It had been a while since our whole family had been out in the country with a team. In June, we were able to join a group from Harper Church in Port Orchard, Washington to visit their sister church in Les Irois, Haiti. It was about an 8 hour drive to the westernmost tip of Haiti. For Becky, Tessa and Braden, it was their first time seeing that part of the country (Grand d'Anse region). We really enjoyed serving together as a family and were thankful to be a part of that team's ministry in Les Irois.
This wasn't a furlough year for us, so we chose to spend our vacation time in the Dominican Republic. We drove with another family to Puerto Plata, DR (a looooong 15 hour drive) and enjoyed 10 days at a resort there. It was really refreshing to get away as a family, rest, and enjoy the pool with our friends. Then we drove to the capital city, Santo Domingo and explored the city for 1.5 days. There we were in awe of US chain restaurants, a shopping mall and the infrastructure. It was hard to believe that we were still on the same island as Haiti. One of favorite parts of the trip was doing a walking tour of the historic section of Santo Domingo. As the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the Americas, there was much to see.
This year, for the first time in our kids lives, we spent Thanksgiving with our families in NJ. Our oldest niece (and flower girl, yikes!) got married the day after Thanksgiving so we made it a priority to be there for the big event. Becky's 97-year-old grandfather had passed away a few weeks before, so we were also able to be there for his funeral service.
Rob continues to be Field Director. This means leading and managing all initiatives, projects and staff. This means facility, project, administrative, and team development. There is NEVER a down moment as the work to be done never stops. Some of this latest projects were related to leadership development, QuickBooks support and report development, web development, conversion from Google Drive to Office 365, church partnership development, etc etc. The list certainly goes on. He continues to feel like God is using his abilities for the advancement of the kingdom.
Becky continues to be responsible for RMI Hospitality and Bookkeeping. In addition, she volunteers as Chair of the School Board for the kids' school. In September, she also added second grade teacher (devotions, math, and science or social studies) to her list of responsibilities. This task has been challenging but Braden enjoys having Mommy for a teacher each day for an hour and a half. She still enjoys digital scrapbooking and has fun playing basketball and volleyball once a week.
Drew is 10 years old and is in the 5th grade. He enjoys playing football and Minecraft with his friends. When he's not doing those things, you're likely to find his nose in a book and considers the Narnia book series his favorite. He still really enjoys creating things with Legos and likes to have 'creation marathons' with his friends. We've appreciated seeing him grow in maturity this year.
Tessa is 9 years old and in 4th grade. She loves playing on her Ripstik, playing with her Lego Friends creations and refuses to let me cut her hair. She enjoys games and is the one Becky can count on to play games with. Our little girl who liked princesses, unicorns, and pink and purple is gone and she has grown into a young lady who likes anything involving dolphins, horses and the color turquoise.
Braden is 7 years old and in 2nd grade. He's still as silly and sweet as ever and loves cuddles and kisses from anyone in his family who will offer it. He's having to learn to ask his brother and sister if he can hug them, as not everyone in the family appreciates his snuggly nature. Our dog, Jersey, is still his favorite non-human thing in the world and we know that if we can't find Braden, we just need to find Jersey and there he will be. He loves reading, Minecraft and playing with friends.
We pray you have a wonderful Christmas wherever you find yourself and may your New Year be full of the hope that comes with a relationship with Jesus!