I will praise you, lord, with all my heart;I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.I will be filled with joy because of you.I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.Psalms 9:1-2
February has been an incredible month full of new things, opportunities in ministry, and growing closer to the Lord. God has opened doors in ways we could have never thought possible and so much faster than we expected!
Aaron preparing his lesson (above) for New Horizon's Juvenile Rehabilitation Center (below)
Our first big news is that Aaron has been able to spend 1 hour every week with the teenagers at New Horizons Juvenile Rehabilitation Center. Along with our friend Success who serves with Aaron, they have been working through a bible study called Life's Healing Choices by John Baker. The book encompasses the steps and principals that Celebrate Recovery is based on. Each week the students ask more questions and are starting to show more interest in what they are learning. Even their adult counselors are asking Aaron questions during the lessons! This last Saturday we had the privilege of taking a brand new bible to each of the 6 students (and 1 of the counselors) thanks to Faith Promise North Knox, who sent us 50 bibles to give away!
Her Majesty's Prison
Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself.
Next, after a couple of meetings and phone calls, we found out that we have been approved to start Celebrate Recovery Inside at Her Majesty's Prison! This is the only one on the island and the current administration is working hard to develop a rehabilitation program for the residents of this prison. They want to see these men leaving custody ready to be a part of a productive society, and they want to see them staying out of prison in the future. Please continue to pray for the ways that God will use CR to accomplish those goals, as well as pointing these men toward a relationship with Christ - which is the only way they will find true freedom anyway.
Our Laundry Line!
And we know God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
One of the bigger adjustments to life on the island is learning to reduce our electricity usage. It costs roughly triple to use electricity here than it did in Knoxville. February is the month that we finally got our first electric bill since we arrive. We were prepared for high numbers, but the bill we got about knocked us off our feet. According to the bill, our second month in St Kitts we used nearly $600 worth of electricity! Even our landlord was surprised with that number. After we got through the initial shock, we began discussing how we could limit our usage even more. We already had quit using our air conditioning at night, and we did a stint with a laundry line instead of our dryer. The laundry line had fallen off the wall, but this high bill spurred us to figure out how to get it repaired. After going to 2 hardware stores looking for what we need, a helpful employee directed us to a metal works shop to have new posts made. As we walked out the door a kind man stopped us to make sure we knew where we were going. He then asked if we were students (the assumption usually made about us). When we got to explain that we are missionaries and why we are here, the man got very excited! He introduced himself as Colin and explained that he recently retired after years of serving as the president of the Drug Counsel here in St Kitts. He began making phone calls and doing what he could to connect us with others that work with the counsel and the mental health field. We walked away in utter amazement that God had orchestrated that meeting so carefully and perfectly! It made our electricity bill seem insignificant and reminded us that God is in control. On top of that, we were able to determine that due to the way things are done here (meters aren't always physically checked), that bill was actually for 2 months of usage. Our next bill with be roughly a third of the cost AND we were able to repair our laundry line for all of $1's worth of screws and borrowing a drill!
Burger King arrived in St Kitts!
One of the fun things this month has been the arrival of Burger King to the country. It's not my (Katelyn) most favorite fast food joint, but it tasted like home and was actually well-priced! We had an adventure getting it however. When we originally waited in line for an hour, we discovered at the counter that they were only accepting cash. For some reason we decided to try again anyway. That night for dinner, armed with cash and mentally prepared for a wait, we headed back once more. This time the ladies in line behind me struck up a conversation. It turned out that they met Dean at the beach the first week we were here, and they recognized him (he had been singing "Me Love St Kitts" and these ladies were surprised a tiny American boy would know that song lol). Whats more, one of the women is a counselor at Her Majesty Prison and was in the meeting when Aaron presented Celebrate Recovery to the prison committee! I was able to chat with her and get to know her better during our 45 minute wait for burgers and fries :) God continues to show us over and over again that He is in complete control and that He is working in even the small things to get us where He wants us!
We had our first overseas meeting with Wes from our home church! It was so good to connect with him, and we so appreciate how Faith Promise is doing whatever they can to support our ministry!
I learned how to make bread! It's half the price and twice as tasty as buying bread at the store *yum*
We had our first date on the island, thanks to the Graysons (the other missionaries here, and our pastors) who offered to babysit :)
Our wonderful church, Christian Caribbean Fellowship, had a chili cook-off! We didn't win, but we had such a good time eating and getting to know our church family better.
After the cook-off, we attended a large gospel concert downtown. It featured both local and international artist and we had a BLAST! The kids danced and we worshiped and we really loved getting to participate in it.
We had visitors! Shiona and Ashleigh have been my clients and friends for several years. 3 years ago they both joined our team and came to St Kitts for the Festival of Life. We have been looking forward to their cruise ship porting in St Kitts and we had such a wonderful day getting to host them for a few hours :)
Good News Club started up at Beach Allen Primary again, and our kids get to attend each week!
We got to go to our first CCF game night! This photo may have been staged, but the fun we had was not. We will look forward to this every season!
Addalyn goes to gymnastic now! It's an hour and a half every Saturday, and part of class is writing and learning definitions of the different gymnastics moves. She love the gymnastics, but not the writing lol
Faith Promise sent us Bibles to give away at New Horizons and Her Majesty's Prison!
Rock Point Church sent us CR materials!
FP Kids sent Addalyn and Dean Valentine's Day cards!
Dean turned 5 last week!!!
He asked to go on a train ride, so we got to tour our new home by train. My mom got to go with us since she and my dad were visiting :)
The kids got to take a photo with the conductor!
This month has brought so much more focus and direction, as well as a reminder of our purpose here and the fact that it is all 100% in God's control. Our prayer is that we continue to remember to seek Him first so that we only follow the paths He has prepared for us to walk!
- For ease in getting some needed CR materials to the island - shipping to here isn't simple.
- For all of us to continue to adjust to life away from the only hometown we knew before this.
- For the local churches and pastors who are considering allowing us to start Celebrate Recovery at their churches. Pray that God will give these pastors and their congregations wisdom in their decisions, and that He will only open the doors that He wants us to walk through.
- For St Kitts to have radical revival and that thousands of people will find a real relationship with Jesus, not just a religion to follow.
Thank you all for reading these updates and for lifting us up in prayer! We LOVE getting your comments and replies to our updates, and we would also love to be praying for YOU! Please comment/message/e-mail us any time :) We love you all!