Friday, January 9, 2015

Continual Transition

I see it's been about another 4 months since my last post. Hopefully soon this will be a bit more frequent, because I actually love writing...but I do what I can do. Since we moved back to Florida it's been work to settle. We were in the beautiful townhouse 3 months when sweet "aunt" Sandee came back to sell the place. Aunt Sandee is a wonderful Godsend who has truly been such a blessing since we've been here. The month of December was full of searching and moving into this new place which we are now working hard to make a home! The previous townhouse was furnished so while we are excited to be in this sweet little  townhouse still so close to the beach, we are collecting new furnishings little by little- again. :) Many of our personal belongings are still in Hati waiting to be shipped up to us when the time is right. Hopefully, sooner than later! The community here has been wonderful in helping us get what we need to get set up.

We also will all be taking a big step in a new direction, which is very exciting! Not only will Stella and Naya be attending school at this wonderful new school, I will be working there as well! We didn't exactly see this coming, but the Lord has brought this to our journey and it's such a comforting thing as we see this community of believers that we get to be part of at just the right time and just the right context! Coastal Community School is in its inaugural year and we get to join in this hybrid community school at its blossoming into an amazing Christ centered school. Never heard of a community school? Me either, until this came along! 

So CCS is a private Christian school hybrid where the school and parents partner to give their kids the best spiritual and academic experience possible. The kids go to the school on Tuesdays and Thursday and for enrichment day on Fridays. The teachers prepare the lesson plans which the parents teach from at home on Mondays and Wednesdays- hence, the hybrid homeschool/traditional school setting. Olivia will be attending a vpk close by for a few hours each day as well and Galia will join me in our classroom/office while I work at the school on the days the girls are there. 

This is all such a fun and exciting turn of events in what our days look like. We actually have to wear real clothes rather than comfy pants and flip flops everyday. :) We're scrambling now to get all the school supplies needed as well as proper school shoes and lunch boxes, ect, all the while trying to set up the house! So much happening at once!

The girls are doing wonderful. Galia is almost 19 months old and starting to say words both in English and Spanish! It's so cute. She runs around and plays with everything and is truly a little cuddle bug. Hugs and kisses all around from her everyday, along with some feisty moments sprinkled in there. Olivia,4, is also so affectionate and learning to keep her temper. :) She is learning to write  her name and sounds out letters. Naya turns 6 next month is starting to come out of her little shy shell and is excited to make new friends at school. Stella is 7 1/2 and very excited to join her second grade class! She's always had her own little mature personality, but as she actually gets older we really see her personality blossom. She's funny and we've seen the "oldest sister" in her come out lately regarding taking responsibility for things at home. What gems they all are to us.

Theo is doing great working for the same construction company. He enjoys the work and enjoys simply providing for the family. He is meeting some new solid guys to hang with and has been playing soccer a couple nights a week, which obviously, he loves. 

We are hopeful and excited to minister within our new community and are anticipating some new open doers for that soon. Thank you all for those who pray for us and love us. Your support and encouragement over the years has been truly priceless. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A New Chapter has Begun

Hello World,

Just as the title says, a new chapter has begun for us. Somewhat surprisingly, we have landed in a most beautiful and peaceful location! The story on how we got here is quite amazing and it involves the Lord heavily. We're all so thankful to be here.

In case you missed what this last year has looked like for us, let me try to put it in a nutshell.... April 2013 we left Ensenada, Mexico. We drove across the U.S. to Illinois where we stayed for the summer and I had our 4th baby girl there. Six weeks later we continued the journey south to Florida where we got on a plane and moved to Haiti. Our plan was definitely to be there for the long settle and minister and do life there, but there were clearly some major things that had to be worked out.....away from Haiti. So 8 months later, we went to Puerto Rico to be with my family and to pray and seek the Lord about what was happening and for His guidance on what has felt like a crazy emotional and spiritual roller coaster ride....all the while trying to hang onto our marriage and our 4 little girls. Let me tell's been a really LONG year. Without the consistent and stable fellowship we're used to and all the confusing movement, we got extremely worn out, extremely stressed out and extremely burnt out. About everything. Thankfully, the Lord is faithful and never abandons us even in our weaknesses. He is so good and led us out of our mistake. Our summer in Puerto Rico was beautiful. Since I left Puerto Rico as a baby, I had never spent a chunk of time with my own father apart from this summer. They were always short visits and I didn't know how awesome it would be to be around him along with my step mom, sister and grandparents on both sides. My husband and daughters really got to know them, and just love them like I do. I got priceless pictures of my grandmothers (both of them, separately) brushing and braiding the girls' hair.....them with their great- grandmothers! Again, so thankful for a chunk of time for everyone to get comfortable and close enough for moments like those despite a lifetime apart.

