March Came in like a...Rooster?
It has been blustery for a couple weeks, with winds at 22 mph and more. The mornings and evenings can even be chilly, requiring a light sweatshirt! But days were warm, and downright HOT while Merle and the guys were working on replacing a shiny metal roof.
Debbie sent a special flashing adhesive that Merle wanted to use, but wasn't available here. It arrived in the nick of time. The guys, headed up by Ben, are also helping with the facade on a building that is currently cement block. As the base is well-staffed at this time, many projects are getting accomplished. This is a beautiful base and it honors God from its former use as a Sugar Plantation with slaves. Sea turtles nest on the island and are protected by law and common courtesy. We wish it was the same for human life (see below).
Transformation and Baptism are always special, done here in the ocean. The Discipleship Training School Team left a few weeks ago, but they were great, easy to work with, really loved tutoring the local children struggling through homework, led all kinds of games, participated in team building exercises, and didn't even complain about all the mosquito bites on their legs. A few of them were involved with the local dance instructor who gives classes in one of the buildings (where Merle and I sneak off to dance occasionally), and had a final performance for Black History Month one evening before they left. It was delightful.
Rade, one of our friends in Sarajevo, pictured above (left), passed away last month. He leaves behind his wife, Irina. My friend, Sutka, brought flowers, and attended the funeral. It was very kind of her to represent us when we couldn't be there. And she called me while she was there. Wow, technology. Truly a blessing.
The YWAM staff had a group picture taken, so we took one of them, too. New friends Jeff and Kathy came to serve on a "Vacation with a Purpose." Check it out on line and come to serve! Since we have a car, we took them to several places of interest on the island. They were hard workers. It was fun to have them visit, and I am sure they enjoyed escaping from the snow for week. Ben and Sarah and their three home schooled children came to serve at the base, while Ben is in charge of the facade work. Debbie, who was the main teacher for the 4th grade Sunday school class with whom I served at FBCJ, sent a boat load of wonderful supplies for the the base. She is a blessing! The original block walls are crumbling, and especially the mortar between the rocks, which becomes very fine dust that cakes together. I have a second piano student and another asking about lessons. It is a blessing to help them improve their skills on the keyboard.
St. Croix is known for their moko jumbie (stilt walkers-pictured above), though they only seem to show up when cruise ships come, which wasn't during Covid last year, or so far this year. St. Croix has lots of chickens and roosters wandering around. One rooster was on the hot chase of a hen and heading right for the road in front of us, when the hen quickly turned and veered away. Otherwise, we would have been eating fried chicken for dinner that night! I love our ice machine! Hannah makes her own beautiful Birthday cake. I was sorry to have missed it. And here we are after church at St. Croix Christian Church, but we have also visited The Way of the Cross, and want to visit other churches as well.
Above left is Andrea, who we first met in St. Lucia, getting a much needed break from the Jamaican YWAM base. Small world! Dani (above right), at our intercession time, told about the homicide rate being especially high on St. Croix. The Virgin Islands have the third highest murder rate in the world per capita after El Salvador and Honduras, but after the hurricane there were 112 days without any killings, presumably because everyone was too busy cleaning up the devastation. She arranged an all-night worship and intercession time for this important need. Please pray with us for the young men of St. Croix, especially the young men we work with, and in the other Virgin Islands, as well as all the Caribbean, as they all have similar problems. It reminds me of Chris, who was shot and killed the day we were traveling back to Atlanta from St. Lucia in 2019. Please pray for stable families, parents that stay together and support their children, jobs, for vision in their lives, and especially that they would come to know Jesus. Following Jesus is always the best way to go!
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 2:14-15