St. Croix – Hurricane Help

Hurricane Maria swept through the US Virgin Islands in late September leaving a trail of destruction in its path. I remember vacillating between praying for our friends and the people on the islands, and anxiously reading the latest news reports for a glimpse of what was happening thousands of miles away.

As the winds died down and we were eventually able to communicate with our friends on St. Croix, we found that everyone was safe, but there was quite a bit of damage sustained. And so, Cory and I made arrangements to go and help in whatever ways we could. We were able to convince our friends Mike and Suzi to join us on our trip and they were valuable assets. Not only in the work that they were able to do while there, but also as cookie eating buddies and great friends!


We got to fly in a tiny plane from San Juan to St. Croix and it was quite the experience! Mike was chosen to sit next to the pilot in the co-pilot’s seat and I sat directly behind the pilot. Watching out the front window while flying is a completely different experience than I’m used to. I do have to admit that I was pretty nervous during the flight, and when the pilot pulled out directions on how to land the plane as we were approaching the island, my nervousness was only enhanced!

Prior to the hurricane, this was a completely sandy beach. All of the sand was washed away and all that is left now is rock.

This trip was quite different than the previous times we had gone. I don’t like to label it a “mission trip” because my heart’s desire was to just go to help and to love my friends.

And so, our first full day that we were there, instead of getting straight to work, we accepted an invitation to go to the beach with two of our friends from St. Croix. To me, it was an example of making sure we aren’t always being “Marthas” in the world and that we take time out to spend time with others and deepen relationships just like Mary did with Jesus. (Luke 10:38-42)

Needless to say, we had a great day snorkeling, exploring Fredriksted, and finishing the day off with dinner from the Chicken Shack.


Sunday morning we attended church at Church on the Beach. There is just something so refreshing about making things simple. Bring your own chairs, wear sunblock, and worship God in His creation!


After church, we went back to the YWAM base and dove into our work! One of our projects was the Poolside Room. The storm had blown debris, water, and mud into all of the rooms, and the kitchen was in a sorry state. We would need to demolish the kitchen, haul off all furniture that was ruined from water damage, wash the walls and ceilings, wash all of the furniture, and repaint where needed.


The Crucian room was another area that needed a thorough washing, painting, and general clean up.



Cory was of course tasked with fixing the internet and all that involved. We were able to bring most of the supplies necessary for that task, but that didn’t stop Mike and Cory from scavenging for network gear in broken houses that I can only imagine was filled with rats and centipedes!

We also needed to make a trip to Home Depot to (hopefully) purchase what was necessary to build the new kitchenette in the Poolside Room. The shelves were bare, but we managed to find cabinets that would work. Many of them had some damage, but they were all we had to work with and Mike was confident he could fix them up. (And we got them at a discounted price!)


We spent hours and hours and hours toiling away. Climbing up and down ladders, hanging wires, scrubbing wall after wall after wall, constantly dumping and refilling muddy buckets of water to wash with, and attempting to build a kitchen in a land where NOTHING is straight, square, or level. And most of all, sweating like crazy and being devoured by mosquitoes and no-see-ums.

And yet, I found the work very satisfying. I knew that every minute I spent washing walls was time that I was giving to the YWAM staff to be able to focus on ministry and other areas on the YWAM base.


After a week of hard work, the Crucian Room was waiting for its new bed and was ready to host others who will be coming to serve in the near future.


The Poolside Room is waiting on a plumber to come and finish the sink in the kitchenette, and just needs a new bed and the couches to be moved in before it’s ready to go! The internet was also wired and fixed as much as possible (there was still no power on the base while we were there, so there was an extra level of difficulty).


In the midst of all the work, we made sure to take time to join the YWAM staff in their weekly outreaches that they do. We visited Paradise Mills (one of the housing projects on the island) one afternoon to play with the kids. Suzi made a new friend who challenged her to step outside of her comfort zone and try new things (including balancing on fence rails and doing cartwheels).

Suzi and I were also able to visit the Lighthouse ministry to help hang clothing donations and give clothes and toiletries to the needy.


We reconnected with old friends, made a few new friends, and missed a few friends who weren’t there at the time. Sometimes it’s difficult to form relationships with missionaries in YWAM because you never know if you will see them again. I’m slowly learning that even if people are only in your life for short amounts of time, it’s worth that time to invest yourself in the relationship. We have met some amazing people and built some life-long friendships.


