Friday, March 27, 2009

Maybe Baby?

We have been working on a possible adoption since before we cane.  There is a 36 yr old mom who is not married and her boyfriend wants to be rid of the baby by throwing it in ocean.  She has already had 2 kids before and her parents say they will not take any more, so she asked Amanda (the base leaders here at YWAM, and our good friends) if they would adopt it since they say that they had adopted Leanna a now 2 !/2 yr old little Ni-van girl (Ni-van means from Vanuatu).  They said if we would not they would but that they knew of an American couple coming here and looking to adopt (us).  So the talk was started long ago and she has agreed to adopt the baby to us at several times.  However, we have never met her yet.  She lives far away and there are no cars for us to use to get there, so it has all been by phone since the initial visit when Jeff and Amanda first met her, and told her about us. 

We were finally able to track her down by phone and check on the due date by having her cousin William who is staff here with YWAM call her.  I had to press it a bit but it was finally done a few days ago and he said she said she had just had a check up and the DOCTOR SAID SHE IS DUE IN ONE WEEK!! WHOA!! That is SOON! So we are trying (remember there is a language barrier so it is never us talking on the phone) with Amanda’s help to get Mary (the mom) down here to Port Villa to have the baby here.  We are not sure if that is even possible this fast.  She has family to stay with here, but we are not sure if the hospital here needed to have advance notice.  (It isn’t the same as the US).  By the way it only costs $10 to have a baby here!!! I am pretty sure however that the level of care matches the price! 

So we are still having trouble getting a hold of her and sorting things out.  We would like to be there and take the baby at birth to make it easier on everyone.  She was aware that this is how we wanted to do it, but that conversation was a while ago so we will see how it all goes.  We need to at some point find a way out to her village and with Jeff and Amanda (who are friends with the chief) get the chiefs permission to adopt the baby.  That is a bit more of a formality, but it is part of the process.   We really need to talk to her face to face to reconfirm that she is willing to give us the baby and go from there.  Unfortunately that is not likely till she is down here, and we haven’t worked out how or if she is willing to come down here for sure.  I am sure all this is hard to understand as in America we would just hop in our car go meet her and talk to her and start the process.  Not how you do it here. If we had a car we would try, but even still you have to have all the right people with you when you go to translate and assure her of who we are etc..

SO we are calling again today and we hope to know a little more soon.  If all goes as planned we would have a baby… POSSIBLY INSIDE A WEEK!

Are we prepared in the normal sense (clothes, a bed diapers formula…) NO, but spiritually and mentally I think as much as we can be.  So we trust God in this.  If it is His will it work out and if he has a better plan we trust that too cause HE  IS ALWAYS FAITHFULL AND GOOD!! It is hard to be completely in LIMBO.  Our lives could change drastically forever in a week or she could change her mind and we would not have a baby.  BUT I really felt from the Lord we  needed to TRUST HIM IMPLICITLY never doubt His character, and live at peace knowing He knows more and knowing “all things work together for the good of those who love God, and are called according to His purposes” Romans 8:31 

So we will Trust God and keep you informed.  Please please keep us in your prayers!  There are so many facets of this that need prayer

THE MOM, the baby, US, Gods perfect plan, The family……

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Does GOD Still Speak? (our miracle story)

Hi everyone.  This is Josh.  I don’t write very often, my wife excuses me from it for all but the most important.

Anyway, here’s a little story for your reading pleasure.

It begins at a time not so long ago, in a land far far away, (Vanuatu).  So I’ve been looking for work from the first week we moved here.  I typed, retyped, retyped, and then retyped several more resumes after much appreciated editorial help from Kristy’s sister Janel.  Thank you again Janel.  Then we proceeded to drop them everywhere there was a hint of work to be had!

I had 5 interviews at very promising companies, but we struck out every time.  Some wanted me to have skills that I don’t.  I wasn’t “Chinese” enough for one company.  Another wanted me to start my own company, all I would need is a $50,000 bond. Every door seemed shut.

