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…updated contact information!

(posted by Mindy)

We have updated our contact information under the contact information tab above. If you need to get a hold of us, email is probably the best option at this point. If you email us, we will call you back. Please leave your phone number. There are Vonage phone numbers for the ALC  and ALC Camp (they are Ft. Lauderdale, FL phone numbers) that you can try calling during day time hours.

We are watching and learning operations here and getting more acquainted with our surroundings. We have been able to interact with the group that is at the camp, and Logan has started Facilitator training at the ALC. Logan will be helping teach the Planetarium program to school children. Zachary is trying to get caught up with his school work.  Yesterday we got our cell phone situation ironed out, and after dinner with the group last evening, we took Garrett up to Paradise Island to see Marina Village and Atlantis’s Aquarium, The Dig.  We are planning to go shopping for a car this morning and take Garrett to a beach this afternoon.

Thanks for your prayers! Keep them coming as we adjust and learn.

Until next time…

…we are now residing in Nassau, The Bahamas!

(posted by Mindy)

This is going to be really short because we are exhausted.  We had an easy, uneventful journey here to the Bahamas.  The flight was smooth, we were able to get our luggage on and off the plane without any problems, and we had no problems getting through customs.

We had supper with the group that is here, Taylor University.  We were able to mingle, meet and get to know the young people and leaders in the group.  Our plan over the next few days is to rest up, observe the camp and centre with groups here, shop for a car, and do some sight seeing (with the group on one of the days) so Garrett can see the island.

We will keep you all posted!

It’s off to bed for us!  Good night!

…less than a day to go before final departure to The Bahamas!

(posted by Mindy)

I am convinced you all (even those of you in Wisconsin and Minnesota) probably heard the huge sigh of relief that escaped me yesterday at about 1145am central time.  That was the time we handed the keys over to the Budget rental truck owner.  The container loading at the dock and the truck return went off without any surprises, and boy was I glad to have that detail behind us.  The shipping company was very helpful and took good care of us.  Our inventory sheet was adequate on this side of the pond.  We are now hoping and praying that it is adequate for Bahamas customs.  We won’t know that until next week at the earliest.

If all continues according to plan, we will be arriving in Nassau in 24 hours from now.  It is so hard to believe this day has arrived.  So much has happened, and all glory goes to God for His providence and care of every detail along the road these past 5 months.  We are not exaggerating when we say that we have literally had no problems or doubts with this transition.  Yes, it has been busy and intense at times and there have been times of mild discouragement during times of extreme exhaustion, but God has clearly gone before us and paved the way.  We remain convinced that God is in this move.  Praise be to God!

Our flight departs Charleston, SC airport at 1013 am and arrives in Nassau at about 215 pm.  Please pray for us as we travel.  We have been able to rest today (and yesterday evening), and hopefully that will help us not arrive exhausted tomorrow.  Please pray for Zachary as well.  He is not feeling too well.  He has developed a cold, and we are so thankful it is not influenza.  God has spared him and all of us, and we are so thankful.  Traveling can be so miserable when you are ill.

Thank you to all of you for the prayers, the cleaning/meals/packing help during the move, providing lodging for us during our trip here, and for the other forms of support of us in our ministry work.  We are sincerely grateful.  May God bless you all!

We will post again after arrival in Nassau as time allows.  Until then, enjoy the few pictures I have posted.

Hanging out at Mindy's twin sister and her family on Saturday evening.

Hanging out with Mindy’s twin sister and her family on Saturday evening.

Mindy with niece Kayla and sister Missy

Mindy with niece Kayla and sister Missy

Arriving at the Port of Charleston to transfer items being shipped to the Bahamas from the moving truck to the shipping container.

Arriving at the Port of Charleston to transfer items being shipped to the Bahamas from the moving truck to the shipping container.

One of the things that put my nerves on edge.  Notice the tiny, narrow ramp and loading dock.  I doubted the shipping company's ability until I saw them actual do this.

One of the things that put my nerves on edge. Notice the tiny, narrow ramp and loading dock. I doubted the shipping company’s ability until I saw them actual do this.  I am not quite sure what Budget rental company would have said if they saw what this driver was doing.

My nerves were shot, so I left Andrew and Garrett to supervise the loading of the container and went to wait in the office.

My nerves were shot, so I left Tim and Garrett to supervise the loading of the container and went to wait in the office.

From the truck...

From the truck…

...to the shipping container.

