Hello Fall

Fall is definitely in full swing! Over the last two weeks Sean has been in meeting after meeting with pastors, church volunteers and principals. It seems like everyday he has another meeting with someone. All of these meetings are happening because five Good News Clubs are starting this October in five different primary schools! ALL of these Good News Clubs are church partnerships!

TCE

The Fall TCE class (Teaching Children Effectively) began last week with eight people enrolled and one is a local pastor! The class is held on Friday night and Saturday mornings for the next six weeks. Last year we had it on Tuesday and Thursday nights which meant we literally had something going on every night of the week. So far, we are liking this schedule a lot better… and those taking the class prefer it too.

Fall TCE Class in St. KittsThe first TCE Class this Fall

Fig Tree Good News Club

We started our Good News Club in Fig Tree again. We had always met for club at 7pm which meant we wouldn’t get home until almost 10pm! It was hard on us, but especially hard on Maddy. Thankfully we moved the time up to four o’clock and actually got home last week before six! Before, the kids had already eaten dinner and finished their homework so there was no reason to start or be finished on time. But with them getting out of school at 3:30 we MUST be done by dinner time. The kids have just enough time to get home, change out of their uniforms and get to club… so they don’t get distracted. Plus, they aren’t nearly as tired!

Good News Club in Fig Tree St. KittsSnack time after Good News Club in Fig Tree

Local Boy Found Dead

We also have some very sad news. Over the weekend a 10 year old boy went missing and they found his body on Monday… on his birthday. He is from Tyrell Williams Primary school, an area where we’ve had 5 Day Clubs and the Grayson’s have their Awana Program. The boy was not involved in either ministry but his friends were. Grace Gospel Hall church (Mavis’ church) is adopting the school and will be starting their Good News Club there this month.  The situation is so sad and we are currently getting 800 Do You Wonder Why? booklets shipped to St. Kitts for the school. We had to pay for these books ourselves, but we were able to afford it because of the support we receive from you all. You can read the news report about it here… http://www.thestkittsnevisobserver.com/2013/10/04/child-abduction.html

 

Doctors Visits Galore

Other than working, we’ve had a time of “visiting the doctor” for all of us!

When Sean’s family was visiting a few weeks ago, I unfortunately lost my glasses. We looked everywhere for them and called the places I went and… nothing. After a couple of weeks we decided to try out the eye doctor here. The frames and lenses are EXPENSIVE so we decided to get contacts instead. We have been to the doctor now three times and I still don’t have it all situated. In fact, I still have at least two more appointments scheduled.

Sean went to the dentist for a cleaning and found out he has another cavity. While there he made an appointment for Maddy. It was her very first visit to the dentist! Our friends the DuValls live here in St. Kitts. Yuki teaches at the Ross Prep School and Michael is a dentist. Maddy loves their daughter Meg and they have been wonderful friends. So, Maddy wasn’t as nervous as she might have been because she knew Dr. Michael. She did a great job but she has a very tiny cavity and will be going back next week to get it filled. She will be getting a shot so we would appreciate your prayers for her. She will actually be getting her filling the day after Sean goes to get his cavity filled.

First Dentist VisitShe was only a little nervous…

Dr. DuVall looking at her teethShe calmly laid there letting Dr. Michael look at her teeth

Also, last week I made the mistake of eating some suspect hot sauce. I opened a new bottle at lunch and it was a little fizzy… but I ate it anyway. When I opened it at dinner time, it was like a volcano spewing out. We were then on botulism watch for a few days… lovely. I started getting sick to my stomach within 24 hours but fortunately that seemed to be it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t getting better so off to the doctor we went. The diagnosis? A parasite. Either Giardia or Cyclosporiasis. Both apparently are similar and not even worth testing to figure out which one it is. Usually you get these by drinking contaminated water but we’ve been careful not to do that. However, they put water in the hot sauce which wasn’t handled properly. I am taking three prescriptions but I should be fine by next week.

I guess October is reserved for doctor visits!

Between ministry and personal life, things are never boring around here…

First Ever Good News Club Training Conference

Last Saturday we conducted the very first island-wide Good News Club Training Conference! We had these conferences annually in Montgomery and they served to train new volunteers and refresh existing volunteers in preparation for the school year’s Good News Clubs. We have a goal of starting five church partnership after school Good News Clubs this Fall and wanted to make sure all of the volunteers were ready plus invite other churches that simply wanted more training for their children’s programs.

Samuel Bronigan, the CEF Director of the U.S. Virgin Islands, flew in to help teach… which turned out to be very good because Maddy and I (Mandi) came down with terrible colds and had to miss the whole weekend. His father, wife and wife’s family are from St. Kitts! We are thankful for his help especially because we were able to show the people here that CEF isn’t just in St. Kitts, but in the whole Caribbean and the world!

