Archives for February 2012

A “Mountain Top” Week

Last week was wonderful and very full with lots of “highs” and few “lows”!


We are continuing to settle into life here. Apart from the power outages, internet outages and increasingly hot weather, St. Kitts is starting to really feel like home. Sometimes we even forget we are living in another country! (At least until the next power outage and then we are brought back to reality!) Maddy and I joined a local playgroup and we were able to get together twice last week for a swim day! Maddy loves her new friends, and I am enjoying the “mom” company as well! The group is made up of wives and moms who are in St. Kitts for various reasons… missionaries, Veterinary students, Medical students and other expatriates. All of the Kittian women work during the day… there aren’t any stay-at-home moms around here so it’s nice to have a group of friends for myself and for Maddy!

Seeing Our First Good News Club

On Saturday we drove to Monkey Hill, St. Kitts to “observe” a Good News Club. Be ready in season and out of season right? Sean ended up singing the songs and I told the missions story! We only thought we were going to observe! The GNC is run by a local TCE (Teaching Children Efectively) graduate and her mother… and they do a fantastic job! There were about 10 children in attendance, in a very tiny room barely big enough for the chairs and a desk.

The kids were great, very respectful and genuinely wanted to be taught. After the club was over, Sister Chapman (the leader of the GNC) told us only two of the children on her roll are involved in church. After the first few weeks she had to teach the children basic things about prayer, who God is and who Christ is… because the kids knew nothing about being a Christian.

Sean and I left extremely encouraged! It was a glimpse into what we believe God is going to do in this country!

Visiting Another Church

On Sunday we attended the Wesleyan Holiness Church on Cayon Street in Basseterre with our Board Secretary. The church is very supportive of CEF and everyone was warm and welcoming towards us. Sean was surprised when the Reverend noticed us (although it’s hard not to notice us… we definitely stick out!) and invited Sean to speak to the church from the pulpit! He gave them a brief explanation of who we are and what we are doing here. The leadership seems to be eager to partner with us!

Literally, a Mountain Top

Our power was scheduled to be out from 8:30 – 4:30 on Friday so we loaded up a bag from our fridge and hung out at the Grayson’s home. Sean, Brandon, Luke, and Luke’s father hiked the volcano and were gone most of the day! Sean said it was tough but it was awesome and he wants to do it again… (when his muscles heal!) Here is a picture of Sean at the top of the volcano over-looking the lake in the bottom of the crater.

When we got home we found out that our power never went out. 🙂

It’s hard to believe March is almost here… there is so much work to be done. By April we are to have our visas done, an office secured and a TCE meeting scheduled. We are very excited to see all that God is going to do in St. Kitts!

Getting Started

Last week Sean and I picked up a van-load of CEF materials, notebooks, documents, papers and pretty much everything Margaret had from last year. Margaret is a missionary from Guyana who came to St. Kitts last year to put the board together, do some teacher training and get basic ministry started. Her goal was to stay one year and then go onto another Caribbean island to do the same thing. (She is now in Antigua).

Sean has been going through her boxes to familiarize himself with all that took place last year. Margaret has left us a wonderful foundation to build on… more than we previously realized! This week Sean is calling all 39 of the TCE (Teaching Children Effectively) graduates from last year to introduce himself, discover how many Good News Clubs are taking place and figure out how to get more started.

Enjoying Local Food

When we picked up Margaret’s boxes from the house of our Board Secretary we were also generously given LOTS of fresh fruits and vegetables from her family’s garden!

St. Kitts Produce

(Coconuts, Tomatoes, Chives, Broccoli, Lettuce, Sugar Apple, Custard Apple)

Breaking into the coconut takes some serious practice but Sean is getting the hang of it! We used a coconut and the sugar apple to make Caribbean popsicles.  We’ve also used the coconut milk instead of tap water to make our rice! Yum! At some point we are planning to get down to the market on a Saturday morning. We have been told there are fruits there we’ve never seen or heard about!

A Saturday of Fun in the Sun and Awana

Saturday we took over a beach with about four other families! There weren’t any cruise ships in that day so the beaches looked like ghost towns! Maddy had fun playing with her friends and we got to snorkel! Sean has been before but it was my first snorkeling experience! I am here to tell you they didn’t film Finding Nemo in Australia… it was definitely filmed off of South Friars beach in St. Kitts! I can see why people get hooked on snorkeling… it was amazing!

Buried in the Sand

(Maddy and two of her friends having fun getting buried in the sand)

Later in the day Sean helped out with the Awana program the Graysons and Joneses are running. (It’s the first Awana ever in St. Kitts!) While there, Sean got to meet three TCE graduates, make some connections with the church hosting the Awana program and talk about some potential 5 Day Clubs in the area this summer. He had a great time and he is looking forward to helping out with Awana as much as he is able.

