March 23, 2010

Engineers from Northern Arizona University

Trey spent last week with a group of engineers from Northern Arizona University.  They visited last year and saw the needs of the people of the colonia and couldn't stay away.  They applied for funding for a water treatment facility in the colonia and decided to return and further assess the needs of the people before moving forward.  As it so happens, engineers are very intelligent, but not all people realize what they were so blessed to realize:  when you give to a needy community you MUST provide what they see as their need, not what we as Americans see as their need.  They met with several of the leaders of the colonia, as well as the mayor of Roatan and other engineers from the island.  The consensus was that the people want more clean water and a new school.  So, back to the drawing board to see what sort of support they can get for funding the NEEDS of the people of the colonia.  It is an exciting time to see Trey light up with enthusiasm while being a part of this incredible endeavor.  His heart is moving and he is listening intently for guidance by the One that has placed us here.

Take Care and God Bless!

Painting the, school

We spent Saturday painting at the Sandy Bay Alternative School.  We ended up completing four classrooms; all very large with very high ceilings.  Whew!  We worked our rear ends off spackling, sanding, taping off trim, painting and chasing kids around.  We had a family from Oklahoma and one from Michigan, several teachers from the school and neighboring schools as well, some of the students and were even blessed to have a paint contractor, Tom Corwin, that took the bull by the horns and made sure we had everything that we would need to complete the project right.  He did a great job and it is evident in the results, beautifully painted classroooms that the kids and teachers can be proud of!  The director, Miriam, was in awe of the volunteers and children that chose to spend a day or two gettting their elbows dirty (or painted) just to give back to the community.  We all ended up at the pizza joint down the road and ate about a dozen pizzas and then hit the hay.  It was fun to let the kids play and the adults hangout and fellowship. 

This day was a great opportunity to show others what Christians are all about, giving back unconditionally. 

Take Care and God Bless!

March 12, 2010

The wheels on the car go….

Well, you usually have no reason for concern about your wheels when they are going round and round, however, in Roatan anything goes. Or so we are finding this out…

Yesterday, Melissa, Carmen and I, as well as all six of our children, all loaded up in the car to take a quick trip into Sandy Bay to drop off Carmen at her home and me at the school for a meeting. As we were driving, we noticed a strange noise, maybe a tire was flat or about to blow out, not really sure about what it was we pulled over and walked around the car to check it out. Nothing. Okay, so we were on our way down very steep, hilly, curvy, pot-hole-filled roads. We decide yet again that the noise needed to be checked out because it was not only heard at this point, we could feel the car swaying back and forth, somewhat like the feeling of an earthquake, only in a moving vehicle. As we neared the chosen stopping point, the car made a very loud noise and began to lean and try to swerve out of control; we braced ourselves and yelled for everyone to’ “HANG ON!” The car stopped and we looked out the front of the car and saw our wheel rolling downhill away from us, down the road, and over the ravine into the jungle! We left quite a trail along the road where the car rested its axle on the blacktop, dug in and kept going downhill to where we finally stopped.

We were shaking and thanking God that everyone was okay and in disbelief of what had just occurred. Immediately, three men came running out of a bar at the corner of the road and just jumped right into the jungle and began searching for our wheel. What a blessing to have good Samaritans, even in a third world country. We called Trey, he was down the street dropping off the engineers that had just flown in and was in route immediately. The lady that runs the bar grabbed all the kids with Carmen and they took them to the outdoor terrace to have a soda and get out of the street. Everyone was in motion making sure the kids were okay and trying to figure out if a round, damaged wheel would fit onto a slightly flattened axle. How did the wheel come off? All of the lug nuts were just gone, not there. Either someone stole them or borrowed them and did not return them or they somehow worked their way off. The tires have not been changed or serviced in quite some time, so we can rule out faulty workmanship. The nice taxi driver that stopped to try and put the wheel back on was unable to do so, so we called the mechanic and he was on his way in the next 30 minutes. They were able to get the spare wheel on the car and deliver it to Melissa’s house later that afternoon.

I cannot express how scary this was and the reality of how much more differently this could have turned out is still being processed. We are so thankful for God’s great presence in protecting us and our children. What an eye opener in the midst of so many other adjustments that are going on right now in our lives; to just remember to be thankful for the little things like hanging out with the kids and doing fun stuff as a family. We very well could have had all of those things taken away in the blink of an eye, but we were spared that reality. Thank God.

Needless to say, we now regularly check for a full set of lugs on the tires and everyone wears a seatbelt, even if we have to double buckle. Life in the tropics, you never know what each day will bring; new lessons on life and giant tests of faith.

Take Care and God Bless,


Busy, busy, Busy....

