Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The "Imperfect" Christmas

What is it about Christmas this year that you would like to be different? Do you miss someone who has passed away, moved away, too far away or chooses to be away because of relationship issues? Do you wish that you had more money to spend or do you wish you had less money, because of expectations people place on you. Do you wish you had less parties or events to attend, or do you wish someone would invite you to at least one...

Christmas MUST BE more than parties, gifts, family and friends, because we will not always have those at Christmas time.

It is hard and sad to believe, but there are people all over the world who are just trying to survive... spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and financially this time of year, that Christmas will be just another day to them. Some people are hurting so badly that they sigh in relief when Christmas has come and gone.

There is often a bitter-sweetness about Christmas. I think even for Mary the Mother of Jesus, there was a bitter-sweet moment when she "pondered all these things in her heart." She knew that Jesus was hers but He also belonged to the world. She had to share Him from the very first moment she laid eyes on Him.

I have many sad Christmas altering Christmases...imperfect Christmases...but the Christ of Christmas has never let me down.

History choose a day for us to celebrate His birth, but I think even for Jesus on whatever day He was actually born, the first Christmas was a bitter-sweet one also. You see, He was born to die. The moment He was born a plan was set in motion that led to an excruciating death. What makes this story sweet for me, is that Jesus kept walking toward the cross from day one. He had to live an obedient life in order to walk all the way to the cross. The great gift at Christmas is not that He was born, but that He began walking toward the cross for thirty-three years and said "Your Will, Not My Will" at that crucial moment of obedience.

Thank You Jesus for Christmas, Thank You Jesus for the Cross and Thank You for "Beating Death" so that I can live!

I think Jesus would have liked to change some things about Christmas, but He didn't because of His great love for us. In the midst of your imperfect Christmas, look to Jesus the Author and Finisher of your faith. He makes ALL THINGS NEW and when we focus on Him...Look into His eyes...a gaze, instead of a glance...Christmas will be more sweet than bitter.

Thank you Jesus for Christmas, in all of it's imperfections...

That's all for now...until next time...that's my take on it!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Vintage Generation

I have had some precious moments in Trinidad, but one of the most precious so far happened in church a week ago...

We had our first missions team in service with us for the worship time before heading to the ocean for a water baptism...during worship an elderly woman walked forward to worship at the altar. She was walking very slowly and a bit unsteady so I took her arm in mine and went up to the altar with her, helped her kneel and stayed with her worshiping alongside her. I motioned for Nate to help me get her up and she continued to pray and praise during which time she took my hand and kissed my palm a few times. She looked at me and told me how much she loved me. Our team needed to leave so I got someone else to help her. That experience will last me awhile.

Marabella Open Bible calls the elderly at their church the "Vintage Generation." I like that. When I think of Vintage, I think of rare, priceless, in many cases "one of a kind." I am not there yet...(although some would disagree:) but I want to be up at the altar in my Vintage years, whatever it takes!

So much has happened since my last blog...

We have a Van! Thank you to those who have been praying...We still have some paperwork to get done, but we have keys in hand! Thank You Jesus!

We have had our first missions team here from Oregon. They were here for 9 days of amazing ministry. It is our heart to help shape the missions culture in our American Churches. I believe we were able to show a realistic picture of the heart of God for the World to the team. They were a blessing and we have made new friendships which will last a lifetime!

It was hard to be away from family for Thanksgiving. We were able to skype, but nothing is as good as a real hug and having my granddaughters on my lap! It was still a very special Thanksgiving, with the Oregon Team here with us. We did the best we could to put a traditional Thanksgiving meal together. Either we couldn't find the "normal" things or had to get creative with ingredients, but we pulled it off and got as stuffed as past Thanksgivings:)
One Thanksgiving Tradition that Melanie brought to our day was chasing everyone with a can of whipped cream...oh my:) My big disappointment was not having pumpkin pie. I may make one from scratch for Christmas!

Our weary bodies have reminded us about our firm conviction that we must set a realistic pace here in Trinidad, so our work is sustainable. While it is necessary to put many experiences into a missions trip, we know that we can't live that 24/7. So we have intentionally taken it a bit easier since the team left.