…to the shipping container.

The completed job.

The completed job.

Time to relax...Zachary watching Mr. Bean with Uncle John.

Time to relax…Zachary watching Mr. Bean with Uncle John.

Logan playing video games with his cousins.

Logan and Garrett playing video games with his cousins.

…three-fourths of our journey to The Bahamas is complete!

(posted by Mindy)

We have made it through legs 2 and 3 of our journey to The Bahamas.  All that is left now is the actual flight to The Bahamas on Wednesday.  We still have a lot to do over the next two days, so we are not going to relax just yet.

We arrived in Corbin, Kentucky at Tim’s cousin’s house around 6pm on Friday evening.  We had a wonderful time of fellowship with Kurt, Lori and Ben Felten, the Hart family and part of the Jung family in Corbin, KY.  At 10:30 this morning, we were on the road again and heading further south.  We arrived at my twin sister’s house in Summerville, SC this evening at about 6pm.   Tomorrow morning we will be attending church with my sister and presenting the ministry to the assembly there.  In the afternoon, besides a trip to Sams Club to pick up some paper products to take with us to The Bahamas, we are hoping to get some much needed rest.

While travelling these past couple of days, I was able to complete the required shipping paper work (aka:  detailed, itemized inventory sheet of all our belongings that we are sending over in the shipping container).  Hopefully it is adequate for US and Bahamas customs. Please pray that everything is exported and imported easily. I am so glad to have that huge chore done and am looking forward to getting everything delivered to the port and transferred to the shipping container Monday.

As a side note, if you Midwest and Northerners are interested, it is HOT down here.  Our early spring has begun for us with temperatures in the upper 70’s here in South Carolina.  No more winter coats, sweaters, gloves and hats for us.

Have a great Lord’s Day tomorrow, everyone!   God bless!

Friday morning, a tearful good-bye to my parents in Indiana as we left to head south.

Friday morning, a tearful good-bye to my parents in Indiana as we left to head south.

The "under 18" table at Kurt and Lori Felten's house in Kentucky.  Monica, Aubrey, and Ethan Hart; Landry and Shane Jung; Zach and Logan; Ben Felten.

The “under 18 table” at Kurt and Lori Felten’s house in Kentucky. Monica, Aubrey, and Ethan Hart; Landry and Shane Jung; Zach and Logan; Ben Felten.

The "over 18 table".  Kurt and Lori Felten, Dave and Sandy Hart, Bruce Jung, us.

The “over 18 table”. Kurt and Lori Felten, Dave and Sandy Hart, Bruce Jung, us.

The guys with Ben, Kurt and Lori Felten at their home in Corbin, KY.

The guys with Ben, Kurt and Lori Felten at their home in Corbin, KY.

Tim did an awesome job keeping this truck on the road.  On Thursday and Friday we were dealing with gusty winds, and on Saturday, we were dealing with the winding roads of the Smoky Mountains.

Tim did an awesome job keeping this truck on the road. On Thursday and Friday we were dealing with gusty winds, and on Saturday, we were dealing with the winding roads of the Smoky Mountains.

 

The boys were following us in the car.  Garrett and Logan took turns driving.

The boys were following us in the car. Garrett and Logan took turns driving.

 

 

 

 

…the journey to The Bahamas begins!

(posted by Mindy)

Leg one…

With lots of tears and well wishes, we left our home of 3 1/2 years around 10:16 am (only 15 minutes behind schedule).  Many from our LWBC and Grace Church family came to our house at 9:45 am to pray with us and tell us good-bye as we left Westby for the last time. Even Bella our dog came to say good-bye.  It was hard to say good-bye, but since we all have a common bond in Jesus Christ, we know we WILL meet again someday, if not here on earth then definitely in eternity in heaven.  Hallelujah!

Our send-off party, LWBC and Grace Church family.  Love these people!

Our send-off party, LWBC and Grace Church family. Love these people!

Good-bye, Westby, WI and Bella!

Good-bye, Westby, WI and Bella!

Garrett and Logan took turns driving the car (Zachary rode with them) while I road with Tim in the moving truck.  Tim did a great job keeping the truck on all four wheels during the 6.5 hour trip to my parent’s house in Indiana.  The wind was strong on the freeway, and we found ourselves rocking back and forth many times.  I have to admit, I was a bit nervous at times, but Tim seemed to be confident and unconcerned.  We arrived at my parent’s house in Indiana around dinner time.  Shortly after dinner, a few family and friends gathered to visit and tell us good-bye.