This past week has been pretty crazy. Trey worked with the short mission team everyday, all day. Wiley spent most days with him and we pretty much blew off school, but at least he was surrounded by some really awesome work and learned important values and lessons on serving others. The team left on Saturday and they went and saw them off. We spent a couple of hours at the beach and played aerobie, paddle-ball and soccer. After the beach, Trey and the older kids headed up to do church set-up while I put the two little ones down for a nap. With Jeremy coming in late, it was up to Trey, Melissa and the kids that show up to get it all set-up. They did a great job and it was good experience for Trey to practice set-up. Afterward, we had Melissa and the kids over for homemade pizza. Anna brought her friend, Julia to hangout as well. The worship leader’s wife and kids are out of town right now, so Jim came over and ate too. Good pizza, lots of kids running around, it was awesome to hang out with friends and let the kids play.

Sunday was a lot of fun; we had about 14 kids in children’s church which is about double what we usually have in attendance. It was great, they all paid attention and participated in the bible study, they even chipped in and helped with the break down of the church. We met a couple with four kids that Melissa had met at the ice cream shop and invited to church. They are from Michigan and in town for the next few weeks. They hope to participate in some outreach opportunities while here, so we plan to give them plenty of options.

We ended up heading out to the crab races and fire dancing on Sunday night, ended up meeting up with Tom and Jennifer from Michigan and their four kids. Had a blast and stayed out on the beach until after 9 or so. They are a really neat family and we are enjoying getting to know them better. Jennifer joined me on my Monday grocery shopping run and then we met up with her and the kids at the beach on Tuesday for a little bit. The sun hasn’t been this hot in a couple of weeks, so we were not properly prepared for that much sun. We got so sunburned that my kids were delirious that afternoon. They are definitely Coppertone babies now; so cute, but so cranky that night.

Jeremy and Melissa got some bad news on Monday, his grandfather that he is very close to, passed away. He left today for Seattle to attend the funeral and celebrate a wonderful life. Melissa and the boys are on their own for a week, so we plan to have a few sleep-overs and make it fun. We already have a ladies game night on Thursday, so we are getting serious about making the most of her being a bachelorette with two kids in tow.  Pleae keep her and the boys in your prayers for safety and peace of mind.

We have quite a week ahead of us and we will be sure to update often.

If you haven't already, check out our website too, or shoot us an email, we would love to hear from you

Take Care and God Bless,

March 03, 2010

March is upon us!

March On!

Saturday, Trey and Anna helped pick up a short term mission team for Living Water 4 Roatan.  They are a group from Florida and the men will be finishing a concrete block storage building while the ladies do discipleship classes with a group of women in the colonia.  They have morning classes and evening classes as well as fun stuff for their children if they choose to bring them, which is usually the case.  Great for the moms and good for the kids too. 

While Trey and Anna were at the airport and shuttling people and luggage, I stayed at the house with the other three kids as well as Jeremy and Melissa's twin boys.  The 16-year-old boy that had kidney failure ended up passing away.  Jeremy was asked to officiate the service on Saturday morning.  So tough to say goodbye to a child, I cannot imagine how tough that would be.  So many feelings and surely anger in not understanding why a young life would be taken so soon.  Trey and I are so very blessed to have such healthy children; we thank God daily for their health and ours.  The island funeral is similar to a funeral in the states except that they take the body in the casket from the house and carry it all the way to the grave site while singing.  Then they lower the casket into the ground and fill it with dirt right then, all while still singing.  It is quite a sight and not something that many would forget.

It ended up being a rainy day, so the kids and I ventured out to take hikes when the rain stopped, almost every time getting chased back inside by the rain.  It was a fun time.  We watched movies, ate lots of peanut butter & crackers and popcorn; we were so low on groceries, which always happens at the end of the week.  Mondays never come soon enough to hit all three grocery stores to see if they will have what we need and then a little of what we just plain and simply want.  Since everything is shipped in, we never know what will make the shipment and what won't.  So, when we find something that hasn't been in the store in a while, we grab two or three of them and run!  Well, we finish shopping and pay first of course.  So funny the little things we take for granted in the states, like a grocery store that actually carries rice crispy cereal all the time or a loaf of bread.  I totally need to blog on grocery shopping alone, it is quite the circus.

Trey and Wiley have been joining the team that came in for LW4R, the past two days.  Wiley is in hog heaven hanging out with the guys and building and playing in the dirt and sand.  When he got home yesterday, he took off his shoes and a huge pile of sand just dumped out on the floor.  He had some fun and we had proof right there on the floor and all over his body and clothes too!  Today they are pouring the roof of the storage builiding, hopefully the rain will stay away until this evening.  It is so nice to have a storm at night, there is rarely any thunder or lightening, which is so different from Texas, but the cool breezes that come in with the rain are like having a/c inside and out.  We love waking up and actually needing our top sheet to keep a little bit warm.  The small things.

Take Care and God Bless,