We just celebrated Ashleigh's adoption day...She is our party girl so from early on she wanted to celebrate the day she legally became a "Lumbard" Our tradition is ice cream so we had the SGL team and two of Ashleigh's Trini friends over for the celebration.

The team goes back to Immigration this Friday. The Missionary Permits are in for everyone, so now the process for multi-entry visas is next. Pray that all will go smoothly for this process.

We haven't had any of our personal things shipped from the states yet which included our Christmas Decorations. We were blessed to receive money specifically to decorate for Christmas. We have been able to put some decorations up to give our home a festive atmosphere! We are making new memories!

That's it for now...Until next time, That's my take on it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait!!!

Add my type A personality and my western mindset and you get frustration!!! I could mention many "hurry up and wait" moments while living in Trinidad, but the one at the forefront of my mind is a 12 passenger van we are waiting to get possession of so our team can travel at the same time to ANY PLACE!!! We have heard later today, tonight and tomorrow so many times that you have to laugh or cry. I am not laughing...

I realize all this is the making of "missionaries", but let's move on to the next lesson...sigh...

We had a wonderful time with the TT National Board this last week. Their support is vital to what we are doing here and we are excited about our partnership with them.

We have our first missions team from Oregon coming at the end of this week. We have a full itinerary of ministry planned. They will experience a water baptism at the ocean, Caribbean style worship services, preaching in services, prayer meetings, they will sit in on a class of perspectives, visit a crisis center, a children's home, soup kitchen, children's outreach and evangelism at a church outpost (church plant) and a traditional Thanksgiving meal with our team (with perhaps a Trini flair)!

Christmas is BIG in Trinidad! We heard our first Christmas music in a store in September, Sang our first Christmas song in Church in October. We will have Christmas dinners to attend, special Christmas services and a huge Christmas Village event put on by First Church that goes for several days. The School of Global Leadership is also putting on a Christmas Open House on our top patio to say thank you to many!

We are still in the rainy season, in fact, the team played football (that is soccer here in Trinidad) in the rain and mud last Saturday at Operation Smile Children's Home. We are told it will start drying out and getting hot in December/January. That is when it is really getting cold and snowy back home:) I do miss Fall. I won't miss ice. There is something soothing about staying inside with a cup of hot cocoa and looking out at a blanket of white...getting out in it is a different story. Here, the only thing that might keep you home is torrential downpours that lead to flooding, mudslides and horrific traffic jams.

It won't be a "white" Christmas for us, but Jesus is Celebrated all over the world in every type of climate... Hot or Cold, Wet, Dry or Snowy. From grass huts, to dilapidated shanties, under trees and in mansions. From Turkey to lamb, Roti to rolls, a clear broth with little else, food purchased, grown or donated...believers will worship the same Christ this Christmas. I encourage you to "shake up" your Christmas a little this year. Do something outside of your normal routine, do without so someone else does with. Christmas is about Christ, not about our traditions, comfort or presents. Celebrate Christ. Do whatever you have to do, to make this happen!

Until next time, that's my take on it!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lizards and Spiders and Frogs Oh My!

So.....I was the last to go to bed one night and out of my left peripheral vision I saw movement on the wall. I looked and something fell off the wall onto the floor. I put my feet up on the ottoman and waited. Then I saw it jump! It was a frog. Actually, it was the second frog we have found in the house, the first was a tiny one and we tossed it out on the patio. I left this one alone and let it go to wherever frogs go...We have also had lizards in the house (not big ones) but they seem to feel at home here. Then there are the spiders. Dealing with spiders is what I have a husband and a daughter for, I take a quick glance and say "kill it" and they do their deed.

