would like, we would still be grateful.

 I think we got grouchy some.  And the school let us some borrow some things.  But, it was also so wonderful to be back HOME.  Hearing old friends at the airport say, "Welcome Home" thrilled us.  It really has become that for us.  We are just so grateful to be all be together back home.  And as I looked around me more, I was so thankful for friends and people we have come to know here, for the school and those who work there and for the students yearning hearts to learn and grow, and for God's provisions with a roof over our heads and knowing exactly what we need when we need it.  

And now that we are settling in we got to celebrate Naiyah's 7th b-day party! We had a slumber party, which was a first for us. 2 of her friends came that are her age.  And then one of the younger girls big sister came along too.  And of course little brothers had to tag along.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chaotic US

Memories surrounding this summer  :
  •  Over 12,000 miles of driving to churches.  
  • A donated can full of cracker crumbs.  
  • Many cookouts full of love.  
  • 3 long plane rides to America and back. 
  •  Different floors to sleep on each night.  
  • Packing and unpacking and loading. 
  •  Convention. 
  • New friends and new support.  
  • Our kids thinking Wal-Mart is a zoo.
  • And finally being back home.



My family and friends accuse me of constantly organizing things.  I make lots of lists.  When plans change or go differently than I had thought they would, I get frustrated.  So, God using us as missionaries on a foreign field has us all laughing.  Trying to keep everything perfectly organized is useless.  I still try.  But.....

everyday I need God's grace

because I can't order it all perfectly.

Only He can.

And because I am human, I have to be reminded of this daily, maybe way more so while on furlough. I can't control times we have to be places and arriving late when construction is going on.  I can't control that my kids don't nap in the car and have to stop often for potty breaks.  So most days in my orderly world were chaotic this summer without our routines.  It wasn't often we all got out of the car at a presentation or new place clean, happy, and eager to present.  Sometimes we were tired, grumpy, and extremely messy.

 We try to be back about 5 weeks every summer to see family and visit supporting churches and families and share about the work of WISE.  This summer we had to be back a little longer to see a few more churches, since support has been down lately.  We got to be in several weddings, and see lots of places and faces.

If you have visited, you know despite my planning and apologies in not having a clean house- usually it is a home filled with kids, chaos, crumbs, and love.  If we stayed at your house this summer you know I had great intentions to be very organized with 1 bag for the boys and 1 bag for the girls and we would live out of those 2 bags.  But of course: encountering garage sales, extremely cold weather (Hey- upper 70's to us means pull out the winter wear!), and dirty laundry we always toted around so much.

And after living and overnighting at 18 different guest homes these past few weeks, we grew so much in blessings and encouragement.  I can't even begin to list all the ways we have been blessed.  I still get amazed that all these families are willing to put up with the 5 of us. We're blessed to have families that have space for us and lend us their cars and watch our kids and the list is endless.

2 BIG things I'm thankful to not have or do in St. Vincent:

1.Driving-We drive on the other side of the road in St. Vincent, so I don't drive there as I'm not a great driver in the states.  On our last day in the States this time, I took the new van graciously given to us to use while back this summer and hit a curb in an effort to avoid a semi.  So, it's a really good thing I don't drive in St. Vincent!
2.Dryers- We don't have them in St. Vincent and it is a great thing.  My poor in-laws dryer and the clothes in it got ruined by things left in our pockets.

Being back with you, our prayer lists have grown.  We pray just as we are extremely chaotic people that Christ will continue the good work in you and us and carry it on to completion forming and growing us until Christ returns.  (Phil 1:6)