June, July and 6 Months of Island Life Pt. 1

Having a full house!

Its hard to image that this summer came and went.  There was so much anticipation and so much excitement leading up to it!  Being able to see our friends and family here at our new home was a huge blessing and a tremendous encouragement!  We love these people so much and they have added to our lives in ways we could never thank them!  Enjoy the pictures!

June

Our dear friends, Michael, Lexi, and Julia Russell were the first of our visitors for the summer!

Our dear friends, Michael, Lexi, and Julia Russell were the first of our visitors for the summer! So exciting to get to show them our new home and enjoy a week with them. We are so grateful to have such wonderful friends who are like family. (Lots of them mentioned in this post!) ALSO, sidenote, Lexi’s younger sister, Olivia, will be joining our family Sept.-Dec., as an intern of sorts. We are so excited!!

 

Phil, Lauren and Henley were next to come!  Their visit overlapped with the Russell's (who they are very good friends with) and so we had a FULL house and loved it!

Phil, Lauren and Henley were next to come! Their visit overlapped with the Russell’s (who they are very good friends with) and so we had a FULL house and loved it!

Jordan had grown up with the Emmerts since first grade!  Their whole familyl is so dear to us!  Jordan actually had the honor of marrying Phil and Lauren!!  And we also were able to see some of Kristen Dunbar!  She was in the youth group with us in Jr. High and then moved up to high school with Brandon and Wendi!

Jordan had grown up with the Emmerts since first grade! Their whole family is so dear to us! Jordan actually had the honor of marrying Phil and Lauren, and it has been so sweet to watch them grow over the last several years. I am so thankful for Lauren’s friendship and encouragement (and Jordan of Phil’s!)— they’ve been so good to us! And we also were able to see some of Kristen Dunbar! She was in the youth group with us in Jr. High and then moved up to high school with Brandon and Wendi, but has been a dear friend for many years. SO FUN having her down on the island!! :)

 

Great Coffee.  Greater Good.


An exciting thing our friends are a part of and that we want to give a shout out to is 517 Coffee. Great coffee, greater good: That is the vision of 517 Coffee.  Phil and Lauren took a leap of faith and started this tasty company offering much more than just a local roasted coffee.  Buying this coffee will not just support your caffeine addiction! :)  Each time you buy a bag of coffee from 517, you have a choice to give to something great.  With the purchase of a bag you can help: fight for freedom – helping fund the stop of sex trafficking and commercial sex trade, give safe water – help sponsor a water project being built in needy areas, or promote education – each bag equals a month of education for a child, or fight hunger – a hungry school age child will get at least 6 meals with the purchase of a bag.

Its an amazing way to give back and it’s been going really well!  517 Coffee also gets its whole beans from Brickhouse Coffee Roasters!  (It just keeps getting better!  Brickhouse is based out of our home church Horizon Indy– we are big fans!!!! :) )  Its been awesome to see God bless the Emmerts and 517 and we would invite you to visit them and check out what they are doing!  And what is even crazier is that Michael and Lexi have just joined the team at 517 to help promote it and make it look awesome!  We have amazing friends! :)

June was full and busy and wonderful, and led way to an even fuller and busier July!

July

 

For July we got our very first mission group! The Chapel Indy. This was an amazing group of youth that we grew to love very quickly! The group was lead by Taylor and Marissa Bradbury who were both part of Horizon Youth. Further awesomeifying the group was Luke Jones and Brent Vaught! Both very good friends for a very long time! Again, having these people here on the island was a really encouraging time of fellowship and pouring into St. Kitts.

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You can read more about their mission trip at the Grayson’s blog! A brief summary though: These young men and women were amazing— truly here to serve! They were so quick to love on our kiddos, which was a HUGE blessing. Corban got to play lots of soccer, and the girls had endless book-readers and Barbie-players. Outside of our  (and the Grayson’s) home, though, they also worked very hard. They put on a VBS at a local elementary school. Additionally, they got to really bless, serve, provide for, encourage, and help a woman and family that we’ve grown to love and care for so much, Danyella. Danyella is a single mom of 11 children, 9 of whom live in the home with her. Prior to this group arriving, there was no sink in her kitchen, no working shower or bath, tremendous need- far exceeding anything we have ever experienced first hand. At the end of the week, they’d installed kitchen counters, a full sink, shelves. They painted in her home, just giving it a cheery, clean look. They installed a shower head and new toilet seat, giving them a fully functioning bathroom. And amazingly, this team brought down suitcase after suitcase of clothing, toys, shoes, etc. to give to this family. They were so appreciative, so thankful. And it’s been so sweet… we have prayed that as we have helped meet very tangible needs of this family that the Lord would allow opportunity for them to see the love of Jesus and also to establish relationships– and He is doing it. We are so grateful and thankful!!

 

Hannah is one of our dear youth group kiddos, and the daughter of Mike and Judy Slack… friends who are like family to us, who have provided much leadership and mentorship for us. Anyway, we got to have Hannah for nearly the whole month of July here in our home and it was SO WONDERFUL. We had many nights of laughter, card playing, cookie eating, so much help with the kiddos, really awesome conversations, and time spent together. So grateful that she spent that chunk of her summer with us. LOVE YOU, Hannah!!

 

We also had our first SIBLINGS to visit the island… my brother, Brandon, and his wife, Holly! Holly has worked so hard for so many years and has just graduated from her residency and is soon beginning her first official job as Dr. Holly Wheeler! They took two weeks to travel to Barbados and then here to St. Kitts, to celebrate, relax, and enjoy some island time before beginning the new job. I am SO GLAD they came!! We showed them all around the island, ate good food, enjoyed lots of beaches and game playing. Such a wonderful time. :) (And of course, the kids were THRILLED to have their uncle and aunt here! Such sweet memories.)

So there’s a quick update to bring us up to mid-July and the big events that took place. In the midst of all of that, we continued with Kids Club, bible studies, CCF, etc. I (Kristen) also began making weekly visits to the Children’s Home— something I’ve wanted to since we have lived here, and have finally begun to make happen— and we also have nearly weekly visits with Jehovah’s witnesses (a major prayer request! More on that in the next post!)

We are in the process of overhauling the info on the website to current information and are following up this post with our first 6 month recap + vision for the rest of the year.

Thank you for taking the time to read and for praying for us! We really are excited about what God is doing and has in store!

 

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