There are so many things we want to share about, it is almost overwhelming. It is so hard to write your thoughts down when they are coming out faster than you can type them! These past few months have been very full and life-changing. I will do my best to put on paper all that is bobbling around in my mind!
I am sure that many reading this will already know this first bit of news, especially if you are Facebook friends with Mike. Our most-anticipated life change will come this December with the birth of our fourth child! Although slightly unexpected, we are thrilled to be having another child and cannot wait for him to greet us this coming Christmas. Our son, Gabriel Wayne, has filled our lives with joy already and he hasn’t even arrived yet! Many dinner table conversations have been had about who he will look like, and more importantly, what we are going to do with a boy! This is definitely unchartered territory for me. The shock of the news has worn off some, but if only you could have seen the glazed look of bewilderment in my eyes that I walked around with for days after the ultrasound of discovery. My tummy receives more love than it ever has with four people constantly rubbing it and giving hugs and kisses to our Gabe. Gabe, for his part, responds back with many jabs and kicks to remind me of his growing presence. He is strong and healthy, with a vibrant personality that I can detect already. He is loved fiercely by his sisters and parents-to-be, and the line is growing with those waiting to hold and cherish our little one when he makes his debut. The wicked part in me is grinning at the knowledge that I am first in that line though.:)
Our summer spent in the tropical Dominican Republic (DR) has been causing me distress for weeks because I am unsure of what to write and how to write it. I myself am still processing the journey that this summer was. It was SOOO good, but SOOO hard!!! We completed our project, mixing and pouring a large amount of concrete to complete a very long sidewalk that connects the main area of the CEF camp to the church they are building. We discovered the electric nature of the Dominican people through all the camps that came and went during our one month stay there too. How the property came alive when 200+ children were added to the mix twice weekly!!! There were times when the noise of people and music combined was so loud that we had to yell to be heard. We joked in leaders’ meeting that when we returned to the USA, others would have to remind us to use our “inside voices” because we were so used to speaking loudly to be understood. The Gospel message is definitely being shared and heard through the existence of the CEF camp. But, the best part of the whole summer was our teammates, those lively teenagers who could bring me such joy in one moment and then break my heart the next. The tears flow as I write this because I have never laughed so much or cried so much or been frustrated so much over a team. I just care so much about each of them and ache for their tender hearts and minds. Many live in physical comfort, but hurt inside and live in spiritual poverty. Others have deep, deep scars. After only a few short days together as a team, those painful scars, burdens and hurts that many were carrying plagued me because I felt so inadequate to meet the needs and give the wisdom desperately called for. But the Lord doesn’t make mistakes, and I fully believe that Mike and I and our family were divinely placed on this team if for nothing else than to love them like Christ loves us. Every summer we ask the Lord to show us how to love others like He has loved us and that He would break our hearts for what breaks His. This summer, He answered this prayer on a whole other level. No summer on a Teen Missions team is ever easy, but it is during those summers that are the hardest that God’s far-reaching, never-ending love for us becomes a reality like you have never understood it before. It’s like seeing the brilliant hues of a tropical sunset or the turquoise color of the Caribbean Ocean for the first time. I have always known His fierce love for us, but the depth, the scope and the power of it struck me anew on this team. To my dearest and darling teammates: Oh, that each of you would recognize how fierce God’s love is for you. And that you would determine to live an abundant life basking in the warmth of this love. A life lived apart from Christ is a life wasted, a life that is not fulfilling its purpose. Use your gifts, your talents for His glory. Remember all those things He taught you this summer and be bold and courageous to make those changes in your lives now that you know you need to make. Thank you for the amazing adventure, our sweet team. Each and every one of you is so precious to me. It was an honor to serve along side each of you.
After our return from the DR, we hit the ground running to prepare for what every child dreads but has to stare down and face: the end of summer and the return of school. All three girls are in school now: Kenya grade 4, Isabelle grade 1 and Lily VPK (Voluntary Pre Kindergarten). I am not home schooling and this is a big change for me! My journey into home schooling has been so wonderful and definitely not something that I disliked at all. Our decision to put the girls in school is mainly because of those extra things other than academics that school provides, like Spelling Bees, Math Olympics, school plays and band just to name a few. I remember being part of those things growing up and I loved them. We want our children to have those opportunities too. Kenya and Isabelle both attend a school that specializes in the Arts called R.L. Stevenson School of the Arts. We had to put their names in a lottery to get in there and we are so grateful that they both got in! It was not an easy feat! They come home with glowing reports everyday about how much fun they are having, despite the nightly homework! They enjoy all their classes, especially dance class! I never had that class when I was in school!!! Lily will automatically get in next year because her sisters both attend. This year, she goes to a private Christian school for half days, five days a week. She loves it! She cries when I come to pick her up wondering why she has to leave!!! She also cries when her sisters come home with homework and she doesn’t have any! This will pass in years to come, I am sure, but for now, I adore how irresistibly cute it is!
We are ever grateful for your commitment to us and to our ministry. Your faithful prayers and support are making a difference in our lives, as well as the lives of those we are able to touch through Teen Missions. Please continue to pray for us as we continue the adventure of being parents, husband and wife and missionaries for our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Mike, Michelle, Kenya, Isabelle, Lily & Gabriel Myers