Monday, January 10, 2011 the Ryan fund.....depleted!

Coming to live in Jamaica in 2008 without Ryan was tough. I have to say going to live anywhere without out one of your "God" gifts is tough. He was in our every thought, our communications, our dreams, and most of all our intercession. The three of us missed him so much, at times it was almost debilitating. You know like times you can't get your breath for the tears of missing someone so much. We have managed with God's help and have grown accustomed to celebrating his accomplishments from afar.

One of the things we did upon moving here was to start a "save the Ryan fund." We began collecting our silver coins in a little piggy bank and every now and then when it got full we would transfer it to the big glass jar. Sometimes when missing Ryan we would pull out the big, glass jar from its' secret hiding place and count it. Little did Ryan know that we were saving and little did he know that he was going to tell us what he wanted to do with it upon his last student vacation here!

One time during one of his VFCC breaks, we told Ryan about the fund and asked him to think about what he would like to do with it. It didn't take him long to tell us that he wanted to go to "The Ruins" in Ocho Rios with it and have a special dinner. After that announcement we knew we would have to get serious about our fund! We saved with intention and discipline. We all couldn't wait to go to "The Ruins." Even missionary friends have contributed to the "save the Ryan fund!"

The first time Denny and I went to "The Ruins" was in 1984 when we brought an AIM team to Jamaica and for our day off took the team to Dunns River Falls and ate dinner at "The Ruins." I remember it being a very special time and the team saying this is where they wanted to either be married or at least honeymoon! It was one of those very special teams and memories in my mind. Funny thing, I never heard that anyone of them returned to "The Ruins" except us!

When we were here in 1984, we would have never imagined moving here in 2008! This was not a place that was on the radar screen of our lives. To think that one of our children would have her high school career here would have really been quite unimaginable but here we are!

This past Christmas break for Ryan was the planned time for us to celebrate and use the "save the Ryan fund." We anticipate him coming back to Jamaica, but the timing will be different. Ryan graduates VFCC in May and will change his status from college student to full time employee, wherever and however God orchestrates. We will not be able to claim him for holidays and school breaks! Seeing him for our last 18 months here could turn out to be this was the appointed time! Oh we were so excited!

On December 27th we loaded up the car with beach paraphernalia, our bags and the "save the Ryan fund." On to Ocho Rios! The second day of our stay found us at "The Ruins" with its cascading falls and beautiful outdoor atmosphere!

Steak is not something that is easily found in Jamaica. We have tried to eat it even at an American establishment like T.G.I.F and it is horrible. We have tried to purchase it from a meat supplier and that is not something we will try again. We stick with chicken. But at "The Ruins," you find none better. Chef Sam Shum knows how to do steak! So Ryan and Den had steak and Renee and I shared the surf and turf. Renee had the turf and I enjoyed my favorite surf..lobster. What a treat. We dined like royalty. From appetizers to desserts and it was all scrumptious!

Ryan has gone back to college and we are into January. I guess as is typical, one ties up all the loose ends from Christmas and gets life back in order! So today we went to the bank to pay our rent and while there Den asked about all this silver! Now that we have spent it we need to make it usable cash! Since we don't have an account here in Jamaica we were finding it impossible to find a bank that would take these coins, might I say, a whole lot of coins! Eventually we found ourselves asking a man in town that sells us watch batteries. "Do you have need of silver, can I sell it to you?" He said that he has so much from people buying things at Christmas time that he couldn't help us. So that got Den to thinking, I guess we could bag it and use it at the grocery store or to get gasoline or even Renee to buy her lunch at school! Oh boy I was thinking, you can use it to go to the store, but I'm not pulling out a baggie of coins, no way! I have too much pride for that!

So tonight we found ourselves bagging coins! We have one more place to check and see if they will take it, if they don't....well let's just say, Den is going to be doing the shopping!

I was just thinking, next time I go out the door, Den will say, Debby, do ya have your wallet? I can respond. Yup, stuck my driver's license in my baggie!

..all for you Ryan.....all for you!

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