Last Tuesday two of my classmates from back home stopped on the island while on a cruise, so Brandon, Audri, and I were able to hang out with them for the day! It was so cool & bizarre to see friends I've only ever seen in Indiana HERE in St. Kitts! We went to Reggae Beach & Restaurant for the day to snorkel, hang out, and eat. It was a nice, relaxing day and I got to play tourist for a little while. It was good to see you guys, Matt and Jansen! Hope the rest of your cruise was a blast!
Yes, this is absolutely worthy of its own section. I did not experience a single rainy day the first month & a half I was here, and as you can see in the above landscape picture it is DRY. Most everything is brown & there have been hundreds of fires throughout the island. The rain finally came this last week. We had at least 3 days of on & off downpour, as well as some nights. While it made things somewhat difficult at AWANA and comes hand in hand with humidity, it was still welcomed with open arms. As I type, clouds & the smell of rain are moving in.
Harvest youth group's arrival!
We had our first mission team arrive on Thursday! They're from Ft. Wayne & a couple of them joined Horizon Indy's youth group on its first trip down here back in 2011. While they started off pretty quiet & reserved (a confusing concept for someone coming from Horizon's youth group!) they've opened up a lot and we've been having a blast! On Friday we went on a prayer walk *drive* around the island to various places of ministry & opportunity and were able to pray for each of them and kind of share the vision of St. Kitts with the group. We then received CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) training from Sean for the kid's club they're putting on this week. Then we were able to enjoy a BEAUTIFUL Good Friday service on the beach with CEF!
Worshipping the Lord on the beach with the splendor of the sunset that evening was incredible. I couldn't get over the fact that He is the Creator of the vast heavens & oceans, the colors in the sky, the massive mountains around me, yet I was praising Him for the day that He hung on a cross for me & said the words "it is finished!" His thoughts of me are as numerous as the grains of sand I was sitting on. I can't even fathom it! If that isn't proof not only that there is a Creator, but one who loves us fiercely, then I don't know what is.
Saturday at AWANA we gave the kids their cars for the AWANA Grand Prix which will take place this coming Saturday. They were able to sand them, paint them, and were given decals to decorate. However, due to the rain and the sanctuary being newly painted, we were in a small room in the back of the church.. Needless to say, 50 kids + 13 mission trippers + AWANA leaders.. We were cramped. But we made it work! Hopefully all of the kids are excited to race their cars and beat their friends! It's always a good time hanging out with them, and they really make me laugh a lot. I can't even describe how sweet it is to get to know more and more of them every week on a personal level that I could never accomplish on two week mission trips in the past. I imagine it will be very hard to leave them.
(THREE WEEKS AGO)
More fun with Harvest Youth!
Yesterday we had a SWEET Easter service at CCF, during which Matt Hawkins (Harvest youth pastor) led worship and gave a killer message. We then spent the rest of the day at the beach.. Meaning that every single youth kid here is burnt to a crisp. I'm pretty sure that all they've done for the past 12 hours is talk about their sunburns and apply sunscreen hahaha. I feel for them and am certainly glad that I'm not them! This morning they're out at Tyrell Williams primary school (Middle Island - close to where we have AWANA on Saturdays) putting on the first day of their four day kid's club under CEF training. While the kid's love & hugs might not be pleasing to their sunburnt skin, I know they'll have an awesome time interacting with them, teaching, and just being a blessing. I can't wait to join them on Wednesday! The club goes to 11 ish and then they'll come home for lunch and head out to work projects! A group of us will be painting a Bible study lady's house and another group will be fixing a swingset at a primary school - slathered in sunscreen, of course. I think everyone's learned their lesson. Here's some pictures of random/fun times the last couple of days - as you can see, I really enjoy this group! Especially now that they've acquired vocal cords :)
Connor & Logan were here with our group 2 years ago! So cool to see them again!
What Matt does to his youth kids when they fall asleep..
Late night wall sit competitions.
Brandon keepin outta the sun with his new hat.
The first of many pictures of Matt sleeping.
Blessings & pictures
I am so thankful for the friends and relationships I've made while being here.. I never expected to be so attached to the students at CCF, the kids at AWANA, everyone and everything! Being here has become regular life to me, familiar & loved. I just can't believe I only have 5 more weeks here.. The Lord is definitely stirring up my heart, giving me vision for the future, preparing me for college, etc. He's teaching me so much that I can't wait to take home with me. I'm so blessed to be here. So, so, so blessed...
Thank you for your prayers & support. I wouldn't be here without it!