Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Here are a few of our specific prayers which God has answered…

  • I needed some new sippy cups.  I wanted to buy some, but Ben reminded me we should pray about it.  I needed some with soft spouts for the twins.  I got a $5 coupon at the grocery store, and the sippy cups are $5.49.  We were also given a soft spout sippy in a gift basket from a church where we had a meeting.  “Ironically”, this basket had been packed with someone else in mind – we were filling in for friends who had a baby.  But God knew we would be the ones receiving it!
  • Elaine has been praying for rain boots.  I tried to find some on sale.  I asked Grandma.  No boots.  Then my friend Maggy asked if Elaine needed any boots, because her daughter had three pairs.  Praise the Lord – and Havilah even gave Elaine the boots that matched her rain coat.  I have an excited little girl!
  • Ben’s air compressor broke just before he finished a job on Friday.  We tried to find one on Craigslist, but the cheapest one was quite a distance away.  We settled for buying a new one at Home Depot, but Ben prayed that it would be on sale – and it was!  “Amazingly” it was the same price as the used on on Craigslist!
  • My glasses broke a couple of weeks ago.  It drives me nuts when my glasses aren’t fitting “just right”, so I was really dreading the two week wait for a new pair.  And, we didn’t really have the money for new glasses right now.  (I wear progressive lenses so they are never covered by insurance).  I decided to get an eye exam since mine was a couple of years old.  During the exam the eye doctor noted that I no longer needed the progressive lenses, and that I could try going back to a single vision lens “if I wanted to.”  I sure did!  Those ones are free with my insurance!  (And the broken glasses hardly bothered me during these last two weeks).
  • During our last deputation meeting the video would not play.  We continued singing favorites while the sound crew worked on the problem.  I was praying!  The song leader stopped and prayed for the situation with the entire congregation.  The video worked!
  • We purchased a Windows tablet to use on deputation, but soon discovered that we really needed a laptop.  A friend is getting us a used one from work.  This was a big answer to prayer!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Daily Children's Bible Time
Nolan’s favorite song – and he is so cute with his hair cut!

Daily Children's Bible Time
Twins during “Bible Time”

Four In a Row
Four in a row – waiting for Mommy to make lunch!  {Good thing I can’t post sound effects!}

Four kids in a pack n play
They were all in the pack n play trying to help the babies be happy while I made supper.

Four kids in a pack n play

Nolan Love Puzzles!
Nolan LOVES puzzles!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday

This is a really long post, but it’s been in my heart for a little while now.

In February we were privileged to attend a Family Relationships Seminar hosted by Baptist World Mission in Decatur, AL. The guest speaker was Dr. E. Allan Griffith of Biblical Family Ministries. We discussed communication, the husband-wife relationship, the parent-child relationship, and relationships pertaining to ministry (both during deputation and on the mission field). During the seminar we were each asked to give our personal testimony to the rest of the class.

As I prepared to share my testimony, I began to think about how God had directed my steps to prepare me for the ministry He is giving us in the Bronx. It amazed me how God had put specific experiences into my path to guide my heart to the home mission field.

I was a sophomore in high school when we began attending Highlands Baptist Church. It was my first experience with a missions-minded church. God used my time in the youth group at Highlands, and Pastor Musgrave’s heart for missions, to call me to the mission field.

During high school I worked at McDonalds. In Denver we have a large Hispanic population, and I worked with many of those people at McDonalds. I was studying Spanish in school, but as a homeschooler I didn’t have many people to converse with to practice my pronunciation. McDonalds reinforced that aspect of the Spanish language for me in a very practical way. So many of my friends were Mexican or Hispanic, and I found myself falling in love with their culture.

As I prepared for the mission field I enrolled at BJU. I remember thinking that I was overwhelmed with classes like speech, history, arts, etc. and all I really wanted to study was the Bible. As a “school of religion” major I was taking double the required Bible courses, but I still didn’t feel like I was getting enough.

Through the experience of sitting out a year of college to work and save money, God directed my steps to transfer to Ambassador Baptist College. During that year that I stayed home, some missionaries on deputation, with Baptist World Mission, stayed in our home. Mr. Starin had just graduated from ABC. It was a Bible College and it sounded just like what I was looking for.

As a student at Ambassador Baptist College I attended Pastor Frank Camp’s church. Pastor Camp is just a little bit of a matchmaker, and during my sophomore year he asked me to pray about Ben Hamilton. Now as a missions student I was pretty set against dating anyone who was not a missions major. But God started answering prayer requests for Ben. And it seemed like everytime I was on the sidewalk going to class, Pastor Camp was there also and he would say, “You been prayin’?” So…I started praying. And then I started dating Ben.

The summer after my junior year I completed my missions internship in Spain. I loved my time there and I would have loved to go back there, or to any Spanish speaking mission field. I was still dating Ben and I really had to wrestle with what a missionary is. I came to realize that a missionary is someone who takes the Gospel to people who do not have it, and usually a foreign missionary is someone who plants a church in a foreign culture.

Not only did the Lord continue to direct my steps regarding my relationship with Ben, but He was leading me to be willing to serve anywhere God wanted me – not only on a foreign field, and not only in a Spanish culture. Ben felt called to be a church-planter. As the Lord confirmed that He was “the one” for me, He also caused me to be satisfied to stay “home” and be a church-planting type of missionary.

