Thursday, July 28, 2016

Nicaragua: Part 2

I'm thankful to say that my family is now all home safe and sound and I am so grateful for the time they were allowed to be in Nicaragua and the opportunities in which they participated. Many souls were saved and many lives were changed while they were there. Including theirs!
They were able to see some wonderful sights too. In this picture Shannon and Cameo are in front of Crater Lake.  That's a lake near the largest body of water, Lake Nicaragua. 
Bro Dave and the school children and teachers. 

They both excitedly talk about their trip and keep remembering moments that they want to share with the family. We have heard many stories and looked at many pictures of their time there.

One of the churches that visited. This is the youth group above. 
They had opportunities to give out needed items, including backpacks filled with supplies for the kids who will be starting to school soon. 
Both of them say they would go back again if God provides a way. Both saying that it was a blessing to be able to work with the team and with the people who live there. 

The picture above shows the day they took them for ice cream. That is the line of children waiting for their ice cream. Precious.
The picture above is one night that they children were treated to a piƱata filled with treats!

Our welcome sign! 
Waiting on our loved ones! 

I'm relishing in the fact that we are all home together again and we are so thankful for how we were supported, financially and prayerfully by all of you. We know that God was in this and we know that your support was a blessing.
Thank you all. We love you and appreciate you. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Christmas in July!

Each year, the youth department heads up our Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child campaign. Each year we try to fill a few more boxes with than we did the last and each year we have been doing just that! The shoeboxes are filled with gifts that the children might enjoy and with hygiene items that they may need.

This year I decided I wanted to use some of our Wednesday nights through to summer to help promote the boxes and work on some crafts that would be a fun addition to the gifts! A Christmas in July kickoff seemed like the perfect idea! 
With all the Sharpie love I have going right now, we took plain white washcloths and let each youth draw to their hearts content on them. Then if they wanted to, they could use the rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and make the colors run a bit to give it the tie-dyed look.
We had a lot of fun with this project and I love all the creativity the kids displayed!

I will wash and dry all the washcloths and then put them away until we pack the boxes in November. If you are interested in donating to the Operation Christmas Child, and are not local, click the link! There are many ways in which you can help.
If you are local, contact me at joyfullychas AT gmail DOT com! We'd be happy to pick up any items to help grow these boxes and give many more gifts to some needy children at Christmastime! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Nicaragua, Part 1

Sunday morning, I woke up very aware of the day we had ahead of us. One of excitement, of nervousness, of anticipation, and a big mixture of happy and sadness rolled into one big ole ball. 

Last summer, Bro Dave Walton came to our church for revival. Bro Dave often talks about his mission trips to Nicaragua and the work that is being done there. Building homes, churches, taking supplies and most of all giving it all to these dear people with the sweet love of Jesus and teaching them about the hope that only He can bring. Bro Dave has been coming to our church for a number of years now, always telling us of the latest work being done there in Nicaragua and always encouraging us to 'Brag on Jesus'.  Knowing my husband the way I do, I knew what was coming next, but it still gave me a moment of concern when he went up to Dave at the end of the week and said, "I'm gonna go with you when you go next year."  I knew the trip was not going be easy. I knew the trip was not going to be cheap. I knew the trip was going be WAY out of all of our comfort zones. 
I thought, this world is a crazy place right now! I don't know if it is a good idea to go out of the country?
 But for once, Chas didn't get in the way, I didn't complain or say anything negative, or start fretting. I just said, "Ok, we need to start praying" 
And we did. 
Shannon's resolve to go did not waiver. He was passionate about it. He wanted to get out letters to ask for anyone to help with the trip. Either with monies, or supplies, or prayers. 
Over the course of several months an outpouring of love came through. It is amazing how God works and I stand in awe of Him. 
Well, around Christmastime Cameo began to speak of wanting to go with her Daddy on this trip. Again, my thoughts were, "No! That's too far away!" "She's a pretty young lady, someone will try to take her" I've seen the movie Taken and it scared me to death! But... I stopped being fearful and added it to my prayers and trusted that if God was calling them both to go,  He would protect them, He would equip them. With everything. 

And here we are... They left Sunday afternoon.
Neither had been to an airport before. Neither had ever been on a plane. Neither had been out of the country. And now they are 1500+ miles away, working in a foreign land. 
As they send me pictures, my heart breaks. I'm aware of just how selfish I can be. How I take too much for granted. Oh, dear Lord, how I needed these reminders. How easy it is to forget the things that matter. 
I miss them terribly, but I am SO proud of them. I am so thankful for this opportunity. I know they will forever be changed.
There are 16 in the group that Shannon and Cameo are with this week. They are split into 3 different teams. Their team went out and began to minister to some of the locals. To invite them to church, to tell them about Jesus and to bring them supplies. 
6 sweet souls accepted the Lord as their Savior yesterday! And that was only in their group! My soul is stirred and I can't help but shout, "Hallelujah!" "Praise be to God!"
The structure below is the beginning of a house that the team is beginning to build. It's not big by any means. It's probably smaller than a standard American bedroom. But it will be strong. It will keep them safe during rainy season they are in right now. And to them, it will be almost like a dream come true. 

Please help me pray for my family and for the teams there this week. Help me pray that lives will be touched and changed by the work they are doing and many more souls will come to know Jesus. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

My Blue Million Shoes

Sharpie markers + a little rubbing alcohol on something white makes colors run. Did you know that? It gives it a somewhat tie-dyed effect. And since I love me some tie-dye, I had to give it a shot on some canvas shoes. 

By the way, just a little over $5 for these shoes at Walmart, and if you know me in real life, you know the only shoes I ever wear are flip-flops and these type of shoes. So woot-woot! New pair of shoes for Moma under $6!  Woohoo!
I had made mention on instagram how I had a blue-million things to do yesterday, but I really wanted to take a little time and make the shoes! That got me to thinking, does anyone else out there say *blue-million*? I had a couple of responses that said YES! One was from West Virginia, and I am not sure where the other was from. But one lady said she had never even heard of the term. To me, blue million means too many to count. You are swamped. Over your head or overwhelmed. 
If you use it in a different form, or at all, I'd love to hear where you are from! :)
Anyhow, back to the shoes. I started both shoes with different patterns, but basically the same. I wanted to see which effect worked best and give you some pointers before you try your own shoes! 
Basically, I didn't want a "pattern" per say, I just wanted a fade from one color to the next kinda thing. Since because with shoes you can't band a section off and saturate with color like you do when you tie-dye, you just have to color your sections in. 
The above shoe was a good idea, but the colors were not close enough together. You want the colors to be close enough to run. It was my first shoe and  my first try, so now you know. I did go back in and color it up some more after seeing it wasn't working in the fashion I wanted.
This is the second shoe. I colored waves of color, progressing outward like a ripple. Much closer together. 
I used rubbing alcohol and a little pipette to distribute the alcohol to the shoe without completely saturating it. You can begin to see how the colors are running.
I even got an old toothbrush and helped muddle the colors a bit.

I am completely smitten. I think they are AWESOME!
Carlie made her own pair too. Very cute and summer-y! 
Cameo has a pair to make as well, and I'll update a pic with hers once she gets them made. 

It was super easy and a lot of fun!  Even when you do have a blue-million things to do, take a little time to have fun with your kids. You might end up with some wonderful memories and some great shoes. ;)