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.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

From Our House to Yours, Merry Christmas!

5 years. That’s how long the Shoemaker Family has been in the US. In some ways, we feel like we’ve just arrived. In other ways, it seems we’ve been here forever. In some ways our lives have stayed the same. In other ways our lives have changed dramatically.

Thank you for being a faithful friend and supporter through all the change, through all these years. You have been a vital partner in God’s ministry. We appreciate your steadfastness.

We lived in Haiti for 25 years.—that’s a long time to be away from one’s home culture. It’s a good thing we had come back to the states for many summers or we would feel like we just jumped out of a time warp. Think about it...we left in 1984 and returned in 2011. Political correctness, computers, cell phones, iPods, iPads, Kindles, technologies that we never even dreamed of, consumerism that is out of control, increased governmental controls, wow—it’s overwhelming to think of how our home culture has changed.

But I have to say that we’ve had fun “re-inventing” ourselves. Coming up with just bins of personal items (no furniture) gave us the opportunity to start our household over. We’ve settled into our home and really enjoy it. I love that the whole house is air conditioned, the laundry facilities are inside the house, there is space to have a home office and my crafts and sewing as well as enough room to host people inside our home (our home in Haiti was so small that all hosting we did was done outside in the yard; our kids’ rooms measured 8’ X 10’ providing only enough room for a bunk bed/dresser/desk unit and a shelf unit).

Our lifestyle changed overnight. No, we didn’t retire (a common misperception)! Yes, we are still missionaries and in 24/7 just looks different now. Dan works in the office, is involved with guiding and growing RMI, vision casting, finance meetings as well as traveling quite a bit speaking and representing RMI in churches all over the US. I’m working at the RMI office as Director of Communication. Brochures, publications, writing, proofing, blogging and such occupy my time. A common thing that missionary wives miss the most when they come home is having house help. I’m right there with them!! I really do miss having help in the house and in the yard as well.

Dawn is #33.  This is a photo
that appeared in our local paper.
We also found ourselves in the “suburban shuffle”, driving Dawn to and from school. Her involvement in volleyball greatly increased that driving/travel. Turns out that she has a natural ability to play great volleyball! She’d never played it before her sophomore year when we arrived, but the coach at her school recognized her potential , took her under his wings and was a great mentor. Her junior year she was a starter on the varsity team who were undefeated and took the state 2A championship. Who knew?!

Dawn painting an
orphanage in Paraguay.
She feels God has called her to full time ministry as an overseas missionary and is now a junior at Trinity College of Florida (Billy Graham’s alma mater). Their volleyball team has benefited from 6’ tall Dawn’s ability to spike the ball and put points on the scoreboard. Of course being just north of Tampa, near beaches and the ocean and not all that far from home makes it easier on her. She is seriously financially challenged and is on a strict budget—a Ramen noodle every night budget (thanks to an Allstate commercial for that phrase). She is living and going to school by faith. Going to school full time, working part time at Merry Maids, living in an apartment with 3 other girls and being active in her church keeps her crazy busy. Pray for her as she struggles financially to finish her junior and senior year. She turned 21 this October!

During her freshman summer she went to Haiti as an intern for 6 weeks. Volleyball ministry with her high school coach in Ascunsion, Paraguay for 2 weeks was her overseas service her sophomore summer.  (In the picture she’s painting at an orphanage in Ascunsion.) This summer she has exciting plans too: summer school and working full time so she can get into her senior year and graduate. She’d prefer to go to an internship in Papua New Guinea, but time is short and graduating is a priority! Her heart is overseas!

Believe it or not, our first born is 24. Devon is living 40 minutes south of us with his cousin and a fellow Haiti missionary kid that he grew up with. He works as a supervisor in a designer warehouse, but his time is spent fishing (pier and deep sea), helping friends but mostly playing Ultimate Frisbee. He plays as much as possible and has been on a team in Tampa. He was the “model” for a photo shoot for Spin, a line of Ultimate clothing .
If you go to, you’ll see him (this particular image!) on their website. Breaking his elbow and separating his Tommy John tendon slowed him down (just a little) in the fall, but he’s back at work & Ultimate now. He’s still an “adrenalin junky”. Recently he took Dawn skydiving! If it involves a “rush”, you’ll find Devon there.

Two special milestones were celebrated this year..Dan’s parents, Herb and Shirley, celebrated 50 years in ministry this month. They were honored at the recent RMI Board Meetings. What a legacy!

Dan passed a major milestone as well. In 1981 he first went to Haiti as a single missionary, which means that this year he celebrated 30 years in ministry!

A lot has happened in the past 5 years...a snake that fell from the sky, the loss of 2 pets in one month to cancer (Duke the Wal-Mart shopping dog & Munchkin, the calico cat), a knee operation, a shoulder operation, sushi lessons for Father’s Day, travels in the US & overseas, an earthquake, floods & hurricanes, a lot of ministry, Dawn going to college & her first apartment, Devon’s 21st birthday, Dawn’s 21st birthday, a bird that sounds like it walked out of Jurassic Park, a pair of really big shoes that I wanted for Valentines Day and much, much more.  All 4 of us are on Facebook—feel free to “friend” us. Now that will be up to the moment information (and more pictures). RMI’s blog is, and they can be found on Facebook as well.

Thank you again for being a part of our family! You make it possible for us to continue to be in ministry.

P.S. The Christmas ornaments are from our personal tree.

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