We’ve made good friends with the leaders of the YWAM base here, (Jeff and Amanda).   My gut tells me they want us to be full time staff.  But anyway, Amanda and I were talking about the job situation and she asked us to pray about weather or not God wanted us to work.  So the next day Kristy and I fasted and prayed.  Through all that we felt God say surrender it to Him.  Very clearly though.  We got a few scriptures and this is what they said “and she (the story of the widows mite) gave up all she had to live on.”  and then a reference came to Kristy 1 Cor 1:31 so we looked it up and it said “let him who boasts boast in the Lord” and Psalms 37 (trust in the lord, he will give you the desires of your heart..”  Job or no job, we are to trust God as our provider.  So we completely surrendered the job situation and thought maybe God was leading us to get support and not work. 

Oh by the way,  we are running out of money too.  We have enough to eat for 1.5 months on a VERY tight budget.  So trusting in God gets harder when you really have to.

One more thing.  I’m typing on our computer, (thank you Dick and Roxy), out on our deck.  My kids are tickling my feet and a gecko just pooped on the key board!  It’s a crazy place.

So back to the story.  The next day I received a phone call from a gentleman named Sean.    Sean expressed interest in meeting with me about possible work.  We didn’t have very high hopes.

Sean and I met at a cafe the next day at 10am.  I got there about 9am because I wanted a quiet time. I ordered the cheapest thing on the menu, a cup of green tea, sat down, and began praying.  I noticed a Ni-van,(local islander), smiling and staring at me.  After his breakfast, Eddie the Ni-van, (I call him Eddie the Prophet), approached me with excited anticipation, and asked to sit down.  Being the polite gentlemen I am, I kindly agreed.  This is where it gets good.

Eddie then tells me this: “  I saw you walking across the street.  There was a bright light shining down upon you and surrounding you.  The light was blocking all things dark from touching you.  He said something about this being Gods hedge of protection around us. God gave me these scriptures for you, and I don’t know what they say.  He gave us only the references and he had not looked them up.

Isaiah 43: 1-5  But now, this is what the Lord says---he who created you, O Jacob,  he who formed you, O Israel:  “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name and you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep you over.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior…

Isaiah 43: 18-19  Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing.  Now it springs up. Do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Joel 2: 23-25  Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains in righteousness.  He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains.  The threshing floors will be filled with grain, the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

Psalms 37: 4  Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Eddie then said, “God’s telling me that you’ve had some confusion lately but God is going to give you what you’ve been seeking, right now!

So Eddie says his goodbyes, pays for my tea, and walks out, as I sit there in awe and wonder.  Next in walks Sean.  He sits down and offers me a great job, with an office, and a company truck.  He owns an electrical company and a separate construction company.  Sean was just awarded the bid on the first phase of a huge government project connecting all the islands by radio wave towers, then running fiber optics to each government building, then recabeling each building.  Wow!  This is exactly the work that I do.  God is good.  Amen?

We don’t know if this job will be for 3 months or 10 years, but we will continue to trust in God.  Remember these words with me:

From the highest of heights to the depths of the seas

Creation’s revealing your majesty

From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring

Every creature unique in the song that it sings

All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable

You placed the stars in the sky and you know them by name.

You are amazing God

Awestruck we fall to our knees and we humbly proclaim

You are amazing God.


We love you all.  Keep praying for us.  I’ll fill everyone in on the vision God has giving us for our land.  We close on the land on Monday.  For most of you it will be your Sunday.

Lovin God Island Style


Monday, March 16, 2009

The new unofficial band aid ministry!!

We have a new ministry that just found us,  We are the band aid /sore people (basically I am like the school nurse who does the most basic stuff). 


The flower is from Angelina in the Green dress in the photo above.  One of Pierce and Dahlias best friends that goes to our preschool as well.  She is 8 but has no money for school fees so we are helping her by giving her more challenging work and trying to get her a scholarship after attending for this year.   Her mother left her and her 3 other siblings and just walked away one day and then left them with  the grandparents.


All the kids know that when they come to play I take care of their sores and clean them and put antibiotic cream on them and band aids (Plasters).   

IMG_1352Most of these kids just wander the village by themselves during the day as most of their parents don’t bother with them and lock up the house in the morning and leave for work.  They don’t all get baths or anything!  Kids as young as 4 are wandering around.  So we also just provide a fun safe place for them to hang out.


