Archives for January 2012

Our First Week in St. Kitts

We have been in St. Kitts for a little more than a week but it feels like we left home ages ago!

What Living in St. Kitts Means So Far…

A constant breeze…

Keeping the windows open all day and night…

Power outages every few days…

Lizards, centipedes and monkeys…

Swimming in January…

Island time…

Paying more for just about everything…

Learning to relax…

Monday…

Last Monday we flew out of Miami around lunch time and had a great flight. It was Maddy’s first flight and we weren’t exactly sure how she would do. We loaded her up with toys, gave her a window seat and charged her DVD player. Turns out, she had a blast! She even took an hour long nap!

Before we left home we discovered there were some issues regarding customs. We purchased a one-way ticket and were told getting into the country without a return ticket was going to be hairy. We were expecting a mess when we arrived. However, when the guy handling our paperwork found out we were missionaries, he stamped our passports and let us through without any issues!

We were taken to our new home where we briefly met with our board chairman and vice chairman. We had a little time to settle in and then Brandon Grayson (he and his family are missionaries here from the US) took us to the grocery store to stock up on a few things. Afterwards, Maddy got to meet Audri, the Grayson’s daughter, who is the same age as Maddy and their first words to each other were,¬†Maddy: “Audri is a ballerina!” Audri: “No. I’m Cinderella!” Maddy is very excited to be playing with another princess ūüėČ

Tuesday…

On Tuesday Sean got our island cell phones hooked up and scheduled an appointment with The Cable (no really, that’s the name of the cable company!) to get our internet hooked up.¬†Maddy and I had a chance to spend some time at the Grayson’s home so she and Audri could play together. They had a lot of fun with each other but they also bicker and fight like sisters. Let’s just say their friendship is good for each other… especially for Maddy!

Wednesday…

We took the day easy. In fact, I can’t remember ever leaving the house! We were all still very tired from traveling and Maddy started running a small fever. ¬†It’s a good thing we stayed home because we had some special visitors! About seven monkeys decided to take over our yard most of the day! Maddy loved watching them play and eat (we did too).¬†And the day wouldn’t be complete without the power going out for a couple of hours!

Thursday…

Sean went into town in the morning and got his international driver’s license and to apply for a post office box. Later on in the day we went back to the grocery store. I made my first meal plan since living in Montgomery and made taco nachos for dinner! We knew that groceries here are much more expensive than back home but we were still shocked at the final price! It’s definitely something we’ll have to get used to for sure!

Friday…

We got our internet!!!!!

Saturday…

During breakfast the power went out and we discovered that whenever the power comes back on it will take two more hours before the internet returns as well. We went swimming and had dinner with the Johnson’s who are from Alabama and work at Ross University here in St. Kitts. Their son is also Maddy’s age and they really enjoyed playing together! When we got to their house we noticed both of them and Sean were wearing Auburn shirts!

Sunday…

We attended Caribbean Christian Fellowship which is a new church mainly for the Ross students and other¬†expatriates living in St. Kitts. The Johnsons and the Graysons are both very much involved with this church and we are looking forward to making lots of connections! (Next week we plan to attend a local church with our board chairman and of course we will be visiting lots of churches and making connections on the island). After church we went to the city center and took our prayer card pictures (which will be available soon). Sunday afternoon welcomed us with another power outage!¬†It was only off for a few minutes but of course, the internet didn’t return for two more hours.¬†In the evening I went to a ladies Bible study and the guys with children came over to our house with Sean and Maddy.

All in all, we are settling in very nicely. It truly is beginning to feel like home to us. We have found a vehicle and will likely be able to get it this week! The boxes we shipped from Mobile will be in Tuesday and we should be able to get them by the end of the week. As soon as we are able to unpack all of our things I’m sure it will really feel like home to us!

Please pray for us to get our vehicle this week… it would help out tremendously! Also, please pray that we will not have to pay a lot (or anything at all) to get our boxes from the port. The taxes can be fairly steep but other missionaries have been able to collect their things without paying anything. The extra money is definitely needed! And please pray for our support. We still need to be at 100% and will continue trying to raise our support from here in St. Kitts.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been praying for us!! We are so thrilled to be here and we can’t wait to get to work!

** Here is our mailing address in case anyone wants to send us care packages full of goodies! How is that for a not-so-subtle hint?

Sean and Mandi Miller

PO Box 2357

Basseterre, St. Kitts

St. Kitts and Nevis

 

Bye!!

Wednesday morning we found out we were at 95% of our support which meant we were finally approved to go!!

