December 1st, 2018, marks four years since our family first stepped foot in the Cayman Islands as missionary pastors! Thank you so much for the incredible support you have given us these past several years!
2018 has been a year of changes for our family.
In January we were called by Red Bay Church of God (Holiness), in conjunction with World Missions, to be their new pastor, beginning on April 1st, Easter Sunday. Our hearts were saddened at the prospect of leaving the people we had grown to love in Cayman Brac, but felt God confirm to us that this change was His will for us. We began packing, and after great effort, left Cayman Brac on Tuesday, March 27th, to begin our new duties in Grand Cayman.
We had barely stepped off the plane when we were informed of two deaths, Bro. Desmond Binns, a member of our church family, and well-known young man, who was a neighbor of our church and loved by the community. Their funerals would be held at the church in the next couple weeks.
David preached his first message to the church on Good Friday. The next few weeks and months were a whirlwind of activity, getting accustomed to new routines and schedules, unpacking, and providing leadership to a great church that has seen some struggles the past few years.
David's focus in preaching has been about who God wants the Church to be. In Ezekiel 34:16 we find God's promise to Israel to be their shepherd, reaching the lost, restoring those who had wandered, reviving those injured and broken by life and sin, and rekindling the passion and faith of those who were weak. David has continued to share a vision of who the Church should be, preaching such topics as Turnaround Churches from the book of Revelation, and who we are to be as members of Christ's Church.
There have been several more deaths in our church family, including Bro. Tibbetts and Sis. Vetha Scott. Two deaths that hit the hardest came while our family were in the U.S. for Ministers' Conference. The first was our well-loved brother in the Lord, Bro. Vincent Parsons, who had struggled for years with physical difficulties, passed away quite suddenly. Then, less than two days later, Sis. Rhonda Ebanks, a middle-aged sister in Christ with no seeming physical difficulties, passed away in her sleep.
Over the past seven months, we have sought to love the people, lead the people, and challenge them to a greater passion for Christ and his church. Sometimes the progress seems slow, but we have been encouraged with an overall trend of growth in worship attendance. Recently, there has seemed to be a new freedom in our services, and we thank God for His blessing.
Installation service with Mark Surbrook and Bob Thompson, Jr., in July
Zenia's task in moving from Cayman Brac, setting up a new house, all the while finishing the 2017 school year homeschooling Joseph and Noah was Herculean. Zenia was still dealing with much physical pain, with which she has suffered for nearly two years. Thankfully, now at the end of 2018, Zenia is feeling more relief.
Cayman Islands law requires children of ex-pats to be enrolled in either a private school or home school. After much prayer and careful consideration, we enrolled our boys in a small Christian school located five minutes away from our house. This has allowed Zenia some time to recuperate after three years of homeschooling, although she remains an integral part of our boys' education in their homework and is an involved school parent.
It is good to have family close!
Zenia has kept very busy helping people in need as well as assisting David various ways in our church's ministry. Joseph and Noah are settling in well at our church and their new school, gaining new friends. They love playing in our church's playground and riding bikes and skateboards. They are also learning to be adept salesmen, raising money for various school fundraisers.
Thank you again for your support through giving, encouragement, and prayer as "ambassadors of Christ, serving in the Cayman Islands" (2 Corinthians 5:20)!
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