He got a watch for his birthday and now is constantly asking, "What time are we going to _________ ?"
The kids got up early enough to enjoy an early morning swim before church. They jumped in together.
Gabriel playing baby pool kickball.
Riley participates in a relay race.
Holden races too.
The kids gathered for singing songs...you'll have to ask them to sing "The cat came back" for you!
Playing in the water from the fire hose.
Saturday, the Agape crew put in another day at the hanger. A local group of 25+ volunteers came out to help with a deep clean of the offices and hanger including removing old insulation and replacing it, dusting, landscaping, painting, and scrubbing the hanger floor. It was hot, sweaty work, but an unbelievable amount was accomplished! We were so blessed as were all of Agape's missionaries! I didn't think to take pictures until it was all but over...
Bringing things back in after the cleaning was done.
Even the mower got cleaned!
And this is just a picture of everyone being goofy. Alayna was playing dress up (by herself...still missing Abby, Jaclyn, and Amanda!!), Gabe was getting his new boogie board ready for the ocean (plans for going to the beach today if Paul can get away early--he went in at 5am today), and Holden is wanting the other side of his votive photographed so all the words could be read to the scripture!
We pray you are all doing well and hope to hear from lots of you soon!! We covet your comments here at our blog and your e-mails and phone calls. In case you are wondering, our cell phone numbers haven't changed, so don't hesitate to give us a ring! We would love to know how we can be praying for you. Here are some specific requests from us:
Gabriel: Please pray that people will send money to Agape so they can continue to send supplies to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Riley: Please pray for the plane purchased by Agape that is being put together now in Atlanta.
Holden: Please pray for our visitors to get here safe when they come and please pray for the safety of the people that fly the plane for Agape. Please pray for safety of the people in Haiti and the other side of the world and for their health. God, please heal the people that are sick around the world, thank you for providing everything in the world, especially trees, beautiful flowers, fruits, and people.
Alayna: Please pray that I won't miss my friends so much. I love you! Please pray for Victoria on her trip to Florida! (Marcie: did you know about this???)
Paul and Travis: Wisdom in planning the next marriage conference in Iowa, provision for our travel, protection of our marriage. Wisdom in choosing ministries to be involved with here, that Jesus would be glorified by our service, not ourselves!
Thank you for choosing to travel this road beside us as our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are honored by your presence with us and forever grateful for His provision through you to bring us here.
Paul and Alayna glued the envelopes closed, Gabriel stuffed the envelopes.
Another wonderful thing happened in our family recently that I am so excited to share with you! Paul's brother had his first child (actually his wife Rubie had her...you know what I mean!!) earlier this month!! I am so excited to introduce you to Chloe Marshae Prachar. She is sporting a onesie I found around here that I thought said it all (Paul's brother is 10 years older than him and has long wanted a family. His marriage to Rubie also brought him 3 step-sons, so they have 3 boys and a girl as well). We are so excited she is here and healthy and can't wait to meet her in person! Congratulations Martin and Rubie! Welcome sweet Chloe! We love you all!
I want to pass on a bit of wisdom I learned this morning at church. First of all, let me say that we are so blessed by this church, so blessed to find a church so quickly and one that teaches such great lessons just when we needed them! Anyway, what we learned this morning was the "Chocolate Milk Doctrine". You may have heard this, but we hadn't, what a great object lesson. Anyway, we are like a glass of white milk. Jesus is the chocolate. When we trust in Him for salvation, he sends His Holy Spirit (the chocolate) to live in us. But, if you just put in the chocolate and never do anything else, the chocolate doesn't change us and we don't look or act any different than anyone else who doesn't have the chocolate in them. BUT, when we submit our wills to the stirring of the spirit, striving to bring all things in our lives under His authority and into obedience to Him, we look like chocolate milk. BUT, if we decide again not to submit to the stirring of the Holy Spirit, we quickly become as white milk again, and we eventually become rotten and putrid white milk with chocolate in the bottom. This was tied into our lesson on Solomon today who obeyed God PERFECTLY in some areas, but did not submit other areas of his life (e.g his marriage) and obey God, therefore becoming putrid, rotten white milk with chocolate in the bottom. When we allow sin to be present in our lives without allowing the Holy Spirit to stir us into obedience, our minds become twisted, our hearts become hardened and we have a hard time agreeing with God that we are actually sinning, and we justify what we are doing. God wants us to OBEY him in everything, not just get some parts perfect. Listen when the Holy Spirit tries to stir you and may you be very rich dark chocolate milk!!! I know I want to be just that!
Here we are just getting started on the Great Wall part and brainstorming details.
Here the moat is coming together with the bridge over it.
Carving steps up to the bridge
The finished project...just in time as the tide started rising and water came up and all the way through the moat. Probably wasn't long before it was all washed away! We couldn't bear to stay and watch the destruction, however the kids longed to smash it themselves!
We also took time to celebrate our one month mark by going to a (free!) movie at the theater in town (Alvin and the Chipmunks) and also got in line for free face and body painting! The kids thought it was great! We headed over to Agape to show Dad which was the first picture on this post.
This week has already seen God's work in providing for our "problems". Last week after the run to the island, the plane needed work and would most likely miss this week's route. On Friday, a man called and wanted to volunteer to take all the cargo for this week when he flew down to see a family member in the Dominican Republic!! That is why we loaded the plane on Monday night and it left Tuesday morning. Secondly, when we moved, we did not move our old stand mixer with us, instead actually were able to sell it at our garage sale (truly God's handiwork!!), and our hand mixer had quit months ago. I figured I would replace it after we moved. However, this has not been high on the priority list and we have borrowed our neighbors twice when we realized we were half way through a recipe that required a mixer. Yesterday, the neighbor brought over an extra mixer she had on hand because there was a great sale. I totally heard God say, "See Travis, I knew you were going to live across the street from her and I told her to buy that mixer because you would need it, and I want you to know that I even care about those little details!"
I want to leave you with an object lesson God has been teaching us this week that he fleshed out in front of my eyes. Everyone but me was in the pool. I just happened to go to the slider to look out at them and I could see Alayna floating on the innertube. She has been swimming since we got here and can swim all the way across the pool, so I wasn't alarmed that she was floating in the deep end. She was trying to get her hair out of her eyes and tipped her head back and leaned back to get the top of her head in the water and slipped off the innertube. No big deal, she was right by the side, but instead of swimming for the side, she kept trying to grab onto the innertube from the inside of it. Her hands kept slipping and she never could get hold of the innertube. I was opening the door to get someone's attention when Riley noticed her and jumped in and pushed the innertube away from her and pulled her to the side. Wow, how much like Alayna are we??? What are we clinging to (or trying to cling to) that in the end won't save us and only makes us miss true salvation?? How much do we need a Savior to jump into our situation and push away what we are clinging to and show us the way to true Salvation!!! I only had a little time to think on the object lesson God gave me before we got busy again, but in church on Sunday, the sermon was about forgiveness. The point especially driven home was walking in forgiveness and the necessity of it for salvation. FOR SALVATION!! Matthew 6:14-15 says: "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins." If your sins are not covered by the blood of Jesus and forgiven you do not receive salvation...you don't receive forgiveness if you don't also freely offer it!! Are you clinging to unforgiveness like Alayna trying to cling to the innertube? I pray you will allow God to search your heart and show you what you are clinging to as I have this week!!
Baptism at the beach as the storm rolls in behind us.
A total of 8 people were baptized.
Here are the kids with Paul at his desk...see he does work! I have tried to get him to take the camera to work one day to chronologize his day for you...watch for that!