Insights into these Shoes' Soul

Welcome to our blog! You'll get glimpses into the fabric of our lives... find out what is happening in our family, learn what our latest adjustment is to life in the US, find out what is going on in our minds, see what makes us smile, and hear what makes us tick. You'll also get ministry updates! We hope these insights into our souls will make you smile, keep you informed and challenge you to pray for us.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Reasons to visit us #1, 2, 3 and 4

Gleaned from our local newpaper, Ft. Myers News-Press. Just thought you'd enjoy seeing some of our corner of paradise.

Friday, February 22, 2008

What a Card!

Our very own library!

Since being back in the States I have done something that I hadn't done for many, many years. I got a Library Card! Have you been to the Library lately? We have one not too far from our house. As I walked into the Library, it occurred to me that this is one feature that distinguishes the West from so many other nations. The free and awesome availability of information! Our library is not that big, but it is amazing how much information is available right at my finger tips.

At least 60 different magazines of all types and persuasions. Just to browse through a few of them was pretty cool. Many I didn't even know existed. All I have to do is take a little time and go there and I can enjoy everything from Reader's Digest to WoodWorking, to Christianity Today! Then there are the books. Wow, just to browse through the "new books" section was amazing. Here books selling for $15 to $25 at Sam's Club are FREE! How cool is that? I saw quite a few that I would love to read, both fiction and non-fiction. And most likely if you don't see it, they can get it for you! I already have quite a few books that I have read as a result of my browsing. One that is all about what is happening RIGHT NOW in the Middle East and it's relationship to prophecy. If you haven't read it, I would encourage you to do so. It is called "Epicenter" by Joel Rosenberg. Excellent.

Another thing we as a family enjoy, espcially on trips, are books on tape or CD. What a great way to pass the time on the road as we listen to a good book. I found out that they have dozens of great books on tape that I can get for Free! Our kids (and Deb and I) really enjoyed those times. There was a lot less fighting and "he touched me" going on!

Traveling Tip: On our trips [usually around 8000 miles] every summer, we would go to Cracker Barrel, buy a book on tape, listen to it, and then return it to another Cracker Barrel down the road within one week. It would only cost us $4 for the "rental" of the book. A great way to get down the road!

How about the kids section? Incredible place to take your kids. What a way to enlarge their perspectives beyond Playstation. Have you taken your kid to the library lately? Plan it and do it!

Unfortunately, we as a nation are not taking advantage of all that the library offers. We are stagnating in front of our TV's or computer screens. Not even the internet can compete with a good library. Why? Oh yes, you can get specific info off of the internet, but browsing through th e book stacks, or the magazine racks, etc. simply will expose you to so much more than surfing the web will. And it is free! Use that Library down the street from you!

MasterCard can get you to specific places, but the Library Card, now that will take you to the ends of the earth and beyond! And it's free!!!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

The RMI International Office

Did you ever wonder what the RMI office looks like?
Here is Dan in his new environment, and Debbie in her's!

What's up with Devon?

Since moving to the US Devon has worked with his uncle, Dave, in roofing, then he moved to the Dallas, Texas area for a few months where he worked in a company striping parking lots. One day last fall he showed up on our doorstep with all his earthly belongings. After several weeks of picking up odd jobs and considering what to do, he made the decision to attend Columbia International University in Columbia, SC. He made a whirlwind last trip/fling to Haiti with a bunch of missionary kids that he grew up with over Christmas and New Year's. He flew home on a Friday and the next day he and Dan drove to Columbia. They spent several days getting him enrolled and moved into the dorm at CIU. God has given him a great roommate and he seems to be enjoying his courses. This is a real step of faith for all of us! He has no money and we don't have any to help him with. Pray for God's provision AND His guidance as Devon considers his future.
P.S. His health is good now. Once he recovered from his near death illness December 2005, he continues to be fine. For which we are very happy and grateful to God! Although it would do these parents' hearts a world of good if he wasn't such an adrenaline junky!!! We'd love to experience grandchildren one day. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A wedding in the family

Caleb, Dan's nephew, got married Saturday! The 8th Street beach in Naples made a nice setting, it didn't rain and the sun wasn't out to make it hot - so the weather was perfect. Dan's dad, Herb, performed the wedding. The bride was beautiful and the groom was handsome, what more can we say?! We are happy to have Katharina in the family. They are living in an apartment in Naples. Guess who made it at the last minute to the wedding? Devon came from college (10 hour trip), making a quick stop in Central Florida to pick up a missionary kid buddy (Kyle) that he grew up with. They got here just in time to run to Sears, pick up a white shirt, red tie and black pants to go with his jacket so he could be an usher in the wedding. Here are a few pictures.

After the wedding, Devon spent the weekend sleeping and being sick while we did his laundry. He told his friends in the dorm that he was going to Florida to do his laundry and he brought every stitch of clothing and bedding that he had to get washed! Even so, we did enjoy getting to see him!

My Valentine gave me just what I wanted!