As planned, our stay ended at the end of the summer. The Lord made a clear and powerful provision for us to move to Melbourne, Florida and it's where I'm writing from now. Our home spot is just perfect for us right now. It truly is a gift from God to be here. Again, so thankful.

We have spent the last 3 weeks searching for jobs for Theo to pick up but many doors are closed. On the financial side of things, we're in that tension of trusting the Lord for provision as always, but now with an added financial stress. We have been praying about and feeling strongly for Theo to go to the fire academy and EMT school and the classes begin October 28th. We need to have the full amount a week before classes start and the cost is $2,200 for EMT and $3,800 for fire academy. Because the school is a technical school, there is no financial aid or scholarships available. We are asking for help for Theo to get equipped and trained for what we believe will be an amazing career. We are forever grateful to those who have loved, given and literally been used by God to keep our heads above water throughout our journey. You know who you are. We are now excited and so looking forward to this transition into a marketplace career that Theo will thrive in and be able to support our family.

 As Theo works during the day, he will go to school at night to hopefully finish all classes by next summer and get hired as a fireman/EMT, ASAP. This position will allow continued family time, it will allow time and funds to help some of our own family members as well as our future hopes for a church plant and discipleship ALL THE WHILE  being able to pay our bills. It doesn't seem so hard to attain, but we need your help to get the ball rolling. Its a funny thing....sometimes, it just takes money to make money. And in our case, it takes money, to go to school, to make money. So if you could pray and consider supporting us through this new chapter of our journey, we would be eternally grateful. You can give through our missions organization, the Malachi Network {}which pays us once a month {15th} OR you can give directly to our paypal account at .

We are also getting to know our new neighborhood and getting into routine here with the girls. All of us are doing well and ready to be back in steady fellowship with other believers and simply finding our groove here. Theo and I have started reading Francis and Lisa Chan's new book called 'You and Me Forever' {Marriage in Light of Eternity}. Its such a solid book...not only for marriage but for how God calls us each to live in light of His eminent return....which directly effects and produces a joyful marriage and life! So awesome.

If you have any questions or would like to connect with us further, you can find us on Facebook, whatsapp, or on our emails. and
Feel free to ask for our numbers as well and we can catch up directly!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Another Move

Within the last 4 months since I posted last so many things have happened! It's incredible how unpredictable life can be. My last post was written from Haiti where we moved and hoped to settle down long term. We had plans to be there, close to family and for Theo to work in construction with his dad. I would continue to be home with the girls. We would start and help facilitate Christian community. We felt good about it. Now fast forward a bit. We left Haiti on May 19th and came to Puerto Rico to be with family for a while. We left Haiti for many reasons, some we can share openly, some not. But we've been in Puerto Rico with my {Melissa's} family here and it's been sweet. Sweet to see my grandmothers' and grandfather and extra sweet for my 4 girls to get to know them. It has been so good for all of us. Right now we're in this time of decision for where we should land long term. Re-writing our plan for our family. All about where God would have us and what's best for our little crew. We're spending our time praying, enjoying family for the summer, Theo is working and we're meeting new people here. I'm learning more of my 'native land' and I don't remember it ever being so beautiful. We're all thankful for so many things...for our time in Haiti, for our time here. For whatever God has for us next, because we know it'll be good. His plans for us are good. It's good to trust Him. For all who have asked, here's as much info as I can give. Haiti was a fairly short lived venture for us.... not what we expected at all, and that's ok. We make decisions that sometimes don't go as planned...and I believe that whatever way things turn out in our lives, it's because the author and finisher of our faith has better plans for our lives than we could ever come up with for ourselves. We also see through rose colored glass so often. We are praying a lot about what our future should look like, where it should be and how it should happen. God is in control, and we trust that process.

If you want to talk to me more about it all, you can email me or contact me on facebook.
love and blessings!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Is it possible to change your destiny?

