Its been a long time in the making, but it’s here now. The new Sonlight Ministries website is ready for online giving. So many of us are paying bills and making purchases online, sometimes it’s a pain to find an envelope and a stamp and get it all to a mailbox. Head over to the site and look for the orange ‘Give’ button in the upper right-hand corner. You can use it to support the Bridges family or any other staff member as well as student sponsorship.
We hope giving online makes it more convenient for everyone and we thank God for your willingness to give in whatever way is best for you.
Huge thanks to Amber and David and everyone else that has worked hard to get the new site up and running. You rock!
Back from Haiti for the summer and we’re heading into uncharted waters.
Before we moved to Haiti in 2005, we home-schooled the girls. There are a lot of
benefits to home-schooling but one of the side-effects is that kids often end up ‘ahead for their age’ academically. Such was the case with our girls. In the beginning, when they were very young, it was a point of pride for me. My girls were smart and it made me feel pretty great.
Fast forward to 2014.
Anessa is about to be a Junior and Alaina is heading to college. And that leaves Alicia and I in new territory. We’ve been down to Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas to get Alaina registered for Fall classes. We spent a couple days in parent sessions learning about ‘transition’ and life change while Alaina spoke with her academic adviser and worked out her schedule.
The girls are enjoying each other’s company more and more each day. I think they recognize that this fall, for the first time, the four us won’t be together. I think each day we’re all feeling that our moments together matter more.
The interview went off without a hitch. Thank you everyone for your prayers. Please continue to pray for Alaina’s scholarship opportunity and we’ll keep everyone updated when we know more. Thanks also to the kind Admissions staff at Harding University for accommodating us with a video interview.
Please pray for Alaina today. She will be interviewing for the Harding University Trustee Scholarship later this afternoon. Pray for confidence and that both Alaina and the interviewers will be blessed.
A group of my somewhat challenging(and I mean that in a nice way, really.) students asked me, “Mr. Scott, do you like us? Are there things about us that you wish were different or that you would change?” I thought, ‘Are they kidding?’ I quickly thought of one or two big ideas that all adults probably wish that teens learned earlier and then I answered, “I love you and what I want most of all is for each of you to be Christian before anything else. Before you’re a man or a woman, be a Christian. Before you’re a student be a Christian. Before you’re a Haitian or a Jamaincan or whatever it is you call yourself, be a Christian and all the rest of that stuff will sort itself out.” My words to them. His words to me.
Thank you God for: Mardi Gras week, crazy bus rides, the Citadelle, Hotel Roi Christophe, turtles, french fries, cheeseburgers, omelettes, Haitian coffee, the swimming pool, coconut ice cream, noisey birds, watermelon juice, great friends, my children, my wife, green pastures, still waters, your love.
I love Valentine(‘s) Day (plural, possessive or what?). I love chocolate and pink’s not a bad color either. I think there are only four kinds of people who don’t like this day. 1) Teenagers who are experiencing melodramatic angst about some such nonsense. 2) Single people who get tired of having to deal with the non-single people and their V-Day drama. 3) Men who are constantly trying to out-do last year’s V-Day. 4) Women who realize every year that they are married to one of those guys who ‘forget’.
Maybe we just need more days on our calendar to eat chocolate and tell the people we love that they’re special. We don’t need more conversation hearts. Seriously, just more love expressed in more ways. Picking up your loved one’s laundry and putting it in the hamper does say ‘I love you’, but so does saying, ‘I love you.’
Alicia, I love you.
Alaina, I love you.
Anessa, I love you.
Mom and Family, I love you.
Friends who support us through prayer, giving, laughing and loving, I love you.
I’m not much for New Year’s Resolutions. I guess I figure if the change is worth making in my life why would I wait until the New Year to change? Also, I’m not great at sticking to my resolutions. I’m one of those folks that could radically change(or start) my diet and exercise routine at any time, but it’ll most likely work better for me if I start it right after suffering some kind of cardiac event.
If I make any sort of a resolution for myself, it usually has to do with self-learning personal-development-y stuff. Like, this year I really am going to apply myself toward learning to program in C. Or, this year I really am going to practice the flute for at least fifteen minutes a day. Now I could tell you that living in Haiti makes it hard to keep your resolutions because every day throws a surprise or five your way.
Really, this New Year, I feel like a well-used sock. Not one that you’re ready to throw out, but one that you know as soon as you put it on that it’s going to let you down.
My prayer this New Year, for me and for you, is for perseverance. Stick with what matters (and the discerning thereof), faith, family and ministry.
…is loud. The man who owns the little store across the street warned me. “Christmas, very loud, drinking, many people” (I translated it for you). I asked him if people would be drinking for Jesus. He looked at me with a serious face, “Wi, Wi”.
And Christmas was loud. But we had fun and missed our families a lot. Had a chance to video chat with family a little and while it was fun it made it a little harder to be away from them. Watching the girls open gifts is still fun. Getting the gifts to Haiti is less fun. Christmas dinner with the Alexander family was everything we could hope for and then some.
This was our first Christmas in Haiti. I we didn’t really know what to expect. The days (other than Christmas day) have been quiet and we’re resting, maybe recharging ourselves a bit, but mostly just enjoying our time together as a family. The girls have a whole semester ahead of them that seems like a long time, but Alicia and I are thoughtful about Alaina and college. It’s hard to say how her being gone will affect us and what next Christmas will look like, so the four of us together, here in this house has been a blessing.
Saying ‘Thank you’ never seems to convey enough appreciation or gratitude. Those same words, all too often, are found too near phrases like ‘…and what can I get you to drink with that?’ or are received in exchange for your hard-earned money spent on things like a replacement refrigerator or new tires.
When we say ‘Thank you’, it’s as much for your unfailing prayers as it is for your financial support. It’s still your hard-earned-money, but here it takes the form of a digital binocular microscope for our science classes, or a cart to hold the projector, or the projector itself, or crayons, paper, pencils, sharpeners, books, medicine, food, clothing, prenatal vitamins, a photocopier and the list goes on and on.
When Paul says
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
I know how he felt. I really do. Your giving makes stuff happen here, whether you support our family or sponsor a Sonlight student. Thank you for expressing your faith through prayer and giving.
Being able to help people here in Haiti in small ways or big ways is a blessing. We feel blessed to be here doing it. We’re blessed that you make it possible.