The last week and a half or so have been eventful. Melanie broke out in a rash that was serious enough, we decided to go to the free clinic to have it checked out. So...we went early in the morning and sat with about 100 sick people in a clinic that was not air-conditioned. Late afternoon she finally got in and they diagnosed chicken pox. There was no cost to the visit or for the medicine that was prescribed which was a blessing. The next evening we got a call from the Dilly's that their daughter Ailah was very sick and running a high temperature. Because it came on so quick, we felt it was necessary to get to a doctor right away. Our pastors wife, Sister Anne Marie Homer sprung into action and got people praying, she also called Pastor Quamina at First Open Bible who knew a doctor from his congregation that worked in emergency at the hospital. By the time we got there, there was a doctor waiting to usher Josh and Melanie and Ailah past the long lines and receive quick treatment. They drew blood and determined that Ailah has dengue, a virus caused by a mosquito bite. There is no treatment...she will have blood drawn in a couple of days to see if she needs to be hospitalized. The doctor at the hospital looked at Melanie and said it isn't chicken pox, so who knows...we think it may be shingles or latest diagnosis some type of fungus. Melanie thinks it might have been ring worm. The important thing's gone! On top of these health issues, there has been a heaviness the last few days. We decided today to take authority over the strategies of the enemy and had a time of prayer as a team. If you are reading this, would you take time to pray for our team as we combat the enemy who does not want us here. Thank You!'s been an interesting couple of weeks...Oliver, Abbie, Ashleigh and myself all got sick. Varying illnesses from flu to dengue. I think I made five trips to the hospital and the one to the clinic mentioned above. Not fun...But...we look for God sightings everywhere we go and we certainly have had more than one. The doctor that Pastor Quamina had waiting for us the first trip to the hospital was definitely one. Another trip to the hospital with Abbie, we finally got in to see the doctor and he looked at us and asked, "Are you Christians?" We said yes and he told us that he thought so and that he was also. He then asked if he could pray for us! What a sweet moment! Doctor Maicoo has given us his cell phone number and has told that he and his wife are doctors and would love to be available to our team for any medical needs. He wants us to come to a Sunday evening service at his church. Absolutely a God sighting!

So, we all seem to be well now. Thank you Jesus!

Mike spoke at the Bible College to a Missions class this last week. God continues to give us connections. We are blessed to be a blessing and we are trying to walk that out in the reality of life here in Trinidad and Tobago.

My friends Kris Beaird and Jeannie Rodgers from the U.S. were here this past week end. It was SO GOOD to see them. They came bringing a lady from Jeannie's church in Florida to speak at the WOW (Women of Worth) National Convention and then Jeannie preached at one of the Open Bible Churches up north. I needed the hugs and prayers!

We head into a full week. We have been invited to a staff meeting at First Church, we start a discipleship class at Marabella Thursday evening and hopefully we get our van this week! Please stop and pray for the paperwork to go smoothly and the right connections for some minor repair work.

All in all, we have purposed to see God in the midst of the "stuff". Christianity is not for whimps. We want to make Jesus look good in Trinidad and Tobago!

Well, we are on our way to put our absentee ballots in the mail and pay a few bills...

Until next time...that's my take on it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Go Team!

Finding a new kind of "normal" is easier said than done! Since coming back from Stateside orientation, getting all the housing logistics settled for the team amidst many interruptions and delays has taken a lot of energy. When I have had the time to write, I haven't had the clarity to write. I will try to give a glimpse into our life in Trinidad over the last month.

I want to start with a more recent event so that I can give kudos to the team. We had our first church service as a team a week ago last Sunday at Gasparilla Open Bible Church. I am so proud of the awesome job everybody did! Mike and I got up first and cast vision for the school and the need to raise up missionaries. Preacher man Nate gave a short testimony on his heart for the world, Abbie sang a song and Josh preached. The whole team prayed for people and we took time to pray for and bless the pastor. Melanie got up after the team prayed with people with a timely word about missions. We were there to bless them but the church blessed us in more than one way and we saw God do great things!

It's important that we have some "wins" because adjusting to a different culture is not easy. Overall the team is doing very well. It has been hard waiting for all the appliances for student housing, but we are now very close! The Kitchen is fully functional now and the patio where the washer and dryer are sitting has a new cover. We spoke to a man today that was working on getting the washer and dryer hooked up.

