Tuesday, August 20, 2013

No Goodbyes Allowed

I am enjoying one of my last quiet mornings here in America.  In less than a week we leave to serve in Guinea Bissau, West Africa.  It seems like it has just been a thought, but now it is reality.  We have been talking about this and visiting churches sharing about this, and now, the moment is coming upon us.  We are taking our kids, and moving to a third world country where we know God wants us to serve.  I am thankful for how God has provided. It is only by Him that we are able to leave.  However, in the midst of my thankfulness, there's a wee bit of timidity.  I am reminded with the word timidity of Paul telling Timothy not to have a spirit of timidity. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline 1 Timothy 1:7. 

Our prayer is that God will go before us, behind us, all around us, above us and below us.  That is a prayer from our time at Oasis that has stuck with me.  There are so many people we want to express our love and thankfulness to.  We are praying that God helps us to communicate that to everyone. We are so thankful that 5 years ago, God introduced us to this community that we have lived in, and this church family that is so dear to our hearts. We are so thankful for the relationships that have been built here and all the people that have been such a blessing to all of us.  

Saying goodbye is hard.  Not a single person in this Baker Beans family wants to say goodbye. No goodbyes are allowed, we want to say "see you later" instead.  So, if you read this and you are one of the persons that we will be seeing in the next week, please don't say goodbye, lets say "see you later".  


Saturday, August 10, 2013

What are our kids thinking?

As we prepare for our move to Guinea Bissau, our kids have been walking through the emotions of leaving home just like we have been. Here are some of those thoughts from our kids:

Isaiah: I like my lego set that is x-wing, but I lost Jed Porkins behind the wall.  Daddy thinks he got him out, but I know he's still back there.  I want my Daddy to buy me a new lego set that is really small so I can bring it to Africa.  I really like legos.

Lydia: I can't wait to go to Africa, but I am going to miss all my friends.  When I come back, I will probably have lots of stories to tell.  Here's a story from now. This week, our storage lockers came from UPS and they all came in really big boxes.  We had three big boxes all together.  Mom let us use them as houses.  Mine is the only one that has survived. I cut a window in mine and made a porch.  I locked my front door, so now to get into my house, I have to climb through the window.  I like that we got these boxes, not just because mommy and daddy can pack more, but because now we have these great boxes to play in!  

Lydia in her box house.  

Josiah: A couple days ago was my birthday and I got three new lego sets.  One was a dirt bike, one a trash can and one a star wars.  I am excited for the plane because I can play with some of my legos. 

Micah: I am going to miss my friends when I go to Africa soooooo much, but I am excited to go.  I am excited to fly in the airplane.  Mommy has been packing my carry on bag.  I have a bag of cookies in there, and I have a bag of crayons so I can color and I have my polly pockets to play with and my playdoh and I'm going to bring my blankie.  I have a little neck rest thing so when I go to sleep I will be comfy this way and comfy that way, left and right.  

Micah with her 'neck rest thing'.  

Jada didn't have any words to share at this time.  Maybe she will think of something later and want to write her own blog.  She is a girl of few words but loves to read many.

We hope you enjoyed hearing from our kids in this post.  They have new thoughts and ideas about our move to Guinea Bissau almost everyday.  Some days they are sad and don't want to go, but then some days they are so excited they just want to get on the plane that day.  I am sure as our house gets more and more empty, it will become more and more real for them.

We appreciate the prayers that many of you are praying daily for our family.  We can feel God's arms wrapped around us.  It is only by God's grace that our kids have been continually adjusting to what is happening around them.  We are blessed through this whole process.  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Saying Goodbye

Our church had a going away celebration for our family, it was such a meaningful time for all of us.  People shared words with us, that just brought floods of tears from our eyeballs. We wanted to share some of it with all of you.

Here's a video of one of our students singing a song that she dedicated to us.  She blessed us through this song, we hope you enjoy it too.  Yes, that's a ukelele!

During the Sunday school hour, there was a Safari Fun Fair for the kids.  They all had so much fun...alright so did I.  It was amazing all they had set up for the kids to do, they had face painting, a photo booth, amazing snacks, a craft table where they made bracelets out of twizzlers, and lots of games.   I (Karen) followed the kids around like a paparazzi, here's a glimpse into their fun.

The photo booth was set up with dress up accessories for the kids to use.  
These are our little jungle animals and safari ready kids.

This is a friend of ours and her precious baby.  He is a birthday buddy of our Lydia.  

Here's a couple of cute little butterflies. This is just an example of the face painting booth, there were also zebras, cheetahs, tigers and so much more. 

Just a glimpse at all the games, so much fun!

The girls with their friends.

We had a fellowship meal after church and it was all TACOS! Our church knows us. I should've taken a picture of the food, but I did get a picture of this amazing cake. It was not only great looking, it was yummy too!

We had the opportunity to share a little as well.   

It has been an honor and a blessing to serve at CMF these last 4.5 years. We have learned so much and would not trade this last season for anything. We were stretched and challenged, we grew and were a part of something special with the youth and our team during this season of life. We are sad to close this season but excited that CMF is sending us to Africa and is a partner in this new season God is sending us on. We know it will be a very different season with new joys and challenges, but we know God is in all things. If our God is with us and leading us then we shall have no fear and run into this next season.