Seven Months of Island Life

2014-08-27_0003This was supposed to be a ‘half a year’ update. We had worked on it, I had it mostly written in my brain, but it just never got completed and published. And you know what? I’m really glad. What I would have written a month ago in many ways would be very different from what I have to say today. We found ourselves at the sixth month mark still doing a lot of waiting and praying. Please hear me– it’s been GOOD in many, many ways. The time spent as a family has been invaluable—so needed and so healthy. We’ve loved plugging in at CCF and coming alongside the Grayson’s there. We were by no means sitting and doing nothing, but we found ourselves NOT doing the things the Lord had burdened our hearts for prior to coming. We found ourselves floundering in ways, and I (Kristen) was questioning why we were here and what we were even doing. I had a few pretty desperate-seeming weeks, and for whatever reason, I decided to give myself til Monday to be sad, and then it was buckle-down and start-fresh. Sure enough, the Lord met me there in the sweetest way– A little tiny glimmer of PURPOSE, that spring boarded quickly into many months of prayers (actually, YEARS of praying in one instance) beginning to be answered, and now all of a sudden, our weeks are looking a lot different, and we are really excited about the things beginning to take shape.

So, what does this look like?! What does this mean? What ARE we doing here? I’ll give a little run down of the different things we are a part of, but then I want to talk a little about what it’s done to our hearts, what we’re learning, how we’re growing/where we need to grow further. This will be a longer post- bare with us! :)

Jordan’s got his hands in several different ministries, many of which have been mentioned previously.

DRIVING THE URVAN

bus

Jordan has been able to make the rounds with the church bus that was purchased back in March. It has been a HUGE blessing to be able to go and pick up the locals who have made CCF their church. It has afforded Jordan some good time to get to know some of the people as they drive.

WORSHIP

Jordan has also been able to help a lot with worship. He gets the play the cajon and has lead worship once. He gets to church early with Brandon to set up all the sounds equipment as well.

Jordan has also been able to help a lot with worship. He gets the play the cajon and has lead worship once. He gets to church early with Brandon to set up all the sounds equipment as well.

WALKING AND PRAYING

Spending time downtown to walk, pray and see what God does.  Pray with us that He opens hearts to the Gospel and that multitudes of disciples would be made!

Spending time downtown to walk, pray and see what God does. Pray with us that He opens hearts to the Gospel and that multitudes of disciples would be made!

CHATTING WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

Something of a weekly occurance is engaging with the local JW orgaization.  It is a very organized and present force down here in St. Kitts.  We have had some very good conversations where we have been able to challenge and

Something of a weekly occurrence is engaging with the local JW organization. It is a very organized and present force down here in St. Kitts. We have had some very good conversations where we have been able to  kindly challenge their understanding of the nature of Jesus, the necessity of the Watch Tower Society to learn truth, etc.  Pray we can continue to love and talk with them and that they would be freed form the bondage of works and enter into the freedom of knowing Jesus and being saved by grace!

We, as a family, go nearly every Saturday to the fresh market downtown. We started our first Saturday here, and have tried to go as regularly as possible. One, it’s lots of produce for way cheaper than the grocery store, and two, it is good to just be seen out together as a family, becoming familiar faces in the community. We have developed a couple of really sweet relationships as a result, and one connection that we are really excited about. Fotor0825220239We met a young man a couple months back who was doing a survey. (Poor guy, he was asking my guava and papaya purchase history, and I’d never bought either!) Anyway, Jordan and he crossed paths a few times after that and once while he was out with a church group. He introduced us to his youth pastor, and Jordan has since been able to connect with the youth pastor (who just left for St. Thomas to finish Bible college) and a group of young men who are PASSIONATE about following Jesus (which includes the young man who had given the survey). Jordan has gotten to have lunch and hang out with a few of the guys, which has been great. All of that to say, we are having a group of them over this Saturday for the first time! We are really excited to be connected with this group of locals who are also believers! Pray that these relationships produce fruit, that we would encourage, strengthen, and train them in any way we could.

