Merry ChristmasIf you spend a year in the shoes of the Shoemakers you would see and experience much! This past year...
Dan found himself in Haiti (3 times), Orlando (3 times), Chicago,(3 times), Miami, Little Rock, New York City, and Boston.
Debbie flew solo to Greenville to have a long weekend for her annual Cosper Sisters Day in the Mountains.
Together we went to Tampa many times to see Dawn’s volleyball games, move her from one apartment to another and for Trinity College’s Missions Conference, to Greenville (my mom’s, 2 times), Gastonia, Orlando, Key Largo, Cape Canaveral, Sarasota, Chicago and Toccoa Falls (GA) to see Dawn’s last regional playoffs for volleyball.
We had to retire several old suitcases!
We spoke, participated and represented RMI...
Dan has been very busy speaking at missions conferences and churches (he had fun preaching at a large Haitian church near Time’s Square in NYC - he spoke in Creole and was translated into English!), participated in a Rebuilding Haiti symposium and represented RMI at a number of churches.
Debbie spoke at a couple of ladies gatherings - sharing what being a missionary wife was like. A new missionary wife and our daughter both have asked her to write a book about being a missionary wife (what it’s like, how do you do it, recipes - the whole nine yards).
Write a book?! Who has time?
We received visitors...
One of my sisters came from South Carolina to find a car (choices were very limited in her area). After a solid week of looking, test driving, more looking and more test driving she found one and was able to drive it home.
Another sister and her husband stopped by on their way to and from Key West. It was their first visit!
Two of RMI’s 3 new missionary couples stayed with us during their RMI Missionary Orientation. It was a pleasure to get to know them better.
A high school friend (who is also the daughter of my spiritual mentor from high school) and a friend of hers came from Colorado for a week of rest, relaxation, sun and sand (which they found an abundance of!).
Dawn brought her roommate home for Thanksgiving - that was a lot of fun!
Two of RMI’s Haitian administrators came for various meetings and planning sessions.
There were several day visits with friends and supporters who were in the area on their vacations.
We love visitors! Our guestroom has been used more than Dawn’s room (no fault of hers, though - she’s away at college).
We had unique experiences...
Ft. Myers’ Murder Mystery Train was the sight of our 29th anniversary. Fantastic food, a theater production and a train ride all in one. What a fun, different thing to do!
Hurricane Sandy stranded us in South Carolina for 4 days. We were fine, but flights all over the eastern seaboard were affected and we couldn’t get out of Greenville. We were happy to spend a few extra days with my mom and sisters.
Dan spent a whole day with Dawn at Disney, an extended father / daughter date and they had a fantastic time.
Mini-lobster season (a 3 day season before the regular season opens) landed a few lobsters in our freezer. Devon, Dan, Caleb (Devon’s cousin) and Wes (Devon’s roommate) spent 3 days in Key Largo. The first day they harvested their limit, 36,within the first 3 hours. Cleaning, grilling a few and some fishing filled the rest of their days.
A men’s day out was spent at the Dolphins/Patriots game in Miami for Dan, his dad, brother, Devon, Caleb, Wes and Kyle (Wes’ brother and a former roommate of Wes and Devon). Wes was the only one who left with a smile on his face since he is a Patriots fan. They enjoyed their time together so much they decided that they’d like to do this once a year.
Not to miss out on the fun, Debbie has enjoyed touring a historic home in Ft. Myers then catching lunch at a special tea room nearby several times. She looks for any occasion to do lunch at the tea room, so if you’re in town, give her a call!
Life is always unique with the Shoes!
We got older...
Both of us popped onto AARP’s radar when we both turned 55. Good grief, how did we get this “old”? Are we “old”?
Devon turned 25. A quarter of a century. He’s enjoying his job as the supervisor at a designer warehouse in Naples. His girlfriend, Kristen, is a special gal that we’ve enjoyed getting to know. And Devon is happy to finally have reliable wheels - a sporty VW turbo diesel Jetta. The 40-45 mpg was a very attractive incentive after his gas guzzling truck.
Dawn is now 22. She’s a senior at Trinity College of Florida, an RA at the school’s girls’ apartment and played her last season of volleyball this year. Once again she was voted All American in her division. She continues to pursue God’s calling as an agricultural missionary. Her immediate hurtle is the finances to return to school the next semester (next month!). Pray with us about this very urgent issue for her.
Us “old”? Nope, but hopefully “wiser”!
Dan continues his job as President of RMI. When he’s not traveling, his days are spent in meetings, overseeing the operations of RMI, on the phone with supporters, developing partnerships with other organizations, handling emails, developing strategies and many other things.
Debbie is still the Director of Communications, but has also added Personnel Coordinator and Trip Coordinator to her list of talents. Each one of those are full time jobs so she’s kept very busy working full time.
One the most missed “things” about Haiti is having house help. Taking care of the yard and everything in the house while working full time is something you are used to, but it is an area we are still adjusting too. We’ve both spent over half our lives having help in those areas!
Contrary to popular belief - moving to the states didn’t mean we retired!!
A real concern to us is that our support has dropped off significantly since returning to the US. Raising funds to serve in the US is difficult because most people assume that the mission office can pay your salary, but RMI isn’t in a position to do that. RMI asks it’s US personnel to raise their support. Would you consider a special gift or raising your level of support? Thank you for whatever you can do.
Our New Year’s Resolution: to keep our blog updated on a regular basis! We failed miserably this year. We are determined to not let it happen again. The most up to date info on what is happening in our lives can be found on Facebook. Find us and “like” us. We love connecting with people and keeping up to date on their lives. We are especially thankful for you, our friends and supporters. Thank you for your support and for sharing your lives with us. We are very blessed.
Dan and Debbie Shoemaker