After college we were married and we moved to Virginia Beach to continue Ben’s seminary studies. When our time there was coming to a close, we were seeking God’s direction regarding where to serve. God reignited Ben’s desire to work in an urban setting. We began praying about New York City, since Ben had completed a summer internship there with Shalom Ministries.

The missions-major part of me started to get excited about going to New York City. The whole world is there! There are so many cultures – all in one place. Could God really be fulfilling the desire of my heart in this way?

When we moved to NYC Ben intended to work a job while church planting. The expense of living in the City and our experience with Ben trying to do ministry and work full time led us to believe that we needed to do deputation before church planting. Then God directed us to apply to Baptist World Mission. My pastor, Jeff Musgrave serves on the board of BWM. It was a BWM missionary that God used to take me to Ambassador. I never thought I would serve with such a large mission board, but here we are – approved church-planting missionaries with Baptist World Mission! And now we are on deputation and I am experiencing another aspect of missions that I thought would not do as a “home missionary.”

As God continued to direct our steps He led us to the Bronx. Would you guess? The demographics of this area are 53% Hispanic! One of our ministry goals is to have a Spanish speaking ministry come out of our church plant.

I am rather in awe that God would take my desire for missions and my love of Spanish people, and bring me to the point where I was willing to let go of my desires and plans in this area. He led me to marry a pastoral major and not a missions major. He called me to stay home instead of to go. Then, in His goodness, He has brought it all full circle and given me the desires of my heart. He has brought me to the largest city in our country – a culturally diverse mission field. We are serving with a mission board and traveling on deputation. And He is calling us to plant a church in an area which is over 50% Hispanic. Does it get any better than that?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

{10} Months Old

Arggg… behind again!  I blame it on the fact that there is no February 30th.  That’s why I got confused and behind!  Here is the twins’ update for ten months old!

Nehemiah 10 Months  Nehemiah 10 Months

Nehemiah is a total boy!  He loves cars, balls, and making noises.  Now that he does a “real” crawl he has figured out how to do it while pushing a car or truck all around the house.  He is often heard in the back of the van, from his crib, or other parts of the house just humming, “singing”, and making spitting noises.

img_5504

Nehemiah can stand without support for a few minutes.  He often starts to paly with an object and “forgets” to hold onto the couch/table/chair, and then falls and gets a bonk.  He usually has a purple bruise right in the middle of his forehead.  And if you hold his hands, he practically takes off running. 

Nehemiah 10 Months   Nehemiah 10 Months

Another talent that has recently developed is the ability to open the toilet lid.  I have found him with wet hands several times.  Guess we have to work on keeping the door closed as well! 

Nehemiah 10 Months

If you ask Nehemiah for a kiss and stick your lips out really far, he will come at you with a big, wet, open-mouth “kiss.”  It’s pretty cute – and sloppy!  He is still the smiley boy that gets strangers to stop and comment on how happy he is!  And I think he’s even more adorable with two new top teeth in his smile!  Nehemiah still weighed in at 18 pounds, but he is tall and lanky.  Most of the pants from Nolan fall right off, or he crawls out of them quickly. 

Both of my babies are big eaters.  We just finished our first week in weaning, but they hardly seem to miss the 10 am feeding.  It’s all about waffles and bananas and pizza now!  They love to pick food up and self feed, which makes it challenging for Mommy to get them to eat their veggies.  Liberty in particular loves bananas (which isn’t always great for the regularity).  Each of the babies ate over half of a Belgian waffle in addition to eggs for supper this week.  That’s double what Elaine and Nolan ate!

Liberty 10 Months   Liberty 10 Months
{Liberty wasn’t really into pictures on this day!}

Liberty is super cute these days.  She laughs and giggles, and comes crawling over to be right near me.  She tries to play peek-a-boo, and loves being carried around by Elaine.  She knows exactly where to go to find toys in the kids’ room, and usually comes crawling out of the room with something sticking out of her mouth – a dinosaur, puzzle piece, sock, or whatever.  She particularly loves shoes, and I have a hard time keeping her from playing in the shoe basket by the front door.

Liberty 10 Months

Liberty is…fat!  She has amazing, adorable fat rolls.  Though she only weighs about a pound less than Nehemiah, she is a lot shorter and a lot fatter!  During our trip to Alabama she ate her first bug – or several bugs – and seemed to enjoy it a lot!  She can walk along while holding onto things, but hasn’t gotten up the courage to stand alone yet.  We are still waiting on top teeth to arrive.

Liberty 10 Months

The twins love to play together – and fight together.  They follow each other into the bedroom, and out of the bedroom.  Liberty finds a toy, Nehemiah takes it away.  Liberty throws a fit, Mommy returns the toy.  Nehemiah finds a toy, and Liberty drops her toy to take his away, causing Nehemiah to throw a fit.  And when he throws a fit he bangs his head onto the floor.  It’s a never-ending cycle.  But they also climb on each other and laugh together playing in the floor.  twins are definitely fun!

The twins got to meet Uncle Kenny and Aunt Becky – who live in Florida, but we met them in Knoxville, TN on our trip to AL.  And I did plan to take some pics of the twins together, but just as we started, Nehemiah fell and bonked his head.  That was the end of pictures for the day!