Friday, December 23, 2016

We are thankful!

What have the Davis family been up to this past month? I just know you are wondering...
We have shown up in many places!
We have shared our vision at some churches including: Line Lexington Mennonite, Hopewell, Rockhill Mennonite, Fredrick Mennonite and Finland Mennonite.

At Finland, Nathanael had the opportunity to participate in interpreting worship. My brother Mark was leading so that made the experience extra awesome. Here is a short video:

The children are a part of a homeschool choir. They practice weekly. The past 2 weeks was their annual Christmas concerts. Here are some pictures:

We are truly enjoying the Christmas Season in Pa. I personally am loving just cuddling under covers to find a warm place. 

We have a newsletter in the works which should be arriving in your mailboxes shortly. Thanks so much for all of the support, prayers, and love we have felt this past year!

God Bless your family this Christmas season! 

Monday, November 7, 2016

A short visit and mission trip

I know I said a while ago that I am adjusting to the difference of schedule here. In Belize I personally was very busy at home. It was mostly that the housework was more demanding. Here it has been activities demanding our time. Sometimes it still feels like we are "finding our feet".

Recently, I started counting "one, two, tree" Why you ask? My mom and I did a quick 6 day trip to Belize 2 weeks ago. That's right I am behind.

We left from the Allentown airport. What an experience it was to arrive early at the airport, and not have anyone behind the checkout counter. The flights went well and we arrived in Belize city at about 12pm local time. Our friend picked us up from the airport and drove us to Orange Walk (about an hour). Getting in the car and driving was my mother's first cross cultural experience. I will let her relate the details to you!

Our time in Orange Walk was limited to less than 24 hours. We spent the time as wisely as we could. We ate meals with friends, walked around town a little, and met for breakfast with Nancy before we left.  People wished we could have stayed longer. I did as well. When our meeting with Nancy was completed, we were driven to the airport.  We few from Belize City to Dangriga, the first time I've done that as a flight rather than a bus trip. (we just didn't have the time for the bus)

The next 4 days were a blur of being at Kids Konnect's camp Legacy and serving with them. This was the first time that I worked in the pharmacy. I knew that it was one of the most intense jobs. I was unaware of what exactly it involved until mom and I did it. I was stretched.
The job involved checking medications before they were given to patients. I also gave instructions to the patients. It was especially challenging to note that in practice I've mostly worked with pediatrics. We give a lot of diabetic and blood pressure medications. 

I did a lot of praying as I gave medications. 
Here is my mom working at Red Cross in Dangriga

The final day which is always at a church (Light of the Valley) I was allowed to go back to triage. It was nice to be in my comfort zone again. I also felt like I had more one on one time with the patients. Both jobs are integral to being a part of Kids Konnect. It was a good thing to get out of my comfort zone, and go where the need was.  

I loved that my mom was able to experience Belize with me. She was a trooper and took things as they came. I also loved that she got to meet some of the people who were important to us over the last year. I also working beside her, something I have never done. 

This being my third trip with Kids Konnect, some things felt comfortable and familiar. It was good to see the same patients, pray with them and connect. I honor what Kids Konnect 4 Jesus does in Dangriga and surrounding areas. It is a privilege to work with them. I just love meeting patients, as well as the people who come to serve. It was also a challenge getting out of my comfort zone and serving in a different way.

As a family we continue to adjust to being in the US, and work on our fundraising focus. We would love for opportunities to share our vision with you. 

Nathanael and I were both on missions trips in the past 2 months. We wanted to be clear that the money for our trips came out of our personal offerings. We did not use the funding for our long term time in Belize. 

Thank you again for your prayers and walking with us on this journey! 
The Davis Family

Monday, October 10, 2016

Nathanael and Chase in Honduras

A few months ago a friend in the homeschool community contacted Spring to see if Nathanael was able to take a short trip to Honduras to interpret at a Missionary Conference.  Chase, a 16 year old Deaf guy and his family are missionaries in Honduras.  You can check out their blog here.  Do to Nathanael's work commitments and finances, Nathanael and Spring decided it wasn't a good idea to go.  However a few weeks later God provided the money through personal means and the trip coincided with time Nathanael had off work.  Nathanael felt he should go.
Nathanael had a great time working with Chase and the other missionaries.  Nathanael was able to give Chase access to the information and to give Chase's sister a break from interpreting.
Check out some pictures below from the trip.