Another recent development is one that was previously mentioned, and is something the Lord has had in the works for the past three years. We met Tishan three years ago at the Children’s Home and were taken by the sweet, charming, mischievous little boy with the biggest smile. We have since prayed for him, and since living down here, prayed for a way to connect with him.  A long story made short, Daniella (the single mom of eleven), that we have been working with… her kids go to the same school that we knew Tishan went to. We asked if they knew him, and lo and behold, he is their NEIGHBOR. The Lord is so faithful! We were finally able to find him, and Jordan called to see if we could pick him up for church. Jordan drove up, and he came out, chest puffed and grinning ear to ear, smiling so huge. We have had him all day the last several Sunday’s, and a couple of times through the week. He is home with his mom now, no longer at the Children’s home, but there is much need in this little guy’s life. It’s not my story to tell, and I want to be careful to protect and honor him and his family, but please do pray for Tishan and for our time and investment in his life. This is something so dear to me, and ministry unlike any we have been part of…. stretching and growing and hard, but really sweet.

IMG_2468

Also, I’ll be returning to the Children’s Home weekly, and very excitingly– I have a handful of students from the church who want to join me! I’m really excited about being involved there, and also the chance to get to know these other girls.

So, there’s a little glimpse of things that our weeks are full of! I guess I should also mention a few other things. My days are primarily at home. A little island tidbit- it seems to take twice as long to do half as much! Line drying clothes, hand washing dishes. I was so spoiled back home and had no idea!! :) Furthermore… HOMESCHOOL. It started REALLY rough when we started in the spring, we stopped for the summer, I overhauled what we’d been doing and revamped and, you guys, we are LOVING it. Like, I really really really love doing it. I love prepping for it and I love watching the kiddos learn. More than I ever dreamed possible! PRAISE GOD, a huge answer to prayer. Jordan also tries to meet up with the local men he has met. He has had several lunch meetings, hiked the volcano, played basketball and even WRESTLED with a local man… who happens to be a professional MMA fighter! YIKES. But we are continuing to establish relationships and being intentional about discipling and equipping the people here to reach the island!

Beaching with the Grayson's, Mavis Huggins (who might be an angel!! :), and Danyella's kids!

Beaching with the Grayson’s, Mavis Huggins (who might be an angel!! :), and Danyella’s kids!

From a heart standpoint, this season has been life-changing for me. Quite honestly, and perhaps embarrassingly, we had never really encountered poverty. Never seen first hand what it looks like. Back home, we served a meal once a month to the homeless, but it’s a different ballgame altogether to get in the homes, to see first hand what it means. Though we find ourselves in the most uncertain financial situation we have ever been in, we know nothing, and I mean nothing, of what it means to be in need. It has wrecked my heart… ruined me in the best possible way. I can’t stand the excess in our life, can’t stomach the desire for more more more. I am a lover of things and clothes and stuff and it is sickening to see what we have when truly faced with those who have-not, you know? I want for the sake of wanting when I now know women who want nothing more than to make sure their children have a meal to eat. It’s gross when you get a really clear picture of your heart like that. It’s been so… humbling? I don’t know the right word.. to be able to help feed, to help clothe, to take care of in such a way. It changes your perspective entirely. We get the opportunity to take in a few kiddos every Sunday, and it is a JOY to be able to prepare a big meal for them (they’ve never had pasta, tacos, etc.! and they’ve licked their plates clean each week:) )— truly, something that makes my heart beat, one of those things that I know that I know that I know that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

SO, would you mind praying for us? Praying over these ministries? Praying for these precious families that we are involved with? For provision for them? For continued provision for us? We are so thankful.

On a quick little business front- we are still looking for groups to join with us praying once a month! We send out a more detailed prayer list and update. If you are a part of a Bible study or home fellowship or family or couple or if you just like to pray, we’d love for you to consider picking one day a month to pray for us and the going-ons of St. Kitts!

Also business related- we have updated our monthly budget and support needs after having a clearer idea of needs since living here. You can check that out here.

Lastly, we are so thankful for you following along with us, praying for us, encouraging us. This has been such a sweet seven months for us… to be so loved on by so many, even from afar, is a HUGE blessing that we do not take for granted. We remain confident that we have the greatest friends and family in the world. We love you!! God bless!!

2014-08-27_0002

Not to be left out! This guy is over NINE months old!!!!

Comments

  1. Wendy Hoff says:

    Really enjoyed this update. Thanks so much for your openness. And the Hoff family would love to take a day to pray for you guys. The kids still ask about your kids a lot.

  2. This update touched my heart.
    I am so looking forward to meeting all of you.

  3. Jessica Day says:

    What a blessing to hear your hearts Cry. I miss you girls. My prayers and Love come with a whole heart. I want to come some day and meet your friends there. Sending all my love. Jessica

Comments?