About Our Family

 

Move your mouse over the pictures to view the captions.  You can also click on the individual pictures to open a larger view.  Go to our "Newsletters" and "Pictures and Videos" pages to see more pictures of our missionary life in Nigeria.

 Cindy (a Kansas farm girl) and Eric (a simple, small-town young man) were married at the early ages of 18 and 20, respectively.  After being rebellious high-school sweethearts, and later committing our lives to serve Jesus Christ, we decided to marry and go to Youth with a Mission (YWAM) for a Missionary training school.

 

After completing the Discipleship Training School and the School of Evangelism at YWAM, we moved to Manhattan Kansas, so that Eric could complete his Electrical Engineering degree at Kansas State University. 

 

After graduation, Eric worked for a high-tech company in Austin, Texas which eventually moved him to Long Island.  We had a wonderful 3 years in Austin, and met some life-long friends there.  During the time of school and work, we knew that we were eventually going to be involved with full-time missions and occasionally continued to participate in short-term overseas mission trips (Albania, China, and Morocco).

 

While in NY, we came into contact with a wonderful network of other home schooling families and were heavily involved with various ministries at our home Church, Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle.  As we were praying and searching for opportunities for full-time missions, one of our Pastors approached us concerning a new Bible School in Nigeria that needed missionary support during its start-up phase.  In the following 9 months, we spent much time meeting and praying with our Pastors, raising enough support to sustain a 7-member family.  And now here we are in Aba, Nigeria working with the Center for Biblical Studies.

 While we value strong education in science/technology, literature, history, etc, our foundational values are based on the simplicity of Jesus Christ and His crucifixion (1 Corinthians 1:23). 

 

The fundamental truths which guide all of our studies, achievements, and future goals are rooted in God’s love for us and the price He paid to bring us back to Him.  This reconciliation should result in a desire to serve Him whole-heartedly and to separate ourselves from selfish and vain motives that seek only to serve our own passions and interests.

 

Our Motives should revolve around loving God and loving others.  All of our education, service, and accomplishments should reflect this.  This relational aspect of the Gospel is what differentiates Christianity from all other religions.  Our values should emphasize humility, forgiveness, purity, devotion to Biblical teachings, World Missions, and hard work (serving others and helping those in need).

 

Furthermore, we believe that the family was instituted by God for the purpose of reflecting the relationship He desires for us and the Father’s heart he has for his children.  For this reason, we choose to school our children at home.  Our purpose of homeschooling our children is not because of poor educational standards or poor social behavior learned in the public schools (although we may have some concerns), but is actually derived from our strong convictions that God has assigned us as parents with the responsibility of teaching our children with a Biblical Worldview and training them to be 21st Century World changers for Jesus. 

Favorite leisure activity:
Solving the Rubik's cube, having coffee time with my wife

Favorite authors:
Francis Schaeffer, C.S. Lewis, Leonard Ravenhill, Charles Finney

Favorite musicians:
Keith Green, Randy Stonehill


Favorite Movie/TV Show:

Depends on my mood

 

Favorite food:
Pizza


Favorite Drink:
Cherry limeade slushie

 

Favorite Dessert:
Hazelnut espresso shake with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry on top

 

Favorite Restaurant:
Almost anything Chinese


Favorite place on Earth:
Rocky Mountain National Park and Corfu, Greece

 

Funny Story:

When I was a young boy, my friend and I decided it would be humorous to go onto the street in front of my house and write onto the pavement every profane word that came to our minds.  The list was fairly exhaustive.  Being proud of our masterpiece, I found it fitting to sign my name at the bottom, not thoroughly pondering the potential ramifications.  Later that evening after my parents returned home from work, they discovered their son’s vast vocabulary and promptly disciplined me.  Part of my punishment was to wash the words off of the cement, but since we had used plums fallen from a nearby tree as our writing utensils, we had to scrub for hours to remove the writing.  In fact, the stains on the pavement remained for weeks to help remind me (and everybody else who passed that way) of my folly.

 

Favorite leisure activity: 

Sewing

 

Favorite books:
”Homeschooling with a Meek & Quiet Spirit”

“Anne of Green Gables”

 

 

Favorite musicians:
Keith Green, Sara Groves


Favorite Movies:

None, really

 

 

Favorite food:

Steak


Favorite Drink:
Coffee

 

Favorite Dessert:
Turtle Cheesecake with cherry pie filling on top!

 

Favorite Restaurant:
Rudy's BBQ; Ollie's


Favorite place on Earth:
Wherever my husband is

 

 

 

Funny Story:

One night at the dinner table Cindy was trying to think of a dessert she could make to surprise her family. Finally she thought of pumpking pie. She was so excited about this that she blurted, "Pumpkin pie!!", quite startling everyone at the table. Then, realizing that she had ruined the surprise, exclaimed, "Oh, I didn't mean to say that!"

”Hannah” means “Grace of God”

“The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.”

Psalm 145:8

 

“Rose” means “God’s Gracious Gift”

“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.”

Isaiah 35:1


Favorite leisure activity: 

Writing, Baking, Reading

 

 Favorite books:

The Bible, The Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, A Tale of Two Cities, Little Women, Les Miserable

 

Favorite movies/TV Shows:
The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, Sherlock, Once Upon a Time


Favorite music:
Almost anything besides rap and rock


Favorite food:

Salad with Avocados, Masa, Yam Porridge


Favorite Drink:
Zobo, Chai Latte, Any tea or smoothie

 

Favorite Dessert:
Mango Pie

 

Favorite Restaurant:
Cracker Barrel, Almost any Chinese restaurant


Favorite place on Earth:
Anywhere with my family; Rocky Mountain National Park; Bainbridge Island

 

 


Funny Story:

When Hannah was 4, Cindy left a cup containing a milky resembling substance on the kitchen table.  Without permission, Hannah took a big drink.  As she was walking away from the table with a huge milky mustache, she said “that milk tastes yucky.”  We later told her that it was actually Elmer’s Glue that Cindy was going to use for a craft.  