We were praying for about 50 people to attend the conference and we had over 60! We ran out of notes!

St. Kitts Good News Club Training Conference

St. Kitts Good News Club Training Conference

St. Kitts Good News Club Training Conference

St. Kitts Good News Club Training Conference

St. Kitts Good News Club Training ConferenceTime for lunch!

St. Kitts Good News Club Training ConferenceThe TCE Class donated, cooked and served lunch for everyone!

St. Kitts Good News Club Training Conference

St. Kitts Good News Club Training Conference

St. Kitts Good News Club Training Conference

St. Kitts Good News Club Training ConferenceGroup picture!

St. Kitts Good News Club Training ConferenceVolunteers from Antioch Baptist Church. They are the first ones to have an after school Good News Club in St. Kitts.

St. Kitts Good News Club Training ConferenceSamuel Bronigan and Sean

St. Kitts Good News Club Training ConferenceWe had the conference at this church, Olivet Gospel Hall

Since then, Sean’s family traveled back to Alabama after visiting us for two weeks. We had a blast with them here and they are definitely missed. Summer is now officially over for us. We have no more visitors scheduled to come for the rest of our time here, mission trips are over, Fall Good News Clubs are starting and we are even beginning to sell some of our things! Mentally, this is our “last phase” before leaving… and it will be here before we know it even though January seems so far off!

ECC Mission Trip Recap

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind! It was a joy having the group from Evangelical Chinese Church in Seattle (with Marshall, Kim and Jess from Florida) here for a week and a half. The team was small but everyone “stepped up to the plate” to serve and they got a lot done!

They hosted a children’s rally…

ECC Children's Rally

They taught a huge 5 Day Club all week… with almost 100 kids in attendance!

ECC 5 Day Club

ECC 5 Day Club

ECC 5 Day Club

On Sunday Eckhart preached at Grace Gospel Hall and “Marshall the Magnificent” did a few magic tricks/object lessons during Sunday School. We were so proud of Eckhart, he just graduated high school and this was his first time preaching on a Sunday morning… he did a GREAT job! And the kids loved trying to figure out how Marshall did his tricks!

The team also cleaned an elderly gentleman’s yard and painted his house. He was very grateful for their help.

ECC Serivce Project

They shard their testimonies (all very powerful) on the Saturday radio show.

ECC On the Radio

Mavis left for the Children’s Ministries Institute and they were able to attend a gathering the night before with the National Board to celebrate her training and send her off with prayer.

ECC Board Meeting

They honestly did the work of a team three sizes larger. They were all so humble, so willing to work and so full of joy to be serving. We are so grateful for their partnership!

ECC TeamMarshall, Allison, Olivia, Jess, Eckhart and Kim

Since Then…

Sean has spoken with Mavis and she loves being at CMI! But please pray for her as she is away from her family for the next three months and as she studies… the training is very intensive.

Sean’s family arrived just two days after ECC left! It’s been nice having them here and getting to relax a little after a busy summer. They will be here until September 10th… one more week!

Sean's Family

Our next “big” thing coming up is an island-wide Good News Club training conference on the 14th! The director of the U.S. Virgin Islands will be flying in to help us teach. It’s the first ever here in St. Kitts and Nevis so we are excited and a little nervous.

Thank you so much for your prayers!

Saddlers, Preaching, Radio and Another Trip

Things have definitely been busy since we said goodbye to the Ireland team! The week after they left Sean, Mavis, Vicky and I taught a 5 Day Club at Saddlers Pentecostal Church of God. We taught the club last year with our Summer intern Nathan, so we were very excited to be invited back… and to see many of the same kids return as well!

DSC_0003-1 Cute girls hanging out before club began

DSC_0014-1This guy was the only kid to say all 5 verses for the week, and he got a Bible for his reward

DSC_0019-1We ended up having 53 kids attend for the week! Notice Maddy in the aisle?

DSC_0025-1Sean going over the rules.

DSC_0032-1Vicky teaching the memory verse

DSC_0038-1Poor Mavis hurt her arm and almost broke it. Sean had to hold the flash cards for her Bible lesson.

DSC_0049-1A rare picture of me… I’m usually behind the camera!

DSC_0044-1This adorable girl was no more than 4 years old. I watched her walk to the church and cross the main road all by herself holding her doll!

DSC_0052-1Our little cutie “posing” for the camera after club

 

On Sunday we attended service at Saddlers and Sean “brought the message”. He preached about the difference between childish faith and childlike faith.

