Thursday, May 31, 2018

Home Assignment Adventures

We have been on the road, living out of suitcases and our car and topper, in and out of hotels and friends/families’ homes for two months now.  We have been in 10 states, traveled over 5,000 miles, stayed in 26 different places, we have eaten out at many restaurants and at the homes of friends, family and at church potlucks with a few meals in our car.  We have played at countless playgrounds (Peter is a master playground spotter), we have visited several children’s museums, a nature reserve, a kids farm, gone bowling, we have seen a natural bridge, played in waterfalls, went hiking, and been to a baseball game.  We have had adventures indoors, outdoors, and wherever we have found ourselves.  We have swum in hotel pools and played in outdoor splash parks.    Peter has ridden and driven lots of tractors and ask to ride every one we see.  We have visited lots of thrifts stores and malls.  We have been blessed to have fellowship with lots of different churches and with friends and family.  

We are also now active and seeing potential cases of little ones we can potentially adopt.  We are trusting God to continue to write His story and work out the details of this part of our story.  At this point, we do not have any answers on when and if and from where in the USA we will adopt but we know that no matter what happens God is with us. 

The days are not always easy.  Peter sometimes grows weary of his car seat and of the constant hellos and good byes.  We also sometimes grow tired of the constant change and transition.  However, we are choosing to be thankful. 

We have the amazing opportunity to spend this time as a family making memories together and with our extended family and friends.  We also have the blessing to share the story of what God is doing on our Field in various churches, helping them to connect with the larger story of what they are a part of when they support the ministries of the Church of the Nazarene.  Our waistlines are telling us we are getting to enjoy some good food along the way as well. :) 

On June 5th, we head to Indiana for a week, then Pittsburg, PA for a few days, then on to NC to travel the state for three weeks.  We are excited for the adventures and memories that are ahead and thankful for adventures and memories that we have had.

Until next time; Don’t promise something to your almost three year old before nap time or bedtime and think he will forget about it during his sleep.  He will wake up from his nap or in the morning and ask for it and be ready to do it. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

On the road again...

Coming to a Road near you…maybe…if you live to the East of Kansas City and in between Pennsylvania and North Carolina.   

It is hard to believe it is that time again.  On Monday evening we will climb aboard a jet plane and head to the United States.  Peter is very excited that he gets to go on a plane.  His excitement may wear off a bit after a few hours.  We are hoping that he sleeps at least half of the long flight which is 17 hours.  He may not be as excited to get on the next flight.  Thankfully that one is much, much shorter. 

We are starting and ending in New Bern, North Carolina, where Beth’s parents live and they are allowing us to borrow their car.  Below is our schedule.   We only listed the dates where we have services or are booked for a tour.  Take a look and see when we may be in on a road near you or in a town near you.  We would love to see you.  If you are interested in having us come and speak to your small group, Mom’s group, Men’s group, VBS or whatever and the date is not already listed on our schedule let us know.  We would love to try and make it work. 

Also we would love to hear your recommendations of things to do with an almost three year old in the areas that we will be.  If you know of a great national park, outing, hidden gem, or can’t miss opportunity in a town we will be in, let us know.  On our travel days we will be stopping every few hours to let Peter get his wiggles out so we will be in the market for fun stops to make.   Or if you have some magic way to help the hours pass for a toddler and his parents on an extended road trip let us know (other than screens…we know about that magic). 
We do not have our US cell phone numbers yet you are welcome to send me a Private message or an email if you would like our number and I will send it once we get it. 

Until next time: If you let your toddler play in the rain once….chances are really good every time it rains they will think it is time to go out and play (even it is freezing outside and they are sick.)   

Heath’s Home Assignment/Deputation Schedule

Saturday April 7          Mid-Atlantic NMI/NYI District Convention Ellicot City, MD
Wednesday April 11   Caravans at Ephrata CotN Ephrata, PA
Sunday April 15           Hershey CotN Hershey, PA

West Virginia North District Tour
Sunday April 22           Parsons CotN Parsons, WV
Monday April 23         West Virginia North Tour
Tuesday April 24         West Virginia North Tour
Wednesday April 25   West Virginia North Tour
Thursday April 26        West Virginia North Tour
Friday April 27              West Virginia North Tour
Saturday April 28        West Virginia North Tour
Sunday April 29           Parkersburg CotN Parkerburg, WV

Saturday May 5           Wapakoneta CotN Wapakoneta, OH
Sunday May 6             Wapakoneta CotN Wapakoneta, OH

Chicago Central District Tour
Sunday May 13 AM     Crystal Lawns CotN Crystal Lawns, IL
Sunday May 13 PM     Manteno CotN Manteno, IL
Wednesday May 16    East Ridge CotN Kankakee, IL
Friday May 18 Chicago Gage Park CotN Gage Park, IL
Saturday May 19         Waukegan First CotN Waukegan, IL
Sunday May 20 AM     Mundelein CotN Mudelein, IL
Sunday May 20 PM     Chicago Calvary CotN Crestwood, IL

Monday May 21 – Travel to Kansas City
Thursday May 24 – 29            Vacation Kansas City
Sunday June 3 Kansas City Crosspoint

Northeast Indiana District Tour
Wednesday June 6      Hartford City CotN Hartford City, IN
Sunday June 10 AM    Muncie Northside CotN Muncie, IN
Sunday June 10 PM     Montpelier Cornerstone Community CotN Montpelier, IN
Wednesday June 13    Jimtown Family CotN Jimtown, IN

