Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Moving to Florida

It has been such a long time since our last post...

I just wanted to update you on our family. We are all doing well. Kevin and the children are in Tennessee and I, Susan, am in Florida.  Our family had been praying about the ministry the Lord would have us be a part of. We were feeling a strong desire to move to Florida. There is a fairly large population of Haitians in Florida and we were feeling like this may be something the Lord would have us join.

The opportunity came about for me to interview at a sister hospital (for lack of a better word - a hospital in the same system.) I went to Florida and interviewed on February 14, 2013 at Florida Hospital (FH) Celebration Health. They offered me a position full time days on their Labor and Delivery (L & D) Unit. After discussing this with Kevin and the family, I accepted the position.  I moved to Florida on April 1st and started at FH on April 8th.

Our intentions in me moving to Florida first was to first get oriented to my new role and second find a place to live. Probably less than a day after being in Florida, I was looking out of the balcony at the hotel where I was staying and was a bit overwhelmed at the city life. I was also overwhelmed at where to begin my search for housing. Now, I am not easily intimidated.  I am usually a "jump in without your floaty" kind of girl - except when it comes to roller coasters and heights ;(  I just didn't know where to begin.

I talked this over with Kevin and we decided we would wait until he got here to help me - and he may come earlier than the children so that when they got here, we could move right in to our new home. In the mean time, I am staying at an Extended Stay America (translation: a hotel room with a kitchenette.) This seems to be working out.

I have met with a realtor and talked with a mortgage broker. Rent is astronomical and so we are thinking of purchasing. Frankly, we are ready to settle for a while and allow our children a place to finish up schooling through high school.

Speaking of the children...They are all excited about the move - just in case you were wondering. It seems we always knew that Winfield, Tennessee was not where we were suppose to stay forever. It was a blessing to be a part of their community and to get to know some of the people and minister there, but there was always that feeling of being unsettled. We searched for a house to purchase - the Lord did not open any doors. We searched for content-ness - the Lord said, "Wait."  So, we waited.

And here we are...

I am enjoying my new position here in Florida. I am enjoying the city life. I am missing my family!! The plan is for me to go back to Tennessee on Friday, April 26th because Kali has her driving test on Friday and Skyla has her junior prom on Saturday. We are all excited about both. Kevin's last day of work in Tennessee is May 3rd and he will join me in Florida and search for a job and place to live at that point. He has already been searching for a job and has put in some applications. Please join us in prayer for where the Lord would have Kevin (and his family) to minister. Secular or commercial - God has a plan and ministry can take place in either of these.

Jessica's eighth grade graduation is on May 22nd and the plan is for Kevin and I to return to Tennessee for that great event and then transport our household (including the children and dog) to Florida that following weekend.  Grammy has agreed to stay with the children from May 3rd till our return at the end of May. My sister, Patty, has agreed to stay with Zach, my nephew that lives with my mom, till Grammy can return to her home after our move....Thanks family for your help.

So, your prayers are needed and here is what we are praying:

  • First of all - the Lord's will in our lives, regardless of what we think is best.
  • Ministry opportunity.
  • Housing that fits us well (family of 6) and that we can entertain in and hold small groups in for ministry purposes (ie: Sunday School Class events, youth gatherings, bible studies, etc.)
  • A job/ministry opportunity for Kevin - one that would adequatly provide for the family financially and physically (Kevin's presence in our lives) as well as be enjoyable and an avenue to bring glory to God.
  • Godly friends/mentors. People we can grow in Christ with. People/friends that we can enjoy getting to know, trust, and minister with.
  • A church that we can grow in - not because of strife but in love and strong teaching of the Word.
  • Friends for the children - friends that will grow with them in Christ, friends that will not lead them astray, friends that will be encouraging and trustworthy.
  • Schooling: for the children - schools that will grow our children academically and that they will be successful in, teachers that will be encouraging and teach in a positive manner, schools that will offer extra curricular activities that are appealing to our children (Josiah would love to play football again), schools that are safe and allow our children to enjoy. For Kevin and I: we are both thinking and praying about returning to school soon...Kevin for his masters and Susan for her bachelors of science in nursing.

I, Susan, have attended First Baptist Orlando and they have a Haitian Church meeting on their property. We are praying about possibly being a part of that ministry. Our hearts are still pulled to Haiti and we know that God is not done with us in that area. Please also join us in prayer for this area of ministry and our role in it.

