Oct 1, 2018

Luke's Mission Trip to Guayana

A good friend of mine, Dr. Dave, asked me to get in touch with a group of eye docs that had been going to Guayana for the past 20 years.  Dr. Julie has been going since the beginning and was the woman in charge of making arrangements.  She, her husband, and their two kids were planning a trip down with about 5 more people...and, after I had a brief conversation with her and prayed about the decision, I wanted in on it too!  What a neat trip it ended up being!  The Guyanese people are a mix of native tribal people,  African (from the Dutch occupation) and Indian (from British occupation).  They speak a type of English with a thick Caribbean accent that can, at times, be difficult to understand.

Chedi Jagan Internation Airport, Georgetown, Guayana
We arrived at the airport after a huge (18 hour) day of travel from New Mexico to Dallas, Miami, Trinidad and Tobago, then finally, Georgetown, Guayana.  While standing in line to go through Customs, I noticed that we were the only 10 'white folks' in the cue line.  We were sped through the lines by a great guy that worked with the Ministry of Medicine there and we piled into a church van for the 3.5 hour drive to our host house.  That was a long day!

The Local Christian Church
The next morning was church, then we set up clinic and began seeing patients.  
Check out this sign...I love it!!!
The Church that hosted our Clinic

Here are some pictures of the clinic:

We ended up seeing a bit over 1,000 patients before I had to head home.  I came home early to make it to Amarillo for my brother-in-laws wedding...Congrats again Jonathan!!!!

These were some great, hard-working, strong and proud people.  Most of the country is divided into the Hindu and Muslim religion.  In face, right across the street from our Christian church was the little town's largest Hindu church.  We were working with a network of churches that began with 2 missionaries and a vision.  They came down ~20 years before with the goal of planting a church every year.  There are 17 churches so far and 11 of them are financially independent and able to serve the small community in which they are growing.  It was an honor to share the gospel of Hope with these wonderful people and to hear their stories, their struggles, and spend time loving on them!  I met a young boy named Lucas who was a great hugger too!

Dr. Luke with Lucas

Thank you to all of those of you that continue to support us in our journeys to share the Good News!  I constantly feel strengthened by your prayers and the love that you have shared with us.  

We love and pray for you too.
Grace and Peace be with you all!

Apr 21, 2018

Down and Derby!

Our kids participated in a pine block derby race in March.

Here are their cars:

 Mandie won 4th place overall and "Most Artistic"

Michael won "Best Reptile" 

Marcus won 3rd place in his age division

Matthew's Truck won "Best Truck"

Miles made the cutest whale car I've ever seen!

And I thought I'd throw these up as well: 

Easter Week

Saturday, April 7, 2018

When my oldest three children were very young I kept a blog documenting the in’s and out’s of our days. After blogging for a few years I took that blog and turned it into a book that I titled Haney Heritage. Today, my children found the book on the shelf and all three of them had a wonderful time mulling through the pages of our family’s history. So tonight I decided to bring Haney Heritage back to life. There are many undocumented years, and countless untold stories that I will not be able to remember. If I’m able to come up with memories of these events, I will try to pen them here. I’m sure this space will also house my ramblings, theology, and rants. 

This week has been so much fun! Sunday, April 1 was Easter and April Fools’ Day. If you read my last blog, you know this Easter was a very significant day for my husband and I this year. I wanted to come up with a great prank to play on my kids, but I guess I just didn’t get my act together in time. Also, I didn’t want to hurt any of their feelings, so that probably worked out for the best. Saturday night our family made our first attempt at having a Passover Feast. We cooked lamb, a boiled egg, bitter herbs, and that dish with the apples, nuts, and raisins. Luke did a wonderful job of leading the ceremony. He would explain the way the Jews did the passover, and then he would explain how these things are significant to Christians today. I really enjoyed the whole thing. Easter Sunday was the 5 year anniversary of the day Lucas fell in love with Jesus. What a wonderful wonderful day! Luke and Mandie worked all three services at church, and Matthew tagged along with them. They left the house around 6:30 AM that morning and finished at 1:30 in the afternoon. After church we had an Easter meal with our dear friends. I brought my grandmother’s famous Coke Salad and it was a hit! They have three bunnies, and the female had a litter of kittens two weeks ago. Michael especially enjoyed those bunnies. In fact, that morning he had been telling me that Rosie had bunnies and we really, really needed to go to their house to see those bunnies. He was ecstatic and surprised when I told him we were going that day! They also have chickens, and yesterday they added two little piglets to the farm. They encouraged us that we can handle some animals out at our place as well. Easter was a joy! 