Chase Watching Nathanael Interpret

Nathanael Interpreting Sunday Morning Service

Nathanael Interpreting the Icebreaker

The Team who worked with the Kids

Nahtanael Interpreting Worship Sunday Morning

Chase and Nathanael

Conference Participants and Workers


Nice to Bump into Philly People Around the World

Monday, October 3, 2016


I had the opportunity to attend the East Coast Deaf Men's Retreat in Milan, New York. A little less than 40 Deaf men attended the conference. Pastor Randy Pringle presented at the conference.  It was a great time of fellowship and teaching with great Deaf Christian Men.  Enjoy some pictures from the event.
A bunch of us decided to climb a steep trail up the mountain.

While we were up the mountain we took the time to pray for each-other.  What an encouragement to be with these Spiritual Deaf Men.

Pastor Randy Pringle presenting to the group during a session.

Nathanael (Turtle) Davis

Monday, September 19, 2016

You are going where??!

In case you did not notice, Nathanael "slipped" in prayer requests about some upcoming trips we are taking.  It was subtle, so I figured I'd release the whole story.

About a month ago a friend of a friend contacted me through facebook. Her daughter worked as a counselor at Camp Good News.  She asked about one of us coming to Honduras on a mission trip this September. At first both Nathanael and I bulked at the idea. He is working as an educational interpreter so he really only has 2 days that he can take off during the school year.  We also just were not sure about the timing and the fact that we are raising funds ourselves.

The idea was held loosely in the back of our heads.

Nathanael spent some time praying about it. He then discovered that the student he works with will be taking some days off the next two weeks. Nathanael realized he would have unpaid leave at the same time that the trip to Honduras is happening. He really felt that God was opening doors for this trip to happen.  He will leave this Tuesday, (9/20) and return the following Monday (9/25).

Nathanael will be able to do what he's been able to do a lot of the past year: provide access. He will be interpreting for a Deaf MK.  There is a missionary retreat meeting in Honduras. What a great opportunity for him. Please pray with us this week for him and for the missionaries.

Since I spent the last blog post talking about why we feel called to the Deaf population, I thought I would share some multimedia things to help you greater understand.

National Geographic put out this video on lipreading. It was eye opening for me:

Remember Mandela's funeral? Something similar happened in Peru. A woman allegedly falsified the fact that she knew sign language. Did she?  Watch the video and judge for yourself:

Thanks for reading/watching.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Why Deaf?

As we are gearing up and starting fundraising again, I thought it would be a good idea to re-visit some of our "why's"

The first why:

  Why do we work with the Deaf population?

The answer begins with Nathanael and his story.

We met our friend's Deaf brother and Nathanael wanted to connect with him. This was his start to the path to becoming an interpreter.  Nathanael found his giftedness in learning language. God opened doors for him and he graduated from college as a professional sign language interpreter. As his wife it was a wondrous process to watch. Nathanael literally stepped into what I believe was a huge part of his calling.

I will be honest, it took me a while to see it.

I attended Deaf church in Philadelphia with Nathanael. I struggled (and am still struggling) with learning ASL. I had glimpses of what it looked like to facilitate communication.

Nathanael took a trip in 2012 to Jamaica with a team to a Deaf school. He testified to the fact that education in developing countries is lacking. His team is able to help educate teachers on how to teach Deaf kids. That team continues to visit Jamaica.

God slowly opened my eyes to two things: the lack of access Deaf have in developing countries; and the calling both Nathanael and I had to "Go".

There were many more steps in the process that lead us to go to Belize from 2015-2016. In order to streamline things for you, I broke down our "why" to a list:

So why Deaf?