***And just as a little side note… The transportation while we were there was dicey. Most of the cars and trucks were either broke down when we arrived, or developed problems while we were there. We were thankful to be able to cram ourselves into trucks to get where we needed at different times throughout the week, but they could really use a generous donor who could get them some reliable transportation!***



Disneyland on a Tight Budget

After doing quite a bit of research on how to manage a Disneyland trip “on a budget”, I quickly found out that there are many different ideas of what that actually looks like. Some people spent more on their “budget” Disneyland trip than I spent on my last car!


I had a $2000.00 budget for our family of four, and when it was all said and done, we actually came in under budget at the end! I’ll show you a quick breakdown of where our money went, and then give more details on how we found different deals and how we made our decisions.

Disney Budget – Family of 4 (kids ages 4 & 7) for 3 days: $2000.00
Traveling off-season and mid-week – November 2017

Airfare: $426.00
Rental Car: $111.00
Hotel: $196.00
Disneyland 2 Day Park hopper + Max Pass tickets: $1032.00
Character Dinner: $7.26
Food/Snacks: $192.40
Pre-trip purchases: $24.00

Grand Total: $1988.66

Here are the details on why we made certain decisions, or where we found discounted deals…


Flying vs. Driving

We live about 16 hours from Disneyland, so I was open to driving instead of flying. I compared the costs of driving (gas, extra night in a hotel, food, extra time off of work) and flying (plane ticket and rental car). I was able to find tickets to LAX for only $106.50 per person and so we chose to fly. It was the preferred choice too because then we wouldn’t arrive exhausted and grouchy from sitting in a car with small children for 16 hours.

Often times, in order to get good deals, you have to sacrifice some comforts. In this case, that meant our flight home from LAX left at 6:30am… Which meant we left our hotel at 3:30am to get there on time. I planned ahead and before leaving on vacation, I had dinner prepped and in the freezer so that we could spend the rest of the day taking naps, watching movies, and just recovering from vacation.

Remember to keep your costs down by avoiding baggage fees and only bringing carry-on luggage with you.

I found our flight (Delta Airlines) by using Google Flights. It is my favorite way to search for flights! If you are flexible on your vacation dates, it searches several airlines and will show you the lowest prices for ranges of dates.

Rental Cars

We like the freedom that having your own car allows, so we rented a car through We never buy any of the extras they try to pressure you into (extra insurance, toll road access, etc.). I didn’t include the cost of gas into our Disneyland budget, because we would normally be using gas if we were at home as well, so it came from our regular monthly budget. (The final cost of gas for the entire trip was a whopping $12 in the end.)



I know a lot of people like to stay in fancy hotels, have nice pools, and “experience the Disney magic” with a themed hotel. We stayed at our hotel long enough to sleep, shower, and eat the continental breakfast (an important money saver). So my biggest requirement was to find a decent hotel that was clean and didn’t have bugs.

I spent WEEKS looking at hotel deals until finally making a decision. Here are a few things that I took into account while searching:

Parking situation: When assessing the price of the hotel, make sure to account for any extra charges. I only looked at hotels that provided free parking since we would have a rental car.

Distance to Disneyland: The closer to Disneyland your hotel is, the more money you are going to pay. While it is nice to be able to just walk to the park in the morning, there are other options for transportation if you want a hotel a little further away. Some people like to take a break mid-day and return to their hotel to rest or swim in the pool. Our plan was to stay at the park the entire day, so we didn’t mind staying farther from the park. If your hotel is farther than walking distance, you will want to add in the cost of parking ($20/day) or taking a bus.

Our hotel was just a block away from the Disneyland Toy Story parking lot, so we walked to the lot and hopped onto the shuttle bus to get to and from Disneyland.

Cleanliness: When I found a few hotels we were considering staying at, I looked them up on Trip Advisor to read reviews. Keep in mind that there will ALWAYS be that one person who is never happy and leaves bad reviews because the paint was the wrong color. I would read the reviews mainly looking for comments on cleanliness, weird smells, and mention of bedbugs or cockroaches. I would also scour the photos to see what was offered at the continental breakfast.

