Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Great News in the midst of our busy-ness

It's been a busy couple of weeks with packing, school, and filling out the tons of paperwork and extra things that go with buying a house.  Yesterday was my appointment with my doctor.  Thank you for all who prayed for me!  My CT scan and Gallium Scan came back clear!  Praise God! 

 The doctor is a little unsure of what to do next, though.  The oral meds aren't helping the way they should.  We are going to try a new medicine that could perhaps help me breathe better.  The doctor did say that with a Chronic illness like Lyme Disease, some of the symptoms may never fully go away.  This sort of threw me for a loop.  I just thought that any day now I would be back to normal and pain free.  I need to keep in mind that the Lord may have other plans.  And He's truly the one that knows best.  So, we'll be trying this new medication and praying about what to do next.

 In the meantime we have boxes everywhere!  How did we accumulate this much stuff!  We're hoping to close on our house Monday, but have heard we might have to back that up for a bit.  How long is a bit?  I guess we'll find out soon!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Home for Us!

We've had a great time scoping out the High Springs area.  As we began looking for a home, we realized we would do much better to buy a place rather than rent.  Our monthly bill would be cut in half, which is a huge blessing!
On one of our trips we found a nice manufactured home on 5 acres of property.  As we first drove up to the property, I wasn't very interested....there are no trees!  But, when we saw how big the house is, and the excitement of having an open slate to plant the trees we want, we knew this was the place we wanted to try to get!

There is plenty of work to do on the inside, like replacing carpet.  Right now the carpet is red and the previous owner had cats....that won't quite do for my allergic hubby.  And we want to paint and put "our touch" into the inside of the home.  I can't wait to post the before and after photos!

The closing is scheduled for November 3rd.  At that time we will head up there to do some painting and cleaning, then we will come back to get all of our things.  So exciting!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bagels, Yum!

 We have really been enjoying our library.  The kids love to get books!  On a recent trip they found this one, "Ziggy's Big Idea" by Ilana Long.  It's a cute story about how the bagel may have been invented.  (There are a couple of different stories about their invention)  At the end of the book it gives a recipe for bagels.  What a fun thing to try!
 So, we set out to make the yeasty dough and let it rise.  I love having helpers in the kitchen!
 The fun part was making the bagel shapes.

 After a quick bath of sugar water, we popped them in the oven and the house began to smell wonderful!  Don't you love the smell of fresh bread?
 But, the very best part of the process was eating them!!! They were so yummy!

I think we will be adding this to our recipe book!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How our Josh is doing!

A few of you have asked about how Josh is doing at college.  Thank you for asking.  He's doing great!  He loves Golden State Baptist College!
We are so thankful for the age we live in and that we are able to text or talk to Josh on a daily basis.  It does this Momma's heart good to hear from her boy!  We love to talk to him at the end of our day and hear all the things happening out in Santa Clara.  Here's just a few highlights.:

  ~He loves his classes and has learned so much already.  
~He's making fabulous grades. 
 ~Chapel is a highlight of his day.  
~The preaching is amazing! 
~The food is good, but he misses Momma's cooking and portion sizes (makes me smile!)
~ He loves being a part of North Valley Baptist Church and loves being able to work on a bus route.  ~He's loving dorm life.
~Poor guy was sick, thought he got better, only to have it come back 5 days later.  He is on the mend now.  It was so hard for me not to fly our there and make him some hot tea!
~He's still in search of a job.  He's filled out over 50 applications.  He does have an interview this Friday!  So, we are praying for him to get hired.  He's learning some real-life-lessons on faith as he has been praying and fasting for God to provide for his upcoming bill.
~Had a day in San Francisco and enjoyed seeing the sights there.
~Was able to lead a boy and a man to the Lord last Saturday during Bible Clubs!
~Loved being a part of the "Big Day" at church last Sunday.  They had over 5,000 in attendance!  