As I type, I'm humbled that God gives me another breath to live. He owes me nothing. Yet He loves me. Loves me enough to continue to give me life. And a great life, at that. So what's this about changing your destiny? Well, about a year ago, while we were still living in Ensenada, I went through this incredible experience with the Lord. Basically, I had this long and lingering feeling deep down on the inside of my being that something bad, death to be exact, was looming. I felt like the heaviness of me passing away was about to become a reality and I couldn't shake it. I'm not talking about depression. I wasn't depressed. I was really happy and joyful actually. But it was unimaginably difficult to endure. I looked at my amazing husband and my beautiful girls and thought, this is just horrible think about, but I can't not think about it! It's not like it was just constant thoughts in my mind, but more of this inner reality of what was about to take place and there was nothing I could do about it. I told my husband a few times about it as I would just burst into tears, and he would pray with me.

Then, as I cried out to the Lord consistently...He revealed things to me that I would've never thought related to this gloomy feeling on the inside. God showed me I was lazy. Yes, lazy. I thought, ok....well, that's definitely something to repent of and turn from. But I never knew what the Bible says about a lazy person. See Proverbs 21:25 and 18:9. There was a clear explanation for what I was going through and as soon as God opened my eyes to my deficiency in this area and I REPENTED sincerely of that, things incredibly changed. Truly, my mind and heart were set free and things were different. I never again had those 'impending doom' anxieties. You can go back and read my post on that titled, "I've been delivered from Death!"

Well, recently for about 3 days, the thoughts were back. I was really feeling like something was up again. I felt like my heart was stirring deep down and to prepare {however you can!?} to experience death. My death to be exact. What a difficult, to say the least, thing to try to wrap your mind around. How do you prepare your heart for this? Lord, My husband and kids....I love them so much and as much as I genuinely can't wait to meet You face to face, I'm not ready to leave them yet. I want to be here to raise them and teach them Your ways. I want to be partnered with my husband in this life live for your glory....together. I don't want to leave these girls motherless, and leave Theo a widower. Father in heaven, Help! I don't know what this is, but it's just too much to bear.

On February 9th, I wrote this...

"I feel like something is brewing. Not sure what, but I want to be ready. If it is about my death, I KNOW it's my good God's will. His timing. His way. It's His mercy, and love, though it may hurt. We are surrendered to our Father's will and we know Him to be so loving and faithful. Death sucks, but everyone passes from these bodies. Everyone has a turn.

I know that although I want to live a long and fruitful life with my husband and kids, I also want my bodily death to glorify God and release power for the praise of Jesus. I don't just want it to be another sad death, which of course it would be sad. But for it to be clear for me, and those who know me to truly celebrate my joining and meeting my King face to face, more than mourning my passing away.

I pray that my daughters will be fully, 100% convinced and filled with total faith to live for and choose The Way of the Gospel all their the time it's my turn to go. I pray that all of the godly influence and love I can pour into them will be had before I go.

I pray for the hearts. Mine in particular. My hand trembles as I write this. That my thoughts would be at peace. That my earthly love, Theo, would be kept at peace and strengthened in Christ. That all our friends in the Body would support him and the girls with every ounce of prayer, hugs, tears, joy and remembrance in the Word that we'll all be together again one day. In Paradise at that.

1 Corinthians 15:50 says- 'What I am saying dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.'

Then verse 55 says ' O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?'"

After writing all of that, I had this thought that seemed to come from nowhere, but it really came from Heaven. I continued to write....

"The thing is.....Ephesians 6:2 says 'Honor your father and mother.' This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, things will go well for you and you will have a long life on the earth.'

And so I wonder how that plays into my life?.... For a long time I didn't exactly honor my mom and dad, but now I do. And I want to. And I believe God's promises."

That night, I repented to the Lord for not honoring my parents then I got on Facebook and sent my mom a public message honoring her virtues and telling of how thankful I am and how much I love her. I believe 100% that God let me feel the tangible weight of NOT honoring my father and mother in order to bring me to that point of true repentance about that. And when I felt it, it hurt. And I could sense the darkness of the consequence of that sin. And when I acknowledged it and repented of it, literal Life came into my heart. I also felt the weight of being kinder to my daughters especially in disciplining them, so that they in turn could honor me and live long lives! I thought of
Colossians 3:21 that says "Parents, don't provoke your children in a way that ends up discouraging them." There are others along those same lines. But I realized that if I'm too hard on my kids, I'm just making it harder for them to truly honor Theo and I.

The next day, Feb. 10th, I wrote again...

"I feel a tangible change in my heart and mind from last night. I feel the importance of honoring my father and mother and to turn up the kindness and love for everyone around me. Especially my kids. I feel literal PEACE. Thank You Lord!"

