Starting the Year Right

Life Update – Christmas Break – First Day of School

Hello Friends! 

 We are now in the second full week of January and we’re getting a better sense of life rhythms. There are a few things I really wish I had taken photos of, but alas I did not. In this update I’ll share photos from our trip to Dangriga, Annabelle’s school experience, updates about our work permits/visas, and how our work is shaping up. 

 1) Chewie Update: Chewie is lost forever. Annabelle is sad, but handling it well. Fortunately her chewie wasn’t a stuffed animal out of production, but a blanket made by Missy’s amazing mom, Naomi. This was actually Chewie#Twoie. I’m sure Chewie#Three is nearly born and will be on it’s way to a loving, chewing home here in Belize soon. 

2) No work permits yet. I applied for mine on November 8th! Once I get my work permit, we can apply for Annabelle’s Dependency Visa. The good news is we were granted Visa extensions, and were able to do that  at the border in Benque Viejo. It’s much easier and faster there than the capital, Belmopan. MAJOR UPDATE!!! THIS JUST IN!!! As I was writing this, Missy received her approval to practice from the Ministry of Health. We still need work permits, but this is a huge hurdle and a major praise. 

3) If you would like to support our work here in Belize, we would be most grateful. You can make a tax deductible donation through SAMS in order to do this. Here is a link to our giving page. 

 

Annabelle

 Annabelle started school this week. So far it’s going very well. There are the usual issues that accompany assimilating into a new group of kids, but she doing a great job of navigating them. At her school, students have an hour for lunch and for the younger kids, parents come to have lunch with them, or take them home. We have really enjoyed this rhythm! While we’re there we spend time with kids from the church as well. 

There is an amazing city park a couple of blocks from our house. We’ve gone quite a bit, but only just noticed the little library! It is like a taste of home, as these are all over Charlottesville. It even had a book from the Magic Treehouse Series. It really felt like a gift from God. 

 

Community Life/Work

 

David and Mary Beth came to our place for a New Years day dinner at our place. It has been so much fun getting to know them and working on our friendship. We’re so grateful for them! 

I started playing music at church last week. I have had to learn a lot of new music and I think it went pretty well. I’m excited to do more of that. David hurt his elbow this past year and playing guitar aggravates his injury, so he was ready for me to start playing. 

I was asked to start teaching beginner guitar lessons. I taught my first class this past week and it was SO MUCH FUN! All of the kids are at St. Andrews school and some are a part of the church as well. I taught them the phrase, “I tune because I care” and we learned to tune our instruments. 

We have transportation! This makes so many things easier. FYI, no supporter funds went to the purchase of the motorcycle. I sold my bike in the states to fund our transportation here. It is an inexpensive 250cc Chinese made enduro bike. 

Dangriga

 

 No matter how many times we told Annabelle we were moving to the jungle, she thought we were going to live at the beach. To help with this, we promised Annabelle a trip to the beach before school started. The travel to and from Dangriga was absolutely perfect with no delays at all! When we were changing buses, a tour guide asked us where we were going. I told him and he said, “Why?! Dangriga is horrible.” On that happy note, we kept on. Our plan was to stay at a cheap little beach front place and eat some meals at a local resort so we could use their facilities. 

 

  • Dangriga is the center of Garufina culture in Belize, a culture of freed Caribbean slaves. Missy said it felt more like Africa than Belize.
  • The food was SO GOOD.
  • A lot of wind meant no crystal clear water, and it pushed seaweed up on the shore.
  • We had breakfast with some missionaries there who are friends of friends (Thanks for the introduction, Jonathan Ruel!). After breakfast they asked us to help unload a truck. It was a truck of Operation Christmas Child boxes. Talk about a workout! 
  • There was a lot of trash around the shore, and Missy cut her foot on glass.
  • The resort was AWESOME. Annabelle swam a lot.
  • Belizian Beignet are Fry Jacks (flour dough pockets) covered in powdered sugar. Incredible!
  • Annabelle apparently loves Cooking Competition Shows. We don’t have a television and this was all she wanted to watch. She would plan out her strategy to the challenges. She would always ” top it off with Chocolate Ganache.”
  • We were so grateful for this time to settle before Annabelle jumped into school.   

SAMS 2018 Annual Report

SAMS 2018 Annual Report

We give thanks to the Lord for all that he has done this year. SAMS has sent 120 missionaries into the field this year, with the help of 2,657 senders like you!

View the SAMS 2018 Annual Report in its entirety here!

Our New Home and Work Photos

Home Photos and Work Update Edition

Hi all! This is Evan writing. As usual, this will be heavy on photos and lighter on text. We want to show you photos of our house now that we’re settled in. We also want to show you some photos of what we’ve been doing with St. Andrews. 

