Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Honduras 2024 Recap

 Over the past several years Josh has stepped into worship pastor at our church on top of his other roles. He LOVES it here. Part of that job is staying connected with our ministry partners across the world and every once in a while  I get to partner with him as he travels.

April brought us to Honduras. We have two global partners in Honduras. It was my first time to Honduras and I was actually surprised about a couple things. The electricity has the same outlets. I've never been out of the country where the electrical outlets were the same as America. I was also surprised that they drive on the same side of the car AND the road as us. Just some interesting facts if you were wondering.

Our first stop was with Fernando and his family in La Ceiba. Fernando and his family work with the Garifuna People. He grew up in one of the Garifuna villages about 6 hours outside of La Ceiba and found himself working with Wycliffe to translate the Bible into his own language so he could share it with his people. Currently he is working on a discipleship curriculum in his own language to share with others who speak and work with that people group. It was so cool to listen to him speak about the history of the Garifuna people. I had no concept of that people group or any of its history before coming. And meeting his wife and family was one of my favorite parts!

The next missionaries we visited were Stephen and Erica Switzer. Stephen was our former High School Student pastor and he and his wife moved to Honduras and began a ministry called Embraced International. They work with the Honduran Government to reunify children with the families that they have been taken away from, specifically because of poverty. They come alongside the families and bring support and empowerment to find the job, the home, or the proper surroundings for the government to give their children back to them. It was so good to hear the stories and so beautiful to meet a couple of the families that have recently gotten their kids back. 

The first family was so resourceful. That mama was amazing. She made a storefront at her home so she could make money AND support her kids.  She has chickens to provide eggs and meat. She has handmade weights to stay in shape. Her work ethic is so admirable. And her love for her kids is evident.  (I didn't have a phone to take pictures, hence all of the pictures of me, ha!)

The second family had me at coconut (since you remember my own story with coconuts, lol). This family had a vision and plan for a coconut business and the Embraced team helped empower them to make it happen. 

We could not be more proud of what the Switzer's are doing. And I have a new friend in Lesbi (their psychologist). We connected right away and became instant friends!

Friday, April 12, 2024



Josh and I were in Honduras during our twenty two year anniversary. And it just so happened that we had a two day period between visiting our missionaries so we decided to take advantage of the time and spend a few days together on the beach outside of La Ceiba. We are always a year or two behind the big years (like 15 and 20 year celebrations) but we'd been saving up for just the right time. So our 20-year get-away on our 22 year anniversary sounded perfect, lol.

It was GORGEOUS! We practically had the beach to ourselves. Our hotel room had mountains on one side and beach on the other. We had no agenda. We slept a lot. We read a lot. And enjoyed the tropical sunshine.

Oh, and we got matching tattoos! Don't worry, it was friend recommended and she even went with us. We made new friends that night as we watched a huge futbol game and got inked! Josh found the coordinates of the building where we first met on our college campus that we tattooed on our arms. Nothing says Happy Anniversary like spontaneous, matching tattoos!

United 2024

United is a gathering of many student ministries in the area. They come together for a weekend of worship, serving and discipleship. Josh and I were invited to lead with some of our new friends, The McCray Brothers, for the worship segments and it was amazing. This was the ninth year for United, but the first year Josh and I have participated. We loved getting to see, and be a small part, of something our kids have been a part of over the years. Rainy came and helped with the merch table and Zeke, Alethia and Cai participated. Jude will be there next year which is crazy! 

This year was hosted at Southeastern. 27 different churches were represented within the over 750 students present. The energy was electric, the Holy Spirit was moving and I pray that lives were changed forever. What an honor it was to be able to worship together. Music is such a gift. And to be able to share it with other brothers and sisters in Christ, whether in the band with us, or joining with their voices all around a room, is priceless. If your student ministry is looking to unite with other churches I encourage you to look into joining United next year!

Photo credit goes to one of our friends who is by far one of the best photographers we personally know! If you need photos taken for your own family or event you need to check him out! Tyler Sales Creative

March Recap

 March was probably the craziest month we've had in a WHILE! Josh and I played lots of music, we traveled out of the country, we celebrated our 22 year anniversary...all within one month! Not to mention all of the normal life things that occupy our time. We really try to make it a practice to live our lives with a lot of margin and white space, but sometimes things just happen to stack up and make for a super full month. So, although this is not a pace we want to try to figure out how to sustain, we certainly were filled up with the things the Lord allowed us to be a part of this month.

Here are a few pictures we want to remember this month before I go into all the details!

Easter with fam at Seven Marks Church was beautiful

We had a visit from Uncle Ray and he tagged along with us to soccer practices and a chapel service

Zeke has picked up guitar and been consistently practicing and asking for new things from Josh every day.

Cai made the track team at his school.
He runs the 1600 (1 mile) and has set a PR every track meet so far!

Jude decided to set up a lemonade stand at the park so he could make some money for some inline skates to play hockey. He may have gotten the Rolesville cops called on him (insert eye roll) and kicked out of the park, but not before a lady gave him her business card to an event she is part of at a local school. She told Jude they love kids and their ideas and would love for him to come set up a stand at the event!

I have been working on my garden area and Alethia had the best idea to set up some solar lights and I LOVE it! And guess what? I even have kale and romaine lettuce growing (from LAST YEAR!) that we made a salad with for dinner this week! There may be hope for the garden this year afterall

Our worship team wrote an original song for Easter this year.
You may remember me writing about the recording of it last month.
It released just in time for our church body to learn it so we could belt it out on Easter morning together. You can go stream it on all major music platforms by searching Seven Marks Worship.