The next two days of this week were just regular school days. We woke up, did our morning routines and our chores, then we completed full school days. On Tuesday we did all the Easter stuff that we didn’t have time to do on Sunday. We did the Easter baskets. All the the kids got a zippered pencil bag,they loved those things, and they also received some candy and other little tokens of our affection. We hunted Easter Eggs. This was so fun, because Mandie and Matthew got to stuff and hide the eggs. Everyone was assigned an egg color, and the older kids’ eggs were hidden hardest, the youngest kids’ eggs were just right on the open ground. It worked out great! Marcus and Michael were so excited every time they found an egg! Melodie did not hunt eggs, but she did enjoy shaking them and watching her siblings as they hunted! On Tuesday night at dinner I asked the kids if they felt the Lord was trying to say anything to them or to our family as a whole. Mandie said something very profound. She basically said that she was glad we didn’t do any of the regular ‘Easter stuff’ on Easter Sunday, because God used that to show her that Easter is really not about that stuff at all, even thought that stuff is fun. Easter is about God’s Love for us, and it’s about spending time celebrating that with friends and family. Thank you, Lord, for speaking to that girl’s heart! Silly Rabbit, Easter’s for Jesus!! 

Wednesday was Miles’ FOURTH birthday! His birthday is 4-4-14, and he turned 4 years old that day. I can’t believe my little Miles is so big! Oh I love him so! He wanted hot dogs, orange plates, orange balloons, and lots of dragon stuff for his party. And that’s what he got! Mimi and G-Dude got him a remote control dragon toy. Luke and I got him a dragon costume. Aunt LaJean got him the Dragon’s Love Tacos books and toy. Nana and Poppy got him a play set for outside. Everyone will enjoy that! The kids spent the rest of the day playing the Wii and playing outside. Much celebrating was done by all. Thank you, God, for Miles.

Thursday we had a play date with some new friend’s in town. These people are AMAZING! They have four kids of their own and they foster special needs kids who are put into the foster system. One of these sweeties they have adopted, she is now 4. We thoroughly enjoy our time with them! Last week we went to the Albuquerque zoo with them and I am so grateful for this friendship! Matthew and their son spent the entire time playing basketball. Much fun was had by all! Later that day we had our monthly homeschool group up at church. I feel so grateful for my homeschool community, what a blessing! 

Yesterday that same homeschool group had a field trip to the Albuquerque Aquarium and Botanical Garden. They call that area the Bio Park. We were there for about four hours, a good field trip. After the field trip, I dropped Mandie at church to decorate for the Father Daughter Tea they enjoyed this morning. Luke picked her up on his way home from work. Last night we had Family Fun Night. Dinner was tasty, thank you InstaPot! Our movie was Ferdinand, it was a bucket of laughs I tell you! 

Today we worked. Hard! There is this amazing spot on our property that looks like sand, but just under the sand is like 8 inches of gorgeous topsoil! I shoveled about 12 wheelbarrows of that stuff into my new veggie bed, it won’t be long before it’s time to plant! Thank you, Lord, for helping find that great dirt! Also, there is this neat woman who lives down the road who took Mandie horse back riding with her the other day. She has a friend looking for a place to house her old horse, Cholla (pronounced Choi-ya). Cholla is well trained and loves to be ridden, but the owner does not have the time to ride her now, and she wants her to be with someone who will ride her and give her the attention she needs. Our friend thought Mandie would be the perfect person for Choya, and Cholla would be the perfect ‘learning horse’ for Mandie. So we spent some time cleaning out the horse barn and the area around it in preparation for this horse. We probably are about a third of the way done in there, LOTS of work! Luke, Matthew, Michael, and Marcus got out the BB guns, bows, and arrows and did some shooting. MelBel was here, there, and everywhere. All in all, a wonderful day! 