We are sure there are many other prayer needs. We pray as the Lord leads us and we ask that you pray as the Lord leads you. He knows our needs and our hearts even before we do. Please put us on your daily prayer list and pray as He leads you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

This Newsletter Was Mailed On October 25, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

First of all, I want to say thank you for your prayers and support while we served in Haiti. Our time there could not have happened without you praying for us and supporting us.

Many of you have been wondering what is going on in our lives now that we have left Haiti. Over the last several months, we have been searching for our next adventure with God. We felt God bringing us back to America and so we left Haiti April 1. We moved our stuff from Haiti to Kentucky and continued to wait on the Lord’s direction. Now, we have been led by the Lord into a new work. We have moved our things from Kentucky to Tennessee.

The children have transitioned into public school and are loving it. They have expressed their opinions about homeschool and they desire to stay in public school. They are adjusting well to our new area of ministry. They have also expressed their desire to return to Haiti to visit. Skyla already has a “return to Haiti fund.” God has truly blessed us with wonderful children. We could not be prouder of them.

Susan has accepted a nursing position at Jellico Community Hospital in Jellico, Tennessee. She is working three to four 12-hour shifts a week. She has also been accepted into the nurse practitioner program in Hyden, Kentucky. In addition, Susan will be volunteering at the free clinic in Oneida, Tennessee when she has Wednesdays off. Susan was given the opportunity to return to Haiti in July on a medical mission trip to the island of La Gonave. Thanks to those who made that possible.

Kevin has accepted a position as an evangelism catalyst for a ministry center located in Winfield, Tennessee. This position is with the local Baptist Association covering two counties. One county located in Tennessee, and the other county just across the border in Kentucky. Kevin has been approved with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) SBC under their Mission Service Corps volunteer program. Kevin will be working with the Director of Missions for the New River/ McCreary County Baptist Association.

We are currently renovating and turning an old school into a ministry center. The ministry center will reach out to the community, as well as provide services within the building. We will offer a food bank and clothing bank, hopefully starting in October. The public library will be using an old class room and the Salvation Army will use the old teachers’ lounge for an office. We have a reading school for 2 to 4 year olds starting on the 17 of October. The undertaking has been great and each day we see God working and bringing us closer to having a positive impact for Him in our community.

God is keeping us as faith-based missionaries. Not something I was planning on, but God does know best. We again ask that you commit to praying for us. Prayer is the most important aspect of our spiritual walk. As we pray for each other in the work that the Lord has for us, we accomplish so much more for Him. As for financial support, we are currently needing $2,600 dollars a month to help meet the family’s needs and ministry needs. We ask that you pray how God would lead you in partnering with us in reaching the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Please Pray With Us

So, it has been a while. As most of you know, we are in Pineville, Kentucky right now. We have been here for three weeks. We have been busy with getting acclimated back to the U.S.

Kevin has his resume out with two churches. We are praying and seeking the Lord for the direction He wants us to go. We are excited to see what the Lord has in store for our family in ministry. Please pray with us.

Susan has applied to Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing. She has been to the school and toured the facility as well as met with the staff. We continue to pray for direction in this. She has also applied for a job at Jellico Community Hospital. We don't know if this is where the Lord would have her minister, so we pray. Susan has an appointment there on Friday morning. Please pray with us.

The children, Skyla, Kali, Jessi, and Josiah, have been busy with school. They should all be done with this school year at the end of May. We have been asked many times what we will be doing next school year with the children. We don't know at this point. We don't even know where we will be living. So, please pray with us.

Kevin and Josiah went to Lexington, Kentucky today to visit Kevin's sister and then fly to Denver, Colorado on Wednesday. Susan, the girls, and their dog, will be driving out to Wyoming on Saturday and Sunday. We will be visiting family, churches, and friends while we are in the Wyoming/Colorado area. Please pray with us.

It is our desire to fully follow the will of God. The Word says, "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Luke 11:9. And "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" Luke 11:13. So, if we ask, seek, and knock, the Word says that He will give us the Holy Spirit. In John 14:26, it says that the Holy Spirit is our teacher. We are all in need of a teacher from the Most High. I thank God that He has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and teach us on this path He has set before us. I pray we are good students.

Please pray with us.