The following Tuesday we were asked to teach a few training classes for some of the adults in the church. Saddlers is planning to have their own Good News Club in a local primary school this Fall. Sean and I had actually never taught training classes together here… so it was exciting getting to tag team with him again!

Preaching and on The Radio

Our friends and fellow missionaries in St. Kitts, the Graysons, recently left to visit their home in the States for six weeks. Brandon is the pastor of our church here, Caribbean Christian Fellowship, so Sean has preached in his place the last two Sundays. Sean has also been filling in for Brandon on his and Mavis’ weekly radio show on Saturdays. If anyone would like to listen, you can do so online at Dominion Radio. The radio show airs at 2:30pm eastern time… 1:30 central.

Sean will actually be hosting the show by himself until Brandon returns because Mavis leaves next week for her three month long training at the Children’s Ministries Institute in Missouri! When she gets back in November she will be completely ready to take over the ministry! Please pray for her as she prepares to leave and please pray for her family as they will be without her for quite some time.

Meanwhile, Sean and Mavis have been getting ready for the Fall… working with pastors and other church leaders to start Good News Clubs in the primary schools. It looks like we may have several new school based clubs!

Our Last Summer Ministry Trip

ECC (Evangelical Chinese Church) from Seattle came last year with a large group… they are returning this week with a much smaller group and we are so excited to see them again! They will be coming with Marshall and Kim Pennell and Jessica Ching. They may have a smaller group but we have a lot of ministry planned for them! They will be teaching a 5 Day Club, helping an elderly man with some basic repairs to his house, hosting a large children’s rally and doing some open air evangelism in downtown Basseterre… not to mention attending a local church where one of the guys will be preaching! The Pennells and Jessica come in today and the rest of the team arrives on Thursday (after a very LONG day of travel). Everyone leaves on Friday the 23rd.

Pray for their travel and for their ministry to be fruitful!

Only three days after they leave Sean’s family will be here for two weeks… from August 26th – September 10th!

August is flying by!

Ireland Trip Recap!

Well, the team from CEF of Ireland has come and gone. We were able to spend 10 days with the team and they were truly a blast! Things are a little down without them here now.

They taught 3 5 Day Clubs at two primary schools and a church VBS reaching 167 children! They also visited a local church where Chris preached the sermon and Helen taught the Sunday School lesson.

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The team at Bronte-Welsh Primary School

This was our first true CEF mission team to host. We really didn’t have to do any training… in fact, we were the ones learning different techniques from them! They are all gifted teachers!

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Chris teaching the Bible Lesson at Bronte-Welsh

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Holly teaching the Memory Verse at Tucker-Clarke Primary

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Helen teaching  about John Paton, the missionary story

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Phil teaching the Bible Lesson

We loved their accents and it truly was interesting to have Irish, Southern and Caribbean accents altogether in one room!

The kids loved the team and paid close attention during all three clubs.

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Students at Tucker-Clarke

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Listening attentively to Chris at Bronte-Welsh

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Singing along at Salem Gospel Hall 5 Day Club/VBS

To be honest, as far as ministry goes along, this was the the smoothest week of clubs we have ever had!

The team members were real troopers too. It was very hot and humid for most of the time and they stayed in the office which does not have air conditioning. When it rained, the office roof leaked in several places and they would need to clean it up. They were very packed into our van and never complained. Plus, apparently they do not have many bugs in Ireland so between spiders, no-see-ums, and a swarm of flying ants… they were awesome!

Other than clubs we were able to do some touristy things like see parts of the island, visit Downtown Basseterre and Port Zante… and of course go to the beach!

Sean and I have noticed that each mission team has a “Thing” that goes wrong or not according to plan. Chris and Helen brought their sweet 7 month old boy along and toward the end of the trip he became sick. We ended up taking him to the doctor the day before they left and the poor thing had tonsillitis. Thankfully after just one day on an antibiotic he seemed to be doing much better.

Here are some more pictures just for fun.

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The kids always LOVE playing Zonk!

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This girl really wanted to answer the question… and I love Sean and Maddy in the background!

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Little Zackari was very popular with the kids

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Phil showing off his muscles

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Holly with the girls… and that is how Maddy says “Cheese”.

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Cute little Zackari. He is such a happy baby!

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Playing a review game… human basketball with crumbled paper

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The look on his face is priceless! And you can see the paper ball mid-air.

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The kids loved this game!

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Maddy really attached herself to Holly. She is already saying how much she misses her and that we need to get on the British Airways plane and go stay at her house in Ireland! (Sorry Holly! Haha!)

Ireland team at airport

Saying goodbye at the airport.

We truly enjoyed this team and they are definitely missed! To Holly, Phil, Helen, Chris and Zackari… you are more than welcome to come back anytime you wish!