Monday, January 20, 2014

Packing Time

As we prepare for our March 4th move to Jamaica, we are excited and nervous about what lies ahead.  Our excitement outweighs our anxiety, and our faith is carrying us through the uncertainty.  We are amazed at how God continues to show up as we move forward. 

There is much to be done before we leave. Aside from finishing a couple cabinet jobs yet, we are now in the thick of sorting and packing. Blessed by a shipping container donated to us, we now have to determine what will go in it... as we will begin loading Feb 7th! While we are downsizing tremendously, there are some things we hope to acquire for the move to better suit our needs in Jamaica. So, if by any chance you, or someone you know, has any of these items in good condition and you would like to donate, or even sell, or you want to contribute toward anything, we would be so thankful! This is the list:


  • Canned Foods/Pantry Items: (Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, Black Beans, Kidney Beans, Corn, Tuna, Applesauce, Raisins/Dried Fruit, Nuts, Peanut Butter, Oats, Granola, Pasta, Olive Oil)

  •  Food storage containers with lids: We need these because of ants, lizards and humidity. Various sizes for cereal, crackers, teas, baking goods.

  • Good mop and bucket: Everything is tile in our house and it will have to be mopped a lot.

  • Clothes drying rack: especially for cloth diapers when its rainy

  • Reusable cloth diapers: (usually an outer shell with cloth insert: guessing about 20?... new to this)

  • Summer maternity clothes

  • Stackable washer and gas dryer: We are hoping for larger ones for our family. Drying outside is not always dependable during rainy season.

  • 2   (now 1) Twin size mattress: hard to believe Evie is graduating out of crib, so we will bunk singles for Liam & Evie.

  • Area rugs: We are hoping to throw some rugs down in the bedrooms. 3x5-5x8 Anything to go in pink girl room, and more neutral or multi-color for Liam & Evie.

  • Gas Grill:  It would be great to have the option to cook outside when it gets really hot!

  • Corelle/or other unbreakable  dishes:  We are thinking we will leave our glassware and breakables behind. (service for 8 or more)

  • Juicer

  • Fans (4) (now 2):  It is very hot there and need fans for bedrooms and living room (no A/C).  The pedestal type is best.

  • Dishwasher:  Looking for a standard 24" DW, preferably newer or new.  This will be a time saver for us.  The base is allowing me to cut one into our kitchen.  It currently does not have one.

  • Cell Phones (1-2):  They don't need to be anything fancy.  Just an unlocked one with a sim card.  If you have one laying around you're not using, we can use it!

  • Battery operated radio/ alarm clock (2) (now 1):  The electricity is slightly different there and if you use the plug-in kind it doesn't keep the time.


There may be things we aren't thinking of yet, but these top our list. Thanks for your help! And remember, we load Feb 7th.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

In God We Trust

 

It has been almost 1 year since we first traveled to Jamaica for a vision trip, to see if this is where the Lord was leading us as a family.  As most of you know, we are volunteers and have to raise all of our support to do the work we feel God is calling us to do.  I am finding that it takes a lot of trust and faith for provision as we step out further into full-time missions.  As the Dad and Husband I want to provide for my family, so this is hard for me.  I have struggled with this question along the way: Who is the real provider for my family; Is it me or is it God? I know what the 'right answer' is, but it is hard to understand what my role is, and what the Lord's role is.  As I think about this, I am reminded how funny it is that we have the words "In God We Trust," written right on our money. But do I trust in God, or in me, or in money? How do I trust God?

One of the big concerns I had to give to God was how to move a family to another country. Having to furnish a home and our basic necessities once in Jamaica,  shipping all of our stuff seemed the best option, versus buying there. I don't know anything about shipping a container. After talking with other missionaries that recently moved there, we found out that it would be quite expensive. On top of all our fundraising, it seemed a bit overwhelming. So we prayed and asked God to move on this.

We were sharing with a small group from our church, talking about what ministries we were going to get involved with and so on.  After sharing, a member of our church came up and asked us how we were going to ship our stuff to Jamaica.  We sheepishly said we didn't know.  He said, "that is what I do. I am in international shipping." 

"What!?"

Fred, a guy who goes to our church, someone who I consider a buddy, yet did not know his occupation,  is in shipping... This is so beyond coincidence!

He says to us, " maybe our shipping company will be able to donate a container for you guys."

And, guess what?... they are!  Praise God!  One of the biggest pieces of the puzzle for us to actually get to Jamaica has come together. It was nothing I did to earn God's favor. Nothing. Hopefully Fred likes me, but in the end, it was him merely responding to the Spirit in a tangible way, a way in which the Lord had set him up to do with his life circumstances. Just a reminder to me that God's plan, the big picture, is also a puzzle, and it is just a matter of time to see the peices fit together.  Perhaps some of it we will only see once in Heaven, but until then, I am encouraged that God uses us as a team.

As I continue to see God move, He is convincing me that He is indeed our provider. That He is supplying our needs. And God is using others too. There is a partnership that has been taking place. As we share our needs and visions with the body of Christ, His Church, His Spirit is moving people to come alongside this ministry. Friends and family, and even complete strangers, are pitching in their time, talent and treasure. While not yet fully funded, we are so encouraged as we are getting closer and closer.

"So we, though many, are one body in Christ." Romans 12:5