"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 29, 2014

Annual Christmas Present

Above was my Christmas present from Brice with a handwritten letter.  For 7 of the 9 Christmases we have been married we have been living overseas.  So, whether lack of finances or the unavailability to have access to Christmas gifts we started a tradition of giving each other a special candy that was hard to get.  In Haiti it was a snickers bar. 

This Christmas Brice knows my secret love for soda and found this coke here.  He hides his romantic side, so I loved this public declaration from this treat!

Hope you all had a blessed Christmas feeling the God's love through His gift of a Saviour!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas

     It can be hard for anyone to have extra money for Christmas gifts.   We serve with such amazing students and staff that doing these ideas together for others this year was such an enjoyable time.  And most only cost time or a few dollars.

Idea #1 - Clean/ Help a Friend for an Afternoon
Our sweet friend is a seventeen year old momma with 2 toddler boys.  Us girls told her we wanted to honor her for the afternoon.  We did bring presents for the family, but the real gift was the girls braided her hair for her and pampered her.

We helped watch her boys.

And we cleaned her house!

Idea #2 - Food Bags
Everyone loves food and most are baking around the Holidays.  Through our church we were able to pass out 55 food baskets in the community.

Even just putting a few baking items together and leaving it on someone's doorsteps is such a treat!

And guaranteed to pass on smiles!

Idea #3 - Happy B-day Jesus Party!

Gather the neighbor kids around and do an impromptu party singing to Jesus for his b-day!

Who doesn't love cake?

And friends and frosting?

Idea #4 - Adopt a Student
Invite a student into your home.  We are blessed to work with and know through the Bible College students well.  But, some can't go home for Christmas and don't have families that care.  Let them see your family's love and see Christ that way!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Crash

Kaboom!  Last night  at 9pm a drunk driver crashed into the main school vehicle.  We were so thankful as our neighbors who live below us had just walked into the house seconds before.  If they had been any later, they would have been hit.  We were also thankful the truck was in the driveway, because if not he would have hit the house where 2 families live.  So, thankful all were okay.  

Above is the truck who ran into ours.

Below is our driveway where he hit the truck and turned it sideways.

We were so blessed to have supporters and churches work so hard to raise money for this truck to haul supplies, haul all our students around, and to use for much needed errands.  While we are bummed as this week we were going to use it to carol around the countryside, take the students on hikes, and tour our family coming in around - and the unknown of finding something else we can afford or getting parts to fix it.  The biggest relief is no one was hurt.  

Would you pray for the driver, though? He is a neighbor who witnesses say regularly has almost run them over when drunk.  There is no law here the police told us that you can't drink and drive.  This is scary and we don't want anyone hurt.  After the accident, the man staggered back in his truck and got to drive on home...still intoxicated.  We are praying a way we can reach him for Christ and he can change. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Christmas to Believe In

This Friday was our big day for the preschool party.

So many fun foods were shared.

That night we all gathered for the Annual WISE Christmas play put on by the students.

The students practice from Oct until now and they always do so amazing!

Most of the costumes were made by a student last year and our intern and adjunct's wife helped on props with some of the students.

3 Baby Jesus' showed up.  I guess I kept asking all the mom's.  One got too hot being swaddled, one would not lay down and kept wanting to sit up, and one did perfect.  So, he played baby John and  baby Jesus.

We were so glad Zachariah did not drop the baby here!

Joseph was so caring to Mary.

Behind the stage here, Bro Dave is recording, Bro Brice is capturing pics, Sis Angie is preparing snacks, Sis Pam baked cookies and ran the sound system.  So many hands pitched in.

We had several solos from the students.

The live animals stole the show.  The narrator's had to ask for the crowd to sit down to get control.

This baby goat was the favorite!

Preschoolers sang "Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus".  It was precious.

A special from the girls.

And the King scared many, so thankful He didn'te reign forever!

So thankful...

We had a huge week of events planned.  The preschool went on a field trip to a farm.  It was one for the few farms that let groups come.  So, I admit to picturing cows, horses, pigs, etc.  They had plants galore, goats, and rabbits.  And our kids were thrilled with those!

Then, we got the pleasure of hosting Thanksgiving at our house.  I love having it filled.  I feel so guilty that this house has 3 bedrooms, so I loved having it all full. And the staff ladies all cooked several things, so it made serving the meal so much easier to have all the help and yummy food!

We played games and watch the movie "Mom's Night Out".  The students laughed harder than ever at this one.

With a break the next day, we all went to the Botanical Garden's, which are the oldest known gardens in the Western hemisphere.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Speak, Lord - Pt 2

     Continuing in our learning in preschool we read about Samuel being awakened by the calling of his name.  Man, we sure have been awakened here.  Nine months ago 2 of our sweet neighborhood girls and preschoolers were taken away from their parents.  Since that day each of our family has prayed for them.  We began by praying we could adopt them.  We searched,thought we had them, and so many other wild things.  Nine months later they are not with us.  And they have not returned to their parents either.

We've cried and prayed for the girls and spent time counseling their real parents.  Each week we are told another thing by the court systems here.  Their birth parents asked to sign the girls over to us and then we realized they no longer have any say over the girls and they are stuck in the system.  So, we kept praying for them.  But, we prayed for them to join our family.

This week the court decided to grant visitation back to the parents. Their mother asked if we could keep them, since she is not able to.  We were of course thrilled, gave her finances to get them, and then we waited.  Only to find out she had taken the money for other purposes, not shown up to get the girls and was using again.  Now her rights have been revoked again.

