March update!

I cannot believe it’s been a month since our last post! Please forgive us! We’ll get the hang of keeping this updated one day soon! :)

We’ll back up to the festival of life and bring you up to speed. The Festival: It was incredible. Really incredible. The week of having teams here from many places in the US, the sweet ministry that happened here during that week, the work projects completed, the thousands who were invited to the festival, the time spent in the prison, the many schools that Jesus was boldly proclaimed in… I could go on and on. And then the main event, the actual festival… just amazing. To see a year of planning come together like that, for there to be two thousand(ish) Kittitians there, for all the kiddos that were loved on, and the Bibles that were passed out, and the people who were prayed with, the gospel shared in many ways…simply incredible. Wendi wrote an amazing recap post over on their blog… definitely worth the read.

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One of the sweetest moments for me was to see the beginnings of a prayer two years prayed answered. In 2012, we spent a good amount of our mission trip here working at the local Children’s Home. I met this feisty little seven year old boy, and he captured my heart in a very special way. Truly, I would have brought him home with me if I could have. We, as a family, began praying for him, and often over these last two years our kiddos have talked about him and reminded us to pray for him. As soon as we told them we were moving here, Corban very quickly asked if he’d get to play with Tishawn. Fast forward to the festival week, and I’m out at a school, taking pictures of one of the teams when I spy the little boy who won my heart two years prior. He gave me a big hug and we got to talk, and then Jordan got to see him, too. I could NOT believe it! He showed up to the festival on Saturday, and he and Corban spent a lot of the day running around together. I can’t wait to see what God does… It was no accident that I met him two summers ago, and it was no accident that we’ve reconnected now. Please pray for opportunities for us to spend time with and just lavish love on him!

2014-03-31_0001It’s been so sweet to see FRUIT from the work done. We went to the Port on Jordan’s birthday (march 14) to get a pair of sunglasses for him, and we got to chatting with the cashier. She asked if we were students, and after talking for a few minutes about why we are here and what we are doing, she connected us with the Festival of Life. She was excited to tell us that one of ‘our people’ (her words) prayed with her and she made a life change that night, that she recommitted her life to Christ! How awesome is that?! Please pray for Chrissy, that it would be a lasting change, and that, Lord willing, we would get the opportunity to invest in her life (and if not us, that there would be someone pouring into her!).

There have been a handful of new people at church since the festival, and I know that there will be many more stories that come as a result of that week here. Again, many many many thanks to all who came, who sent supplies, who prayed for us!!

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The week following the Festival, we had the Bible college from our home church here still. They were AMAZING. Not only was it so sweet to have the familiar faces, but they helped us knock out some serious work at our house, while loving on our kiddos, and doing amazing things like folding laundry and mopping the floor. It was so so wonderful! (I’m trying to keep this very-packed update as brief as possible while still hitting on everything! Stick with me!!)

2014-03-31_0006Unfortunately, with people coming, it also means people leaving, and we got to experience our first taste of goodbyes from this side. We had Hannah and Liz (two of our youth group girls) stay with us the week of the festival, and it was so sweet for all of us! There was a team here for the week from our home church as well. I am so thankful for the time we had with them all!

Saying goodbye to the Goodrich family (our pastor and his wife, and then their son Brett. He was Jordan’s intern the last year and has taken over the youth at Horizon, and is like an uncle to our kiddos– truly, a part of our family!) was the moment for me when it really really really hit that we live here. I spent the next day just bumming… I was anticipating the goodbye of our (yep, part of the family now, too) dear Emily and just homesickness was setting in, really for the first time. I was texting with another dear friend, Maddie, telling her that she needed to just hop on the plane and come on down. Come to find out… She was standing in customs in the airport in St. Kitts, surprising us!!!!! She lived here with the Grayson’s for three months last year and loves this island, and is also just like a part of our family. Having her here helped ease the blow of saying goodbye to Emily, but man oh man, was that a tough day. Emily was such a gift to us for this season… there’s no doubt that the Lord ordained us running into her dad at a graduation open house, the conversation that followed, and then her ending up down here with us. My only regret is that it wasn’t longer! WE MISS YOU, EMILY!!! :)

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After Emily and the Bible college left, we had a friend from our hometown and years of youth camp here for the week (though he stayed with the Graysons), Matthew Clark, and then also two our former youth group guys, Nick and John! Nick and John both helped us pack up our crate and have spent lots of time with us the last couple of years… It was sweet to have them here in our home! Also overlapping with their stay was my high school best friend, Kallie. Talk about a fun week! It was so refreshing and just FUN to have her here. I’ve always joked that I need people like Kallie (and Jordan) to loosen me up a little bit. :) One of the highlights from the week was taking a little ‘girl day’ and doing a half day catamaran trip! I’d never done it before and it was so nice to just relax and chat and snorkel and drink unlimited cold Ting. We said goodbye to Kallie on Friday the 21st, and that marked the first night in the ten weeks of living here that it was just the six of us in our house! WHOA.

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It was so sweet for me to have this time with some of my dearest friends! I am so thankful!!

It was so wonderful, and I am so thankful to have had all of the visitors to help ease the transition. However, it has also been nice to slow down and settle. The last two weeks have been the first to feel like we are working into a routine, a new normal–which our kids were very much needing. I’ve got three weeks of homeschooling under my belt. We continue to go to Kids Club on Monday nights to help with that (and give our kiddos a chance to be with peers!). Jordan and I both attend Bible studies, and he’s helping out Sunday morning with setting up for church and occasionally playing drums for the worship team. Right now, though, we are spending a lot of time waiting and praying. Jordan and I got to sit together last week and talk through schedules and goals and how we can begin walking in the different things the Lord laid on our heart prior to the move. We want any ministry we do, the relationships the Lord allows, the time we spend to be birthed in prayer. We don’t want to busy our schedule for the sake of just feeling productive, you know? We want to wait on the Lord, wait on His perfect timing, walk attentively, always looking and praying for opportunities. Jordan has kept a list of names and phone numbers of people we’ve encountered and had conversations with, and right now, we are just praying through those, and for those people and asking the Lord what He’d like to do. Jordan is going back through the T4T information (Training for trainers– a super easy, replicable discipleship process– check out our dear friend, the Coopers, blog for more info!) that we were trained in and then going back over it with me… We desire to begin pouring into others in this way!

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Anyway, all of that to say, we are finally settling and feeling settled. We continue to sit amazed at the Lord’s provision and leading and are so thankful to be here. We have been going through 1 Thessalonians together, and I was struck this week by the reality of us being elected, chosen, called, commissioned… and how with that comes RESPONSIBILITY. I don’t want to waste time. I don’t want to lose sight of why we are here. Please pray with us as we continue to begin this new season. God is faithful and good, my friends!

(OH, and we are SO EXCITED for Jordan’s parents to get here on Thursday!! The kids have counted down since the day we moved and it’s here!!! Hooray!!)

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