“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” I Corinthians 2:4,5 NKJ
Dear Friends & Family,
What an opportunity to serve the Lord and allow His goodness to shine forth. It has been a privilege to serve and to see His goodness in all that we have been able to do. The times have not always been easy, but the Lord has not changed in his faithfulness.
Many people can think of “hard times” that they have gone through. Job went through some of the hardest of times, yet when he was told to curse God because of his troubles. He remained faithful to the Lord and trusted that the Lord had a plan for his life. He knew that the Lord would give him the strength to make it through the rough times.
Haiti Team – This summer was one of the most difficult for us. Our summer team of 27 team members, four leaders and our children traveled to the hurting country of Haiti—a country that was shaken by a large earthquake and left with thousands homeless. Our team was an “earthquake relief team” that was to bring aide and hope (Jesus) to the people at Grace Village in Carrefour. We went with the knowledge that there had been political problems with the election of a new president, health problems due to the lack of sanitation services and the uncertainty of safety within the country. The Lord knew what we would have to go through and He was not surprised. Looking at our team, we had a great amount of potential. They enjoyed working and got along well with one another. They were very musically talented, allowing great times of worship and an avenue for reaching the lost. Overall, the team had a heart to be used by God in ministering to the people of Haiti.
We arrived in Haiti and had four bags missing out of 63. Carrie was finally able to work with the airline agent and find where our bags were. The simple task of taking our bags to the truck was also a challenge when the porters were taking the carts from our team and wheeling them to the truck for us. Many of you may think this is not a problem, but when you don’t have money in your budget to pay, then it can be a problem. This was just the start of a challenging summer. With cooking for a large team, keeping adequate supplies of drinking and bathing water, overseeing four to six construction projects and tackling mounting health issues that ranged from dehydration and heat exhaustion to a stomach virus, we were always trying to figure out how to cover all the responsibilities. One of the saddest and scariest times of the summer was when one of our young ladies contracted Cholera from the tent city that we were ministering in. She was in the hospital for five days, but the Lord healed her and she was able to work for a couple of days before we left. During our time in Haiti, over half the team was at the clinic being tested for cholera and treated for dehydration brought on by either heat issues or the stomach virus. We praise the Lord for his goodness and his protection. At almost two weeks into our project time, the pastors of Grace met with Carrie and I with concerns for the health of the team. They felt that we should send the young ones home. After discussing this situation with them and with the director of Teen Missions, the decision was made to pull the team out of Haiti and return to Florida due to the health risk for the team. We were all devastated to think that our ministry was over; no one wanted to leave Haiti. We all believed that the Lord had called us to serve in Haiti and it did not seem that the mission was done. Just like Job was asked, “Do we give up and curse God?”
Off to Florida we went, praying that we could whole-heartedly accept the construction project there and find places to minister. Our prayers were answered. The team had a couple rare opportunities to serve in the local community along with sharing in various churches. We were aware of a food distribution program here in Merritt Island that gives out food to over 700 families every Monday. The team was able to work with them: passing out food, carrying it out to their cars, sorting food, and even washing their feet. Another weekend the team went to help House of Hope clean out a home of a young man that had just inherited the property after his mother passed away. She had been a hoarder and the home had been condemned by the city. The team, along with another dozen people, were able to clean out the first floor of the home in about four hours. What a blessing to realize that many opportunities exist to serve right here in America.
The team was able to see that missions is not only oversees but also right in our backyard—we just needed to look for it. After all that, we asked ourselves, “Was it worth the sickness, the tiredness, the change in plans and projects, and the struggles that we went through?” We all said, “Yes!” What an impact this team made on the people of Haiti, the local community in Merritt Island and the hearts of our family.
Haiti team – you were amazing. You taught us tons by your openness and willingness to serve God in all circumstances. I am reminded of this summer every time I turn on the Christian radio station and listen to the chorus of our team song (written by Brandon Heath):
Give me your eyes for just one second Give me your eyes so I can see Everything that I keep missing Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted The ones that are far beyond my reach Give me your heart for the once forgotten Give me your eyes so I can see
Thank you for all of your prayer and financial support for the summer team. What a life-changing and faith-stretching experience!
BMW & Conference Center – Carrie continues to oversee the BiBle, Missionary & Work Training Center (BMW) with nine new students and 11 returning students. The program has nine students completing their internships all over the world—Canada, South Africa and Ecuador, to name a few. We both love working with the students, training the next generation of missionaries. I am still working in the Retreat & Conference Center. We book retreats for many groups from all over the country. They are able to use our facilities for their groups with the money underwriting the costs of the BMW program.
Bekah (fifth grade) and Drew (third grade) are back in school, doing very well academically and both made the A/B Honor Roll. Bekah is still loving Girl Scouts and soon will be selling their yummy cookies again. Drew has started Cub Scouts this year and has already had his first campout with his troop, shot a BB gun and bow and arrow. He is enjoying the high activity level!!
We want to take a moment to sincerely thank all of you for your faithfulness in supporting us through your prayers, finances and friendship. We thank the Lord every day for having such an incredible support team. Thanks for being a part of this ministry with us.
In His care,
Andy, Carrie, Bekah & Drew