Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Christmas Surprise!

On Thursday I caught an afternoon flight out of MoBay after finishing up the sea container and arrived in Indy at 9pm. Katie picked me up (under the excuse that she was going to visit a friend on campus) and we got home at around 10:30pm. Mom was still awake but dad had gone to bed, so we decided to just surprise mom. Katie wrote on a card saying "you know what they say, you go big or you go home..." and then in my handwriting below that I wrote "so I decided to go home. Love, Blake and Katie." I had also picked up a small Delta SkyMiles teddy bear and so Katie gave that to Mom along with the card, while I waited in the utility room. After giving Mom some time to process, Katie asked her if she wanted her Christmas present, and I walked into the room to give her a hug. Her response was classic mom! Was pretty much the same as a year and a half ago when I surprised everyone with a surprise trip home...good times! Friday morning we surprised Dad in a very similar fashion, although this time it was 5:15am and I was very much in a slumber. A few hours later we went to John and Brooke's to surprise them.

I called Matt and Tamara Friday night and told them I was home, and then I surprised Brad and Amber at the Leman Christmas on Saturday. The family time on Saturday was wonderful, especially to see my grandparents and my cousin Alex. Sunday we went to church and then had some quality family time eating out and watching the Saints dominate the Vikings (sorry Cookie) and the Packers get beat (whooohooo!!!) and the Colts get their first win...pretty much a wonderful afternoon. Then I got news that Caleb Sutter (my great friend who is the reason I flew home early a year and a half ago for his baptism in Taylor...http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10100125755950998) was engaged to Mercedes....Awesomeness!!! We played games that night and then on Monday we did some shopping before I left for the airport. On the way to Indy we stopped by Robin and Peter's so I could see my 1 year old nephew, Thomas, and catch a quick moment with a great friend, Jaimie Oppermann. It made for a really awesome few days at home. I caught my flight and arrived in Atlanta around 9pm. My good friend Gunnar Martin (who interned with CCCD in 2010) picked me up and we grabbed some delicious southern bbq. We crashed at his place (literally a stone's throw from the Georgia Dome) and then headed to the airport early in the morning. I arrived back on the island around 12pm and after getting picked up by Billy (a great new friend, he and his family are missionaries in the St James area) and dropped off at my car, I was on my way around 1:30, and arrived back home in Kingston at 4:30, perfect timing as I was able to pick up Tashi as she walked home from the bus stop. Thank you Lord for the blessing of a few precious days with my family during the Christmas holiday, and for an amazingly supportive wife who supported my trip 110%!

 Super cute niece!

Super studly nephew!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


In the Nick of Time!

October 3rd I hand delivered an application to the  ministry of finance for a waiver of our duty-tax fee's on a sea container. It is supposed to take 15 business days. Many calls, many visits, many vague answers, frustrations and 10 weeks later, we finally got our paperwork approved last week Thursday. We planned delivery of the sea container for Tuesday (two days ago) because Erin Davis (my teammate) was flying home on Wednesday. Tuesday I made the trek from Kingston to MoBay (all the way across the island) and met up with Erin and Chad. We waited Tuesday and still didn't get the go-ahead from Port Customs (who said they hadn't gotten approval from the MOF in Kingston). Wednesday we headed back to the port, only to wait all day with nothing. Chad, Erin and I were all there, but then I had to take Erin to the airport for her 2pm flight. Chad has a team at JDV and needed to take them to a children's home and to YS water falls today, so we HAD to do it yesterday, or it would be next week until we were available again. After many pleas for help, our broker finally got through with our paperwork at 5:15pm yesterday. We unloaded the sea container into two delivery trucks, and by 6:15pm I was on my way to Blossom Garden Children's Home and St James Infirmary. Chad took his truck and headed to Knockalva community and New Beginnings Ministries. The rest of the container is on its way to Manchester. I got back to CCCD MoBay at 9:30pm and crashed. Chad got back to mandeville around 12:30pm or 1am. This morning I was able to meet up with our broker here at Rituals Coffee House (Jamaican Starbucks) and write the final check that will "wash our hands" of this horrendous experience. Now its time to hit the road and make the long journey home! I can't wait to get back home! Thank you Lord that even though we had to wait 75 days for a 15 day process, we got it done before Christmas and The people who need this food and clothes and aid will be blessed. We pray those who receive these items will feel your love and providing Hand through it all. We are reminded that the purpose of ACWR Humanitarian Aid is to do humble deeds of service in the name of Jesus for His glory. May this be accomplished.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Retro Uniform Day!

Well, today was our annual "themed dress-up day" and it didn't lack in laughter or entertainment. I had nothing to wear until I was getting dressed in the morning and just decided to try to make an outfit look "old and nerdy"...based on the kids' response, I was successful!
 My Nerd outfit!
 Staff photo
 My Kiddos!
 Role reversal...Rushedie as a girl and Semaj as a boy!
Petrona and Kimmarley singing "How great is our God"

Thursday, December 01, 2011


November Update

November 2011 E-newsletter

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