When Samuel finally realized it was God speaking to him, he said, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening."  We are just praying.  We are praying for God to speak in how we can care for others here, whether is is bringing the girls into our family one day if the courts let them, or if it is helping their mom get on her feet.  And we are praying for God's will, not ours for the girls.  That the constant moves, and lack of parents and care, they would still see how much God cares for them.  And I am so thankful that as much as we want the girls here, God knows their name and loves them even more.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Answers - Pt 1

    One of my favorite times is teaching Bible stories in preschool.  The stories come alive and are real to the kids.....as we should be reminded THEY ARE REAL!  Last week we talked about the Israelites getting bit by all the snakes in camp, because of their wickedness. Thankfully, we made snakes wrapped around poles, since God told Moses in the Bible looking at those poles is what would heal them!  God is in the business of healing!

     This week is all about Hannah and Samuel.  Hannah wanted something so bad.  She wanted a baby so much and did not have one.  So, she prayed.  And God answered with Samuel.  We talked a lot about Hannah really wanting a baby.  All of our preschoolers jumped on the wagon and told me their moms were having babies too:)

     While we were on our alphabet hunt, I talked about finding the letters and the kids told me we needed to pray...like Hannah!

     Man, I forget this.  Praying for everything.  Even if God answers in a different way.

     Like how I was having trouble balancing everything and praying for help.  God, didn't take away things on my plate, but He brought others in to help.  As I wandered how to balance teaching children all the time, He brought a teaching team of women on Sunday morning, nights, and Wed nights to rotate.  Or how I could not figure out budgeting and accounting items, and he helped provide our cousin to step in and volunteer her vacation time to explain and teach me things.

Thank you, God, for answering prayers!



Friday, October 17, 2014

Staff night Out

    We do a lot of special fellowship times with our Bible College students and our preschoolers, but it is so rare to get all the staff together and recognize just them.  This week some some friends and adjuncts volunteered to watch our kids for a special night....which meant, we could get the staff together and treat them to a special night.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

10 Adults + Studying Moses = 10 Plagues

    With a group visiting this week and all of them wanting to help in the preschool, our little one roomed preschool was full.  And that did not even include 20 munchkins.  This week in Bible we were studying Moses, so having all those adults meant we could each have a station for the 10 plagues!

At each station we would talk about Moses asking Pharaoh if he would let the people go, and at each one they shouted, "No, he wouldn't let them go!"

At my station we saw God's power through Moses' stick turn their water into blood.

Then, there was the plague of darkness.  Yes, it was all very homemade and used what supplies we had to work with:)

This station they crumpled paper into hail balls!

This station in the netting there were tissue paper flies covering all, kind of hard to see from the picture.

This station all the animals got sick and died.  Several volunteered our pet dog for this, but thankfully we had some play ones in the preschool to use instead.

This station combined the locusts buzzing and the plague of the gnats and lice.

Here the boils covered their beautiful skin.  I missed getting a picture of the frogs leaping over each other.

Lastly, they colored blood over their houses to save themselves from the final plague.  

How fun to have extras help bring our Bible stories to life.  Seeing the kids really understand God's love to save his people, but to also understand punishment from a hardened heart was so powerful.  We continue to pray that all will know God's love and be rescued as He longs for us to be!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

One of those Weeks...

    Whew!  What a week, and it is only Thursday!  Still to come for the weekend is a neighbor's wedding, Capture the Flag Fellowship night, girls Esther night, church, a field trip to the bakery with the preschool, and the usual taking care of my family and house.

     Our weeks seem to be pretty full anyways, but this week several unexpected things happened.  It was a week of writing a newsletter and sending those out trying to get the formatting right for our tech challenged family.  Then, a family needed help here so there were added extra hours of watching their kiddos too.  And, then our accounting system crashed...with the past year's information all on it. After money and lots of time by 4 different staff members it was fixed and updated.  When those unexpected things happened resulting in really late nights and juggling schedules around and letting other things go by the wayside, I felt really stressed.  And then so relieved that it is now working and fixed!

   So grateful for the staff teamwork here.  Not one of our staff complained that I asked for help in the office until 10 pm or took their lunch hour, they all were super amazing.  So thankful to the Lord for who he has teamed us up with at this time.

     As this week was going on my husband was in his discipling time.  He does this every week with the same man and when weeks get crazy, especially this week...I wanted to think with this accounting emergency, can you put that meeting off until next week?   He ended up still making it work to meet with the man and while they were meeting the man talked about how reading the word for that hour every week had grown him so much and how loved he felt.  It's so rare to see Christian men leading their families here, and so precious to see this man growing and leading his family to the Lord.   I am so thankful that my husband leads us and sees the important things of what life are all about....meeting with people and showing them the Lord's love.  Because sometimes I forget.  I almost let accounting, a clean house, and the right words for a newsletter get in the way of loving others.    Almost.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Starting up school

    Well, we are still waiting for 4 students to come.  They were detained and would ask your prayers for their arrival here hopefully this week.  This year we have 5 countries represented from Dominica, St. Vincent, Barbados, Haiti, and Jamaica.

We made the preschool beautiful and hired Ms. Josea to help us this year!  Mrs. Pam was missing from this photo, though she helped too!

15 preschoolers started the week, with more to come.  Sickness has been going around here....I put up photos of the cuties....

All of us together for the year!

Admidst parenting, teaching, a parent back to school meeting....I got to host a shower for my neighbor's baby!  We played fun games of seeing what it's like to have a baby with balloons in our tummies while tying our shoes.

Here we are at Sunday service, so neat to see our students serving and leading!

Pictured above is our new intern from MU Campus House for the semester!