We made it!!

2014-02-02_0007We mentioned this moment before. After months of hard and impossible, we knew there would be a day when we arrived in St. Kitts, sat on our porch, breathed in the ocean air, and looked back on the miracle that the Lord worked— getting us to the island. It happened. It’s here. WE are here. For over two weeks now, actually. We made it. Phew. Insert a big giant sigh of relief, and a “thank You, God, for Your faithfulness!”.

This post will be long, so bear with me.

Backing up a few weeks:

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Snow. Sub zero temps. Lots of days like that. We spent a few days snowed in in Crawfordsville. Many many many days packing up our house. Many hours trying to drive places and it happening much more slowly than planned. Lots of days with family (though never enough!). We celebrated both girls’ birthdays. Drank a lot of coffee. Soaked in last days with people we love so much. Said some hard, hard goodbyes. In the midst of all of that, though, are two things I want to highlight.

First:

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One of the sweetest nights of our lives! (I forgot my camera, so I only have a few iphone pics that other people took) Our vision/sendoff banquet!

When we first began walking in making this move, Jordan had a vision of gathering all of the people we love together, having a giant pitch in, and spending time sharing our hearts for the island and the ministry that we will do here, praying and worshiping together. You guys- it was incredible. The church was packed full of old and new friends, family, church family from Crawfordsville and Indy. It was like our wedding, and a million times sweeter than we ever could have anticipated. We had several people share about different aspects of what we will be doing down here and then had those different topics prayed for. We spent time hanging out and visiting and worshiping with people who are so dear to us. It seemed surreal, really. My short paragraph doesn’t even begin to do it justice, and we want to just say THANK YOU to all who came… It seriously was an occasion that we will never forget and we praise God for surrounding us with the most amazing friends and family on the planet.

Next:

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How in the world do you wrap up and summarize seven years of ministry with people who’ve become family? with youth that you’ve watched grow from 4 ft tall 11 year olds to men and women in college, to leaders of the youth? How do you say goodbye to people who’ve mentored and encouraged and prayed us through? So so bittersweet. We love horizon youth much like we love our own children… These young men and women have a place in our hearts that cannot be expressed in words. And we are convinced, also, that there was no better place for us to be trained up in ministry. The leadership of Horizon is full of Jesus-loving, servant-hearted men and women, and we are so grateful for the example shown to us by them.
Jordan taught one last time, and then we were prayed over by the same group of people we’ve spent years praying for. God is faithful, my friends. It is so sweet to watch these youth follow hard after Jesus, and we have been so privileged to get to play a tiny part in their lives. (Oh, and that same day, we officially CLOSED ON OUR HOUSE. A done deal. SOLD. Praise God for His crazy, perfect, amazing timing. We closed on Wednesday, the crate came Thursday, the new family took possession Friday, and we moved on Saturday).

Additionally, we were amazingly loved on by our church body… They brought in tons and tons of diapers and cleaning supplies and toiletries and peanut butter. Furthermore, we had countless youth at our house for hours on end those last few weeks helping us pack and sort and wrap and trash the contents of our home. We had an AMAZING crew at our house when the crate came and they loaded the boxes containing our entire home into the 20 ft shipping container in less than two hours. After the crate was gone, and Jordan left the house to get in time with our families, a crew (including our INCREDIBLE realtor!) stayed and deep cleaned the house to get it ready for the new owners. Seriously… overwhelmed by the way we were loved on. Absolutely overwhelmed, and cannot say thank you enough times.

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We spent the last two days just with our families and it was a sweet, sweet 48 hours. Lots of emotions, but I am so thankful for those last couple of days playing out like they did. Saying goodbye was even harder than I ever dreamed it would be. We left our parents, and then drove back up to Indy, where we met up with a huge group of youth who were seeing us off to the airport.

