Monday, April 3, 2017

Island Time - March in St Kitts


  Waiting is hard.

  I feel like that could win some sort of understatement prize! I've been told that our generation in the USA is the least patient generation yet. We have access to so many things at the touch of a button! We can do things in seconds that used to take weeks or months. When we lived in the US, these convenient quick options did NOT mean that we got to have all kinds of extra free time. It simply meant that we could squeeze more in to our lives, and that felt like a cultural expectation. "Oh, you're not busy on that one night out of the week? Here are 5 different 'important' things for you to commit your time to." And let's be honest; having a full schedule, being asked to do MORE, being WANTED for a task or project or event, those things can make us FEEL important. So we keep up the pace no matter what.

  So, now we live on an island. An island we can drive around in about an hour. An island that is NOT on the US's time-driven schedule. A place where "later today" can mean in the next few days. Where "the end of next week" may mean exactly that, or it may mean by the end of the month. Rarely do we see people who seem rushed or in a hurry. And you know what? WE rarely feel rushed or in a hurry. We were told about the concept of "island time" and we read books about "hot climate cultures" and "event oriented vs time oriented cultures." We thought we would be prepared, but it felt like hitting the breaks while flying down the interstate. 

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control. 
Galatians 5:22-23a (emphasis added)

  Patience. Not my (Katelyn) favorite thing, and not something that comes naturally to me. My mom used to sing "Be patient, be patient, don't be in such a hurry!" when I was little. It's become church humor to warn against asking God for patience (He might just make you wait on something in order to learn it). Yet, without asking for patience at all, here we are anyway. We are having this fruit of the Holy Spirit being worked out and grown in our lives daily. We are waiting to hear back from pastors, waiting to receive materials, waiting to launch Celebrate Recovery, waiting on delivery men, on the food shipments to come in so we can grocery shop,  and on visits from family. 

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. 
Galatians 5:24-25

  It's not fun to recognize our impatience as sin, yet that's exactly what it is. Impatience is ingrained in us, not just because of the culture we grew up in or the technology we have available, but because we have a sinful nature. As Christ followers, we have nailed our sinful nature to HIS cross, but it's so easy to try and pull parts of it back down. So, we do have some fun news from this month! And we got to participate in some wonderful things, but we would love prayers as we continue to learn patience when things move slower than we would like :)

March Happenings
Aaron met with an official at Her Majesty's Prison to work out what time we have available to come and what materials we can bring in. God definitely went before Aaron and we were offered the exact amount of time and days we need, all our materials were okayed, and the prison is completing work on new classrooms that we can use when we start 12 step studies!!

As Addalyn has continued to attend Good News Club, Aaron got the chance to play "Saul before he was Paul" during one of the lessons. He was hilarious and the kids LOVED it!

We had a sweet kid ask for a ride home after club one day. Never would I ever pick up a kid I didn't know in the states, but here it's not an odd request!

My wonderful friend Edikan making us delicious Nigerian Food!

We had Jollof Rice and it was amazingly good. We have also had the privilege of having UK and Trinidadian food made for us by our sweet friend Cassie! St Kitts has a HUGE international population and we can't get enough of the cultures represented. The bible study I attend often as many as 6 different countries represented each week!

 Aaron is coaching a men's basketball team in Bird Rock. Many villages here have a team and there will be a huge tournament in a few weeks!

The Christian Veterinary Mission club at Ross University of Veterinary Medicine puts on a health and clothing drive with the University of Medicine and Health Sciences (both universities are located here in St Kitts). Our church was able to participate in sorting donations and helping participants to find what they needed!
The kids got to play while the rest of worked :)

We visited Beacon of Hope and Aaron shared our story and shared about CR. This is one of the churches that will be helping us launch Celebrate Recovery!

I was brave and let Aaron clean up my undercut. He got creative and added a cross lol but I think he did a pretty good job! (We miss you Olivia, and we miss getting legit hair cuts!!!)

The kids tried football! (Don't "correct" me, lol, it's what the entire rest of the world calls this sport!)
They did not actually enjoy it, but I'm proud of them for trying something new :)

We had an outdoor church service at the beach and these two precious women declared their relationship with God through baptism!

Our sweet friend Audri had a school talent show. Her class sang "Kindness is a Muscle" and they handed out "Kindness Rocks" (pun intended) that they painted. Audri did great and we all had fun getting to watch!

One evening last week the kids were itching to get out of the house. We drove up to the top of Timothy Hill which overlooks the peninsula. It's a popular tourist spot, but at 6:30pm it was all ours! 

The view on the other side is less photographed, but just as beautiful! Our house is way in the back of the photo tucked behind a hill :)
(We have really struggle with how to show the beauty here without making it seem like we are living a luxurious life in the Caribbean lol. The truth is, we do get to have some unique experiences because we live on an island! We see a different beauty here than the gorgeous Smokey Mountains, rolling green hills, and lakes that we were surrounded by in Knoxville. God's beauty is so evident in His creation all over the world! We hope that what you all see is just another way that God's creativity and majesty is on display here.)

  We have been in St Kitts for four months now! Four months of adjusting, learning, roller-coaster emotions, joy, pain, growth, and change. We want to thank you all for your interest, your support, and most of all your prayers! We need you prayers like we need water now that the heat has come back! 

  We love you all! Thanks for reading!

  The Comers