Since that day, I haven't had those out of nowhere thoughts and deep feelings of impending death. I have felt life. Truly... I feel so ALIVE. I believe the Lord once again let me see the weightiness of a sin that I was not clearly seeing in my own life. Both the laziness last year, at almost the exact same time of the year, and the lack of honor to my parents, were not these blatant or really outward issues. I didn't sit around all day and do nothing or cuss out my parents, or anything so dramatic. But on the inside I was definitely a lazy person with excuses. Being a mom of 3 young kids I was clearly tired. But then the legitimate tiredness would blend into the laziness and I couldn't tell whether I was just tired and needed to rest, or just being lazy! The Lord so kindly showed me what it was. And now again, I got to see that God really truly cares about the command to actually honor our fathers and mothers.

If any of you are struggling with anxiety or fear, or any other thing, PRAY. Ask our good and gracious Father to show you what's up! Only in the true understanding and weight of our darkness will we repent and be set free. Jesus took our sin to the cross and we were crucified with Him there. Let's not continue to sin. Let's be ever so repentant for the darkness that looms inside our hearts and minds. We still totally need renewed minds people! He's given us His Word AND His Spirit to guide us!  He is so worthy of our repentance and love and devotion. He gives such freedom, here and now. Not only in our eternal destiny. But He WILL change things in your life on this earth if you seek Him and ask for Light in the deepest parts of your heart. Praise God!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What's been happening with us?

     I can't believe how long it's been since I sat down to update. A couple of months for sure. I guess that moving the family to a new country and trying to settle has been taking up all my moments. But alas, I found just a bit of time to write!

     We've been living in Haiti for about 4 months now. The adjustment time has ebbed and flowed and thankfully I haven't experienced anything so severe that I want to pack up and leave. Actually, I don't know of anything that would make me want to pack and move again right now! :)   I am definitely at the point of total excitement to enjoy the beauty and wonder of this island anyways! There is SO much to explore from caves, to waterfalls, underground lakes, beautiful hikes and gorgeous beaches and surf. Not to mention the beautiful and kind people here. Haitians are absolutely resilient and creative. I'm learning creole and love to see their smiles when I get it right!  :)

     Today we got our van which actually arrived here 3 months ago. Yes, that was a long 3 months. And yes 8 of us have sardined ourselves into a 5 seater pick up to go everywhere. And sometimes, even a dog was in there with us. So the rides were just interesting. But as the Lord so often does, He gave us constant reminders to be thankful for that pick up we were riding in. The pick up that has A/C, that has tinted windows to block a bit of the hot Caribbean sun, and the radio we could listen to if we wanted. And to be thankful that it was our own family sitting on our laps and taking all the space. Because every single day, we drive along with tap-taps filled overflowing with people. Car rides so full that back bumpers are nearly dragging on the ground as they drive. The heat can be unbearable sometimes and these people literally sit on each other and are squeezed so tightly together, just to get to where they have to go. Sweating. Can you imagine? And they have to PAY money for that ride! Or if you have a little bit more money, you can hop on the back of a motorcycle taxi which is a lot faster to get around and a little more spacious. Often though, you'll see 3 or even 4 people on a motorcycle which obviously isn't advised. :)

     So all that to say, the 5 seater pick up was AWESOME! And maybe you see how incredibly wonderful it is to receive our own ginormous van today!

     I'm thankful and confident that we heard clearly from the Lord about moving here. That single handedly is the most comforting thing for me whenever I do experience difficulty here. I know we have purpose here and that helps ease whatever discomforts we come across.

     So what does life look like for us? Well, now that we've been living in our house for about 2 months, we're finally getting into a routine. Monday-Friday, I homeschool Stella and casually school Naya who is in preschool. We're still working on coordinating school hours and naps and normal life into a schedule that works. Theo is gone at whatever work sites he and his father have contracts for. Monday nights are designated to be "Marriage Monday" where Theo and I try to be intentional about serving our marriage. We like to listen to a sermon on marriage, husband and wife roles, etc. Fridays are "Family Fun Night" which obviously is the girls' favorite night.  We like to watch a movie together, play a game, eat goodies, etc. Theo has also been invited to play soccer at his old school on Friday nights. This is in part, to disciple and mentor some of the high school athletes that play. The rest of us join him at the school where there is a playground for the girls to play and their cousins who live across the street join in to play too.

