"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, March 31, 2014

Water Weekend

      This weekend is a big weekend.  It's 5th Sunday Fellowship with other churches at Glen.  The students take part in the service there.

     And it is Friday, so we were ready for the weekend.  Daddy is always ready to just come home, but we wanted  to get out.  So he humored us... the kids used an old black sheet for capes, we found 3 small water guns, called an emergency meeting at WISE....and pow, got to spray the students.

     This was our prelude to water game fellowship night...





Uh oh....Bro Sherman had brought an even bigger gun with him!


For fellowship Sat night, we played lots of water games, Bro Dave grilled, and...
    



we built the hugest water slide on the Island!



Here we are Sunday at another brother Christian church.



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Grenada

WISE partnered up with our home church in Ft. Collins, CO where we first were married and ministered.  Their new youth minister is great and brought 24 willing, excited servants to meet us in Grenada.  We met up with past graduates.  And the graduates had spread the word to help us put on a retreat for area youth.  


During the days they painted and scraped and made this hard working beautiful church even more beautiful on the outside.


This was Naiyah's 1st missions trip to go with daddy and help on.  I think in the beginning she was excited to get out of school for a few days, but then she got to meet so many new friends and help be a part of a great work and loved extra time with just daddy.  We heard Dave Stone speak at a parenting ceremony once that he always tried to take one of his kids with him on speaking trips to get extra time with them,  so this was our first chance we were able to send one of the kids to serve with Brice on his trips.


Naiyah loved that there were other kids to share crayons and books with.


The nightly retreat to recruit future Bible College students and also to encourage the youth their in their faith.


So thankful for a great daddy to teach us and love us.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Volcano or Beach Day?

      Living on an island in the Caribbean has its perks.  So, when midterms come and we get a day off  the choice was go to the volcano or the beach. Since the 2nd years have been to the volcano and it is a bit of a drive, the kids, Pam, and I took the 2nd years for a beach day.  Since the beach is not too far from our house I think the students all thought the ones getting to hike the volcano were getting the better day.



     We talked, caught on lives outside the classroom, swam, built sand chairs, kicked the ball around.  And then Bro Paul talked a guy into letting us go over in a boat to Young Island.  It is a resort island that is extremely expensive.  Bill Gates once rented the entire island out for his employees for $10,000 a night US Dollars.  So, we got to ride a boat and look around, see some parrots, and pretend we were guests for a bit.  This class definitely thought they got the better end of the deal by the end of the day.








      The 2nd years went with Bro T, Bro Dave, and Brice up to the volcano.  This is 2 years in a row all the students make the climb!  Bro T said he has been waiting 35 years to make it happen.  He finally did!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

1st Missions Trip


   Naiyah left for her 1st missions trip - I know she lives on the mission field, but she doesn't see this as a big misions trip, she sees here as home.  Her and Brice went to Grenada.  Would you pray for the team from CO meeting them?   They will be putting on a retreat for the people there to grow closer to God, recruit future students to WISE, and assist the graduates in their home churches and any building projects they need help with there.

   Meanwhile, the boys and I are preparing for days of making messes, building forts, eating junk, and hanging out with current WISE students.  Pictured above is Naiyah so excited to go.  Beckett is mad he is not going.  Pax still thinks he is going!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

An Unusually Usual Day

  I get asked what happens in a day here.  I have written a usual day schedule before, so I thought I would add in the unique things I experience.  Please note: do not feel offended if you read this and are from St. Vincent.  These just happen to be friends I have here and because of some of the unique circumstances here this happens, but does not necessarily reflect everyone here.  This could happen in any part of the world, and so this just happens to happen often to me here.

   Most days I get up early with the kids and about 7:15 am there is a knock on the door and in walks 2 of our little friends.  Adonal's mom works early and drops him off for preschool early.  Aaron, big 8 year old brother wants to tag along, but I tell him only preschoolers early or we would have a houseful.  Another neighbor's kids want to hang out early too, so I have to explain only preschoolers.

At 7:45 we head over to preschool and even though it does not start until 8:30, it is not unusual to have 6 extra kids wanting to play early while I prep.  During this time one of the ladies in the community often stops by to ask for some clothes, items for her baby, etc.  It is our family policy not to give money, and we try to discern needs and help with a job if possible.  Since we get asked for a lot, this is not always possible.

In between the times of preschool, I always have at least one parent asking for extra help as finances are hard here.  Most of our parents have multiple children, living in one of the poorer areas here, and have only one parent providing for the children.   There are lots of needs and the longer we live here, we see we can't help everyone but can help through a good start preschool education, breakfast if needed, snack each day, and lots of love and learning to love God each morning at preschool.

After preschool, most days at least 1-2 children are not picked up by their parents.  Public transportation has been hard to get, a younger sibling made it hard for them to make it, and I am a sucker for excuses.  So, typically lunch at my house and nap time has extra friends involved.

These are just a few extra things I deal with on a daily basis.  A glimpse into our lives as missionaries.  By no means, does this happen with every person who lives here, but these are situations that we do deal with and could deal with anywhere.  Knowing how to help, when to help, and not enabling is always a big prayer.


And then there are just super fun days where we get to go on a super fun trip to the airport!  It only took 4 teachers, 2 drivers, and 20 kids to make a super fun day!

A Foreigner

   I am a foreigner here in the Caribbean.  I still am even though some of my closest friends are people from here.

Every day walking around I get asked by strangers, "Where you be visiting from?"  
To which I reply, I live here.  
Yet they insist,  but where do you live?  
Here - Arnos Vale.  
Yes, but this is not your home. 

      This part used to aggravate me, because they base my home on my accent or my coloring. My kids know home as here for now.  From schooling here they saying common letters, instead of lower case letters.  They get proud and excited to see the Vincentian flag and know the national anthem by heart.  On a map they list the major cities of St. Vincent.

     I still will be foreign no matter how long we live here. And despite how hard I try or pray for or long for it is not something to be changed.  And when I look at Ruth from the Bible, I see the same.  I see she was continually known as Ruth, the Moabitess.

      It can be easy to focus on the cultural differences.  Maybe her dress, maybe her coloring, or her accent.  But, I love that Ruth's
story is more than any of that.  Her life was one of devotion and service and became a part of the story of the birth of Jesus.

    I love my home country and so thankful for it's many opportunities and freedoms and I love my new country of St. Vincent and am so thankful for the people here.  My heart and prayer is not to focus on my differences, but to focus on serving and loving.

Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you....
Where you stay I will stay.  
Your people will be my people and
your God my God."
Ruth 1:16