My kids love it and so do these kids!  Most of the kids are over everyday to play at our house in the yard with the toys (none of the kids have any toys that I have seen except a couple marbles once).


Above is Pierce with Mellissa who is Pierces other best friend.  She is 5 yrs old and her mom leaves her locks the house up.  She goes to school but often comes back to a locked house.  She had dinner with us the other night when her mom was gone at dinner time and she didn’t know where to.

We share treats with them and lend toys and play with them.  It is really great.  Pierce just loves it and so does Dahlia.  When they go she cries "Dahlia go play friends!". 


When I break out the two coloring books and the crayons we brought, all the kids flock and no one wants to do anything else but color (to Dahlias delight and Pierces dismay as he is waiting with a ball!)  So now the kids bring the other kids to me that have sores and wounds and we bandage them up. IMG_1348

This is John from my preschool a total sweetie who is about 3 yrs old (most kids or parents don’t know exactly how old they are as no one keeps track.) 


Every kid seams to have 3-6 sores that are infected whether from scratched mosquito bites (they don’t have bug nets at night or screens on the house or repellent) or just wounds and they get so infected immediately with the flies and the filth everywhere. 


Just today I must have doctored 15-20 sores and yesterday over 40!  It is really important you bandage them or they get infected and the sores grow and grow into "bigfella sores" (Bislama for Big sores!)  The infected sores are really painfull.  IMG_1344

I just sit them up on my bench on the patio and we are off!

We have only had small ones and they really hurt.  We are teaching them about hygiene as well.  Debby Josh's mom and Tracey sent care packages with tons of band aids and antibiotic cream etc  and toothbrushes for kids so we are using all of that for them.  Thanks for the band aids you sent!  I am really going through them but the kids I use them on really need them!  We are praying for the miracle of the never ending band aids!   


This is just the carnage from day one!!  The kids just kept showing up!  I love it!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The “Pikinini” (kiddos) of Pango village

Hi!  Here are the two blogs we have. and You can also pass these links on to anyone who is interested in what we are doing.


I want to start posting photos of  individual kids and telling a short life story on each one and get prayer sponsors for each one.  They are so sweet and No one here pays attention to them.  The moms and dads leave for work in the morning and lock the house and leave the kids outside all day till they get home with NO ONE to watch them.  A lot of our preschool students were found wandering with no one caring for them so the teacher invited them to school.  They need love and attention as well as their physical needs met.  One poor boy Jimmy is mostly deaf and his head is covered in sores and caked on mud and dirt.  The flies just constantly hover and bother him cause no one takes care of him.  His parents just go to work and leave him.  They don't bathe him or anything.  I think they feed him and that’s about all.  most of the kids teeth look rotten already. 


We now will have the toothbrushes that Tracey sent to pass out and keep at school with the toothpaste she sent and we will brush them there.  If they went home there is no guarantee that anybody would help the kids and we only have on toothpaste.


So is it hard here for us..?  It is a definite adjustment with sickness (my stomach is sick today and Joshs throat hurts again) and the heat and the bugs, as well as the change of diet.  Thanks to Gramma Debby who sent 2 giant boxes of what I called "Walmart from heaven!" (boxes of American food with lots of treats like health food, oatmeal even pkged beans and rice, whole wheat pasta, and smoked turkey summer sausage!!!)  we are feasting like kings! but we are doing so well spiritually here.  We are both having great quiet times and really having to trust God on the whole no job thing while we continue to look for one and yet feel so at peace that we are to be here.  We don't want to go just because Josh has no job. IMG_1156

  We know God will provide one in his timing.  We feel very fulfilled in being able to give, and serve.  I have really been meditating on the verse "Whom have I in Heaven but you and earth has nothing I desire besides you,  My heart and my flesh may fail me but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever" Psalms somewhere Smile emoticon 


I have really just been asking God for a more eternal perspective to help me not focus on stuff or anything other than finding complete contentment in Him and thinking of others eternity.  It has really been good.  We just feel so much peace and contentment even if we don't have a blender or a tv etc... Our kids are thriving as well and that is so great for us to see.