Transportation has been challenging. We have looked high and low for a twelve passenger van and still have not purchased one. We have a rented car right now that does not seat the whole team so Mike spends a great deal of time each day driving back and forth to get all of us to where we need to be. We have two vans in mind right now, so if you are reading this please stop right now and pray for the Lord to open up the right van for us! We have a mechanic looking at a possible van for us on Thursday of this week. Having our own vehicle that will hold all of us will make life and ministry possibilities much easier.

We are starting to get a feel for areas of ministry the Lord wants for us. We plan to visit a children's home soon, and we have been asked to have ministry to the elderly at Golden Jubilee where the team is living in the guest house. We also have possible ministry starting in a neighborhood that is mostly Hindu.

Our mornings are generally academic and our afternoons outreach. We are reading the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. We have had good discussion. We are in the 4th lesson of "Perspectives on the World Christian Movement." It has been good to be reminded that God is a Mission God. He has had the whole world in mind from day one. It is amazing to me how He sees me and He sees the world at the same time. It is amazing to me that I am part of His redemption story, my redemption yes...but also my partnership with God to reconcile the world to Him in order to bring Him the Glory due Him. My part is to partner with God in order for the nations to come into right relationship with Him...then His mission will be accomplished, and then "the end will come"! Believers want Jesus to return... but it is often for selfish reasons. Jesus won't return until every nation, tribe and tongue has people who know Jesus. So, what we don't want is for Jesus to return just to rescue us out of our life here, but for Him to come because He says, "mission accomplished"! Let's all do our part, so that what I said at the start of this blog is what we hear Jesus say... "Go Team"! Actually, He said it best..."Well done, my good and faithful servant"!

Until next time, that's my take on it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What's Your "Theme"?

I'm backkkkkkkkkkkkkk! Didn't get a blog in last week. Things are heating up as we get closer to coming back to the states to get our very first "Team" for the School of Global Leadership. Just this last week...we visited the Department of National Security in Port of Spain, wrote and delivered a proposal for student housing, continued our search for a van, went to the licensing office and started the process of getting our Trinidad Drivers Licenses, continued working with Ash to get through Biology, put more finishing touches on our stateside orientation, purchased tickets for the team leaving the states on the 20th of September, went to a deliverance service, two church services, took Ash to a youth service. I'm sure I'm forgetting something...but you see that life has not been dull or calm! We are learning so much and at the same time realizing we have a lot to learn!

One of the things I have enjoyed, been blessed by and impressed with as we have traveled to more than one Open Bible Church is their yearly "themes". Sometimes it's on the front of the building, sometimes it's hung over the platform or both...but there is always a banner with a yearly theme and a scripture. Last week the church we visited had a theme of "The Year of Irreversible Goodness", another church "A Year of and a Year for Change", another "A Year of Promise". I love it! It is like speaking life into your future before it happens! What is my yearly theme? Well...I would certainly say this is a year of change for me, a year of transition, a year of refining...Hard to choose just one! For the sake of this blog, I will choose "A year of Change". When we are considering our yearly theme, let's make sure we focus on what God says in addition to how we feel. When I say "A Year of Change", that is an understatement. I could focus on how the "change" wore me out and down, how it didn't feel good at times etc. the midst of change, I am reminded of several things. I am reminded that God does not change, He is my constant, my true North, my refuge, covering and safe place. That's Truth! So put whatever name to your year that works for you...but ALWAYS INSERT GOD! The Word of God has a promise you can stand on, find it and stand on it...write it down, memorize it, speak it to yourself and out loud to others. Remind yourself again and again.

You know what I like about a "Yearly Theme"? It has a beginning and an end! Yep, God is always doing a new thing. Enjoy your year or at least learn from it and don't get too comfortable...a new theme is on it's way! Oh and make sure your theme is so big and impossible that it requires God. He smiles at that and is pleased, because without faith it is impossible to please Him!

Well, that's it for now. I will try to write next week before we leave for the states...until then, that's my take on it!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Living In The Moment

My Devotions this morning were about "Living In The Moment". A very hard thing for me to do...It brought back to my memory a poem that I read on a poster as a teenager. I was able to find it to share with you!


