Thursday, December 30, 2010

Packing, Packing and more Packing

I thought I would give a blog entry a try. I won't be as well spoken as Stuart, but we all know how I like to get my thoughts out there, so here goes.

I am Carie; Stuart's wife and mother to Kade, Winnie, Ellis and Violet. If you told me a year ago that I would be uprooting my whole family and moving to El Salvador for a year, I would have told you that you were crazy. Amazing how hearts change in a year! So many people have been asking me how I feel about the upcoming move. Excited! Excited that we are heading out on an advanture and will be able to help the Salvadorians who already have have a special place in the hearts of Stuart and I. Now we will get to share that love with our children as well.

They are also excited to go. Ellis keeps telling me that he is going to eat a whole banana tree when he is there! Kade is practicing his Spanish non-stop and Winnie keeps looking at pictures of kids, that Stuart took while he was there last month, wondering which ones she will become great friends with. I don't think we could have picked a better time to go for them. They are up for whatever we through our way it seems. They will miss their friends but they also know that they will see them again. Their schools have also been so supportive. They are giving us as much stuff as they can to keep our kids learning in line with their grades and also encouraging us as a family. Kade and Winnie’s classes are collecting bottles and juice boxes to by screws to build houses and they have asked Stuart to come in and do a presentation for at least 6 classes on exactly what we are doing out there. They also are encouraging Kade to Skype, or video conference, with his class once every two weeks and for him to write letters to them in both English and Spanish.

We have had so much positive response from friends and family. One friend of mine is even doing a project with her Sunday school class, where she is showing them a slide show of some of the kids and families that we will be working with in El Salvador, and then the kids are going to make Christmas cards to send to them. These are exactly the kinds of things that we hope our trip out to El Salvador will accomplish. We want you in Canada to feel a connection with the people we are working with, and keep you updated with pictures and stories.

I am also feeling a little anxious. Anything unknown to me makes me anxious. I am a control freak and this is really God’s way of saying “you need to leave it in my hands and trust in me.” Right now, we don’t know where we are going to be living, or what the kids are going to do for school, etc. But I know that this will all get figured out in time.
And I’m a little sad. I’m sad that I will be leaving my cat Boris for a year, (and I guess friends and family), and my weekly quilting group. But I know some of you will come and visit us (and maybe my in-laws that are living in our house while we are gone can Skype a call between Boris and me!)

And I’m a little overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed by the language barrier and the skills that I feel like I lack. But I also have an overwhelming sense of joy. I know that this is what we are supposed to be doing right now, and I have made the decision to jump in with both feet. And I do know that God will take care of us, and he is using us for His purposes.
We do however still need more support. The more resources we have from here, the more we can do for the people of El Salvador. Please consider making us, and this mission a regular prayer item. And if you would like to contribute financially, click on and click the donate button under “ This button is to support the McAllister / Berstad El Salvador mission trip.” Thank you so much!!

Just an update on where we are at right now with life.

We have sold all the ewes and ram on our farm. We still have lamb for sale and decided that any profits made will go towards our projects fund for El Salvador. Maybe we will even have the opportunity to buy goats with the money, for families there. If you would like to buy some, please check out our website at to find out pricing, etc.

Stuart just got back from his 3rd week in El Salvador, over the last 5 weeks. Although we missed him, it was good for him to be able to do some groundwork with Trent, for our move there. Now he is back in town, and we were off to Myrtle Beach over Christmas. We decided since we don’t need presents it might be nice to get away. It ended up being a bit crazy with delayed and cancelled flights, but none the less we lived! Ellis has his last day of preschool before Christmas, and I have decided that the other kids will go back for a couple of weeks after the winter break so they don’t drive me crazy!!

Our official departure date is January 23, when we will fly overnight to Antigua, Guatemala and spend a month there learning Spanish at a language school. Hopefully they will be very patient with me! At the end of February we will go by bus to San Vicente, El Salvador. Please keep us in your thoughts, prayers and keep in touch. Email us, call us, Skype us or facebook us. We would love to hear from you.

Now to the packing, there is so much to do!!