Two of my step sisters, Tasha Swank and Tanya Mikels came to tell us good-bye.

Two of my step sisters, Tasha Swank and Tanya Mikels came to tell us good-bye.

The boys with Tasha's children, Kaelee and Kyle Swank.

The boys with Tasha’s children, Kaelee and Kyle Swank.

Zach with his buddy Kyle.

Zach with his buddy Kyle.

The women at the send off party at my parent's house.  From left to right: Laureen Floyd, Jane Morlan, Connie Mikel, me, Peggy Hobson (aunt), mom, Bonnie Myers (aunt).

The women at the send off party at my parent’s house. From left to right: Laureen Floyd, Jane Morlan, Connie Mikel, me, Peggy Hobson (aunt), mom, Bonnie Myers (aunt).

The men at the send-off party at my parent's house: the guys with Dick Mikels and Don Mikel.

The men at the send-off party at my parent’s house: the guys with Dick Mikels and Don Mikel.

We fell in to bed exhausted last night, and are up and ready for leg two of our journey to The Bahamas.  We plan to leave for Corbin, KY around 10:00 am (Central time).  We will be staying with Tim’s cousin, Lori Felten tonight before driving to my sisters’ houses in Charleston, SC tomorrow.

Please continue to pray that we remain well (so many people are suffering from the Influenza that is going around) and that we have safety in our travels (pray the truck stays right side up on the windy roads).

We will be posting again over the next couple days as time allows.  Thank you for your prayers.  We greatly appreciate it. Have a great weekend everyone!

…last night in our Westby home!

(Posted by Mindy)

It is finished, the loading that is!  What earthly possession we own and will be taking with us are in a 16 foot rental truck sitting outside our front door.  It is weird walking into a very empty house.  All that is left besides a few odds and ends are the couch, a queen size box spring and mattress set and two twin sized box spring and mattress sets.  Our refrigerator is even gone.  Spoken words sound so hollow as we wonder through the rooms.

I remain in awe at what an awesome God we have.  I am amazed at how things have worked out.  Besides the relative smoothness of the last two days of packing, loading, and Tim and Logan’s travel to and from Minnesota, we are not sick in a geographical area that is being ravaged with a nasty flu bug.  Most of the people coming to our house to help us load these past couple of days have had someone in their family that is sick.  God has chose to spare us.  Praise the Lord.  Humanly speaking, with all the stress and poor eating habits, we should be succumbing.  I sincerely believe it is an act of God that we are not sick.  Please continue to pray that we remain well.

I am going to get to bed now.  It is getting late and we leave tomorrow morning.

Pictures from the last couple of days:

Saying good-bye to our neighbors, the Beauchamps.  They invited us over for dessert Monday evening.

Saying good-bye to our neighbors, the Beauchamps. They invited us over for dessert Monday evening.

We went to Winona to pick up the rental truck.

We went to Winona to pick up the rental truck.

Tuesday night's loading of the things going to the Twin Cities for storage and delivery to others.

Tuesday night’s loading of the things going to the Twin Cities for storage and delivery to others.

Our Tuesday night crew.  These are most, but not all of the wonderful people that came out to help us load the truck!  Thank you everyone for your hard work!

Our Tuesday night crew. These are most, but not all of the wonderful people that came out to help us load the truck! Thank you everyone for your hard work!

More Tuesday night loading pictures.

More Tuesday night loading pictures.

Two more of the crew that came a little later and were not in the group picture.

Two more of the crew that came a little later and were not in the group picture.

Late comers, but still greatly appreciated!

Late comers, but still greatly appreciated!

What our dining room looked like on Wednesday morning while Tim and Logan were travelling to Minnesota.  Zachary, Garrett and I staged the remaining furniture, boxes, and bins for those coming later to help load the truck.

What our dining room looked like on Wednesday morning while Tim and Logan were travelling to Minnesota. Zachary, Garrett and I staged the remaining furniture, boxes, and bins for those coming later to help load the truck.

More pre-loading pictures.

More pre-loading pictures.

Erv and Marion Jung stopped by to tell us good-bye.

Erv and Marion Jung stopped by to tell us good-bye.