First, two notes for prayer: 

1) The deadline is approaching for Delta to find Annabelle’s blanket “Chewie.” Please pray they can find it and for Annabelle to take it well if they cannot. 

2) If you would like to support our work here in Belize, we would be most grateful. You can make a tax deductible donation through SAMS in order to do this. Here is a link to our giving page. 

Our New Home

This home has been such a huge blessing for us. We’re so grateful for our landlords who are also our new neighbors. They have been so generous and welcoming. We have been walking everywhere and are enjoying finding the closest places around. Sometime soon I’ll show you where we shop when we’re not at the market. These stores are pretty awesome. 

Back to the house. It’s small. Under 500sf small. It has 1 bedroom and 1 bath. The kitchen is TINY. The porch and the view are huge and as we’ve mentioned, it’s only a 5 minute walk to most places in town. The first thing we did was hang the hammock on the porch. It has been getting non-stop use. It’s taken us a while to gather all of the things we need, but we think we’re mostly set with pots, pans, towels, storage, etc, and we can finally stop feeling like we’re bleeding money! 

Be sure and look at all of the photos, including some of us moving in. You should be able to click one photo and see a slideshow with captions. 

 

Community Life

As we said before, much of our time thus far has been spent getting immigration stuff sorted and getting our family settled. We’re here for a year, so we’re trying to be patient. Tomorrow, Missy will go meet with local mental health professionals. I will start playing guitar for worship next week. 

In the meantime, we have been joining in with the life of the church as much as possible. Here are a few photos for you!  

SAMS Joins AGMP to Reach Young Adults at Mission Conferences

SAMS Joins AGMP to Reach Young Adults at Mission Conferences

Society for Anglican Missionaries and Senders (SAMS) joins the collaborative effort of Anglican Global Mission Partners at the Urbana Student Missions Conference, St. Louis, December 27-31, 2018

Dedicated to calling whole-life, whole-world disciples, Urbana is an eye-opening global missions conference, a sacred space for college and graduate students, faculty, and church leaders to hear God’s call.  SAMS will once again be at Urbana seeking to connect with young adults who are discerning a call for crossing cultures to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Additionally, the mission network Anglican Global Mission Partners (AGMP), that SAMS is a part of, will exhibit at the conference and for the first time will coordinate a collaborative exhibit in the Outreach Section that will bring together Anglican Frontier Missions, Global Teams, New Wineskins Missionary Network, and Trinity School for Ministry (in the Seminary Section).  The partners will be ready, eager to guide and pray for participants as they seek what God might be calling them to.  You may discover more at https://urbana.org/.

If you are coming or are sending young adults, please email Jenny Noyes at jenny@newwineskins.org, the AGMP Exhibit Coordinator.

AGMP will also host a Saturday night reception at Urbana.  All who have an interest in mission and how Anglicans are engaging in this mission around the world are welcome to join us at a meet and greet reception with food and drink at 9:30 p.m. on December 29.  We will gather at J.F. Sanfilippo’s Restaurant (in the Drury Inn & Suites just one block from the Dome at 705 N. Broadway) on Saturday immediately following the evening session.  Bring a friend!  Contact Nita at nitadempsey@sams-usa.org if you desire more details.

Urbana is letting students know about mission trips in which they can participate.  If you have upcoming mission trips planned that would welcome the addition of college students, please email Jenny at jenny@newwineskins.org with those details as well.

Following Urbana, SAMS will also be represented at the Cross for the Nations Conference, Louisville, KY, January 2-5.  “Cross exists to see our generation live for the most loving cause in the universe: bringing people from every tribe, tongue, and nation into the everlasting joy of knowing and worshiping Jesus.”

Please pray for the SAMS teams composed of missionaries, missionary Bridgers, and staff that will be representing the Society at these upcoming university student and young adult conferences:  Urbana Student Missions Conference, December 27-31; Cross for the Nations Conference, January 2-5; and Jubilee, February 22-24.  Pray also that many young people will respond to the Lord’s call to the nations.

Getting to San Ignacio – The good, the bad, and the ugly.

 

Dear Friends and Family,

Annabelle was such a great traveller!

This is Missy writing. What a time we’ve had! And I mean that in every way.

We are thrilled to be here in San Ignacio with David and Mary Beth and many lovely Belizeans. Annabelle wrote in her journal that her “first day in Belize was fun, fun, fun!”

Annabelle Journaling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And before we left we cannot measure or count how many cards, gifts, emails, hugs, and prayers were given to us. We felt, and continue to feel, truly loved by so many. There are many stories to be told of generosity, unexpected goodness and kindness in those final days. And honestly, the months prior to leaving are a series of miracles small and large – like getting renters for our house without having to advertise and who were understanding of what we were facing with leaving the country for a year.

