Thursday, September 4, 2014

10 Years Serving with RMI!

The beginning of September marks our 10 year anniversary with RMI!  10 years ago we sold our house in the Chicago area and moved to an apartment in Miami.  We had spent the previous 9 months raising the financial support we needed to take this position.  I had just found out I was pregnant for the 7th time.  Rob started working in the RMI Home Office as the VP of Operations. 

We loved RMI, it’s ministries and the life-transformation that occurs when 2 churches from 2 different cultures come together to minister together and to one another.  God used our experiences with our sister churches in Haiti (Linwood Community/Anse-a-Veau and The Orchard/Astruc)  to be just that: life-transforming.  We were very excited to be a part of it!

Our first prayer card:


10 years ago I never truly thought this is where we’d be today.  Oh, the thought crossed my mind as a possibility, but that’s all it ever was.  I never thought we’d have 3 kids.  Never imagined this life we have in Haiti with those 3 kids!

Our current prayer card:

Prayer Card 2014

So much has changed these past 10 years!  We’ve had the responsibility of raising financial support for more than 10 years.  That alone is a daunting task. Halfway through, we heard the Lord  asking us to take a new direction and make the move to Haiti. Although these years have been hard, they have also been filled with joy and adventure!  We’ve had the confidence of knowing, each step of the way, that we have been right where God wanted us to be.  I can look back and see Him guiding us, preparing our hearts for the ministry He has us in at this very moment in Haiti. 

And I am humbled.  I am grateful.

So many of you have supported us from the very beginning with your prayers, your finances, and your support.  We’ve appreciated your continued friendship despite the distance.  For those of you who’ve supported us these past 10 years, I feel like it’s your anniversary too!  You are a partner in this ministry!  That’s true for all of you who support us, whether it’s been 10 years or 6 months.  

It may be cliché, but we couldn’t be here in this ministry without you.  We are humbled by your commitment, grateful for your partnership.  As we celebrate this milestone, we celebrate you!

Thank you!


A New School Year

Monday, September 1st was the start of a new school year here at Cite Lumiere Christian School (CLCS.)  This year all 3 kids are in the same school!  Just the fact that there is a class for Braden and a teacher to teach it is a huge answer to prayer for us.

First Day of School September 2014

As of April 2014, we had no teacher and no leads until I mentioned to my Mom the need.  She thought of someone who might be interested.  Long story short, God worked in a big way.  Courtney Westcott was approved by the school board, approved to come with RMI and was able to raise the support she needed in only a few months.  She flew into Haiti with us on August 20th.  Pray for her as she adjusts to life in Haiti.  She seems to really enjoy teaching the first graders!

Braden: 1st Grade

First Day of School September 20141

This is Tessa’s 3rd year to have Mrs. Leger as her teacher.  She is one of 7 students in her class.  I’ve already had a few talks with her about how much more work 3rd grade is (while she was on the verge of a mini-meltdown!)  So far, she’s risen to the occasion.  Meanwhile, I’m feeling a sense of deja-vu thinking “Didn’t I just work with a child to memorize all the prepositions last year?  Why, yes I did!”

Tessa: 3rd Grade

First Day of School September 20142

This year is Drew’s 3rd year to have Mrs. Ferris.  His class is 4th and 6th grades combined and there are 9 students.  Mrs. Ferris really “gets” Drew and the way he thinks.  It makes for a good combination.

Drew: 4th grade

First Day of School September 20143

We are thankful for all the staff and teachers at CLCS, who really love the kids and love the Lord. 


Summer in the States

If you asked me to describe our summer home assignment (furlough) in just a few words, I’d give you two: fun and family. 

I didn’t fully realize it as we were preparing to leave for the States, but we were exhausted: tired from the busyness of life and ministry in Haiti and feeling worn out from the lack of family time in our schedule.  We needed a break.

Two years ago we took our first furlough.  We spent 3 months in the States, travelled over 8,000 miles to 21 States and saw as many possible supporters as we could.  For the most part, we were excited and energized by our travels. 

Fast forward two years later.  As we were preparing for our furlough this year, we sensed God leading us in a different direction.  Some of the plans for travel that we thought were good, weren’t panning out as we expected.  But we were encouraged as we sensed God leading us to spend more time with extended family and alone together as a family unit. 

We left Haiti on June 13th and returned August 20th.  We spent time in Florida and New Jersey and did a quick PA road trip.  We made it a priority to visit with each of our supporters in those areas, as well as each of our supporting churches.  We were sad that we weren’t able to see all of you, especially those of you in the Chicago area, this time around. 

We wanted this furlough to be a little different.  In fact, we needed it to be.  For our family, for our hearts, for our sanity. And it was.  We set out to make our meetings with supporters more organic; more about mutual sharing and just spending time together.  We enjoyed sitting around, catching up with so many of you.   We spent time praying for each other. We laughed and had fun with your families.

McDonald Visit July 2014

When we were in NJ and not meeting with supporters, we were spending quality time with our families.  Leaving was harder this time around as the kids bonded at a deeper level with their cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Boardwalk with Thompsons July 2014

In FL, we had week of vacation all to ourselves.  We made tons of memories and grew closer as a family.  We just had fun together!

Sanibel Vacation August 2014

At the end of it all, we were very ready to come home.  Ready to get back to  our normal life. Ready to jump back into work and ministry with a renewed sense of purpose.  Our hearts and souls were refreshed.  We returned with a fresh commitment to make family time a priority amidst the busyness and chaos.

If we were able to see you this summer, thanks for making the time, thanks for making it fun, thanks for sharing your lives with us.  If we didn’t get to see you, please know we are really appreciative of your love and support.  We hope 2 years from now brings us your way.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Never Doing Family Devotions Again... (not really)

I hate love when the Bible leads/teaches me.  Last night, for family devotions, we read Ephesians 5:1-2...
"1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
After reading this, we went around and everyone gave an example of how they can apply this.  My example was that out of love, I need to be willing to sacrifice my own agenda to help others first.

So today, here it is, 10:45am, and I am just sitting down at my desk to look at my own task list.  I have been Mr. Technical Support all morning.  I have worked on one iPad, 3 laptops, and one very long troubleshoot and re-installation of a persnickety wireless printer.  I am glad I can serve, but Lord help me get to the long list of other things that I would like to get done.


Monday, September 1, 2014

My Daily Ice Bucket Challenge...

Warm Showers are NOT overrated... Will you allow me a moment to vent (aka whine)??? We have been back in Haiti now for 12 days, and I haven't yet had a hot shower. It's like my daily ice bucket challenge. Every morning I get up and fear the shower. Only after my first cup of coffee do I approach with great trepidation. I am never surprised at how un-cold the water is.

Now, to be fair, this is TOTALLY a first world problem. I admit it. I am spoiled. Having a hot water shower is not a requirement to the abundant life. It is truly insignificant when compared to the great needs we are regularly confronted with. I am almost embarrassed to admit it. Almost. I. HATE. COLD. SHOWERS.

If REAL missionaries don't require a hot shower, than I am not a REAL missionary...  Becky is apparently a REAL missionary because she seems to enter the shower lair like a hardened veteran with no care for personal comfort.  Or at least she doesn't whine like I do about it. I call her insensitive.

A new hot water heater is on order... please Lord, get it here quickly.  ;)