Saturday, June 25, 2011

Haven Fellowship

This week has been another amazing week!  We had our 3rd mission team of the summer!  They came from the Atlanta, GA area.  Their team was supposed to have 6 members, but 2 of the members were unable to make it because of an illness.  However, it was still an amazing week!

This team worked their tails off!! Seriously, they were up at 4:30 every morning ready to work and they didn't go to bed until about 11 every night. 

They worked out at Cockelburr all week long helping Cindy finish getting her new home set up.  They did lots of plumbing and sewer type work.  Long story short, Cindy has running water in her house for the first time ever!!!  She was so excited that she cried when it started working!

The most exciting announcement is that we had our church service in Cockleburr on Tuesday night and one of the ladies that has been coming pretty much the whole time accepted Christ!!!!  She is 79 years old and a very respected member of the community.  We pray that God works through her to reach the community members we cannot.  She is the first Christian from that village ever!  We are making arrangements to get things set up so that she can be baptized there.  I cannot tell you how excited we are!!

Here are some pics from the week:


Here are the "fantastic four" at the Grand Canyon

Of course, I have to include one of us at the Grand Canyon.  I just think this is a neat spot!

How many kids can one person hold?  I bet they would like for us to find out :)

Working hard

Making progress




Rest for the weary :)

Ella and her new buddy, Molly

Cooling off in the canal after a long days work!  Did I mention it was 114 degrees?

WATER!!!!

I love this picture!  It's just awesome that Cindy and her boys have a new house with actual furniture and, now, running water!!!  BTW, her boys call it their "Jesus house"!!
 All I can say is "what an awesome week"!!  We are sad to see our friends from Atlanta go home tomorrow, but happy to make new friends this week.  As I am typing this, our 4th mission team of the summer has just arrived from Paducah, KY.  We look forward to what God has in store for this week! Please continue to remember us in prayer. We are a little on the tired side, but we can rest next week, right? :)

Brittany

Sunday, June 19, 2011

First Missionary Baptist Church

We just finished our 2nd week of having mission teams this summer.  First Missionary Baptist Church from Benton, KY just left last night.  We had such an amazing week!  Although we knew many of the team members before (since we are from the same town), we now know them even better.  We have formed some amazing friendships!! 

The team this past week had a sports camp at Casa Blanca Baptist Church in the morning.  We had about 40 kids in attendance each day, which is awesome!!  Then, at night, we had VBS at First Pima Baptist Church!  We had 83 different kids in attendance!  One youth accepted Christ this week!!!!

Overall, it was just an amazing week!!


Building Relationships


A packed house!!


Mrs. Lindsey teaching the little guys the Bible story


Hard at work :)


Red Rover, Red Rover






Water games were a huge success!!


They got drenched!!


No trip is complete without riding a bull, right?  Doug is teaching Braxton the tricks of the trade!


Do you know how incredibly nervous this made me?

These are just a couple of pics from the week!  I wish I could include them all!  If you know someone that came on the trip, ask them about their experience.  I believe, for many, it was eye-opening and life-changing!

Please continue to pray for us, specifically for our summer.  We have another team that will be here tomorrow morning!!!  Pray for strength, guidance, wisdom, and perseverance!!

Brittany



Monday, June 6, 2011

Out with the old, in with the new

As many of you know, we having been working for months to help Cindy and her family get a new home. Some of you helped make it possible by praying and sending financial support. Well, I am happy to announce that Cindy and her three boys received their new home on Saturday!!

It was an amazing day! But it was also an emotional one for Cindy and her boys. She wept as she watched her old home being demolished. Although it was beyond repair and it was unsafe and literally falling down around them, it was still their home and had been for years. Cindy was actually the third generation to raise her family in that home, so I'm sure there were floods of memories coming to her mind as she watched it fall; from watching her grandmother prepare lunch, to her mother helping her with homework when she was a child, to as an adult teaching her children to walk and talk.


We took one last picture of Cindy and the boys in front of their old home before it was torn down.

As the house was being demolished, I couldn't help but think about how it reminded me of what God does for us when we put our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. He literally tears down the walls that we have formed in our life, takes out all the garbage and the junk that we are clinging to, demolishes it, and removes it from our life. But it doesn't end there. As I watched the new home being place in the exact same spot as the old one, it also reminded me of the fact that when Christ comes into our life, we are made new.

                Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
                                                                                                                                               2 Cor. 5:17



Beginning the Demo


The walls are coming down

Almost finished

Once the initial shock was over, the excitement set in. They were pumped to get their new home. We chose to get them a nice mobile home so that they could move in immediately. And that is exactly what they did. Tons of kids from the community came around to see the new house and "help" Cindy and the boys move in.