I was regretting the past, and fearing the future. Suddenly my Lord was speaking:"My name is I Am". He paused. I waited. He continued, "When you live in the past, with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard. I am not there.My name is not I WAS. When you live in the future,with its problems and fears,it is hard. I am not there. My name is not I WILL BE. When you live in this moment it is not hard. I am here. My name is I AM." ~ Helen Mallicoat ~

Helen never had it copyrighted because she believed it was a gift from God. It came to her in the middle of the night and has circled the globe many times. Hallmark itself has used it millions of times according to the late Helen Mallicoat.

My head and heart are almost always somewhere other than the here and now . Much of my emotional energy is used up in wishing something had been different or in hoping something will happen. Worry usually has little to do with what is going on right now, but rather on what has happened or what I think will happen.

Here's another one:

"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength."
Corrie ten Boom

I am so tired of re-learning simple truths. May God forgive my lack of trust in Him.

What is He saying NOW. What is He doing NOW. What does He want from me NOW. A popular Christian song years ago was entitled, "One Day At A Time, Sweet Jesus". I remember my Mom telling me years ago that sometimes a day at a time is too much, sometimes we need to go moment to moment.

A friend sent me a devotion this morning about whispering the name of Jesus in the midst of the storm swirling around. It reminds me that He is with me.

A few short notes:

We are looking for a permanent vehicle and are believing God to provide what is needed for the school. Everything is very expensive here. That is one surprise for me. The exchange rate allows our U.S. dollar to go further, but many things are more expensive and so the exchange rate doesn't help in the end.

Trini's smile and/or give me a strange face when I ask about thrift stores and getting gently used clothes or furniture etc. One of them said, "why would you want used? Most of used items are junk". We find that to be true. You need to know someone who knows someone to get certain things. May God give us supernatural connections!

We are feverishly working on Stateside orientation with our team coming for the pilot year of the School of Global Leadership. What is impossible with man, is possible with God! Prayers are much appreciated.

I am not sleeping well. Can't get to sleep at night and then when I wake up, my mind starts racing...Please pray.

Ashleigh is finishing up Biology...then we order 11th grade curriculum. Pray that this next school year will go smoother.

Much transition...May God help me to live in the moment, whisper His name, remember He is the God of the impossible and trust Him.

That's it for now...until next time...that's my take on it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

I've heard it said, "If you don't learn the lesson the first time, sooner or later, you will have to repeat it". 

It has been hard to be unsettled for about a year, living out of suitcases and not having a place to call home. We spout cute sayings like, "Home is where the heart is" and as Christians we want to smile and say that Jesus is all "the home" we need. I wish I could say that it was/is easy to discover "Home" is Jesus, but I can't. I am on a  determined journey to find the "Secret Place" that the Bible talks about, however, I am finding it does not come easy for me and I am convinced it is a lifelong discovery.

I do believe that I am willing to do anything God asks of me, even if it means not having a place to call home, so perhaps I have learned enough of a lesson, for now... 

I also believe that God built into the human heart a longing for "home". We are referred to as "Strangers and Aliens" on this earth, so obviously our ultimate home is heaven, but...I think God understands the need for "home" since He built the need for it into us. 

Having said all that, it is good to have a permanent address and start settling in. My birthday and Mike's birthday were this week, so finding a home is a great birthday present!

It's reassuring to me to know that God "gets me"...even when I don't get myself. He is my place of safety, my refuge, my listening ear. He hears the junk, sorts through it and discovers what my heart is really saying. He thinks as much of me on the other side of my sorting through a myriad of emotions as He started out thinking. He sees my frail attempts and reminds me that His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

Home Sweet Home?'s found in Jesus...and curled up in a favorite chair with a great cup of coffee in a familiar setting:)

That's it for now...until next time...that's my take on it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Here Comes The Judge!

So many experiences...coming at me so's hard to share them all, let alone remember them!

