"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, October 29, 2016

On the road, just fundraising

Wow...we are about to finish our first week of fundraising events!

Our target aim is for $300,000 for the land due in Feb.

We loaded up the donated camper with all the supplies. (Yes, a company donated an older rental Rv to WISE).  Amanda's family cooked the food ahead of time for several days. Andrew prepared and joined for speaking, sound, set up, video, and brochures. We also had picked up former teammate Pam Ferguson to help cater the meals.  And Brice's parents joined the caravan team to help serve meals and watch our kids. Quite an amazing team!

Our first event in Canton was a time where only a few could make it but an encouraging one. Then the Beamer's joined up with us for Ohio and Indiana and have the most amazing message about their partnership with wise, how to survive the worst day of your life, and make sure you are ready the day before and how to prepare for that. Truly hope everyone can hear him.

 With the 3 events we raised right at $10,000 and served 60 combined. While we had hoped to see more we were blessed by the ones we did see, know so many were excited by the amazing grad video the Shumate-family put together through our graduates help and David Beamer's wise words, and God bringing it all together.
We did realize we had a miscommunication and us and the church prepared a meal for the Indiana event... but having extra meals is better than not enough as David says, "Some is good. More is better!"

We head to share at Houston, mo this weekend and then would ask for your prayers and to invite your friends to our main events in Pittsburg, Columbia, and Arkansas this next week. Also if you would like a tape of the evening we are working on getting that too.  And continue to pray for the wise staff and students as ongoing classes continue on campus and for their perseverance.

Grateful for this team God has put together, 

Friday, October 21, 2016

More craziness

     So we received word from the government to finalize our work permits to be overseas we had to leave the country for 6-8 weeks.  Honestly, we have always been adventurers, going with whatever the Lord had. But this time I wanted to throw a fit!  We had only been in our home a few months.  I dreaded packing up for 6 of us and living out of suitcases again all living in one room in host homes and families.  I could not even fathom how we would try to school each day moving around.  And I loved having routines- cooking our own meals and having our own space.

     We had a great group here and then with the hurricane they were delayed several days and we got out.  We received word our paperwork had been denied, so it added another week onto the time out of the country.  We felt so frustrated.  And then at a routine checkup we got word Kensingtons's 3 holes in her hearts were still there, and her birthmark they thought could be causing vision problems.  So we lined up a heart specialist, pediatric eye doctor, and pediatric dermatologist.  If they went the aggressive treatment we would need to have close monitoring and appointments every month.  Our family does not do well apart and so we wondered- would this bring us off the field?  What was the future?  At this point, I am crying, not realizing how we can add all this on.  And of course meanwhile we are hosting 6 fundraising dinners to raise money for the new WISE property- 4 of which are families are catering in the next 2 weeks.  It did feel we had put too much on our plates.

     I was clinging to that verse in 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God does not give us more than we can handle.  And he doesn't.  He has given us so many things to grow us and teach us to trust Him more. That day we heard our paperwork had been accepted, so we would receive our permits after the waiting period!  We heard students started getting their student visas through!  And that same day 2 of the specialists got us in the very next day!  We were told this could take a month.  And they were amazing and after we explained our situation, worked with us on appointments and best course of treatments. Today we head on the road for the first fundraising event and we do covet your prayers that our family can balance work, life on the road, family, and schooling.  And that these fundraising dinners could bring more support for the school and students.

     And if you see a borrowed Missouri van in a McDonalds's parking lot- likely it is us- me schooling the kids in the backseat, the baby getting used to a carseat, and Brice using the free internet there calling students for interviews on Skype.  So- knock on the window and say hi- we love seeing friends all over!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

One of the most amazing weekends

I am so thankful that God gave me Brice and our marriage.  Our wedding day and the day each of the kids was born were some of my most favorite days.  But Naiyah studying with us and getting baptized was such an amazing day!  Knowing we will spend eternity with her and that she understands that thrills us more than anything!  

We are still praying her siblings fully grasp that one day to as this time they swam out and dunked themselves, declaring they baptized themselves...so could they have communion now:)

The next day was the one house for the island.   It rained some, but we still had several students sign up for the spring!

The First Christian Church from Elizabethtown came in the same day- they worked so hard and finished the last 2 leaky roofs in 2 days!  And even got an extra 3 days in Barbados due to the hurricane!

Kensington loved her first dip in the beach!

We had community service with the churches- our kids so enjoy being a part of the Ruby group.  Thankful for friends they can grow with.

Mrs. Pat was here and taught the girls how to sew!

And that same weekend our cousins gifted us with a gift certificate to a resort restaurant.  It was our first date here and so special.  And former teammate and friend Mrs. Pam came to visit and she watched our kids for us!