At the same time, the two weeks prior to leaving, and our trip down here, were fraught (and I do not use that word lightly) with challenges. They have and are costing us a lot of money, countless hours, and immense amounts of energy. I thought about listing them all out for you but I’ve decided to shorten this by combining them into categories:

The House Fiascos: Numbering 7 of significance and including everything from possibly losing homeowners insurance on the cottage, to dead HVAC, and bacteria in the well at the cottage.

Bye bye BMW!

The Motorcycle Fiascos: I won’t go into much detail on this as I don’t fully understand all that was wrong with it (except that it was a number of things and all quite stressful). In this case the end result is that it was sold to a good home, though for $2000 less than we hoped. We are extremely grateful that it sold!

 

 

We get by with a little help from our friends.

The Weather Fiasco: A foot of snow was unexpectedly dumped on Charlottesville the day before we were to leave. The prediction was 3-5 inches. This affected our leaving in a variety of ways – but we left!

The Travel Fiascos: Numbering 3+ of significance and including having our train to Baltimore be canceled, our rental car pick up office being closed due to snow, and almost not being allowed on the plane to Atlanta.

I kept saying all along that whatever happened it was going to be alright because we were getting on the plane on December 11th. However, that was truly challenged when we almost weren’t allowed on the plane and ended up being let on at the very last minute. Once we were on the plane in our seats, my eyes just kept overflowing. I have shed more tears in the last couple of weeks (for the good, beautiful, and true things and for the heart breaking, stressful, and difficult) than many other years of my life. I think it is fair to say our bodies are still weary but our souls are full. And we are so grateful to be here. 

We're here!

Prayer Requests:

– Please pray for our work permits, Annabelle’s dependent/student permit, my ministry of health application, and our immigration status. There are a lot of particular requirements, some of which are unexpected, and we need divine intervention to move things along.

– Unfortunately, we left Annabelle’s “chewie” (blanket) on the last plane. Please, please pray that Delta is able to track it down and return it to us. There have been many tears over the loss of chewie. 🙁

– Please pray for us earnestly. It truly feels as though there are forces at work that do not want us here and need all the divine help we can get, as we believe God does want us here.

We absolutely could not be here without you all. We are sending hugs and blowing kisses.

Thank you for reading. We love you!

Note from the editor (Evan) – I’m working on another post to give you an idea of what we’ve been doing since we landed.

Meet SAMS Missionaries at Urbana18

Meet SAMS Missionaries at Urbana18

SAMS and a few SAMS Missionaries will be at Urbana18 and they look forward to meeting you there! Urbana is an eye-opening global missions conference, a sacred space for college and graduate students, faculty, and church leaders to hear God’s call. Are you thinking about your calling to mission, but are not sure where to start? Come talk to these missionaries who have experience in the mission field! They will be there to answer questions as well as pray for you and your own calling to serve in the field by sharing the transforming love of Jesus Christ around the world.

Lucy Chaves, SAMS Missionary to Kenya

Lucy is originally from Kenya and at a young age, she felt drawn to the love of Christ. In the same way that she experienced His kindness and mercy, she wanted to share it with others. Lucy mentors young women and encourages those in difficult circumstances. She and her husband David concentrate their efforts in Nairobi, Kenya, on helping youth to develop a Biblical worldview as well as business skills. IHope Photography is one of the business they helped youth develop. They currently live in Virginia where they are raising their three children, but they make frequent trips to Kenya to encourage those in the ongoing programs. They hope to develop further ministries in Western Kenya.

Jessica Tetirick, SAMS Missionary Bridger to Uganda

A Texas A&M grad, and a CPA, Jessica didn’t have missionary service on her mind. However, after going on a short two-week mission with her church to Malawi, she asked God about her role in mission. God led her to SAMS where she served as a Bridger at Uganda Christian University alongside another SAMS Missionary. While there she was able to use her accounting and work background to teach business classes.

Madeleine Ruch, SAMS Missionary Bridger to Brazil

Madeleine is currently a college student at Wheaton College. She spent last summer serving in Recife, Brazil, as a SAMS Missionary Bridger. While there she served at a daycare center in Recife. While there she helped with any needs included caring for children, educational lessons, and helping with administration. She even helped the office translate some paperwork into English. She also led worship at a local Anglican church and got involved in a young adult small group.

Will these SAMS Missionaries see you at Urbana18? For more information about Urbana and how to register, click here! Find other SAMS Missionaries on the Meet our Missionaries page where you can sort by ministry and country.