Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Let you lamp be trimmed
Watch and be ready
Jesus showing up on the water
Through a locked door
No man knows the hour
I am reading a book by Oswald Chambers in which he references the unexpected ways of our Lord. There is a sense in which from our perspective, we must always be ready for a surprise from our Father. I am not sure if this is the right example, but I just experienced a surprise and I am thanking the Lord.
Since arriving in Jamaica, our heart has become burdened for the deaf Church in Jamaica. There are 3 official deaf churches and a new church plant. We have asked the Lord what our role is in supporting the development of these fellowships. We have tried to help in little ways and the Lord provided another little way that we had not expected.
Our desire has been to encourage deaf men to take responsibility for the leadership of these churches. We have tried to provide encouragement to some in our local deaf fellowship, but we know it is an issue across Jamaica. Last week, we learned that our local fellowship was hosting a leadership retreat for the deaf churches in Jamaica. I asked the pastor if I could join and he asked if I would be willing to share some thoughts at the retreat. A little later, I told him I was willing and he asked if I could teach a lesson to only the men on motivation for ministry. Wow, what an opportunity and what a surprise. I tried to teach the idea that the Gospel is our motivation, the simple Gospel. There were approx. 10 men there representing the 3 churches. We pray that the power of the Gospel continues to take root in each of our lives for His glory!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Also, 3 months after Danae made her entrance into our family, we still hadnt updated our family picture at the top of the page. While it is not the best representation of Danae, at least she is present and accounted for as a member of our family.
Speaking of Danae, she is awesome. She is growing so fast and capturing our hearts more everyday. She has a beautiful smile and has been a very cooperative baby. I am convinced that she will be a tough little girl as she is daily being pummeled with overly-exuberant expressions of love from her big sister. We are giving thanks. Here is a picture of the little angel:
Monday, August 22, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
My heart is hard! Its not that I want to choose hardness, its just happens. In the last two weeks, I could have told you more about the roller coaster stock market than I could have about the famine in the horn of Africa. The thought of famine, kids starving, and families being torn apart turns my brain into a merry-go-round. I process the realities of sin. That is the problem. God in his grace has allowed us enough dominion over His creation to deal with droughts, but the drought is not the only root of this famine. Other countries are having a drought, but sin is causing the famine. There is enough food, but war, power, and corruption are causing famine. It tears me up and makes me want to give up. I have no idea what to do with it, but I know I am not supposed to ignore it.
My apologies for that rough opening paragraph. It’s the middle of August and this is our July update and I thought maybe the confusion in that paragraph might allow you a glimpse as to why this is just now getting published. I have had a tough time getting thoughts to settle down onto paper, but I think it has been good for my heart.
We stopped writing updates during our time in the states. It was a blessed and much needed 4 months. Our time as a family was sweet, the fellowship we experienced in our local church was encouraging, and the arrival of Danae was a big answer to prayer.
Words fail our gratitude.
On the 15th of July, we flew back to Jamaica. It has been good to get back into the swing of life. We are here for relationship and its been good reconnecting. Shortly after our arrival, we hosted some friends from the states who were here for our teammate’s, Blake and Tashi, wedding. It was great having visitors here for such an important occasion. After the wedding and festivities were over, we had a quiet week at home. It was great. We knew that we had some teams coming and we needed some time to get settled back into Jamaica as we had hit the ground running. We are thankful for how everything has gone upon our return.
I know we say this a lot, but we really do feel blessed beyond measure. That is not to say that the hardness of our heart doesn’t spring up into times of deception in which we begin feeling sorry for ourselves. But honestly, if we stop for just a few seconds, the joy comes back as we recognize the blessings we have received. It is our heart to not waste these blessings and we continue to ask the Lord to show us the way. This is our prayer. Thank you so much for your love, support, and prayers. We love the body of Christ! To God be the Glory!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
This is Drew. And, this is Drew's preferred method of swimming. His head above the water, his feet firmly planted on the ground, and everything in his control. He has always enjoyed swimming, he has just always wanted to do it on his terms. We have gently tried to coax him to put his head under water and we have practiced some swimming things, but he has been nowhere close to ready to start swimming on his own. He has started dipping his face under water, but never his whole head. He just hasnt seemed ready to learn to swim. We have been trying to leave it to his time on his terms.
And then one day everything changed and believe it or not, it was not our amazing teaching skills that brought about this revolution. I cant even believe I am typing this, but Drew's heart has been stolen by a young lady. And, this particular young lady (the girl on the right) happened to be swimming with him this day and she happened to be a fairly proficient swimmer. And, that is all it took. She began wielding her subtle, but powerful influence on this little boy's heart.
We were not even in the pool with him and we turn around and this is what we see.
We couldnt believe it.
Really, it was exciting and we had a great day swimming with our friends. And, by the looks of the picture below, we may need to start keeping an eye on Truitt as well. The young lady he has his arm around happens to be the younger sister of Drew's sweetheart. We are not ready for this!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Here at the Jamaican Deaf Village, they have a souvenir shop and it has been the culmination of all his dreams to be the cashier for the shop. It is opened on Tuesday and Thursday nights. He will ask 10 times between Tuesday and Thursday when he gets to open the shop again. He is living his dreams as he gives $4 change from a $20 for a t-shirt.
Last night, he put a cherry on top of the number wackiness. He never goes to sleep well and is often looking for an excuse to get out of bed to read books. So, he walks out of his room and up to Keri and says, "I am only about 20% sleepy, so can I get up and read books."
Monday, August 8, 2011
Also, we finally got a few pictures uploaded from June and July. Danae is growing up, Daisha is growing more mischievous, and the boys are becoming gentlemen. Praise the Lord!
If you have trouble with the above link, please use enter the following URL into your browser: https://picasaweb.google.com/kirkkeri
Then click on the June/July Pics
Friday, August 5, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
We are thrilled at the working of God in my younger brother's life. He is 9 years younger than I and for a long time, our relationship felt like he was 9 years younger. Not in any bad ways, he has just always been my little brother. Several years back, the Lord radically changed the trajectory of his life. Similar to most of our journeys, he reached a crossroads in life in which the Grace of God drew him into a deeper walk of faith. He went from being my little brother to simply being my younger brother. Barriers of age were broken and now our time together is often filled with fellowship. I admire and respect him and am excited that the Lord has led him into marriage. He is recently engaged to Heather. It is an exciting time for our family and we pray in confidence that this marriage will be synergistic on behalf of the Kingdom. That 1+1 will not equal 2, but will be produce exponential blessings in ways that can only be witnessed through grace. To God be the Glory!