My Valentine gave me just what I wanted! He asked me and I said that I wanted a pair of shoes. So this is what he gave me! And they are just what I wanted. They are big planters. Aren't they the best thing for a family with the name of Shoemaker? I think they are a perfect fit. :)

They go very well with the plaque that Dan's parents gave us for Christmas. It reads "One shoe can change your life. Cinderella" Boy, did she ever have it right! Marrying this shoe has changed my life - and all for the good. He's my Valentine. I love you Dan!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Volleyball State Champion!

Dawn has enjoyed being in Ft. Myers' largest Christian school, Evangelical Christian School. At 5’11”, the coach immediately put her on the jr. varsity volleyball team. (Seems Dawn has grown a bit and is 6' now!)This year she is in 11th grade and was on the varsity volleyball team — they had a fantastic year, too! They swept their district, region and took the State Volleyball 2A Championship!! [She is #13.] Here are a few photos from our local newspaper. Not bad -- going from the outback of Haiti to a state championship team in less than a year!! Yep, we are shamelessly proud of her! Being a part of the volleyball team has helped her integrate into life in the U.S.

She’s also involved in an off season volleyball club. Another bit of news is that she is now wearing glasses and has her learner’s permit! Between school, sports and other activities we are kept on our toes and in the car quite a least now insteading of chauffeuring, we get chauffeured! Pray for her (and us) as she starts to consider college and career choices. She has an outstanding testimony and character. She feels that God is calling her into fulltime service.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Duke goes walkabout

We've all had adjustments to life in the U.S., even our pets! Duke's adjustment has been in the area of being contained in one yard, not having the freedom to run the whole neighborhood, visit all his dog buddies, etc. He went on one particular walkabout that has had everyone laughing:

One night in January 2007, Duke (a black lab mix), escaped from the cable that had him tied to a tree in our backyard. (We didn’t have a fence then but we sure do now!) We looked in vain for him. An hour later, the doorbell rang. A uniformed Lee County Animal Services officer asked us if we’d lost a dog then after some discussion, she said, “Well, it seems that I have him in my van!” She said that he had been caught INSIDE WALMART, RUNNING UP AND DOWN THE GROCERY AISLES! Yes, he’d run across the busiest east/west road in the county (did he wait for a red light to cross?), through the crowded parking lot and right into the grocery side of Wal-Mart and was having the greatest time running up and down the aisles. An employee finally caught him and Animal Services was called. She thought it was funny that Duke went shopping for his own food and didn’t give us a ticket!

He is pictured here with his best friend, Devon.

Friday, February 8, 2008

What a difference a day makes!

Our move from Haiti to the U.S. May 26, 2006
In one day the Shoemaker family went from being field missionaries, living in Haiti, to being missionaries living in the US. Many hands helped us pack in Haiti, including 2 wonderful gals who came from Chicago to help Deb pack the kitchen & other household items. The Missionary Flights International DC 3 was loaded in Cayes, Haiti on May 26, 2006. When it took off, 25 years of field service ended. When it landed in Port St. Lucie, Florida, that afternoon, a new era of life started for us. A U-Haul was loaded with our belongings and we, the dog and 3 cats made the journey across the state to our home in the Ft. Myers suburb of Lehigh Acres. We were able to sleep in our new beds that very night!

We found another meaning to John 14:2 “In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” Yes, the Lord has prepared a place for us in Heaven, but we found that He had gone before us and prepared a place for us here in the US.

Since last year, when we bought the house, we’ve been working with a Christian contractor to make needed changes in the house. Almost everything was finished when we arrived and we love it!! What a gift from God this gentleman has been to us.

God also prepared a church (McGregor Baptist Church) for us, complete with a Sunday School class that adopted us and made our homecoming their personal project! The women held a housewarming shower for us and a large group went to the house to do an extensive cleaning inside the house and outside in the yard before we even landed!

The morning after we arrived, a group of 35 people showed up to help us unload the truck. The “geek squad” unpacked the computer and set it up. The ladies grabbed the kitchen bins and unpacked them. Beds were set up and the little furniture that was there was moved around and put in place. It was an amazing sight. We have been humbled and so thankful for this provision.

We feel that God even prepared friendships for us through this church and Sunday school class. Folks have taken us in and loved us. All of these things have helped take the sting out of the upheaval in our lives.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here for 1 1/2 years already. Bins and boxes are still a part of our lives. We’ve come to the conclusion that moving is a point in time. Settling in is a long term process. Little by little we’ve “feathered our nest”. We have furniture, lamps, etc. now and the inside painting was finally finished in March. It’s been fun starting over almost like newlyweds. We are “re-defining” ourselves.

We have found that we enjoy the area very much! We are learning all the fine details of being suburbanites and living in the states: when to take out the trash, where to buy things, learning what goods & services are available in our little town, finding the shortest routes here & there, etc. We’re finding out all kinds of new things...did you know that pre-made pie crusts are made in regular and deep dish, that the dog and cats need a license and Christmas trees now come pre-lit?