Since I CAN remember yesterday (Miracle!) I will share about my experience judging a food contest:) Our family was invited to a District Cookout down at Granville yesterday for Emancipation day which commemorates the abolishment of slavery for Trinidad/Tobago. We knew there was going to be a food contest among the churches in attendance, what I didn't know was that one of the judges was unable to make it and when I got there I was asked to help judge the food. I can't tell you the amount of anxiety I felt over the responsibility of judging each churches food on presentation, originality, taste and organization! Oh my goodness! I have been here less than a month! I smiled and did my best. Foods on the menu? Goat, duck, chicken, crab dishes...of course Bus Up Shut and Roti, Chana, different sauces and desserts, hot sauces, dumplings etc. The only thing I can say other than I survived and enjoyed most everything I tasted, is that when I compared notes with the other judges, we all agreed on the first place winner! I did have a good-natured gal from one of the churches that didn't win, take my picture and said she was putting it on a "most wanted" poster and displaying it around the Island. I really want to be "making friends" right now!

As I write about this, I think of the scripture "Taste and See that the Lord is Good". May His Word always be a familiar taste, a good taste and always on the tip of my tongue...ready to speak to myself, my family and others!

We had a wonderful time in church this last Sunday with Pastor Vicram Harjaree, celebrating Emancipation Day with them. Everyone was dressed in fancy, bright colors celebrating FREEDOM from Slavery and FREEDOM in Christ! Children waving flags...dancing...singing. FUN! One comment grabbed my we were told to greet each other, Pastor said, greet each other..."Share Some Sweat" (In other words, HUG!) Sooooo, find a friend today and greet him/her and SHARE SOME SWEAT!

That's it for now...until next time...That's my Take On It!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head...

The phrase "When It Rains It Pours" has taken on a new meaning! I will be inside minding my own business and then a very loud sound grabs my attention and I realize it is raining outside...I am not talking drops...I am talking torrential rain. It stops as quick as it starts but if you were out in it, you would get soaked to the bone:)

Speaking of rain...It's raining "dogs and dogs" here in Trinidad! There are dogs everywhere! My understanding is that you don't have to keep your dog locked up here. A few do...I have seen one dog actually on a chain and I have seen a few locked in yards, but most take to the streets. Dogs here are for the most part, not house pets. I haven't seen a cat yet:)

Yesterday(Friday) was a very long day...We started at the Immigration office at 8 a.m. for a couple hours waiting for a piece of paper required to secure a bond that will cover return tickets. We then waited at the bank for a long time waiting on the paperwork to show Immigration on Monday. Pastor Andy Homer(director of Open Bible here in TT waited with us (Lord Bless Him!) and he was in the midst of Board meetings. What a gracious man. We enjoy him and his wife Sister Anne Marie very much and look forward to spending more time with them.

We skyped Jonathan (oldest son) on his 30th birthday. It was fun watching him open his gift. Thank you God for skype!!!

Mike preached his first sermon at Windsor Park Open Bible yesterday. He did a great job. The hospitality of Windsor Park was AMAZING! Everything from getting us water or hot tea to carrying Mike's things up to the podium when he went up to preach to an amazing meal afterwards...and great fellowship with Pastor Jagdip and his wonderful wife, Sister Shara and some of the leadership at their church. Ashleigh connected with the pastors daughter, Sarah. They are two peas in a pod (watch out world!) We came home and rested abit and then went to a youth conference at First Church in San Fernando. It was amazing!

Today was a very long day....We had what we thought was an appointment at Immigration at 8 a.m. It turned out it meant we had an appointment sometime during the day...(sigh) After sitting for two hours, I began praying that the Lord would cause someone to "see" us and bend a knee to the will of God. Within seconds, our name was called. I prayed for God's favor to rest on us, and even though there were a few kinks by the end of the day...we had our two year visas and had applied for a multi-entry visa which allows us to travel two and from Trindad on mission trips and to the States. We are getting that in the mail in the next two to three weeks.

This Wednesday, we continue to travel with our Realtor to check on some other possibilities for housing. We need resolution quickly! Lord give us an answer.