 

Wednesday night crew that helped us load the truck.  The truck is very full (not everything made it in).  Our container is bigger than this truck so it should all fit nicely into the shipping container.  These dear people all attend our church.  Not pictured is the Eisermann family who had been here earlier in the evening to feed us and help with some of the pre-loading work.  Thank you everyone for your help.  We could not have done it without you!

Tim and Logan made it back to Westby at about 8pm.  This is the Wednesday night crew that helped us load the truck. The truck is very full (not everything made it in). Our container is bigger than this truck so it should all fit nicely into the shipping container. These dear people all attend our church. Not pictured is the Eisermann family who had been here earlier in the evening to feed us and help with some of the pre-loading work. Thank you everyone for your help. We could not have done it without you!

Living room after the furniture was removed.

Living room after the furniture was removed.

Look, no more bins!

Look, no more bins!  At least I can say it is no longer messy.

We leave tomorrow morning.  YIKES!  It is hard to believe this day has come.  I am off to enjoy my last night in our Westby home bedroom.  Besides, I am beginning to feel emotional from the exhaustion and sense of relief of having this big step completed.

Good night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…let the CRAZIEST week begin!

Our trips to visit family and friends, Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays, Forest Lakes Districts Youth Conference, and our responsibilities with LWBC are now over, and we now switch our focus to moving week. I can hardly believe the week has arrived. I am not trying to wish my life away, but I have to admit that I wish I could skip the next seven days and go right to next Tuesday. Not only would I get to avoid all the heart wrenching good-byes that are in store for us this week, but one week from tomorrow all our earthly possessions will either be in storage, in new homes, in a shipping container bound for the Bahamas (temporarily out of our control anyway), or in a few suitcases/duffle bags ready to be carried on our plane with us to the Bahamas. I am so looking forward to being done with the whole moving process.

The one good thing about this huge, international move is that because we have had to minimalize and get rid of the “junk” before the move, there will be a lot less things to deal with after we reach our destination in comparison to any of our local moves.  It is so refreshing and freeing to let go of earthly possessions.  Once again I am reminded of the many passages of scripture that teaches about holding lightly onto earthly possessions and things of this world (Luke 12L13-21, Colossians 3:1-4,  Matthew 6:19-21, Hebrews 13:5).  Earthly possessions do not bring contentment and satisfaction.

Please keep the prayers coming for us; they are working. I am feeling just enough pressure to keep me motivated to get things done, but not enough pressure to make me feel anxious or sick. THANK you so much everyone for your prayers for us!!!!

A lot has happened these last two weeks. Like always, I have taken plenty of pictures and will let the pictures tell the story. I am also re listing our plans for the next 2 weeks as well as providing a prayer request list.

I will try to post again next week.  Have a great week, everyone!

Last 2 weeks in pictures...

Visit from a dear young lady who has always been special to me,  Sara Vernia.

Visit from a dear young lady who has always been special to me, Sara Vernia.

Christmas eve at my aunt's house in West Lebanon, Indiana.

Christmas eve at my aunt’s house in West Lebanon, Indiana (from left to right: cousin Kelly with grandson Ronnie and daughter Kre, Aunt Carol, cousin Tracy, me, cousin Tony)

Christmas eve:  Garrett, Logan and Zachary with cousin Jeremy and my cousin's foreign exchange student.

Christmas eve: Garrett, Logan and Zachary with cousin Jeremy and my cousin’s foreign exchange student.

Christmas Eve service at my parent's church.  We saw Tim and Myrna Van Ryn and their son Micheal.  Tim Van Ryn was responsible for introducing me to the Brethren churches when I was in high school.  This introduction led to my meeting my husband.

Christmas Eve service at my parent’s church. We saw Tim and Myrna Van Ryn and their son Micheal. Tim Van Ryn was responsible for introducing me to the Brethren churches when I was in high school.   Tim Van Ryn was fundamentally responsible for my introduction to my husband.

Christmas eve service with my parents and a dear friend, Sheebah, at my parent's church.

Christmas eve service with my parents and a dear friend, Sheebah, at my parent’s church.

Adam, Carole, Sarah and Emily Miller came from the Twin Cities to visit us overnight at the end of December.

Adam, Carole, Sarah and Emily Miller came from the Twin Cities to visit us overnight at the end of December.

Good-bye lunch with my Westby "Mom", Lorraine Harnwell.

Good-bye lunch with my Westby “Mom”, Lorraine Harnwell.

Zachary and Logan's last time to dishwash at LWBC.

Zachary and Logan’s last time to dishwash at LWBC.