     Saturday as always, is prep day for church. We are now in full swing of house church and we have a handful of English speaking foreigners who attend each week. There is word of several others who are also interested and will hopefully join in soon as well. This one day a week is the bulk of why we felt led to come here. To 'feed the sheep.' The 'sheep' are those who are already believers in Jesus and we feel the call to help edify and serve them while in this country. Pray for us as we build relationships with new people and some of Theo's old friends here.

    In a chain of events starting with us moving into our current house, we also now feel led to open our home for our friends living in the states and abroad who will be coming to Haiti. We will not be running a team or guest house from here. We simply want to use our extra bedrooms to host our most loved friends and visitors for a small donation.

     Our desire is to share the experience of Haiti with all those who have loved us and poured into our lives...and for friends of those friends. :) The vision is for a homey, family friendly and welcoming atmosphere while visiting or working in Haiti.  Whether it's your own family, a couple of friends, or a small church group wanting to come to Haiti and need a place to crash, we'll host you! For $60 a night, you will get a comfy and clean bed, 24/7 electricity {that's a luxury here!}, wifi,  laundry service if needed, AND a great breakfast, lunch and dinner. We can accommodate airport pick up and drop off for a small price {for gas} as well.

     We've had about 15 guests stay with us within our 2 months of living here and we love it! Please contact us via facebook or email if you'd like to stay with us. For security purposes, we are only accepting friends or direct personal referrals to camp with us. :)

     We so sincerely thank all of our friends and family who have and continue to pray for us and the work the Lord has called us to in Haiti. There is absolutely nothing like the prayer and love of the Body of Christ, and the friendship of the like-minded is definitely cherished.

     If you would like to support us, you can do so easily through The Malachi Network.
Go to Click DONATE, then scroll down to our name {Steinhauer} under the 'CHOOSE YOUR MISSIONARY' option.

     We also have PAYPAL if you prefer immediate and non-tax deductible donation, under the email

Love & Blessings,
The Steinhauers

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Today's Ponderings...

As of today, we have been living in Haiti just shy of 2 months. It's been an interesting transition. Interesting because things have not looked the way I hoped or even planned. Goes to show that scripture that says, "we may make our plans, but God orders our steps." So true. Our plan was to move here, and we did get here, but it's been different.

Two days before we moved down, we were informed that the housing that was set up for us, at a team house, was no longer available. The entire team house was shutting down so it was literally impossible for us to live there. At first, it was slight panic and a bit of frustration. We realized we'd have to resort to us all, my family of 6 plus my mother and father in law, living together at their 2 bedroom beach house. I was a little more frustrated because it was not what we wanted. Obviously that's little space for what feels like a hundred of us, but at this point there was no other option. Now, I thank God for our crowded time there. We shared a room with our 4 kids for 6 weeks, not counting the few weeks prior to us moving to Haiti when we were traveling.

That crowded, 'in somebody else's space- still' feel was just what I needed to remember to be thankful for what I have. {I had almost forgotten!} My own personal emotions were stirred up because I wanted so badly to just be in my own home, with our own rooms, setting up our own we had been used to in the states and how I felt we just 'should' be.  But I still had no power and control to make that happen! We were there just enough time for me to look around in the surrounding neighborhoods and country to realize, that even the 8 of us living in a 2 bedroom house- was 10 times more than what the people around me had. Not to mention, the beach house was just that....a BEACH house. On the water. Beauty everywhere. The most perfect water with just enough sea life to keep us all entertained, educated and not totally freaked out to be in the water. :) Jellyfish, all sorts of fish including exotic lion fish, sea urchins of all sizes and colors, shells and crabs were all the objects of our homeschool lessons for the girls. Taking kayak rides, snorkeling over the reef, strengthening the girls' swimming skills and eating mangos in the salty ocean were such a joy. In a moment of changing my perspective from annoyed things weren't going as planned, to one of thankfulness, my life became a true exotic family vacation! Loaded with joy, fun and laughter, we couldn't afford that type of vacation if we planned it! I was amazed that my own thought-life seemed to change everything so much.

Now we are in our home in town. About an hour and a half from that beautiful beach house that I love so much. :) I'm blessed to have the freedom to go there often still, but now that I'm in my 'real' house I'm wondering why I was so eager to get into the 'grind of life' so to speak! Why?!

I must say though, our home here is beautiful. God has given me a very nice space to call home and work. Our home is also our team and guest house. We host teams of missionaries and visitors of short term stays.

