Sunday! It's a full day every week in Knoxville, and it was the one day that was pretty "busy" in St Kitts as well.
Worship Team Practicing
Aaron and I hanging out before the service
Brandon preaching the word
Brandon is the pastor at Caribbean Christian Fellowship. This church is made up of mostly students from the vet school and medical schools (however, a new Kittitian family sat right in front of us). We enjoyed this service immensely! We learned all about Acts 18:18-28 and about being "set apart" for God. I loved that he is just preaching the Word of God , no more and no less. We got a chance before and after the service to meet a lot of the students and hear about their experiences living in St Kitts. Its such a neat perspective that we can learn a lot from. We hope that God will use us to invest in the lives of the students on the island as well as the Kittitians.
After church, Aaron and Brandon headed off to play flag football with the Ross students. It's a whole league and apparently it gets pretty intense. Aaron had a blast! Sorry, I wasn't there so I did not get any pictures :( During the game, I got to hang out with Wendi, Audri, Keaton and Shane. Shane is a Kittitian. He's 13 years old and just started high school. He has been involved in the AWANAS club program that the Graysons do and he hangs out with them on Sundays. He goes to CCF with them and even plays drums for the worship team. He is a great guy with huge hopes and dreams for his future! It's obvious the impact the Graysons have had on his life for Jesus.
Audri and Shane
Next on the agenda that day was a 40 year anniversary celebration for Pastor James Brown of Cayon Church of God.
Sweet little girl reading a poem she wrote about her reverend
It was definitely a charismatic service, lots of standing and moving and dancing
A doctorate being bestowed onto Reverend Brown
It was definitely a new experience for us visiting a Kittitian church, but it was really cool to see how they worship and how they honor someone who has fed into them. Even this service was on "island time" however. We were there for 2 1/2 hours and the main speaker still had not started! Unfortunately, we had to sneak out at that point. It was time to get home for dinner and the ladies bible study. The bible study was really cool! About 10 women from CCF (Christian Caribbean Fellowship) come to the Graysons' house and Wendi leads them in studying different books in the bible. That night they were starting 1 Corinthians. I loved the format of the study and I leaned a lot about that book!
While we were doing bible study, Aaron and Brandon went to a basketball court to shoot around. While they were there a young man showed up and started talking to them. A lot of conversations are started when the islanders see white people hanging around in the non-tourist areas. This young man, Ian, was actually a student at Windsor Medical School there in St Kitts. He grew up in Kenya, moved to the states as a teenager, and now found himself on the island. He had met a man earlier in the year who was on a missions trip to St Kitts and staying with the Graysons. The seeds that the first man planted prompted Ian to ask Brandon and Aaron all kinds of questions about the bible and about God. Aaron was very humbled to be able to see how God has been working in Ian's life this year, and to be used as a servant of God to further His kingdom. 1 Corinthians 3:6 "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow." It was incredible that Aaron and Brandon were able to "water the seed" planted by someone earlier in the year. God doesn't change, and the way he works through us doesn't change either :) Ian is planning to get connected with CCF and the men's bible study. Please be praying with us that God continues to grow the seed in Ian's heart.
Monday was a great day! We got to drive around the entire island and see how most of the Kittitians live. Get ready for a ton of pictures, and since a picture says 1,000 words I will keep my own words to a minimum :)
The church that had the celebration we went to Sunday
My camera man, I love watching him to something he loves :)
Basketball court, there was one in every town. This is one way that we believe God wants Aaron to reach out to the Kittitians.
Goats, they belong to someone but they roam free
The contrast between the beauty of the land and the reality of the homes and towns is really striking.
Most of the small towns had people just hanging out around town in the middle of the morning.
A memorial in the town that the Prime Minister grew up in
I love the mountains, I am so grateful to God that he is calling us somewhere that still has them!
The Port and downtown
I had to take this picture. It was the Brazilian embassy and Brazil is the first country I ever went on a missions trip to!
The slums/ghetto part of downtown right outside of Port Zante
We spent the second half of the day with Andy and Jillian! They took us to see Ross, see their house, and to see the auto parts store lol. Their poor car really was struggling while we were there, but that seems to be a common island problem :) They also took us to Port Zante, showed us the better places to buy souvenirs and introduced us to Johnny Cake sandwiches! They are made out of fried sweet dough and filled with chicken or fish with toppings and yummy sauce. Aaron says he doesn't even like fish, but he liked the fish Johnny Cake sandwich, lol. I will be craving one until we go back! Being able to see Ross and to experience a bit of the life that Jillian lives every day was wonderful. I never thought I would get to see Jillian any time in the near future and the fact that Jesus has allowed our paths to cross in this way blessed my heart. Thank you Andy and Jillian for giving us a taste of your life and welcoming us into your home (and letting us meet Roy!).
The Vander Yachts House, The have an apartment on the lower floor. Most of the "large" homes in St Kitts are split up this way.
It was a really nice to day get a feel for the island and get our bearings. We also spent some time that evening sharing stories with the Graysons about our lives and our testimonies. Brandon and Wendi are really great and we enjoyed getting to know them even better! We know we are going to be blessed to be in ministry with them when we get to St Kitts.
Next time we post it will be about our last bit of our trip and hopefully a lot about our upcoming trip for the Festival of Life as well as ways you can get involved with that!
Thanks for reading, Love you all!