Friday June 15             Pittsburg District NMI Convention
Saturday June 16        Pittsburg District NMI Convention
Sunday June 17           Pittsburg District NMI Convention

North Carolina District Tour
Sunday June 24 AM    Hickory CotN Hickory, NC
Sunday June 24 PM     Shelby CotN Shelby, NC
Wednesday June 27    North Carolina District Kids Camp
Thursday June 28        North Carolina District Kids Camp
Sunday July 1 AM        Norwood CotN Norwood, NC
Sunday July 1 PM        Mooresville "Bridge" CotN Moorseville, NC
Saturday July 7            Hillsborough CotN- Hillsborough, NC  
Sunday July 8              Cary Penny Rd CotN Cary, NC
Wednesday July 11     Rocky Mount CotN Rocky Mount NC
Saturday July 14          Lillington Grace CotN Lillington, NC
Sunday July 15 AM      Plymouth CotN Plymouth, NC   
Sunday July 15 PM      Havelock CotN Havelock, NC

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Heath's Adopt (hopefully)

And one more makes four (eventually, hopefully)…

Four is a good number; for lots of reasons.  When Joe and I talked about our family and how many children we wanted to have we decided on two to make our family a family of four.  Actually, I wanted three kids and Joe was a middle child of three and didn’t want three kids.  We weren’t willing to go to 4 kids so thus our hope was to have 2 children.   I have some health issues (namely PCOS) that make getting and staying pregnant harder.  So we always knew that our journey to have children may not be the traditional one. 

After a year of trying we were blessed with a positive pregnancy test and then several months later, Peter.  We are so blessed to watch Peter grow into a small version of himself with a healthy mix of Joe and I shining through.  Our second and third pregnancy did not end with joy rather with the sorrow of miscarriage.  After two years of trying, two miscarriages and increased health issues, lots of conversations and prayers, Joe and I have decided to pursue adoption to make our family of four a possibility. 

Adoption is a complicated journey under any circumstances.  Our life and ministry as missionaries add in some additional challenges.  We live outside of our passport country.  We travel quite a bit in-between our passport country (the US), our country of residence (South Africa) and the 4 surrounding countries (Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia and Botswana). South Africa doesn’t allow expats to adopt from South Africa until they have lived in the country 5 years (a milestone we are still over a year away from.)   And, we don’t really have a routine, each week looks different and many times involves traveling either as a family or with part of the family at home and the other part on the road. 

All of these factors added in with lots of research, conversations, and prayer, have lead us to the decision to pursue trying to adopt a newborn/infant from the US while we are there on Home Assignment from the end of March until mid-July.
We were connected with a young lady who wants to put her baby up for adoption once he is born in May.  However, we recently found out that she has decided to go with a local family.  We have found an agency willing to come to South Africa and do our home study and help us in gathering all the needed paperwork for a private adoption. Right now we are doing everything we can to be ready to adopt should that door open up.  We are cautiously optimistic and hopeful. 

We are asking for your prayers as we walk this journey.  We are at peace with growing our family in this way but it does bring with it; its own challenges and possible heartaches.  Pray with us that we would find peace and joy in the journey and that we would have patience when the waiting is long and the paperwork seemingly endless and process impossible.  Pray that God would guide us to the right family or agency to help us find the child who will make us Heath party of 4. 

We would also love your help in one other way (don’t worry it is not for money); if you know of anyone who may be pregnant and considering adoption please let us know.  Or pass along our adoption website to them.  You can find that here   We do have an email dedicated to our adoption
Also if you are willing would you share this post on your facebook page.  Thanks! 

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or any advice on the adoption journey.   

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Life Lately

I am about a month late in writing the obligatory 2017 year in review blog.  I started writing it in my head but never got it “on paper” (electronically).  Then something happened and our lives changed again.  We received a call in the early morning hours of January 6th that our boss, mentor, and friend passed away.  January was filled with helping the family in any way that we could as well as dealing with the other things that came up due to his untimely death.  

2017 was a year filled with loss both on a personal and ministry level.  There were times of sorrow, stress, uncertainty and difficulty.  There were also times of great fellowship, happiness, fulfillment and joy.  Our prayer for 2018 is that we will continue to grow in our love for God, each other and others around us and that we would take the many blessings that we receive and bless others. 

Below are a few of the things that happened in 2017 (and January 2018). 

2017 Plus January 2018 Review

1 Missionary Retreat Attended
2 Number of Trips to the US (One to be Commissioned; One for General Assembly)
3 Number of Funerals Attended due to the deaths of Leaders on our Field (2 Leaders in Lesotho and our Field Strategy Coordinator Rev Mashangu Maluleka)
4 Number of W&W teams hosted or a part of (Swaziland, Malawi, Botswana & Senegal)
5 Number that Peter always skips when he counts to 10. 
6 Number of Ordination Services that happened on our field. 
7 Weeks Joe traveled without Beth and Peter
8 Number of District Assemblies Joe attended with the Regional Director and Jurisdictional General Superintendent
9 Number of different vehicles driven this year
10 Friends that we said goodbye to that we had worked with and moved to US
11 Number of owies, bumps, bug bites, and bruises Peter gets in a typical day
12 Number of nights we stayed in our caravan
13 Number of times Peter says again or wants to repeat a story, book, or activity
14 Number of times we crossed borders into various countries for ministry
15 Number of times Peter said “No more bumps daddy” on our drive to Lesotho
16 Number of days we waited to fly back home to South Africa after we received our Work Visa
17 Number of trips taken to the airport in the month of October