 

 

”Jillian” means “Youthful”

“He fills my life with good things!  My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!”

Psalm 103:5

 

“Marie” means “Wished For”

“For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.”

I Samuel 1:27


Favorite leisure activity:
Reading

Favorite School Subject:

"Oh, that's hard!"

Latin, Science

 

Favorite movie/shows:
Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, Little House on the Prairie


Favorite musicians:
Sarah Groves, Keith Green


Favorite food:

Pizza

 

Favorite Drink:

Water

 

Favorite Dessert:
Heath Bars

Favorite Restaurant:

Cracker Barrel

 


Favorite place on Earth:
"Home"

 


Funny Story:

This story gives some insight into Jillian’s analytical character.  When she was 7, we were in San Antonio for a visit and we went to the Alamo and saw a dramatization of the battle.  The movie was fairly graphic and her siblings were pretty frightened.  As we were walking away from the show, we asked her if she had to close her eyes at any point during the show.  She calmly replied, “No, except when I was blinking.” 

 

 

 

”Emily” means “Diligent Worker”

“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16

 

“Elizabeth” means “Devoted to God”

“Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.  You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.”

Psalm 86:2


Favorite leisure activity: 

Cross-stitch, reading, and writing

Favorite books:

I like many books and don't know which is my favorite

 

Favorite movies/show:
 Little House on the Prairie


Favorite musicians:
Peter, Paul, and Mary


Favorite food:
Spaghetti


Favorite Drink:
Chai Latte

 

Favorite Dessert:

Wacky Cake

 

Favorite Restaurant:
"Umm...???"


Favorite place on Earth:
At home and with my family

 

Favorite School Subject:

 Music

 

 

 Funny Story:

One day when Emily was 3 and Elijah was only a baby, Cindy was holding Elijah.  But Emily wanted to be held by her mommy.  She calmly asked Cindy if she would hold her, but Cindy explained that she was holding the baby and that Daddy’s arms were empty.  She turned to Eric and thoughtfully asked “Daddy, will you please hold the baby?” 

 

 

”Elijah” means “The Lord is my God”

“In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”

Proverbs 3:6

 

“Keith” means “From the Place of Battle”

“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

 

 

Favorite leisure activity: 

Reading, Climbing trees

Favorite School Subject:

Art, Science

 

Favorite movies/show:
Anything but Baby Signing Time!


Favorite food:

Macaroni and Cheese


Favorite Drink:
Hot Chocolate with marshmallows

 

Favorite Dessert:
Wacky Cake

 

Favorite Restaurant:
"My favorite what???"

 

Favorite place on Earth:
"Home" - 1) Grandma and Grandpa's house

2) Banganje

 

 

 

Funny Story:

When Elijah was two, we were visiting our good friends on Long Island, the Erdvigs.  When we sat down for dinner, Elijah asked Eric, “May I please pray for dinner?”  Out of respect for the Erdvigs, Eric replied to Elijah that he should ask the head of the household (referring to Mr. Erdvig).  Elijah immediately turned to Cindy and asked, “Mom, may I please pray for dinner?”

 

Another Funny Story:

When Elijah was three and living in Nigeria, we had loaned a couple of books to some new acquaintances.  The family faithfully brought the books back and asked to borrow a couple more, so we loaned out a couple more.  Later we were looking at the first books and noticed that the last chapter was torn out of one of them.  As a family, we discussed how to handle the situation.  We decided that as long as the second round of books came back fine, then we would just overlook it and keep quiet, assuming it was just an accident.  About a week later, they brought the other books back in good condition, so the rest of the family was quiet and content.  But in an accusative tone Elijah boldly blurted out to one of their children “somebody tore the pages out of our book, SO WHO DID IT!?”

 

 

”Caleb” means “Bold” & “Wholehearted”

“Charles” means “Manly”

“Chinedu” means “God Leads” (in Igbo)

 

Favorite Leisure Activities:

Climbing Trees

  

Favorite School Subject:

Art

 

Favorite Books:

Mouse and the Motorcycle

 

Favorite Movie:

Up

 

Favorite Musicians:

Peter, Paul, and Mary

 

Favorite Food:

Macaroni and Cheese

 

Favorite Drink:

Hot Chocolate with marshmallows


Favorite Dessert:

Ice Cream

 

Favorite Restaurant:

McDonald's

 

 

Favorite Place on Earth:

"Home" - Grandma and Grandpa's House; Banganje

 

Funny Story:

One day Caleb was not playing nicely with his siblings, so Jillian sent Elijah to Cindy for some help. Caleb, not wanting his misconduct to be known, told Elijah not to tell. However, Elijah did, saying, "Mom, Caleb's not cooperating." Immediately Caleb walked into the room and announced, "Mom, Elijah's not cooperating!"

 

 

Naomi Halle May

 

"Naomi" means "Pleasant, delightful, and beautiful"

"Halle" means "Unexpected Gift"

"May" means "Gift of God"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Leisure Activities:

Playing Dolls

  

Favorite School Subject:

Math Workbook

 

Favorite Movie:

Donut Man

 

Favorite Music:

Baby Signing Time

 

Favorite Food:

Semovita (Kind of like cream of wheat)

 

Favorite Drink:

Hot Chocolate with marshmallows


Favorite Dessert:

Ice Cream

 

Favorite Restaurant:

"giggles"

 

 

Favorite Place on Earth:

"Home" -  Banganje