We were also able to get the boys some new bunk beds so that they could sleep in their own beds for the first time in their life. They loved them!





For us, it was a huge sense of satisfaction and relief. It was one of those times when God really confirmed that we were doing and being exactly where HE wanted us to be. We were also able to sleep well that night knowing that the boys were safe in their new home. There is no longer the threat of rattlesnakes in the house with them. They are able to move about freely without fear of what is under their feet. (Just a side note: there was a HUGE rattlesnake that the workers found in the old house while they were tearing it down)!

Thanks so much to all of you who have prayed for Cindy and her new home! It has been almost six months since we began ministering in her village. God is Good!

Please continue to pray for her, her boys, and the entire village. We know that this is just the beginning of what God is going to do there!

-- Eric

Friday, June 3, 2011

Home

As many of you know, we had the opportunity to come back to our first "home" last week.  By first "home" I mean Kentucky.  It was really a wonderful week and much needed I might add.  It was great to see our family and friends.  We have been gone 6 months now, and it was the first time since leaving that we got to see everyone (with the exception of my mom and dad and Eric's mom). It was great to see my Granny and Michael, as well as Eric's brothers and sister (and Aiden).  We also took a whole day to drive to Golconda, IL to see Eric's dad and grandparents. 

Another great thing about coming "home" was getting to go to our church- Hardin Baptist.  It's hard to explain but when we walk in the doors of our church we just get this peace that comes over us.  It's home.  It's where we grew up and experienced so many things.  It's where we were saved, where we were married, and where we surrendered our life to what God calls us to.  We just LOVE our church! 

We also had the privilege of visiting some other churches that support us!  It is good to see friends and fellow supporters who want to know how things are going, who care about us and our family, and talk about wanting to come visit us.  Of course, we didn't get the chance to visit every church that supports us.  But we do look forward to visiting those that we didn't get to see this time on our next visit "home", which will be around Christmas time.

We also got to meet with two mission teams that are coming this summer.  We are pumped about them coming and about the work that God has in store for them.  We know it's gonna be awesome!

And what surprises me (which I guess that I shouldn't be) is that God continues to blow us away!  We met several people over the week that we did not even know (and some who didn't even know us) that gave to our ministry financially.  One lady said, "I love what you are doing and I wanna give something to be apart of it" after only talking with us for about 5 minutes.  What she (and the others) didn't know is that Eric and I had been talking earlier in the day about how we needed X amount of dollars to finish a couple of projects in the dorm for the teams coming this summer.  After the individuals gave their money to the ministry, we now have enough money to finish the projects!  Wow!  God's timing is perfect!!

I will say that, in some ways, it was hard to leave.  It is always hard to leave family and friends when you know it is going to be awhile before you see them again.  It was especially hard for our kiddos.  So, we have spent the last couple of days getting them adjusted back to being away from everyone and talking about the next visit to look forward to.  I think they are counting down the days already :)  Ella even told Eric's mom (Memaw)  last night on the phone that "if you are our family and you really love us then you will come and see us in AZ."  Talk about a guilt trip, huh? 

But, even though it was hard to leave, it is also good to be back "home".  We have discovered that we now have two "homes" because AZ also feels like "home".  It is the place where God has called us at this point in our lives and the place where we carry out ministry.  We have new friends here that we missed.  It was honestly hard to be away for a week knowing of the things that we should be partaking in and the things that we needed to be working on.  It was great to see Doug come to our door and hug on us and say that he truly missed us while we were gone.  It was great to go to church Wednesday night and everyone tell us how much they had missed us and were glad for us to be "home". 

After being "home" for 2 days, we are back into full swing!  We have had church, we have been to Cockelburr (and there is a new baby now!) we are moving Cindy's new house tomorrow (look for a new post and pics to come soon), and Eric is going to be an interim pastor at Casa Blanca Baptist Church.  We also have got a little more work to do to the dorms before the first team arrives NEXT WEEK!  Not to mention, that we are getting everything in order for VBS that same week.

So, whether in KY or AZ, it feels like "home" and "home" is a good place to be!  Enjoy some pics from our week!


So, we ate at Belew's 3 times while we were home!  But it is gonna be a year before we eat there again so that makes it ok!


Fun at the park with Aiden!


Daddy and Brayden at Pepaw's in IL


Memorial Day at Memaw's House


This girl loves her some watermelon!  I lost count of how many pieces she had!

Please continue to pray for us as we start our summer.  We have 6 teams coming!  

Brittany