Oh Lord, when I take the time to write it all down, I can see how blessed we are. Thank you Father. Life is so good when we live and play by your rules! Help us to be who you want us to be. We love you, Father. Amen.

Mar 27, 2018

April Fool’s! - by Cassie - 

I am married to a man who loves someone else more than me. . . 

and it’s a dude!

Yup, you heard it here first, folks. My husband loves Jesus more than he loves me. 

Did I get ya?!?

But I guess all’s fair in love and war, because I love Jesus more than I love my husband, too.

I am the wife of a missionary. 

If you are new to this blog, you might not know my family’s story of undeniable salvation, so here’s the gist: 

We were drowning in the slimy pit of addiction, co-dependence, self-pity, hate, anger, and mostly fear. (Although no one knew it, because we were excellent at looking “normal” during those horrid years. I’m still amazed by that.)

Psalms 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. (KJV)

We cried out to God, knowing that left to ourselves self-destruction was imminent.

He reached His mighty hand into our slimy pit, tenderly scooped up a sorry lot of lost and scared little humans, and relocated us into the shining light of his understanding, love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace.

Psalms 40:2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. (NLT)

Today, April Fool’s Day 2018, is the 5 year anniversary of the day that my husband fell hard and fast for Jesus. The day that all that ‘church stuff’ melted away, and the actual Son of the Almighty God whispered in his ear, and I lost my husband to Jesus for real! 

Not long after that, my husband sold out completely. When I say sold out, that’s exactly what I  mean. Sold the car. Sold the business. Sold the stuff. 

That’s when we packed up the ‘necessities’ that were left, and not unlike the Clampetts, drove down to  Mexico to learn and live the missionary life. 

It was a wonderful adventure, and I’m so grateful for that time. I’m going to save those stories for another day, because I could go on and on. 

Despite the joy and the fun of serving as full time missionaries in Mexico, there was a really hard side for this homeschooling mama. I had four students, a toddler, and a new baby. We lived on a community missionary base that didn’t leave a lot of room for autonomy. I was limited in my ability to provide our family’s schedule and meals. My Spanish was lacking, and although I could go to the grocery store and do some things with confidence, I relied heavily on my husband who is fluent in Spanish. It was tough. So when the time came to decide whether or not to stay in Mexico or return to the states, I asked my husband to come back stateside and carry out his mission via multiple short term trips throughout the year, instead of living there full time.  

So even more like the Clampetts, we packed up our stuff again with the addition of our brand new baby, and our little Mexican puppy and headed back. This time, we landed in New Mexico. The Lord provided a place for us to live, and work to sustain us. Praise Him for these things!

What is Part Time Missionary Life Like?

Our situation today is a testimony to God’s provision and faithfulness. We have a home, some land, and a wonderful homeschool community. I am so grateful for all three. My hubs has been to Mexico twice this year, and has several more trips planned. The post before this one describes some of those adventures. 

I have been reinstated as the manager of my home. I plan our schedule, our meals, and I’m not dependent on my husband’s vocabulary to leave the house. Meal planning may not be important to some of you, but I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I require a special diet, so this was big for me. Another HUGE benefit to the situation we have now, is that all of our school supplies are at our house all of the time. In Mexico, I had books and supplies in three different houses, and two different countries. I was often without what I needed in my endeavor to homeschool. Also, being stateside, my husband can work. We are able to support ourselves, thank you, Lord! Some of the other joys of being here: a public library, our church home, the roads are nice, the internet is more dependable, and the grocery stores are truly a dream come true. 

But hands down, without a doubt, no question about it, the BEST thing about being here . . . 

is that God is just as much here as He was down there. 

He’s still with us. He still loves us. We still love Him. We remember who He is and what He’s done. The flame still burns between us and Jesus, wherever we go. 