Tim and his LWBC Kitchen Manager replacement, Kevin Evers.

Tim and his LWBC Kitchen Manager replacement, Kevin Evers.

Saying good-bye to another "daughter", Mandy Felten, after Winterama/Winter Recharger at LWBC.

Saying good-bye to another “daughter”, Mandy Felten, after Winterama/Winter Recharger at LWBC.

Abby Huffman and Garrett going to a New Years Eve party.

Abby Huffman and Garrett going to a New Years Eve party.

Good-bye dinner with Abby's parents, Gordon and Merilee Huffman, at Hu-Hot.

Good-bye dinner with Abby’s parents, Gordon and Merilee Huffman, at Hu-Hot.

Good-bye breakfast with Karen Maurer and Sheila Eisermann.

Good-bye breakfast with Karen Maurer and Sheila Eisermann.

Good-bye to Bella!

Good-bye to Bella!

Good-bye hug from Bella.

Good-bye hug from Bella.

Good-bye from Tim.

Good-bye from Tim.

I had become attached to our Bella, and it was hard to leave her.

I had become attached to our Bella, and it was hard to leave her.

Dinner at the Jackson's.  Andrew and Melissa serve at LWBC as Guest Group Coordinator.  We are going to miss these guys!

Dinner at the Jackson’s. Andrew and Melissa serve at LWBC as Guest Group Coordinator. We are going to miss these guys!

ALC Display at Forrest River Districts Youth Conference in Green Bay, WI.

ALC Display at Forest Lakes Districts Youth Conference in Green Bay, WI.

Visit to our booth at DIstricts from Eric Shelley (pastor at BTC in Wausau).

Visit to our booth at DIstricts from Eric Shelley (pastor at BTC in Wausau).

With Eric and Leslie Ludy at Districts.  Eric and Leslie Ludy are authors of the book "When God Writes Your Love Story."  A required read by our boys a couple years ago.  They are such sweet people.  Logan helped man their book table at the conference.

With Eric and Leslie Ludy at Districts. Eric and Leslie Ludy are authors of the book “When God Writes Your Love Story.” A required read by our boys a couple years ago. They are such sweet people. Logan helped man their book table at the conference.

Randy, Kim and Annika Grebe were representing Operation Mobilization in the booth next to ours at Districts.  Dennis and Lydia Siler with LWBC, and Todd Van Ryn with his bookstore were also next to us.

Randy, Kim and Annika Grebe were representing Operation Mobilization in the booth next to ours at Districts. Dennis and Lydia Siler with LWBC, and Todd Van Ryn with his bookstore were also next to us.

Logan saying good-bye to friends, Andrea and Katy Coon.

Logan saying good-bye to friends, Andrea Huser and Katy Coon.

 

Good-bye dinner with the Beck's on Sunday.  Going to miss these kiddos!

Good-bye dinner with the Beck’s on Sunday. Going to miss these kiddos!

 

Schedule for next 2 weeks…

January 8: Pick-up moving truck, load truck with things being stored in Minnesota

January 9: Tim and Logan to take moving truck to Minnesota, drop off things in Minnesota, return to Westby, load truck with things being shipped to Nassau (and other places south of here)

January 10: leave Westby for Covington, IN by 10am (Garrett will be going with us); send-off party with Mindy’s family that evening

January 11: leave Covington for Corbin, KY

January 12: leave Corbin for Charleston, SC

January 13: attend church with Mindy’s sister and present the ministry to the assembly there

January 14:  load shipping container at Charleston Port

January 15:  trip to Florence, SC

January 16: Tim, Mindy, Garrett, Logan and Zachary fly out of Charleston for Nassau via Atlanta, GA at about 10am

January 24:  Garrett flies from Nassau to Charleston, SC

January 25: Garrett flies to Minnesota from South Carolina

January 27:  Garrett returns to La Crosse, WI from Minneapolis via Amtrak

 

Prayer requests…

Blessings on the ALC and the work we are called to do there
Boys and their school work
Travel safety
Discernment with packing and logistics of moving (I am working on inventory sheets now. PRAY)
That customs in the US and Bahamas clears everything smoothly (and inexpensively in the Bahamas)
Stamina to do what we need to do
Adjustment to new life, ministry and culture
Wisdom in ministry work
Bahamian people and those we are serving with
Garrett’s need of a job and his return to the states after his visit with us in the Bahamas
Financial support

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