  • Less than 2 of Deaf people in the world to be Christians (Chad has a great article about this and this talks about why Deaf ministry is difficult) 
  • In most developing countries, there is a lack of education for Deaf students
  • there is also a lack of access to most services (due to the unavailability of interpreters) such as facilitating communication at work, going to the doctor, and visiting governmental offices
  • since there is a lack of access, there is also a lack of people to disciple and raise up a generation of Christians
  • many countries ostracize Deaf people. In Jamaica it was considered a curse to have a Deaf child
As a family we continue to pursue opportunities while we are here to be in the Deaf community. Recently Nathanael and Abigail volunteered at a Deaf-blind picnic. The pictures shown here are from that event.  

Thank you for joining with us in our vision, for praying for us and supporting us.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email/call/text/facebook them to us. 

Please note: Our prayer requests page has been updated. We are in the process if making speaking arrangements at different churches. If you are interested in having us speak, please contact us. We will have a full calendar on the blog soon.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Alien and Stranger

Just a few days ago a good friend of mine posted a picture on her Instagram.  It was of tents in an area similar to the outside of a mall.

I was hit with the reality of the millions of people today who are more than homeless. They have left their homes, communities, almost all of their stuff. All of this so their families can be safe.

We are settling in and getting used to things we lived without for the past year.  I am enjoying the choices I have when I grocery store. There are many viable, healthy options that don't require much preparation. I for one am loving eating peppers of different colors, tomatoes off the vine (thanks Mom!!) , and going to Swann's for 50 cent frozen pizza. (Not to mention hot showers any time I want)

So many people ask when we are going back. (Or they ask if we've left yet). Not having a timeline leaves me personally feeling unsettled. I wasn't sure I wanted to leave my convenience, my friends, my family, my comfortable bed.  I have been there done that had the chips and dip to prove it. I missed this life and this culture. I am thoroughly immersing myself in "home".

And yet? Seeing that picture calls me again to something different.

I have a good friend who is adding to her family in two ways in the next year; through both, birth of a biological child, and adoption. Some people look at her and wonder why. When all is completed, her family will have 11 children. When I talked to her, I was reminded of my own call. The passion she has for taking special needs children out of an orphanage setting kindled afire my passion for the "more" in my own life.

What does it really mean to live as the Bible calls us, as an alien and stranger? I could choose to live as a refugee. I could choose to not embrace the conveniences here that I really enjoy.  I honestly believe that for us it is comes down to embracing fully where God has us. We won't hold too dearly to our orange peppers, but we will eat and enjoy them here. I will choose to see those around me who aren't sure where they can find home.

As we look toward fundraising and leaving, I remember that my "home" is mobile. Being in the center of his will is the best place to be. I may find myself feeling like a stranger. I may feel comfortable.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Finding a nesting place


Just saying the word brings up many feelings for me.

I grew up in the same area from when I was 5 until I turned 18.  Around my 17th birthday I really felt challenged by God to "do something different". I went to Christian middle school and was attending Christian High School. I went to summer camp, and sang the songs in chapel. God asked me if I was really committed?

That summer changed my life, but it happened over the next 18 years.  I spent 8 months in Mexico.  Although I would never consider myself a TCK, I will tell you that shaped me greatly. I left part of my heart in Mexico, and every time I return, I feel like I'm finding a bit of me again.

Missions continued to pull at my heart, and Nathanael's.  We thought we may go on the Mercy Ships, Costa Rico, South Korea, and Jamaica.

The path to Belize ended up in our family of 6 spending a year living with my parents. (It was originally supposed to be only 2 months) Going to Belize meant we had a house to ourselves. At the same time I missed what I had come to love in the year we were gone.

Now we are "home"(with my parents). Some things feel the same as they did 2 years ago. We are enjoying convenience. We are loving seeing people face to face and  hugging them. There is an unrest in the "limbo" of what our lives are right now. I have a new awareness of how difficult it will be to say goodbye.

I keep asking myself how to live in the present, how to hold loosely to the things that don't matter and embrace the things that do. I fall in love with a place that at one time seemed so unexciting and ordinary. At the same time I know that my calling is not for "here" (in PA) right now.