On Monday January 23rd we will fly from Miami to St. Kitts where we will be for the next two years! (Although, we are planning to come home for a few weeks during Christmas).

Today we are bringing all of our boxes and other things to a trucking company near Mobile where they will be driven to Miami and then shipped by boat to St. Kitts.

On Friday we will make sure our suitcases are completely packed and we will pick up a rental car.

Saturday we are driving down to southern Florida (Ft. Pierce) to stay with some friends. The drive takes 11 hours without kids. ūüėČ It will probably take us about 13 hours or so!

Monday morning we will drive to Miami, drop off our rental and fly to St. Kitts!

Our flight is scheduled to arrive at 3:20pm (or 1:20 central time).

We are very excited but really nervous too! There are still some issues that need to be worked out with customs and the board chairman in St. Kitts is trying to get it all straightened out. It doesn’t affect us going there on Monday but we might have an interesting time trying to get through customs!

Next week we will be trying to get a vehicle, getting internet hooked up in our home, going to the grocery store for the first time, getting cell phones with a St. Kitts number and figuring out how to live with just our suitcases! (Thankfully our home is fully furnished so we will obviously be fine).

In the meantime here are a few big prayer requests we have:

– Travel safety (driving and flying)

– For us to not have any issues with Customs in St. Kitts (that they will let us in without a problem)

– For our belongings to arrive safely and quickly

– That we will not be charged a lot of money (taxes) to pick up our things from the port.

– For all of us, especially Maddy, to adjust to life in St. Kitts quickly

 

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support! We truly can’t express how much we appreciate your partnership!

As soon as we get internet we will update again!

Bye for now! “See” you in St. Kitts!

Christmas, New Year’s and Packing Galore

Our Holidays

This Christmas was very low key. We spent the holidays with Sean’s family because our home is now 2000 miles away! But it was nice to have everyone together before we leave.

Maddy was very “OCD” about opening her gifts! She had to get every speck of wrapping paper off before she would even look at what she was opening! She got a lot of goodies for St. Kitts… a swim suit, beach toys and a puddle jumper.

Opening Beach Toys

She is very much into princesses and ballerinas so she was ecstatic to open a ballerina sticker book and princess plates and cups. She is definitely all girl!

Opening a Ballerina Book

A princess table and chair set was one of her highlights… we are definitely bringing it to St. Kitts with us!

Sean and I got her a “big girl” princess bike and she was¬†so excited she was at a loss for words (which is very unusual).¬†She had problems learning how to pedal at first but she has it down now. Although steering is another story. Let’s just say it’s a good thing she has a quiet road to practice biking on by our house in St. Kitts. ūüôā

Riding Her Princess Bike

New Year’s Eve is our anniversary so Sean and I partied the night away until a whopping eight o’clock in the evening! We ate at a nice restaurant in Fairhope that overlooks Mobile Bay and we had a wonderful evening. We even made it back home in time to see Auburn win the Chick-fil-a Bowl! It’s hard to believe we’ve been married four years!

Almost Ready for St. Kitts

This week we will be back in Montgomery for a few days to visit with a missions committee and to pack up what we are taking to St. Kitts. When we return from Montgomery we will have everything packed in boxes ready to be shipped. As soon as we get clearance we will buy our tickets, drive to Palm Beach Florida, ship our boxes to St. Kitts and head to Miami for our flight! We are praying earnestly to be in the country next week.

We already have the money to purchase our tickets to St. Kitts but we must be at 95% percent of our support to go. Before the holidays we were at 92% so it could be any day now. Our goal is to live as if we are three days away from leaving at all times.

A few days ago we made a trip to Sam’s Club to stock our house as much as possible.¬†Everything is 2-3 times more expensive in St. Kitts than in America so we stocked up on non-perishable food, paper products, cleaning supplies, toiletries and medicine. We knew that buying what we could in the States (and much of it in bulk) would save us so much money in the long run but it was a surreal experience! Sean has already packed most of our “loot” but we snagged a picture of it first.

Our Groceries for St. Kitts

We are so close to being in St. Kitts!¬†There really isn’t much left to do. The national board has scheduled a retreat with Sean on January 15th so we are hoping and praying we will be there by then.

If you would like to pray for us here are a few specific requests we have:

1. For safety as we travel to and from Montgomery this week

2. To reach 95% of our support this week or at the beginning of next week

3. For our car to sell before we leave

The waiting period we have found ourselves in can become frustrating at times but¬†we are trusting in God and His timing. We know that He is sovereign and has called us to go… hopefully we will be there soon!