I found our hotel (Anaheim Express Inn) through, but I also searched for deals on Expedia. Don’t forget to include resort fees and taxes into your final total!



We made sure to book a hotel that offered a continental breakfast. When we arrived in California, we made a stop at Walmart and picked up bread, peanut butter, jelly, and sandwich bags. We packed sandwiches each morning and I brought snacks from home (granola bars, nuts, fruit snacks, goldfish crackers, fruit, etc). We brought our own water bottles to the park and refilled them throughout the day at drinking fountains or restaurants that offered free cups of ice water. We budgeted $50 each day to eat dinner out while at the park. We also budgeted extra money for a few fun treats (dole whip, cotton candy, bakery goodies).

And of course we spent a little extra stopping at In-N-Out burger a couple of times.


Pre-trip purchases/souvenirs:

Before we left on our trip, I wanted to have a few special items for the kids. I bought plain t-shirts at Walmart for $3/each and made them a simple Disney shirt, and their Nana secretly bought them each a shirt to wear on their second day. Jenna already had souvenir Minnie Mouse ears that one of neighbors had brought her as a gift years ago.  Then I bought Micky and Minnie coin purses on Amazon for about $7 and filled them with quarters and pennies for the kids to use in the penny smash machines that we would find throughout the park. (One of the cheapest souvenirs and the kids love doing them)

We decided that in order to keep the trip within budget, we wouldn’t be buying extra things from all of the shops while in Disneyland. So, before we got there, we explained to the kids that we were going to have a lot of fun, and there would be a LOT of fun things in the stores while we were there. They were welcome to look at stuff and tell us if they liked things, but we weren’t going to be buying anything. They understood and it made the trip so much better to not have to constantly have them begging to buy things and being told no.


Character Dinner:

This was one of the things that we splurged on during our vacation. We took the kids to dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen and managed to only pay $7.26. Yes, you read that correctly! Here is how we did it…

We applied for the Disneyland credit card to use while on vacation. They had a deal running where once you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months you receive a $200 statement credit. So, we got the card, purchased our Disneyland tickets with it, and then used our statement credit to cover the $49 annual card fee and our dinner at Goofy’s kitchen (you also get a 10% discount when you pay for dinner with your card).

Now, if you don’t have any self-control when it comes to using credit cards, I highly advise against doing this. We live a debt-free lifestyle, but we recognize that credit card companies offer REALLY good deals. So, when vacation is over and the card is paid off, we simply cancel the card.

If you park at the Disneyland hotel, you can get free valet parking for 3 hours when you eat at Goofy’s kitchen and get your parking pass validated.

Since we arrived in California mid-day, we spent our first day exploring downtown Disney and going to our character dinner. It was a great way to get the kids acclimated and ready for a full day in Disneyland.



(Connor had to be photoshopped into the Space Mountain picture because he was too small to be seen in the original picture! And the kids hated all 3 of these rides!)

Disneyland Tickets:

Our other major splurge on vacation was to pay the extra $$ to buy park hopper tickets and to buy the Disney MaxPass. The MaxPass is an extra $10 per ticket per day, so I was really hesitant to spend the extra $80, but it was completely worth it.

With the MaxPass you get the Unlimited Disney photopass downloads for the day. What this means is every time you get a picture on a ride, or take a picture with characters, you get a code to enter, and the pictures automatically download into your app and you can save them to your phone! I didn’t think we would get much use out of this part of the offer, but in the end, I had over 40 pictures saved!

It’s simple to use too. After you get off of a ride, simply snap a picture of the screen that shows your ride picture so you can input the code into the app later. If you are taking pictures with characters, the photographer can scan your code from your app and the pictures will automatically be downloaded for you!

The main reason we bought the MaxPass was to utilize the fast FastPass option. With the app, you don’t need to walk over to a kiosk to secure a FastPass, you simply do it from your phone and then scan your code at the entrance when it’s time for you to use it. This meant that as soon as we were in the park in the morning, we could secure a FastPass for whichever ride we wanted without having to walk anywhere to get it. We could be in the middle of a ride when the window came open to get another pass and it was easy to snag it right then! We saved so much time doing fast passes.

The other really cool thing about the option is that if a ride breaks down that you have a fast pass for, you can either save the pass until the ride is running again, or it turns into a magic pass that you can use at ANY ride in the park that offers fast passes!

