Eight years ago Ronda closed the door on her 1st grade classroom and a few days later opened up the door to her new classroom called the “Barker School of World Changers.” The first student’s name was Jacob Aaron. About 19 months later a new student enrolled named Ariel Joy. Then our newest student enrolled on September 11, 2006. Her name is Hailey Grace. This school has been a full-time job plus some. These three amazing students have learned faster than we could have ever imagined and have also proven to be quite the teachers to both Ronda and I.
We didn’t realize this school would be an international school, but our students have been required to train on four different continents and eight different countries. As our students have studied in these different parts of the world we have seen their hearts grow larger than we could have ever imagined. They have become more thankful, adaptable, compassionate, and mature than we ever were at their ages. This is just the beginning. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday was the best day of outreach so far. Our son Jacob, age 8, preached his first sermon (ever) to a group of soccer kids in a Brazilian Favela. We’ve been doing soccer ministry there, with kids ages 6-12, for the pasts 3 ½ weeks and teaching them about Jesus during ½ time. Yesterday Jacob decided he was ready to preach. After some prep time with Aaron he gave a powerful message to this group of youngsters. He enjoyed it so much that in the afternoon (round 2 of soccer ministry) he decided to go for it again. Of course, the kids listened more intently to Jacob than they have to any of us. As parents we are beaming with joy over this wonderful opportunity to minister as a family.
Tomorrow we will say goodbye to Rio and will fly to Campo Grande where we will finish the last 4 weeks of our outreach. Before we depart, I wanted to take a minute to celebrate all that God has done during our time here in Rio… Read the rest of this entry »
I used to love the game as a kid. Someone secretly gives you an item and you act it out…until someone else guesses what you are acting. The dramatic side of me LOVES this game and I have had tons of practice.
When I was 20 I studied abroad in Mexico for one month. I lived with a host family who did NOT speak English, and I did not speak a lick of Spanish. I was constantly playing charades with the housekeepers as a way of communicating to them…until one day they started calling me “Loco Ronda.” I would wake up every morning to, “Woo Hoo…Loco…Ronda…” During dinner I would hear them talking in Spanish and then I would hear the words, “Loco Ronda” interjected into the sentence. My charades communication had won me a new name and was really taking me far. Read the rest of this entry »
How many things can one survive in a week? Three kids + One mom + One very very big God + One happy husband + One amazing outreach team + one of the most hospitable nations on the planet (Brazil) = A week nothing short of excitement!
After 2 ½ weeks of pure joy in Washington State…Making fun new memories with family and friends, eating crab (a new record…Grandpa Dave caught 63 in one weekend), and attending a wedding of one of my favorite women on the planet…the kids and I jumped on a plane and traveled 30+ hours to join Aaron and our team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!
How many things can one survive in a week? Read the rest of this entry »
A wise man once said to me “discipleship is like parenting…sometimes your kids throw up on you, you have to be ready to clean em’ up and keep going.”
So far, in my experience as a parent (to my 3 beautiful children) there are some things that are very consistent…
- Someone spills something daily.
- My kids whine when they are tired.
- They like things that are not good for them, like sugar and video games.
- My kids surprise me with how smart they are! And how kind they are to others! And how much they really do love Jesus!
- Big brothers like to torment little sisters.
- Little sisters like to torment big brothers.
- Even amongst the drama of tormenting each other…my kids love one another deeply.
- Parenting is more work than I thought.
- Parenting is way better than I thought.
- Every night I go to bed exhausted…but every night I thank Jesus that I have the most amazing life. Read the rest of this entry »
This is officially a protest.
From the time I first met you I didn’t like you.
I know, I know, it’s odd. Most parents adore you. Not this one.
When you first came to me you crept in, sneaky and disguised. How did you get past me so quickly? My son, home from school, was joyful and ready to play! He’d worked hard all day long, from 8:30 to 3. Can’t a boy have time to rest? I sent him outside, knowing that 8-year-old boys need to get dirty and sweaty! It’s a daily routine in this household. Get up, go to school, come home, go outside, get dirty and sweaty, come inside, eat dinner, take a bath, read books and go to sleep…plain and simple. That is, until you came along. Who are you? Read the rest of this entry »
Almost 2 years ago I wrote a blog called “Today I am a Student”. It was written as we began our DTS in Perth, Australia as students. Aaron and I are now leading our first DTS and today I am the teacher.
I have always wanted to be a teacher. Ever since I was a kid. I was inspired by my Kindergarten teacher, Mr. Blake, because he made school fun. I think Kindergarten was my funnest year…and then it got hard. J In University I got a degree in Education and was off to the races of making learning fun for kids.
I will never forget my years of teaching first grade. I loved it. Was it the wonderful compliments I would get? Or the hilarious moments that would make me giggle into the night? Was it the fact that I could make up songs and belt them out loud to my students and they would think it sounded good? Or was it because I could be creative? Read the rest of this entry »
In Hawaii Ohana means Family. Family means a lot to God. This has been a season about family…
Table Manners, Bed Time Blues and Vegetable wars…
First off I’d like to report that our current rental house off of the U of N campus has been more important than we realized for our immediate family! Within our first week here (after 2 years of community living on YWAM bases) we saw how much we needed space and focused attention for our children. When living in community the first thing to go is table manners. Yes, I said it. When you are eating with all of your friends who wants to spend time focusing on manners when there are so many other fun things to talk about?! The second thing to go is a healthy diet. The third thing to go is learning to sleep in your own bedroom. This has been a season of training our kids how to eat properly, overcoming the vegetable wars and getting over the bedtime blues (a.k.a.…getting them used to sleeping in their own rooms again after 2 years of all 5 of us sleeping in little tiny spaces together). ☺ We are grateful for the provision of this home and the joy we have as we spend time together as a family! Read the rest of this entry »
Before I start this update I have a confession to make. In recent conversations I have realized that in my blogging life I only like to write about the good stuff…. and dread writing anything that would come across as negative or challenging. That is probably why you have not heard from me, at least in a blog, in quite some time. I wish I could say I have faith to move mountains but I’m just not there yet. The truth is, when the going gets tough my knees often buckle! I start to sweat, panic and even freak out at times.
This fall was that way for me. We finished a season watching Jesus do the most amazing things in Cambodia…falling more in love with missions…and feeling even stronger about our long term calling to the mission field. Upon returning to Kona, our well of provision that we’d been living off of, dried up and we were left to our monthly support income of $1200 a month. Gulp. In some countries that would be plenty but in the grand state of Hawaii… with a family of 5…it’s simply not enough to live off of. Did I tell you already that I was freaking out? Well…I was. But don’t worry…the story gets better. Read the rest of this entry »
We rejoice at His faithfulness this Christmas along with the faithfulness of our friends and family! These stories would not be possible without you! Thank you for your support, your prayers, your encouragement, your generosity and your belief in what we are doing. We pray each of you would be blessed in abundance for your faithfulness towards our family!
10. Packing up our family 6 times…Australia to Seattle; Seattle to Hawaii; Hawaii to Thailand; Thailand to Cambodia; Cambodia to Hawaii; Hawaii to Seattle. At least we know we are now permanently located in Hawaii and any trips taken will lead us back there to our permanent home base. Not a bad home base…visitors’ welcome! Our kids have become professional travelers indeed! Read the rest of this entry »