"...great joy which will be to all people."

Luke 2:10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people."

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What's New?

A little bummed to be home from church this morning.  Four kiddos are down with yuckiness.  Fever, sore throats, coughs, etc.  Jack, Ava Mae and Pearl are worshiping at Iglesia del Camino though so the rest of the gang is resting, cuddling and watching cartoons in Spanish.

What have we been up to?  Basically just settling in.  Lots of shopping for the kitchen basics, groceries, etc.  There is no Dollar Tree here! 

Jack begins work tomorrow and I know he is super excited.  He will be working at the church shop prefabbing homes this week.

We are still getting some paperwork together for the girls' school but hopefully they'll start soon so they can immerse and acclimate.  We aren't too concerned with their educational needs at this time, instead they will focus on learning Spanish, making friends and adjusting to the culture. 

Antigua, Guatemala (not to be confused with the country of Antigua) is absolutely gorgeous and filled with so much Guatemalan culture and history.  On Friday the schools were off because the city was celebrating Dia de Santiago (Patron Saint Day) with lots of parades, band music and colorful costumes.  We walked about 8 miles on Friday just looking around town, shopping and searching for a high chair for Joseph.  The rope and chair just isn't cutting it.  He's too big and too smart.  ;)

That's all the update I have for now!  As always, thanks for joining us on this journey. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hello from Guat!

We have arrived!  Our trip was extremely pleasant which is pretty awesome considering both flights were delayed.  The kids were amazing and Joseph even napped on the second flight.  We flew through customs and our driver was on time.  Zero traffic from Guatemala City to La Antigua and the caretaker was at our home waiting for us with our key when we pulled in.  Pastor Mike and Nancy had flowers and treats waiting for us on our kitchen table which was a wonderful welcome!

So what have we been up to?  Yesterday Nancy took me grocery shopping and today Jack, the kids and I went for a pretty long walk to check out the school and run a few errands.  WE ARE EXHAUSTED.  Is this jet lag?  The time difference is only two hours so please tell me why we are so tired!?

The internet goes in and out so this blog will be short.  We will be in touch soon. 

Love you all so much,

PS  Please send us a message via Facebook, Text or Blog to keep in touch!

Saying goodbye to the family was pretty rough.  Miss them already.  

Lots of luggage!  

Great travelers!  

View of the Beautiful Volcano Aqua

Yummy Lychees!

Sunday, July 13, 2014


We have the best friends and family.  Hands down.  They are supportive, nurturing and loving with every step we take.  And we take some wacky steps.

This coming Friday, July 18, my family is hosting a Goodbye Dessert and Silent Auction for us at North Side Baptist Church in Wilmington.  Close friends and family have been diligently preparing for this event and my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude.  

There are currently 100 items for the auction.  So many generous local businesses, restaurants and individuals have donated gift cards and baskets.  We live in a pretty awesome town.    

It would be an honor to see our friends and family Friday evening.  The relationships we have built in Wilmington over the past 20 years are precious to us.  We look forward to spending time in fellowship before we leave Sunday morning.

Please feel free to pass this along and invite your friends and family.  There will be plenty of desserts!

Northside Baptist Church
2501 North College Road
Wilmington, NC

Friday, July 18

7:00 PM

Friday, July 11, 2014

PT's Olde Fashioned Grille

People are generally very kindhearted.  As a board member of a non-profit ministry, I have been asking begging people and businesses for support for years.  I have blogged about this humbling process in the past but I have probably neglected to brag on some awesome people.  Earlier this week I mentioned the incredible Hot Mess Studios and now I want to blog about P.T.'s Olde Fashioned Grille in Leland.

A few weeks ago Jack had the opportunity to meet with the manager at P.T.'s.  He spent some time listening to Jack share his passion for Guatemala and the IDC ministry.  He was so gracious and offered to donate a generous gift card for the silent auction, as well as give a percentage of all food purchased on Friday night.  It's such an honor to see hearts being burdened for Guatemala.

Come on out to P.T.'s Grille for lunch or dinner this evening, 
Friday, July 11!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mil Casas Project

On the first day of construction, the concrete foundation is poured.  The walls, roof, door, and windows go up in approximately 5 hours the following day.  The homes are then furnished with bunk beds, a high efficiency cooking stove, a solar lighting/charging system, and a water filtration system.

