Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Update on our Schedule...

Well time continues to fly by. We enjoyed an amazing week with the junior highers from BHBC in the beautiful upper peninsula of Michigan. Tim and I along with my mom and dad cooked for a 150 people on the trip. The kids biked for 4 days, canoed 1 day, and hiked 1 day. It was such a great time of getting to know leaders and kids on the trip and so fun to work with my mom and dad. It was also exhausting, getting up about 5:15 every morning and not going to bed until about 11:00 every night. Traeger was on the trip and although he too was exhausted and was stretched in many ways physically and socially, he really enjoyed it overall. It helped that he had an amazing leader and co-leaders. There are a few pictures of our time on the trip.

We also spoke at our first church last Sunday at Fruitland Baptist Church. It was a great time of getting to know some really special people and being able to share what God is doing in Mozambique.

We also wanted to give an update on our schedule over the next 3 months, so you know where we will be and when, if you want to hear us present the ministry.

August 13--Faith Fellowship Church in Irons, MI.

August 13--Sept.4--we will be on trip out west to visit colleagues and supporters.

September 14-19--Tim will be in Dallas TX for a conference and meetings for the Bible School

September 24--Calvary Church of Muskegon, MI

October 8--Rothbury Community Church in Rothbury, MI

October 13-15--Chinese Bible Church in Detroit, MI

October 22--Maranatha Bible Church in Comstock Park, MI

The campers meeting on the beach. It was so great to watch my brother lead these junior highers. It was the first time I have been able to participate on a trip while he is leading. Loved seeing how God is using him. Makes me so proud of him

Traeger about to leave on one of his adventure trips. 

Here is where we spent most of our time prepping food and cooking on these big grills.

Our food trailer/kitchen

The big tent where the kids ate and had their meetings.

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.