My adjustment to life here and all the various aspects of our living have definitely ebbed and flowed. Ups and downs in my perspective and attitude have been the norm. Part of me says, 'that's totally expected,' while the Other part...the One who truly lives in me says, 'why? If you know that a thankful and joyful attitude, keeping your focus on Me, will bring you life even in the discomforts and chaos, why do you let it go?"

So this morning, the following is what God spoke to me...I hope that in whatever discomforts you may find yourselves in, this would help!

Life's discomforts and displeasures are miniature in the grand scheme of it all. We believe lies told to ourselves and spoken to us from our enemy that those things will kill us or make us miserable if they aren't changed to what WE think they should be. The reality is though, that they can be really good for us and even necessary for our spiritual growth. They will work for our benefit if rather than complain, mope and throw a little hissy fit about them, we surrender them to God and choose to be thankful and content. Miracles happen when we find contentment. We grow.

A good lifestyle is about perspective and we always have the choice to look on the bright side and operate from a place of gratitude and peace. Those attitudes are freely available to us through the Spirit of God.

The way clean eating is good for the body, clean thinking is good for the soul. A clean spirit by the blood of the Lamb, a clean heart by clean thoughts, and a clean body by clean diet and exercise all make for a very happy, healthy and free person.

Our brokenness coupled with God's kindness should lead us all to repentance at the cross of Christ. That action leads to a healthy and living spirit within us. A living and healthy spirit leads to healthy and fruitful thoughts, which lead to a healthy and fruitful lifestyle. God wants us to live a healthy lifestyle in all areas, no matter our circumstances, by choosing to have a broken and contrite heart before Him. {We can and should live our lives with both brokenness and joy before our loving God}.  We can only truly be broken before God, if we fear Him and recognize our need for Him at every moment of our lives. There never comes even a moment when we don't totally need Him. From that realization springs up WISDOM which is the main ingredient for a spiritually, mentally and physically healthy life.

An excerpt from a book called "Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel" by Richard Owen Roberts talks about God's aspirations for us, being a motivating factor for our repentance. No matter what our life looks like, He actually has aspirations for our life. God doesn't want us to be stuck in the vortex of sin, constantly trying to hide our issues from the One who sees all. HE WANTS US TO BE GIANTS IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING. That statement moves me. Not only does the God of love, show kindness to us on a daily basis in literally countless ways, His mercy is renewed each morning and but He also gave us His Spirit which enables us to live a life of godliness.

All of that information tells me that my inward brokenness and ugliness is the start of an absolutely wonderful life if I come to Jesus with it. I want to be a giant in the land of the living, for sure, but that is going to take my very intentional involvement. My option to CHOOSE joy and gratitude and love will most definitely have to be the way I go if I want growth. And it happens day by day, moment by moment. You gain spiritual wealth and strength mostly through difficulty. And all the while, we try to avoid difficulty at all cost....we're missing out big time when we run from it rather than embrace it. When you're wronged, rather than grumble about it, let's actually OVERLOOK it and even seek joy in our position. By doing that, we partner in suffering with our very own Redeemer! And partnership on that level breeds close friendship. Wow. I want that.

So- now I finally take a breath and pray sincerely that God would sustain me with willingness. Willingness to surrender all my discomforts, and displeasures and pain. All my sufferings and negativity...that primarily, He might be glorified, and also that I may attain a glorious lifestyle on this earth. Something worthy of the cross and of eternity with Him. That although I'm nothing but a pitiful weakling without Him, I might be a giant in the land of the living and a light and help to those who are dying.

Friday, October 25, 2013

One Month In

Hello from Haiti!!

So we've been in Haiti just over 1 month and thought it would be a good time for a little update. First of all, I'll say that it's still totally surreal to us that we actually live here now. No matter how prepared mentally I thought I was for life here, it's still been quite an adjustment. We're all doing well, but as it goes when things don't go as planned, it can be a bit of a shock to your system. :)

So as you may know, our first month here felt like forever as we waited to find and move into our home. The wait was important because this house has to function not only as our home, but also as a team and guest house, and also space enough for home church and homeschool! This was also a slow process because 'we' had to buy appliances for the kitchen as well. So several big expenses were put out all at once. I say 'we' because my in laws {Theo's parents} are graciously and generously putting funds toward helping us get set up and running. This is an incredibly huge blessing and we are so thankful for them and the Lord's kindness through them. The Lord led us to a spacious and beautiful home in Port Au Prince at a decent rent, so we prayed and took the lease. We've been in our new house about 1 week and have already had 6 guests with us! I'm praying that's a sign of team and guest house success. :) We host and welcome long and short term missionaries, missions teams and other visitors for a small donation.  We are quickly learning the ins and outs of a guest house and are incredibly thankful and excited about our staff.