My heart is heavy for my children tonight. I remember how blessed I felt knowing I had a mom who prayed for me. I guess I'm that mom now! I still have a grama who prays for me (she is almost 103 years old) and of course my Mom in Love prays for me and my family. I am blest. I hope my kids feel the way I have always felt. I wish my Mom had lived to know about Trinidad. She would be one of our great prayer warriors. 

When I feel frustrated that I am not physically there to help my children or I don't have the answers for their situations, I am reminded that there is a God in heaven who know them by name". He sees them and hears them and has wonderful plans for them. Right now, Eyes of Faith are required and without Faith it is impossible to please God. 

Well...that's it for now...until next time...that's my take on it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Refreshment for the Soul!

We are quickly learning that when someone offers you "refreshment" in Trinidad they are offering more than a "snack". After church this morning, Sister Anne Marie Homer told us they had refreshments for us and brought each us us a fruit drink and a submarine sandwich! What a blessing!

We visited Marabella Open Bible Church this morning, pastored by Dr. Andy and Sister Anne Marie Homer. They had the Caribbean Nazarene College visiting and WOW! God knew exactly what the Lumbards needed this morning! We experienced a different kind of refreshment...Refreshment for the soul! The worship was amazing and anointed. The message was challenging. As we left, two girls from the church came up to Ashleigh to introduce themselves. They invited her to their youth meeting next Friday night...I think it meant alot to her.

Earlier in the week we got our mandatory check ups for immigration. Our debit cards for our new Trinidad account will be activated by this Tuesday. Yesterday we found a "Cold Stone Creamery" and had wonderful ice cream!

We will try to make a decision this next week on the area we will live. This is an area we are believing God to make clear to us.

We skyped with Dad and Mom Lumbard for the first time on Saturday, went through a bunch of mail with Mom and sang Happy Birthday to Dad. This skype thing really helps the homesick heart. So many important dates coming up that I won't be there for...Our Son Jonathan's 30th Birthday...our granddaughter Madison's 3rd Birthday...other family's so hard. This I know... I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)

Tomorrow Sister Anne Marie Homer is going to take us to check out PriceMart (Similar to Sam's Club in the States) We also pick up our papers from the Doctor for our Visas...

That's it for now...until next time...that's My Take On It!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Watch Out Trini's!!!

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
Mike is driving! We have been blessed with a loaner car for a month to help us get around...Yesterday Mike took to the road (on the other side of the road!) I am really proud of him, no scratches on the car and no pedestrians injured!
We have been warmly received by so many here in Trinidad. Different pastors are driving us around to get a feel of the Island. We need to decide where students are going to live and where we will permanently live (we are in temporary facilities). We have seen a lot of the Island. Today we were on the beach which is closest to Venezuela. On a clear day you can see it from Trinidad.
Today we went to Point Fortin and had lunch with the Pastors. We also got to know the pastors daughter and her husband, Sheldon and Maraneesha Lawrence. They were a blessing. Ashleigh really connected with Maraneesha and I think they will be good friends! They also have a darling three year old daughter named Trinity and if you know Ashleigh...(she loves children!) it was a blessing to spend time with them!
We bought our first umbrella today!!! I think we will need more than one:) When it rains it pours! Now that we have wheels, we are investigating, grocery...mall:)
Our Airconditioning hasn't been working in our bedroom for the past few days...not too bad but it got fixed today and so tonights sleeping will be a little more comfortable.
We get up early tomorrow to go to the bank to open an account. We then go to the launch of the Margaret Crandahl Senior Activities Centre. I believe Margaret is the oldest Open Bible American Missionary alive. We look forward to meeting her tomorrow!
We have lots of new details regarding Visas and medical check ups here in Trinidad. If you are following my blog, please pray for the Lord to go before us and work out the details.
Well, it's getting late...Skyped with my kids and grandkids tonight. I read a book to Madison. It was a very special time. What a day we live in...not as good as a real hug, but an amazing way to connect across the miles (and ocean). That's all for now...until next time, that's my take on it!

