Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Michigan Summers...

It has been 6 years since we've been in Michigan in the summer and we forgot how much we love it! We have been enjoying family, the beach, grilling, fireworks, late much fun. The kids are exhausted as for us in Mozambique 10pm is like midnight and the kids are usually in bed sleeping by 8pm. Here is doesn't get dark until 10pm. Jurnee just falls asleep the second she gets in the car and takes about 3 mini naps a day. Traeger turned 13 on July 9th and we officially have a teenager in the house! Here are a few pictures of our summer adventures with family...

 My brother has an incredible fireworks display for us all to enjoy on Traeger's 13th birthday. It was so much fun.

 Stephen and Traeger shooting off some fireworks.

Can't believe he is 13 now.

Loving watermelon and all the time with all their cousins...

And swimming...

Kallen and Brielle, best buddies.

 We also made a quick trip to sleeping bear. Tim and I haven't been there in years and this was the kids first time.

Traeger and Grant got to celebrate turning 13 together. They are only 3 days apart.

building sandcastles at lake Michigan.

And stick forts...

Eating smores for the first time that they can remember...

And water fighting for the boys...

Grant, Traeger, and Casey


Mini High family reunion...Nana and Papa with some of their great grandchildren...

Sleeping bear dunes...

Celebrating Grandma Fish's birthday.

This is where we are living these months back in the States...lots of space and quiet.

More cousin time...

Judah, Jurnee, and Michael

Lots of amazing sunsets...

Waterfalls in SC...

Geode hunting in Tennessee

These girls, my nieces, Megan and Leah, used to ride around on my back and I would spend hours playing house and letting them do my hair, now we've come full circle and my girls are riding on their backs and following them these girls and how they love my girls!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

There's No Place Like Home....

Where to begin...I have had a few people tell me that I need to make sure I update my blog, because people actually read it. I must say, I sometimes wonder if people really do read it and I am not the best writer and I unless I have something extremely interesting or exciting to write about I don't want to bore people...But I have been convinced that I really should do a better job at keeping this updated, so I will work on it. The past few months have been a whirlwind and I honestly haven't even had time to think about it. 

We left Mozambique the 30th of April after a busy couple of months of marriage seminars, a prayer conference, and Easter services. We felt like ministry was at an all time high for us, with so many opportunities and so much to do, but we also were so ready for a break. It has been a tough year for us between political unrest, friends moving away, frustrations with building the school, and added administration duties. We were ready to just get away for bit. On our way back to the States for home assignment, we stopped in Johannesburg South Africa for a week and we had numerous doctor's appointments and labs done. Then we headed to England for a couple of weeks to visit a friend and do some sight seeing before the craziness of being back in the States. We had such a great time. The kids and I have been studying British history the past year and it was so fun to see so much history in person. Traeger LOVES history and I think we climbed every tower in every castle we could possibly fit in, because he didn't want to miss anything! 

We arrived back in the States on the 23rd of May and we have already seen the dentist, Orthodontist, Ophthalmologist, and attended our niece and nephew's graduation, been to one open house, and 2 family events. We are loving being back and are looking forward to seeing everyone and sharing about the ministry in Mozambique. We have a few churches already scheduled to speak at and are waiting on dates for a few others. Here is our schedule so far: 

June 3-15--in Tennessee with family and debrief with SIM in North Carolina
June 19-21--Tim in Wheaton IL for a conference on honor/shame cultures
June 23-July 7--George family cottage
July 23-29--Tim and I are both ministering on the junior high bike trip at BHBC, Traeger will be attending. 
August 13--speaking at Faith Fellowship in Irons, MI
August 14-Sept 4--trip out west to visit supporters and our Mozambique colleague, Janice
October 13-15--speaking at the Chinese Bible Church in Detroit

Tim plans on doing quite a bit of fund raising for the school while we are home. We are still in need of $20,000 in order to open the school in June or July of 2018, which is our goal. We will be sending out a newsletter about ways to give if you are able to and want to partner with us in opening the first Bible School in this part of Mozambique. We are staying out in Sand Lake and I will continue to home school the kids while we are in the States because of our short time here. We plan to be here for about 6 months and will be heading back to Mozambique in early December. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. Please contact us on email or fb to put some dates on the calendar.

Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy of our last days in Moz and our trip to England.

 Saying goodbye to our good friends, Emicio and Esmerelda and my name sake, Chele. They named their baby girl(born in January) after me, which is one of the biggest honors they can bestow on a person in their culture..very humbling...Tim and everyone in Mozambique calls me Chele, so they didn't want to name her Michele, because people might not know it was me, she was named after, but everyone will recognize Chele. So now there is another Traeger and another Chele in Lichinga!

Our Easter service in Icuvi, shortly before we left.