The call to something greater doesn't mean I can't have home. It means that I work at home being not a physical place, but the people I share my life with. It means I embrace to the best of my ability whatever home looks like.( I will spare you the pictures of our living room, piled high with all sorts of odds and ends.. clean clothes, school books, stuff for our return to Belize. )

Slowly, somewhere along this path, I am learning to find that space, and love it. To look at the calling, and embrace what is around me. Sometimes I even decorate! (Pictures of some places that have been nesting places for us in the past year)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Get ready, get set, go go go

I just read a newsletter from good friends of ours. They spent their last month in the States. One of the first things they mentioned was how busy things feel here.  I have to say that I totally agree. We are in the "mess" of working, camp, and trying to unpack.  I keep telling myself I wasn't on vacation, I moved. I have not had much "extra" time to organize and unpack. Mostly I tell myself that because it makes me feel better.

Thursday marked a official month that we have been  back in Pennsylvania.  If you followed our blog you would see we've been quite busy.

How have we been feeling? It's confusing to be in the place we are in.  We hold our hearts tightly and experience emotions at odd times.  What will Goodbye look like this time?  Can I really do this again?  Do we invest in relationships again? What activities do we choose to do because they will be the last for perhaps 3 years?

I personally am enjoying the "greenhouse" of working at Good News Camp. It in some ways feels like a "mini" Esperanza. The children enjoy being cared for, playing games, singing songs and learning about God's word

What are our next steps?

We've had a month to re-adjust, start jobs, meet with friends.

Our main focus is now fundraising.  We are looking to fill up our calendars! I know this seems counterproductive when I was just talking about being so occupied.

We are excited to tell our story. We want to share things and pictures that haven't been posted on the blog, and re-connect with those who have chosen to support us through our last term.

Our MST is changing. If you have an excitement for what we are doing, we would love to talk to  you. Fundraising is a big job and really we can't do it alone.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Little Q & A

I have started to notice the "out of the honeymoon" stage has come into our lives recently.  One thing that Nathanael said he really would miss about Belize is the laid back lifestyle.  Here we have much to do, and it feels like less time to do it in. 

We are working on being as clear as possible with you, so I thought I'd have a question/answer post.

What are we doing?

Nathanael is working for North Penn School District's ESY (Extended School Year) with two students. Spring is working part time for Child Evangelism Fellowship's Good News camp, and a homecare agency.  The children go to daycamp where Spring works, and are involved in outside activities as well.  We are still working on unpacking and organizing. 

How long will we be in PA?

That is a good question and if you know the answer please inform us.  Really our answer this time is similar to last time. We have to raise all of our funds before returning to Belize.  The earliest we could leave PA is January 2017.  Fundraising could take longer than we expect and we might not leave till June 2017 or June 2018. 

Are you on furlough?

The short answer to this one is no.  Since we were mission interns through Eastern Mennonite Missions, our term ended with us returning June 21st.  Nathanael started his job here June 22.  We have committed to another term with EMM but right now we are working, fundraising, homeschooling, and planning for our next term.

Where are you living?

We have the huge blessing of living with my parents. My children were able to return to the same house they left in August 2015.  We are grateful for the adjustments my family has been willing to make to allow us to stay here. We still own our house in Lansdale, and that is rented. 

What are your next steps?

We had a MST meeting this past week. Some people are changing their positions, or have had to leave the MST because of other commitments. We are praying about people to join in the vision with us. The main goal is for the MST to come alongside us in our efforts to fund-raise

Most obviously our next step is fundraising. We are working at filling our August and September schedules.  We are looking for opportunities for ways to share the vision God has given us.

If you have a unique way for us to share (meet with your friends for dinner, speaking at MOPS) we would love to have a conversation with you.  If you have a passion for missions and want to be involved in our MST, please feel free to contact us. Having a MST is an important part of what allows us to minister.  It is a way to be involved in missions right in your backyard.

Pictures are from our time at Global Fair. We didn't have a table this year since we just arrived in PA 2 weeks prior to Global fair. We did enjoy seeing old friends, good food and getting re-connected.