Neeley photos! Doing pretty good!


First and only fish Josh has caught.  A proud moment with his spear gun and prize!


No we did not eat it!  It was too small to figure out what to do with it!


Dahlia enjoying a sweet moment with our puppy Madeline!

IMG_1216 IMG_1231

Pierces favorite hobby!  Tree climbing,  Good thing to cause pretty soon I will send him up a tree for a coconut or bananas!


Dahlia and I in our unofficial uniform of sundresses trying to hide from the heat in the shade (the house gets too hot in the day to be in it!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Quote of the week (by Pierce)

“Maybe they don’t use mosquito dope (the kids in our preschool)because they have that black stuff on.” Pierce

Hm.. interesting thougt Pierce!

Our local preschool

IMG_1330 This is the local preschool that I have just started to help teach.   One year ago Rachael (the teacher)  started this “kindy” (preschool) because there are so many kids who cannot afford the school fees here, and she wanted even the poorest of the poor to have a chance at a good education.  With no previous experience in teaching she left her sales and marketing position because she said she had a dream that Kindy is what she needed to be doing.  She and her family of 6 kids live off her husbands wage of about $65 USD a week.  Her life is inspiring.  I love how she just follows the Lord with out thinking twice, regardless of personal cost!

We meet under a banyan tree at Rachael's house just down the road from our house.   We currently have no shelter so if it rains we don’t meet, but my husband is putting up a tarp for shade and protection from the rain.  The only supplies we have at the moment are a few pencils, some crayons and colored pencils as well as paper, scissors and glue.  We were able to get those through UNICEF.  Rachael applied last year for some stationary aid from them and was also able to apply through another aid group to have 4 kids (her whole class last year) go to school on scholarships!  The school is also planning on accepting this years graduates on scholarships as well!  This is awesome as most of these kids wouldn’t have any other way to afford school fees.  The parents are so grateful!IMG_1333

Rachael and I just met to work on a new curriculum that we will be implementing soon.  It allows the kids a chance to excel in Memory, Bible, art, science, language, math and interpersonal skills. The other teacher and I meet once a week to plan the weeks curriculumand pray for our students.  IMG_1335

It is such an awesome opportunity to get involved and my children are attending and really enjoy it as well. IMG_1338

Our biggest struggles include not having a bathroom for the kids, personal hygiene, and a proper set up as far as chairs or a table of some sort.  We currently just sit on a piece of plastic on the ground and sit around a board on the ground to write on.   IMG_1337

Our greatest joys are the sweet little kids that show up every day from 7:30 to noon.  We include play time and snack as well.  I am really excited to see how our new curriculum goes.IMG_1328

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The local economy…


Employment in Vanuatu is 6%.  Not an unemployment rate of 6% EMPLOYMENT rate.  Wow, that means 94% are unemployed.  This friend of ours is a gardener at a local resort and is considered one of the lucky to have a job.  The going rates in this area are just under $10 a day or $1.25 an hour!  Port Vila the capital here sees quite an influx of islanders hoping for work in the city.  Sadly there are shanty towns that have been built from those that have left their homes and gardens on the outer islands only to find there is very little work here.  YWAM an international aid group that I am here with has a strong presence in these areas, working with the children in preschool programs, unwed mothers and others in need.  It is hard for these islanders to get the boat fare back to their home so often they feel they are stuck.

A lot of the people here live very simply in crudely built tin homes on rented or passed down pieces of land with gardens that provide the food they need to live on and sometimes enough to sell in the market as well.  They do not have a lot of material things but seem to be very happy people.  Everyone is happy to share what they have and you will have a hard time finding a face that isn’t smiling!  We have been enjoying the warm hospitality of all our neighbors and find the people absolutely lovely.  If you ever get the chance to visit this amazing country you will enjoy the cheerful smiles and easy going contented islanders that make this country such a pleasure to visit!  We could all learn a thing or two about contentment from them. 

In these troubled times it is a chance for me to be reminded of all that we have to be grateful for.  A nice home over our heads and food on the table .