Celi is a sweet and happy girl who is our cook who prepares dinner each evening for us and the guests. {we do breakfast and lunch on our own}. Roslin is another sweet and godly woman who does our housekeeping. Our girls just love Celi and Roslin even though they literally can't speak to them at all except for maybe 2 phrases at this point! When they arrive at the house each day, they're greeted by all 3 girls with big hugs and basic greeting in creole. Theo and I are really striving to keep a humble and loving attitude toward them although they are paid to help run the house. Before they are employees, they are sisters in Christ and we want that to be the thing they see most from us.

 The other part of our work is the family business, which is construction. Theo's dad has been building here for decades and now that we're here, Theo is blessed to step into a partner position with his father.   Literally 2 days after we arrived, Theo began working 6 days a week on the construction sites. He is out supervising the crew and checking the work being done...studying and learning this side of the business. Before we got married, he was the one with the hammer in hand along with the crew but now he's getting the one-on-one apprenticeship/on the job training opportunity.  He's really enjoying it and adjusting to it along with everything else. 

The girls are doing great. Stella and Naya are eager to start homeschool which will hopefully happen next week. Olivia turns 3 next week and Galia will be 4 months old next week. Galia coos and 'talks' and rolls over and is just such a happy long as she's being held! We've found her weakness is being put down!! ha! Her sweet smiles makes us want to hold her all the time anyways, so it's not so bad. :) We also will officially hold our very first church meeting here next Sunday...the first Sunday of November. I'm so so excited and trying not to have expectations, but several people have asked about it. We haven't been advertising it or anything but seems the couple people who know about it have spread the word and people are interested! Please pray for that situation as it's the closest thing to our hearts and know it's our main assignment here.

The Lord spoke clearly for us to 'feed the sheep' as we did in Mexico and we know that while we do that, we are to work toward freedom from personal support raising. That is why we are pursuing so much work right get an income that's sufficient for our family to live and do what we're called to. As of now though, we still need your support financially and prayerfully to get ourselves going. This transition is massive but hopefully by the new year, our work will be providing enough income to be completely off personal support raising. At that point though, any financial support that is given can/will go to our non-profit organization called 'Christians Concerned For Haiti.' We are partnered with a wonderful local Haitian pastor and we currently have a boy's home, a girl's home and a clinic in a province called Cannan. No one lived in this desolate area until the earthquake in 2010 and thousands of people set up the tent cities there after they were displaced. The children in our 'homes' are true orphans, meaning they do not have either biological parents and are now personally cared for by pastor and his wife. They are not up for adoption as the Lord has given them their family. They all go to school and are cared for as in a typical family, with chores and homework, etc. They all go to church together on Sundays and spend their extra time learning about the Lord, just as we do with our children. We currently provide funds for the 56 kids and are actively praying and seeking new ways to practically support and serve them with our personal time when we have the opportunity. Our cook that I mentioned above, Celi, grew up under pastor as a mentor and excelled and was able to go to culinary school after she graduated and now has a great job cooking for our guest house!

Obviously as time progresses, we'll all get into some sort of groove with life here and schedule and everything and we truly covet your prayers for that. The Lord has really spoken to Theo and I on so many subjects, from 'care for the poor,' 'pray for your children as they adjust to life here,' 'keep your marriage a priority,' 'learn to adjust to life in close proximity to in-laws,' 'joy and peace,' 'keep trusting Me,' and countless more things and we want to just keep some focus through it all. We thank you all for your prayers which have brought us peace and comfort during difficult times and when we have felt like there was no grace to deal with certain things with a completely new life set up amid in a 3rd world nation. Your prayers have given us perspective which is priceless! We really love you and appreciate your quick prayers to the Lord on our behalf!  PLEASE keep in touch and let us know how life is going with you and how we can pray for you if needed. Let us know if you feel led to support us monthly or to give a 'special one-time donation.' {also, if you think of it, please pray our van is released to us asap. It just arrived a few days ago, but is still with customs.} Thank you and lots of love to you!