One night while we were there, I wanted to ride Space Mountain, but they weren’t issuing any more fast passes and I wasn’t willing to wait in the hour-long line. I had a pass for another ride and it happened to break down for a short time, so my pass was converted to be able to use on any ride and I was able to hop onto Space Mountain after a short 5 minute wait with my pass!

This was one situation where spending extra money to wait in line less and maximize our time in the parks was a priority for us and well worth the money.


When you are considering whether or not you will be able to afford a trip to Disneyland, it really comes down to determining what is important to you. It takes a little more effort to have the discipline to pack lunches, not buy extra tempting snacks, and settle for a regular hotel, but it’s totally worth it!


NIKO Salem 2017


Sometimes God calls us far away to serve in missions serving other cultures and nations… And sometimes God sends us a bit closer to home.


Last week, the kids and I packed our bags and headed two hours south to the YWAM Salem, OR base to help serve as staff on a NIKO. (pronounced knee-coe)

niko old days
My First Time Staffing a NIKO – Summer of 1999 (Yellow bandana)

Niko is very difficult to describe, because there are few programs similar to it.  Niko is not a ‘camping trip’ but neither is it a ‘survival camp.’   It has the elements of both, but its purpose is not sheer enjoyment or to teach survival tactics.  By challenging participants physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, they are pushed beyond their personal, self-imposed limits- but not for the purpose of survival or pride.  The purpose is to see them discover God in new ways through their experiences.

                In a Niko, there are three main components developed as a result of pushing the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits.  These are: Servanthood, Team Building, and Leadership Development. (borrowed from the NIKO website)

In short, NIKO is a program that I have been passionate about since experiencing it for the first time many years ago (19 to be exact). So, when I found out the NIKO team was short-staffed and looking for help, I prayed about it, and volunteered to come.

Now, that might sound simple enough, but in reality, it was a big decision. Cory was unable to take time off of work, and that meant it would be just me and the kids. For five days. Sleeping in the wilderness. Late nights, early mornings, and far from the comforts of home. A recipe for bad attitudes and disaster… So we packed our bags and got ready to go!


One of the easiest parts of the trip, was that NIKO provides a very simple packing list that you follow. I am a classic over-packer, but sticking to a very simple list made it possible to pack everything the three of us needed for the week in just a few bags. The sleeping bags took most of the room!

The YWAM base in Salem has an AMAZING ropes course, and during a lull in our work duties on the first day, the kids got a chance to explore a little bit.

I was worried about how well the kids would do on NIKO. I was worried I wouldn’t have the patience needed to take care of them, AND get all of my duties done while running on very little sleep throughout the week.

As the week progressed, I knew for certain we were being covered in prayer. All of my worries were for nothing.


The kids thrived at NIKO. They spent all day working hard and playing hard. They never complained about the food they had to eat, not having any technology, and not once did they say they were bored and needed something to do.

Imaginations ran wild as they spent their days building habitats for caterpillars and worms, playing on bucket drums, and making “recipes” while playing in the creek.

We served in the position of “camp mom” and “camp kids” while we were at NIKO. That meant that we didn’t join the participants on any hikes, but worked on all of the “behind the scenes” duties. Filling water jugs, making dinner, keeping camp clean, transporting people and supplies, running errands, and so much more.


One of the kids’ favorite adventures was getting to ride around in the back of the truck on our many trips to and fro. (only on the private roads)

The participants that came to NIKO was a group of Korean Americans from the Los Angeles area. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to spend the week with. Jenna and Connor made many new friends, and it was hard to say goodbye. In the words of Jenna, it was a very “sour-sweet” ending.


At the end of NIKO, the participants share about what they learned and what lessons they are taking home with them. Listening to their stories about how God worked in their life through the past few days, and how He has changed them, is why I keep coming back (This was my 12th NIKO).

Like many mission trips, I leave feeling physically exhausted, but my soul is refreshed.

**If NIKO is something you’re interested in for yourself or a group, check out their website! (or search for a NIKO program closer to you, they have them in many locations)

NIKO Salem:




Vacation Days


While we were in St. Croix, we worked all day Monday through Friday, and Saturday and Sunday were days off to spend with our family.