So, my boy is doing great.  We still miss him terribly and there have been a few homesick times for him, but I love hearing about what the Lord is doing in his life.  Praise God!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Our New Prayer Card

With huge changes coming to our family, there has been so much to think about!  One of those is to change our prayer cards since we are now Missionary Church Planters to the USA.

Patrick worked hard to design these, and I think they turned out great!  Sweet Micah is finally on a prayer card!  Then, we had Bro. Wendorf  from Faithful Life Publishers print them for us.  They turned out great!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

So happy to share our news!

I've been bursting at the seams to share our news, but I needed to wait until the right time.  Well, now is the time!

As many of you know, returning back to the states for a medical furlough  was an unexpected twist in our lives.  To be honest with you, I struggled for quite some time with the fact that I was the reason for us to come off of the foreign field.  How silly that was.  After confiding in my husband of my feelings, he, along with the Lord, assured me that this situation was out of my control.  It was definitely something that God has allowed to happen in our life.  In fact during this time of my doubting, God placed a burden on the heart of two different preachers to call and encourage us.  He is always right on time!

 Once I had peace about God's path for our life, Patrick and I began to pray and beg God for wisdom.  Our hope was to return to the West Indies and get back to the work that had been started.  But, as our medical furlough turned from weeks, to months, to a year, we realized the Lord was shutting the door of St. Barthelemy for our family.  My doctor said that I will need to be under her care for at least another year.

At the end of August we traveled up to Braselton to meet with our Mission Board, Macedonia World Baptist Missions.  Through many tears (from Patrick and I, as well as the Godly people of Macedonia) we told them what we knew (about not being able to return to St. Barths), then told them, "We just don't know what to do!"  They counseled us to begin praying about church planting here in the USA.

So pray we did!  We searched maps and cities and looked for areas in America needing churches.  Rest assured the need is great!  On one of our trips to see my doctor, we decided to travel further north and explore a couple of areas that are in need of solid baptist churches.  It was at this time that we discovered High Springs.   We loved the area!!  As we drove the streets, we were burdened for this area of Florida needing the gospel.  We decided to pray some more and counsel with 5 Godly men in our life, including our pastor, Dr. Don Strange.  The response we received from these 5 men was overwhelmingly positive. After much prayer, we knew this was the place for us!

So, yes, it's been a roller coaster year.  But, I am so excited about the place God is calling us to!  It allows us to keep working in the ministry and have the blessing of being only an hour and a half from my doctor.

If you want more info, you can read our latest prayer letter on our family blog or you can check out our new website, America for Him!

I still have so much to share about what the Lord is doing in our lives!  But, that will have to be for another post!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

When a missionary must take an unexpected furlough....

August 2013 was a difficult month for us.  My health was worse, the word "cancer" was mentioned a couple of times at Mayo Clinic, and I missed my family terribly.  We knew that it was time for Patrick and the kiddos to join me in the states and to fight this medical battle together.  This was a totally unexpected turn of events for us, but a situation we knew God was in control of.  Our minds weighed heavy with thoughts of possible sickness and disease that was believed to be in my body.  But, quickly we had to realize there was even more to think about.....relocating, at a moment's notice, back to the States.  There was much to think about!

 What would we drive?  (Our cute, purple, large-enough-for-our-family XL7 was sitting in our driveway in St. Barths.)

Where would we sleep, eat, live?  (There are 8 of us!)

How would we provide meals for our family?  (Every plate, fork, pot and pan was on the field as well)

School.  When?  Where?  How?

Toys. Books.  Games. Pictures.....everything was back in St. Barths.

The burdens were heavy at that time.  And we were so blessed to have many people shoulder those burdens with us.  One special group of people was our home church, Winkler Road Baptist Church.

From the moment my illness began, the people of Winkler Road Baptist Church showered us with love.  They have cried with us and rejoiced with us.  They have provided meals, financial support, listening ears and encouragement.  There was much to think about, but with a family like ours and a church like ours, everything was taken care of.  God is so good!  I'm so thankful for the sweet spirit of Pastor Strange, "Miss" Judy and Winker Road Baptist Church!