 One of the marriage seminars we held in April in the new school building. We had 8 couples that chose to renew their marriage vows before God in the Church.
 A picture of us on top of Arthur's seat in Edinburgh Scotland.

On the Island of Anglesey in Northern Wales. 

On top of a tower in the Conwy castle. 

Walking the walls of the ancient city of Conwy... 

In Manchester with Margaret, our amazing host. We had such a great time with her and are so grateful for all her help and hospitality. She is part of Anchor Education, which runs our home school conferences every couple of years in Mozambique. Margaret has been a huge blessing in the area of home schooling for us missionaries in Mozambique as well as a great friend to our family.  

At Bamburg Castle on the Eastern coast of England

 At London Tower in London England.

At Trafalgar Square in London. 

Feeding the giraffes in Johannesburg with Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

The girls highlight of the whole trip...petting baby lions! After our week of doctors appointments and blood draws and meds, we surprised them with a trip to the lion safari park and we got an added bonus of running into Arnold while there for mom and dad, since the kids were completely clueless as to who he was.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

July Update...

Well once again, time has gotten away from me and I have not given an update in way too long. It has been a very full 3 months for us. Beginning in the middle of May...we had three short term missionaries arrive, 2 from Colombia for 2 months and 1 from Ecuador for 2 years. They all stayed in our guesthouse and we fed them, got them set up, and did all the paperwork for their visas. At the same time, one of our SIM families arrived back from their home assignment in Australia and stayed in our guesthouse for 2 weeks. We were full of visitors until the end of May. Then the first week of June we ran a conference on orality. Last minute we got put in charge and had to arrange the whole thing. We had a guy from the States come to teach our team and other missionaries how to use orality in their different ministries. It was a great conference, but a lot of work to put together the last minute. Also during this time, Tim's brother, Alex, came out to visit us for a week. We had a great time, but it was just too short. We are so grateful for all our family that has taken the time and money to come visit us. It is such a blessing. The middle of June, our good friends, the Edens, moved in with us for 2 weeks. We found out just in May that the Edens, our closest friends here in Mozambique, were moving back to South Africa for good. So the last 2 weeks they were here, they lived with us as they sold everything they owned and packed and prepared to leave after 19, 16, and 13 years in Mozambique. It has been a tough time for our whole family as we have had to say good bye to them. We have been blessed the past 7 plus years to have had them in our lives. They have been our family while we have been away from our families in the States and it is so hard to say goodbye again to people we love. That consumed the remainder of June for us. Then the first week of July we had our annual spiritual life conference with our SIM team. I was in charge again of logistics, so spent much time shopping, organizing, and gathering supplies for the conference. We had speakers from Switzerland that were missionaries for years in Portugal, so they actually did the whole conference in Portuguese. It was a nice week and we were able to relax and enjoy the beauty of Lake Niassa in Meponda. The day we came back from the conference, which was also Traeger's 12th birthday, Tim left to pick up his other brother, Matt and his wife, Patty, and kids, Bryant, and Casey from the airport in Malawi. They stayed with us for 2 weeks and headed back to the States the end of July. We also had a great visit with them and were able to really show them our lives here in Mozambique and what God is doing in the lives of the people here. The kids enjoyed some concentrated time with their cousins as well. After a few weeks of school, we headed to Lilongwe to get passports renewed for the girls. We also did a few doctor's appointments and shopping. And now....after all that busyness, things should calm down a bit for us. The first weekend of September, Tim will be going to a church conference to do some teaching. He will also be working with another missionary to do some discipleship with some new believers that have been persecuted for their faith. In October, Tim has a pastor's conference and will be teaching for 2 weeks in Mocimboa de Praia, on the coast, about a 12 hour drive from here. You can pray for these up coming events. Thank you.

Traeger with his cousins. They had so much fun together.

SLC meetings.

The Edens...Keith, Bronwyn, and Zoe

Zoe has been Karis' best friend since we moved here.

Keith and Tim

Don't know how I am going to make it here with out Bron. She has been such an answer to prayer for me these past 7 1/2 years. I am grateful to God for each moment we had and trust Him to fill the hole that she leaves in my life.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Making Progress on INTEL...

Here are some updated pictures of what has been happening the past two weeks. It is moving fast now. Next month we will be doing the floors. We are excited about the progress!

The first building going up.  

The steel structure all finished on the first building.

Now the roof going on the first building

More roofing

The water tank tower getting moved by the crane.

Here is it set up. The huge water tank on the ground will be moved to on top of the tower.

Now this is the way to get to the top of the tower to make sure everything is right!

The second building getting put up. This one was too big to do by hand, so we used the crane for help.

Almost done with the steel structures.

Here are the two buildings now. We will finish the roof of the second building this weekend and then next month we will finish the floors.