What a summer we had serving our Lord. It was such an experience full of adventure, love, heartache and joy. We were blessed to have an amazing experience seeing the beauty of our Lord’s creation in the different state parks. We will never forget the feeling of just gazing out into the colorful paintings of nature.
Our summer started just like other all summers, with Boot Camp. Sean enjoyed working with the Video Department this year so much more because of all the new gadgets and toys for filming and taking pictures. It was approved for the department to purchase a quad copter for a video camera to take aerial views of Boot Camp and the teams. There were so many different things to film and this really excited the video crew. I had a wonderful opportunity to spend the first two weeks of Boot Camp with the older staff kids in the munchkin room. This was Kieley’s first year with the older kids, and she had a lot of fun hanging out and playing games with all the missionary kids.
Kieley and Aiden both had a first time experience this summer. Aiden and I served in the Mustard Seed program. We had such a blast together and he loved everything about the program. We made Wordless Books, colored pictures of Bible stories and even had a visit from a queen. The theme this year was Kings and Queens for the Lord. There were different activities for the kids including songs, story time, crafts and visits from missionaries from different countries. We slept in tents and even had pool time. His favorite part was running the Obstacle Course. I am so glad we had the chance to do this together; it was a great time spent with our little man. Kieley had her first chance being a Peanut this year. She served with the Cookie Command Team. Her project was baking cookies and delivering them to different fire houses and nursing homes. They did Gospel presentations with songs and puppets when they delivered the cookies. She had a wonderful time with her team of almost 20 7-9 year olds and it was great seeing her serve the Lord in such a way.
Our team members started arriving midway through First Boot Camp. We had 10 team members total: two girls and eight boys, and all with very different personalities. It was fun getting to know each of them during our travels. After Commissioning we set out on our four-day journey with 10 team members, four leaders, three kids and an extra bus driver to Moab, Utah where we stayed in a campground at Arches National park. How beautiful!! We pitched our tents and got ready for the hikes around the trails to hand out tracts to the hikers. As beautiful as the parks are, it was hot! We stayed for four days and were so eager to leave for the cooler weather that we were hoping to get in New Mexico. Our stay in New Mexico was much longer. We stayed on a camp property that is hoping to be the location of the first Native American Boot Camp. Our team was to build Mt. Sinai for the Obstacle Course. Mt. Sinai is a mountain of tires the team members are to climb over. The team pulled out tires from a dry river bed and drug them to have holes drilled in them so they wouldn’t be filled with water during the rain. They were then drug to the location where the mountain was to be built. It was quite a bit of work for the team, but they got it done. It was a beautiful site even with the high altitude. We often joked about how hard it was to walk up a little hill without getting out of breath.
Our next stop was Flagstaff, Arizona. We stayed at a wonderful campground snuggled up against a beautiful mountain. This camp is used for retreats for the Native American churches and for work groups. Our project at this site was to paint the outside of the fellowship hall. It took some time to get it done, they finally finished the day we headed back to Florida. During our stay in Flagstaff we had an opportunity to go to the Grand Canyon. It was our first visit ever, and we have never been so amazed by its beauty. Pictures hardly do it any justice and it was a pleasure to see it in person. It was another four-day journey back to Florida. Upon arriving in Merritt Island, we spent two days at our house. It was fun having the team at our place and the kids enjoyed it too. They wanted to show them all of their toys. We arrived at Debrief before any of the other teams. At the end of Debrief, our kids were sad to see the team go. We made good friends on the team. One of the leaders even joined the BIBLE, MISSIONARY & WORK Training Center at Teen Missions.
After the team ended, Sean went right back into the Video Department and I went right back into teaching the kids. Homeschooling is getting more fun by the year. Aiden started Kindergarten this year and Kieley is now in the second grade. They are fast learners and are enjoying the lessons we planned for the year. One of the lessons for the first month is learning about Leonardo da Vinci. Kieley loves this because it means she can paint almost every other day. Aiden loves the reading lessons because of the pictures.
This year has been quite an adventure for us and it is crazy to think that the year is almost over. Christmas is just around the corner. We want to thank you all for your continuing prayers and support for our family. You have all been so gracious to us throughout the years, and we are eternally grateful. Thank you again for all that you have done for us. May the Lord continue to bless you and yours.