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Thursday, July 08, 2010

I am sitting at the Open Bible National Office using their internet on our second full day here in Trinidad. We are in temporary housing for a month and will have internet there in a few days. Everything feels abit surreal...a bit like a dream. One thing that helps me is that I have been on the road, staying in many places for the past year, so being in one more place, one more familiar. I do look forward to settling into a permanent location. It's hard to believe that we are really here. My heartache is still fresh from leaving my family, especially my granddaughters. I close my eyes and see Madison's and Maiah's faces and yes...tears flow (like now!) I look forward to the first time we can skype!

Our good friends, Jack and Laurel Ancone hosted a family reunion on their ranch in Texas before we left the country. What a gift to our family! There are no words...Jack and Laurel drove us to the Houston Airport on July 6th. Here are some interesting moments on our trip...

As we were landing in the Miami Airport, our plane pulled up quickly and had to circle around again due to another plane on the ground crossing the runway...Thank you Jesus for safety!

We were getting ready to go through security and a lady started screaming, "Somebody help me!" Never saw her, just heard her...others went to help...still don't know what was wrong.

As we stood in line at the Miami Airport getting ready to go through security, a man in front of us left his suitcase and walked off...hmmm...we told the security officer. I kept thinking, we need to be farther away from that suitcase than we are! It was good to get through security.

Flight from Miami was uneventful (Yeah!) Landed in Trinidad at about 10:30 p.m. Stood in long lines to go through customs. Got up to the window and we didn't have the proper paperwork, so we were sent back to call our contact in Trinidad, who had the proper paperwork on the otherside of the wall but there was no one free to go get them. We waited...finally an officer who saw us waiting came up to us and asked why and how he could help. He was able to get us temporary entry into the country with the understanding that we would go to Immigration as soon as possible. (We went this morning to start the process) We ended up getting to our temporary housing at 2 p.m. (very tired). Our wonderful brothers and sisters in Trinidad had sandwiches made and a few groceries to get us started! Our housing is very nice and comfortable and we have air conditioning!

So far we have been to the National office for Open Bible and visited with President Andy Homer and his assistant Pastor David. We have been to the bank to exchange the small amount of cash we had into TT dollars, to the mall to get a cell phone, the grocery store to get a few things, the immigration office and back to the National office today to use their internet. We will get internet at our temporary lodging in a couple of days and then Ashleigh will back to school!

Our son Jordan left this morning for a missions trip to Jamaica. We made our first international call from our cell phone to let him know we will be praying for him. He left Texas with a serious sunburn and has been suffering since. He finally went to the doctor before leaving the country and found out he has 1st and second degree burns. He now has medicine to put on the burn and some for the pain. Hard on a Mom's heart!

I don't know how often I will blog, but this is a beginning...God's is writing a new chapter in my life!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hello World!

We have internet!!!! It isn't wireless...hopefully that will come...but we are able to connect with the world again! What a day we live in. I already skyped Lindsey (no webcam until next week) but it was great to hear her voice and Madison's and Maiah's! I tried skyping our son's but they didn't dare they!!!! :) Our service man came mid afternoon instead of the morning which changed our plans to go out to hear several choirs at First Church in San Fernando... but we are connected!

We went last night with Ashleigh to the youth service at First Church. Pastor Mark David spoke. It was a good messeage with over a hundred young people in attendance.

Our morning starts early...we are picked up at 6:45 a.m. for an early service at First Church, then we are going to check out their deaf service. Over the past several months more than one person has expressed interest in reaching the deaf people of the world. This is one of the largest unreached people groups! So we thought it would be good to go. We then go to a mass baptism service at the ocean!

Mike just got back from walking to the store for a few things. He stepped in a deep hole, fell forward along with the groceries and skinned his hands and knee. It's a miracle he didn't break his leg! Thank you Jesus...Again!

Mike has his first preaching gig...He has been asked to preach on July 25th (which happens to be our son Jonathan's 30th Birthday) at Windsor Park Open Bible. He is excited to preach!

Well, that is it for now. I have a mixed bag of emotions these days...friends and family praying means ALOT! Until next time...that's my take on it!