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We got to the airport and met up with Emily, an absolute gift from God, who is living with us these first 7 weeks! A long story made short, she’s taking this year off of college and spent 6 weeks in the fall in Nicaragua and 7 weeks with us right now. She’s wonderful, and I cannot believe that two of her seven weeks are already done. Anyway, we added her to our crew, checked a gazillion suitcases, and then figured out how to get the rest of the crew+10ish carry-ons around. (Oh, and it was 3:30a.m., the kids had slept 2 hours, and Jordan and I hadn’t slept at all. It made for a looooong day)

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But- we made it! Nothing exciting to report about our travels, thankfully, and our plane arrived as anticipated in St. Kitts at 9 pm that night. Brandon and Wendi had spent time at our new home cleaning and making beds so that we could come straight here upon arrival. We awoke the next morning and finally reality began to sink in.

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(Our front yard and back yard views. Really. These are taken with an iphone and not edited. True story.)

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(We live in the top story shown in the picture above. The bottom is currently unoccupied).

Our house is wonderful. A few kinks are in the midst of being worked out (some not so minor like mold in the kitchen cabinets, requiring a whole new set of cabinetry), but overall, it’s really perfect for our family. We are in a neighborhood that has both locals and Americans, and we have a huge flat yard– unheard of on the island!

We have spent these first couple of weeks trying to ease into things. It’s a huge adjustment for all of us, and we want to make it as easy and smooth as possible for the kiddos. And honestly, we are coming off a long, hard, exhausting season. A time of rest was much needed, and we are beginning to feel refreshed. We have visited several local beaches, checked out all the grocery stores, hit up the big market on Saturday morning. We’ve gone to church the last two Sunday’s, helped with a clothing drive, and went to the Awana/kids club kick off party. Jordan has gone with Brandon to numerous places, preparing and getting things lined up for the Festival of Life (which is less than 3 weeks away!!!! PLEASE pray for this event!!!). We have so enjoyed being back with the Grayson’s, and the kids have been having an absolute blast together. It’s been good, and I know this new season is going to be good.

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(our van!)

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The bottom right picture is a view of our kitchen. Once the crate comes, we will show more house pictures!

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We did a little hike up Sofa Stone! Beautiful view!

 

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I spent an hour down at the local coffee shop by myself on Saturday, and it was no coincidence that my devos found me back in Romans 4… the same chapter that I read countless times the end of summer/early fall when all of life seemed hard and St. Kitts impossible. Verses 20 and 21 were the ones we clung to… “Abraham did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but being strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being FULLY CONVINCED that what He promised, He was also able to perform.” There were moments this fall where the only thing we had was the fact that we KNEW God had called us to St. Kitts. There was a season where, despite everything stacked against us and on paper nothing making sense, we had to take steps of faith that seemed so illogical. I was not at all unwavering or undoubting, but regardless, God was faithful. What He had promised, He most certainly performed, and I am so thankful.

We are excited to be here, excited to get to work. There is an island to be reached with the good news and the freedom found only in Jesus, and we would love your prayers as we continue to adjust and settle in to life here. I promise more regular updates now that life is less chaotic. Sorry for the eternal blog post, but there were lots of major moments that we couldn’t not include!  Thank you for sticking with us and praying for us these last few months. A major thank you again to our friends and families who helped us out those last few crazy weeks. Also, a major thank you to Brandon and Wendi, who have been so helpful in getting us here and finding us a home and helping us settle and letting us borrow a million things. :) And a huge GOD IS FAITHFUL just to reiterate. :)

BTW, For little updates between blog posts, you can check out our instagram for daily pictures (found here). You can also view Jordan’s youtube channel for some fun video updates (found here)!

One more thing! I am not yet a wordpress master, and I don’t know why the pictures are so little! If you want to look at them, just click on the image, and then click it again when it opens! :)

Comments

  1. What a great blog! Praise God for all He has done so far! Love the pictures :) will continue to pray for your transition!

  2. So thankful for the update. It truly brings peace to my thoughts knowing just how faithful God has been to your family. Please know that God strategically places us on this planet for his glory. It’s with great anticipation and expectation to see the power of God manifest during your stay…enjoy the ride:-)

    ~ Anita

  3. Thanks for the update. I love all the pictures! We are praying!

  4. Cried trough the whole post! What a beautiful testimony to God’s faithfulness! I’m so happy you are getting settled! God bless you, friends!!!

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