We went to church on Sunday mornings, and our last weekend there, we were fortunate to be able to borrow a car for the day.

After church we grabbed some lunch and then relaxed on the beach for several hours that afternoon.


After the beach, we drove up to Point Udall. It is the easternmost point of the United States!


One evening we needed to borrow a car for a Home Depot supply trip, and decided to grab some dinner from the Chicken Shack and catch the sunset at the Pier while we were out.

We happened to be in St Croix during Jump Up again this year, so Friday night we hit the town of Christensted for some yummy food, fracos (snow cones), and a conch pate (pronounced: conk pat-ae). Of course we also got to watch the Mocko Jumbies dance through the streets – Connor’s favorite part of St. Croix.

We took the boat taxi out to the Cay. The surf is so calm it’s the prefect spot for the kids to play and practice their snorkeling. Afterwards we toured Fort Christiansted.

We managed to squeeze in our fair share of eating, swimming, and yummy treats in the few days of leisure that we had on the island.

This year for Christmas, my parents gave us money so we could take a sailing/snorkeling half-day trip out to Buck Island National Monument! Snorkeling is one of our favorite things and this is the best snorkeling on the island, such a blessing.

We worked hard while we were in St. Croix, but we made sure we took every opportunity to play hard as well. We built amazing family memories that will hopefully not be the last!

Number Crunching


As a family, we always try to be good stewards of our money. In our personal life, we do a monthly budget and keep track of our spending. When it comes to missions work, and spending other people’s money (donations), we want to make sure that not only are we spending our money wisely, but that we are keeping a good record of how it was spent.

I devised a very simple method to keep track of our money while we were on our mission trip. Basically, I kept an envelope to store all of my receipts, and at the end of the day, I would record all of our purchases into a google sheets document. By using Google sheets, I could access it from my phone or any device that was connected to the internet.

We also tracked two budgets while we were away. Our mission budget served to cover the costs of anything that was related to our trip, whether it be food, supplies, or transportation. Our personal budget was used on days where we had some time off and went to explore the island or have a little fun.

A quick breakdown of what our trip looked like financially is as follows:
(I have grouped costs here for simplicity, this does NOT include personal budget for leisure time)

Total Amount Raised: $4113.05 (Fundraising, Private Donations, Church Donations)

Airfare: $2297.04
YWAM room/board: $500.00
Project Wireless purchases for base: $339.29
Airport Meals: $186.59
Gas Money: $32.40
Support for Missionaries: $294.29
Supplies for apartment: $72.67
Groceries: $279.31

Total money remaining: $111.46 (given back to the church mission fund)

A few notes on the budget… We ate most of our lunch and dinners at the YWAM base (price included in room/board), but groceries were needed for breakfast, snacks, and a few weekend meals when we were not at the base during mealtimes. If you have ever been to a small island, you know that the prices are MUCH higher than buying groceries at home. For example, at home I can buy a 1 lb. package of butter for around $2.50 and in St. Croix, the cheapest brand was $5 a package! I packed quite a bit of groceries in our luggage (pancake mix, snacks, etc.) to help offset the costs some.

I COMPLETELY underestimated how expensive it would be for a family of four to eat in airports for two full days of traveling. We tried to find sensibly priced meals, and had the kids share food whenever possible, but there is no avoiding the fact that it costs quite a bit.

We decided to purchase a few items that were needed in the apartment we stayed in, such as frying pans, a dish rack, and a few other necessary items. And the “support for missionaries” was money we used to try and bless the full-time missionaries while we were there. Whether it was a flat out donation to someone, or simply inviting them out to breakfast or dinner. It gave us a chance to lighten their burden somewhat and hopefully bless them a little.

We are thankful and humbled that God would lead people to give us their hard earned money and our hope is that we were good stewards of that trust.  Our time there was fruitful and necessary and we just can’t thank God enough for his provision and his investment in our little family.




Weekly Ministries

During our time at St Croix we had the opportunity to join in with a few of the ministries that the YWAM base does on a weekly basis.


On Monday mornings, all of the staff, students, and families at the YWAM base meet together for a time of worship. It’s a great way to come together and start each week off focusing on why we are there.