Knowing this brings me so much comfort and reassurance.  

The one thing I really had to get used to, and I am still getting used to was my husband leaving for 10-14 days at a time to do his mission work. But even that has it’s blessings, although I sure do miss him at night! 

Playing the Fool

Because of the path God has walked us through, I have a lot of reflecting to do about April Fool’s Day. 

I think about how the Lord uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, the weak to shame the strong, and the poor to shame the rich. 

I think about the fun, the joy, and the adventure there is when we humble ourselves and choose to be fools for Christ. It’s such a different life than the proud life we lived before, a life in which we were fooling ourselves. 

I think about the irony of ‘April Fool’s Day’ to be on Easter Sunday. The Lord sent a King to the earth that no one would recognize or understand. They killed him, and he yet he overcame! He saved and forgave the very ones who killed and accused. 

I think of how worthy Jesus is. He deserves all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise . . . 
I’d be a fool not to give it to Him.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1Cor. 1:18)

Jan 9, 2018

Optometry Mission to Mexico 2017-2018

In December of 2015, I was invited on a mission trip to San Carlos, Sonora with a group of fellow Christians from Indiana.  That trip was life-changing for me and awoke in me a desire to do more for God in my life.  That trip prompted my family and I to sell off all we owned and head down to Mexico.  Wanting to be 'tent-makers' like the apostle Paul, we happily accepted any help anyone offered, but wanted to also work for ourselves too.

The Lord carried our family faithfully through the 2 years of full-time ministry and we had much help from our parents, friends and family.  Knowing we would have to return to the States for our 'home base' was a bit bittersweet for me, but it has worked out wonderfully for the past few months.  In October, I was able to travel to the YWAM base in Mazatlan, Sinaloa to help work on the construction of new dorms and classrooms.  Brent, the base director, has a vision to train 1,000 missionaries in 2018...now that's a mission I can get behind!

When the opportunity rose again to rejoin my friends back in San Carlos, I jumped at the opportunity.  The plan was to continue our main eye clinic in the nearby town of Guaymas, and to get a few docs together to reach out to a small indian village nearby, Potam.  Having experienced the clinic Guaymas 2 years earlier, I was asked to set up a matching clinic in Potam.  I went with Brittany, an optometrist currently in residency and we took a crew to Potam.

What a joy it was to be a part of a team bringing the Good News to those that need it!  We saw so many people in need, and were able to help most of them.  Those that needed eye surgery or special order lenses were placed on a list, and the Village Church of Dyer, Indiana (http://www.villagechurchdyer.com/) have pledged to raise the money to provide ongoing care for them.  It was also such an honor to work alongside such men and women of Christ.

We had the wonderful opportunity to stay at Art and Brenda Koenes' place: Casa De Esperanza again.  http://www.koenesministries.com/

We would leave each morning about 7:30 a.m. and drive about an hour and a half to Potam, and would see around 60 patients per day.  The Guaymas clinic would see around 100 per day, making a total of 160 people per day that were hearing the Good News of hope in our Savior Jesus Christ!

Lord willing, I'll be headed back with a group of Amish builders to Mazatlan in mid-February.  Until then, I have found plenty of fill-in work here in the States.  God is so very faithful.

"Father, thank you for the richness and the blessings that you offer to your children.  Thank you for the opportunity and the ability to serve in places where the people need to hear your Word.  Thank you for your faithfulness, your grace, your mercy, and your forgiveness.  May we continue to fight the Good Fight, and win as many as possible."


Checking the health inside a woman's eyes
Informing a man that he needed surgery to see again, and that we would be honored to show him the love of Jesus by paying his bill.

People waiting in school desks to see the doctors...some for 6 hours.

Checking the pupils on a patient.  I'd ask them to look at my 'big beautiful nose'!
The Doctors!  We had such a wonderful time, and so much help.  There were around 45 others from the USA church and 60 from the local church.  What a blessing to be part of the Body at Work!

Patients waiting to be seen at the church. 

They were lines up outside the church as well.

The beautiful Tetakawi outside San Carlos.