We will be doing our best to visit all who have poured into our lives as we prepared to go to Haiti, as we served in Haiti, and as we are returning from Haiti. We desire to do this over the summer months set before us. Please contact us if you have a better time you would like for us to try and visit your area. We hope to begin making some calls and setting the calendar up soon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Leaving Miami

A new day is dawning. Yesterday, we received our household goods from our container we shipped here from Haiti. We backed up a Penske truck to the back of the container and moved all of our things to the moving truck in one hour. Everything seemed to be in good condition. We praise the Lord for that.

Today we are headed north. We will overnight in Jacksonville, Forida. Wednesday, we will enjoy the day at the beach with the children and on Thursday, we will head on to Kentucky.

As much as I am trying to enjoy this adventure, I am tired of living out of a suitcase. But, I wouldn't trade it for anything. If this is what the Lord has for us, then I am going to do my best to enjoy it. We have been blessed to stay with friends while in Miami and although they have continued to extend their home to us, I am sure they will be glad when the six of us are not sleeping in their living room.

Thanks Robert, Nancy, Courtney, and Cory!

Anyway, keep us in your prayers as we travel, pray, and discern the Lord's direction for our family.

Many blessings to each of you.

Friday, April 8, 2011

In Miami, Florida

So, we are now in Miami, Florida. Let me try to recap the last few weeks...

We decided about eight weeks ago to return to the United States (see last post if you haven't already.) We looked into shipping our household items back to the US. We made a few phone calls and sent a few emails. Then we called our broker in Port-au-Prince, Haiti to check on our paperwork. This was on March 18th at about 1:30 p.m. To our surprise, she said our container to pack our items in would be in TiTanyen on Saturday morning, March 19th. Now at this point, all we had packed were books. Granted there were 20 boxes of books, but none the less, that was all that was packed.

We began to pack. Mme Lesrome was at our house and she began to empty things in the kitchen and wash them. We packed till late that evening and then began again the next morning. Our container did not arrive till around 3 p.m. (or maybe it was a bit earlier), but we needed the extra time. Once it was situated, we began to pack the container.

Now, we had a friend visiting us from France. He, Romain, had been with us in Haiti for about a week. He is the packing king. We took boxes to him and he strategically placed each item. We got our whole household stuffed into a 20 foot container. Praise the Lord! Thanks Romain. The shipping company picked up the container Tuesday morning. One more small feat accomplished.

So, when would our stuff leave Haiti? We were thinking several weeks. Why? Well, we were thinking they would need to wait for enough stuff/containers, then they would ship them all. Nope. It was scheduled to leave the next Saturday or the following Tuesday. That put it leaving Haiti on March 26th or 28th. After that, three days of ocean travel until it arrives in Miami, FL. Wow, we're not waiting time here.

Thoughts that ran through our heads: Are we ready for the next step in ministry? Are we ready to leave Haiti? Are we ready for the newness of different ministry opportunities? Are we ready to leave the friends that we have come to love dearly and venture out to make new ones and see old ones? Sometimes the answers were yes, sometimes they we no, and still other times they were maybe. But, regardless of our emotions at the time, we knew we were/are still in the will of God. That peace that is upon us is definitely from the Lord. So we hang on to that.

With our belongings in route to Miami, we found out we need to be there to receive our stuff and work it through customs on the US side. So, we bought tickets. We flew to Fort Lauderdale, FL on April 1st. One husband, one wife, four children, one dog, eight checked pieces of luggage, and six carry on pieces of luggage - and we are off. Mr. David driving this motley crew to the airport. Everything went wonderfully. We couldn't have asked for a smoother transition.

The Global Outreach Haiti team was wonderful during this transition time. They encouraged us, prayed for us, prayed with us, and assisted whenever needed.We thank you for your support and friendships - you are all a blessing to us.

We are currently staying with friends in Miami. We should have our household items on Monday. It should all be loaded in a moving truck and ready for the next destination. We don't know the final destination on this side of Heaven, but we are headed to the Pineville, Kentucky area, for now.

We are planning to make a tour around the U.S. to thank everyone on our walk in ministering in Haiti. We would like to encourage all in their walk and encourage the support of Global missions. We will keep you posted as to the area we will be and what the Lord is doing in our lives. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Please keep praying for our family and for the ministry the Lord has for us to join Him in. We are excited.