Tuesday and Friday mornings are spent at the Lighthouse Mission. There is a clothes closet where the homeless are able to come once a week to pick out clothes, shoes, and toiletries that they are in need of. They are also served breakfast while they listen to a short devotional.

Tuesday afternoons are spent with the kids at Paradise Mills. Paradise Mills is a housing project on the island, and the YWAM base spends time playing with the kids and just simply loving them. At the end of their playtime, they circle around to listen to a short Bible lesson.


One of the temporary ministries that the visiting Kona DTS team has provided to the St. Croix base is “date night”. Every Tuesday night they babysit all of the kids that live on base allowing the missionary moms and dads to get a night off. They do all sorts of fun activities with the kids like playing games and having movie nights.


Every other week, homeschool families on the island get together at the YWAM base for PE classes. The kids divide up between the older kids and younger and do activities together.

On Friday afternoon, they bus in the kids from Paradise Mills to the YWAM base to do skate and dance. They have skateboards and ramps outside and have dance class inside. It’s another great opportunity to work towards building strong relationships with the kids and providing a good influence.


And my favorite ministry that the base provides daily… The kitchen ministry. The food at this YWAM base is amazing and delicious. They take the extra time and effort to make sure kitchen duties aren’t just a chore, but a ministry, and it shows. Everybody helps out through the week to either prepare meals or clean up afterwards.

Missions in Paradise


When telling others we are going to serve in the Caribbean as missionaries, we often hear the same sentiment… “Oh, that must be rough!”

I know that most people are good-heartedly joking, and I have even made the same remark myself at times. But the reality of it all is that yes, it is actually quite difficult at times.

The picture above, of the kids at the beach on our day off, is such a great representation of our experience with missions here. At first glance, it looks perfect, and dare I say, easy. Sparkling blue waters, children gazing off at the sailboat on the horizon while playing together. Meanwhile, mom and dad are relaxing beneath the shade of the trees while a pleasant breeze whispers through the leaves.

Here is what you don’t see… When we first arrived at the beach, it took forever to lather the kids in sunscreen, and then Connor was afraid to even put his toes in the water. We quickly found out that the beautiful water was filled with chunks of coral and shells that would crash into your legs and feet causing quite the annoyance and sometimes even a bit of pain. I was laying in the shade of the trees with a wounded foot from walking without shoes and stepping on a spiky round plant that stuck in my foot in several places. Children who had just eaten were suddenly hungry again, and the exhausted parents who were just trying to rest for a minute were needed once again. And the day was concluded with tired, thirsty, and sand-coated children needing dinner and a shower.

Through it all, these minor inconveniences weren’t enough to ruin our beach trip. We had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat. And in some odd way, even though there is so much more going on behind the scenes, it doesn’t make the picture above any less real.

Missions in the Caribbean feels the same way.

IMG_20170204_085846 (2).jpg

We are a family of four flying thousands of miles to serve God in the Caribbean. Our journey is filled with adventures and memories that not many get to experience. We work hard and we take time to play as well. We meet amazing people and build new friendships. Most often it feels like we benefit more from missions than the people we are there serving. Our marriage, family, and faith in God all grow stronger through our time spent as missionaries.

The things you don’t always see though…

It’s hard. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, we are constantly being stretched. We function on exhaustion for a large part of our trip and even after returning home. Travelling for 20+ hours in a day to get to your destination and crossing several time zones isn’t easy on your body.

Kids are flexible and though they can be wary of new things at times, they do exceptionally well overall. There were moments when they couldn’t take any more though, and I carried a kicking and screaming child to our apartment… a block away from the YWAM base. I refused to make eye contact as I walked past several people on the street and wondered what they thought of us at that moment.

There were times when I sat and cried, wondering why I was there at all. Certain the small amount of help I was offering wasn’t even worthwhile.

Centipedes that sting and make their way into your house, cockroaches that skitter around and creep us out, stifling heat from lack of air conditioning, toilets that you can’t flush toilet paper in, water that suddenly stops flowing mid-shower, evidence from rats and mice everywhere…

And the worst part of all.

Having to say goodbye to a place you love, and friends you love even more. Not knowing if, or when, you will return.



So yes, I would have to say that going on a mission trip to the Caribbean is rough. And yet, every minute we spent there was worth it, and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

Philippians 4:12-13 
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”