Awana in St. Kitts

Coming Up

This Saturday we are visiting a Good News Club in Monkey Hill, St. Kitts! We are so excited to see ministry taking place here and we can’t wait to update you about it!

Thank you again for your prayers and support! We truly do appreciate you!

An “Easy” Week

Bible Studies, Our First Beach Trip, Board Retreat and Visiting Another Church!

Most of last week was fairly slow for us… it seems we are finally starting to settle into a routine. Sean has set up a makeshift office at the end of our kitchen table, so he works most of the day while Maddy and I go about our day. I go to Bible Study on Sunday evenings, Sean goes to Bible Study on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, we go grocery shopping on Thursday and the rest of the week is filled with whatever seems to happen!

The National Board Retreat

The retreat was held Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. The board and Sean were able to get together and create a strategic plan for the next few years. The board members are ready to get started and they seem excited to do their part in creating a long-withstanding nationally led ministry! Sean is very pleased to know that although he has a lot of work to do, he will not be in this alone. It truly seems to be a partnership between him and the national board! Some of the highlighted goals they decided upon are to have eight Good News Clubs ready by September of this year, 20 5 Day Clubs this summer, an office space by April that would be locally funded and for some kind of ministry taking place in every geographical area by the end of this year!

Good News Baptist Church

On Sunday we attended the Good News Baptist Church with the Board Secretary. It was a smaller church but everyone was so warm and friendly! This church is very connected with CEF in St. Kitts so we will definitely be partnering with them for Good News Clubs, 5 Day Clubs and many other ministry opportunities!

After service there were a handful of girls around 7-8 years old who wanted to play with Maddy. One of them asked me if they could play with her and when I gave the “okay” they grabbed her hands and took her outside. A few minutes later when we went outside to get Maddy we found them walking around the church, each taking turns holding Maddy’s hands! They were fascinated by her! Maddy, of course, loved the attention!

We Finally Went to the Beach!

After being here for three weeks, we met up with the Graysons and the Joneses (missionaries living here) for an afternoon at the beach! They took us to a beach very few people go to but it was perfect for kids! The reef breaks up the waves to create a wading area for toddlers and preschoolers. Maddy was able to “swim” to heart’s delight and not worry about a wave knocking her down. And the water? Crystal clear. Sean went with the guys and got to snorkel! It was nice to spend a couple of hours at the beach since we have been working so much these last few weeks.

It’s Not Going to be Easy for Long

Now that we have a strategic plan in place our work will be taking off. There is a lot to be done but we are both eager to see this country know Christ! Boredom will not be a problem for us! 🙂

Settling In

Last week was our “settling in” week…

Bible Studies

I (Mandi) was able to get plugged into a ladies bible study hosted by Caribbean Christian Fellowship (CCF). This small church is made up of Ross students and their families, medical students and their families and other expatriates living in St. Kitts.

Sean started attending the men’s Bible study on Tuesday evening (another CCF function) and he is really enjoying it! On Wednesday evenings Sean is attending a local Kittian Bible study held at the Grayson’s home (missionaries from Indiana).

Our Van

On Friday we got our vehicle… a 1999 Honda Odyssey! It’s not the prettiest van in the world but it seems to run well and it has lots of room to transport CEF materials and visitors. It even has air conditioning! 🙂

Our 99 Honday Odyssey

The Port

Our belongings arrived at the port on time and we were told we could pick them up on Thursday. So Sean, Brandon Grayson and his brother-in-law Luke (he and his wife are here as missionaries as well) got a truck and headed to the port. However, there were three cruise ships in so they couldn’t get our stuff after all. Thankfully, on Friday, trip #2 was successful! We did end up having to pay VAT (Value Added Tax) on some of our things but praise the Lord, it was only about $200 dollars! By Saturday evening everything had been unpacked and our house finally looked like a home!

Maddy’s First Kittian Church Experience

On Sunday morning we attended the Cayon Church of God with our board chairman, Nigel Browne. We had a great time and were very encouraged by the pastor’s message. It took Maddy a good 15 minutes to warm up to the music though! She isn’t used to such loud and lively worship! She buried her face in her hands and clung tightly to us while we held her. But by the end of service she was clapping and trying to sing along with everyone!


This week Sean will be going back to the two Bible studies and we are planning to finally spend an afternoon at the beach! Everyone has been asking how we like the beach and we have to admit we haven’t been yet! We’ve been so busy settling in that there honestly hasn’t been any time for us to go.

On Friday and Saturday Sean will be attending a board retreat for the St. Kitts and Nevis CEF board members. They will be discussing a host of topics related to our goals for the next two years and more. Sean is very ready to start ministry work and after the retreat he and the board will have priorities, strategies and plans in place to get things rolling!

We can’t wait to see what God has in store for St. Kitts and Nevis… and for us as well!