The Iglesia del Camino building ministry not only provides families in Guatemala with safe home structures and clean water, they also partner with the local seminary, who work with the families to receive life skills training and the Gospel through small group ministry.  This education is easily perpetuated for generations.
This model of ministry is Biblical.  Christ not only met the physical needs of people, He also enlightened them with the Truth. 

Thank you for your prayers and support.  We are so thankful to be part of this ministry at IDC!

In His Service,

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Belated June Update

June was a busy month!  What's new with us?

First, we moved out of the beach house at Topsail 6 weeks ago and moved in with my parents.  Aren't they lucky?  ;)  Within two weeks of moving in with them, my two nephews and niece joined us for a prolonged vacation and this week my other niece and nephew are staying here so we have 11 kids in the house.  SO MUCH FUN!  I love my brother and sister, their spouses and kids so this is really a special treat for me.  It will be a while until we see them again so I am trying to soak up every minute.

After 16 years at Topsail High School, Jack handed in his resignation letter in June.  I don't think he was prepared for the mixed emotions he experienced.  Although he is super excited to start work with Iglesia del Camino in Guatemala, he will miss teaching.  He has grown so much as a teacher and role model.  He has gained valuable friendships and had the opportunity to work with some great colleagues. I am really proud of him.  It's a huge leap of faith to resign from a career that provides financial and job security.  God has given both of us such peace and unity with this move which has allowed us to move forward with comfort and joy.

Cornerstone Community Church in West Virginia partnered with us a few months ago.  We had a wonderful opportunity to visit with our brothers and sisters in Vienna, West Virginia a few weeks ago. Our friends at Cornerstone welcomed us with open arms and we were able to spend a good amount of time in fellowship.  An added blessing was spending time with two of the youth we worked with in youth ministry years ago who are now much bigger, smarter and stronger (one is married!) and also with a former pastor and his wife.  Giant blessing.

We were also grateful to spend time with one of my dear friends, who I have known for over 20 years. Angela has been my mentor for over half of my life and I am so thankful we had the opportunity to spend a short time with her.  The kids adore her and find her "hysterical" so it was a blessing for all of us.

During the last week in June, we went to OBX and spent a week having a blast with 40 of my relatives.  This reunion is something we strive to accomplish every 2 years and I am already looking forward to swimming, playing, fishing, laughing, and joking with my cousins, aunts and uncles in 2016.

So now what?

We leave in less than two weeks.  HUGE.  A few weeks ago I told Jack I felt like I was in denial because I wasn't nervous or hesitant.  I was worried that I wasn't worried!  HA!  I can now assure you that I have butterflies (and I find myself missing my family and friends already) but the delight and passion I have for Guatemala and IDC ministry is overwhelming and exciting!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hot Mess ROCKS

Over a year ago I met two wonderful ladies who opened Hot Mess Studios in our hometown.
Andrea and Grammy Carrots are funny, joyful, and encouraging women who invite you to their store to paint.

Unfortunately life has been extremely busy over the past few months and I haven't been as often as I would like but Hot Mess continues to offer a fun atmosphere for date nights, girls' night out and lots of activities for kids, as well.   There is always a good time going down at Hot Mess!

This Thursday, July 10, Hot Mess Studios is sponsoring a painting party fundraiser for us.  They thoughtfully chose a Quetzal, which is the beautiful Guatemalan national bird.  This Quetzal should not be confused with the other Guatemalan Quetzal, which is name of the currency.  ;)

There are two painting options:


This week at Hot Mess: COCKTAILS & CREATE: "The Quetzal, Going to Guatemala With Joy"...join us at Hot Mess, Thursday evening, 7-10pm, for a 50/50 fundraiser event for Jack Townsend, local THS teacher & family. Pre-register at (910)386-7699. Our artists are happy to pre-sketch your canvas if needed, just let us know! Both versions will be demonstrated. This is an Artist led canvas class-no skill required!! Kids can paint this for $10. Adults $40. Couples $70. Kids Club available for ages 4-10, $10/child. *50% of all proceeds including kids club will be donated.

It would be terrific to see you Thursday night!  Let us know if you plan to come on out!

Please Forgive!

Okay, I know I have said it before but I am seriously a terrible blogger.  I want to do better, I really do. I just don't seem to make it a priority.  My goal is to blog once a week.  Starting now.  Who wants to keep me accountable?