Our financial need for Mercy Ships is just over $3000 a month.
Click here to see the budget.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sailing to Cameroon! (not Cancun, Katy...LOL)

Hello! I hope you are enjoying this fine day. As our time is about 6 hours ahead, you may be getting up when I write this!

We are currently sailing to Cameroon. My niece Katy once said we were going to Cancun on a mission trip! LOL Can you imagine the thought behind the persons mind? "I am sending them to a well known vacation destination spot?!" No. Cameroon West Africa. :-)

Internet is limited as we sail. Most priority goes to work. I was able to post a few pics in the "my day" feature of Facebook messenger that you can access. Or request to friend me (Tyrone).

The boys are doing well with sailing. Although Ezra has an upset stomach this morning he is not complaining of the sail. We are on day 3(or 4?). -- Correction, Ezra is definitely sea sick, but he is doing much better on the medication. We started him on the medication but thought that maybe he would be like the rest of us, medicine free and doing fine. But no, he needs it. But he is getting back to himself again!

School starts for the boys on Tuesday! We have an "open house" Monday night. Both Tytus AND Ezra are excited to start. We have already met their teachers because they were in our on boarding class.

Our cabin on board was very nice. The previous "owners" have been in it since the ship first sailed as Africa Mercy. They left us a "ton" of useful stuff that made it very easy to get comfortable and settle in. And of course we brought very selective stuff for the boys (superhero things) to make it "homey". Later we will receive our "home-bins" from the container arriving in Cameroon.

I, Tyrone, am having a challenging time with work straight away. BUT it was not unexpected. There is always more work and ways to improve in any area of food service. It is not uncommon. 

Think about this:
  • The dynamics of international short term and long term volunteers...
  • Skilled and unskilled people in the Galley (kitchen) and Dining Room...
  • Cultural and Theological differences...
What do you get? A great group of people who love Jesus trying to make it all work, despite ourselves, and with Gods help!

Stephanie has been very busy with the boys. Also connecting with Medical staff to see where she can be most effective in helping out in field service.

Our arrival date for Cameroon is August 17. Pray for safe travels and no sea sickness! So far the sail has been calm, relaxing, and without incident.

Feel free to write back questions, email is the fastest way to communicate right now. And facebook messenger seems to work OK as well. But not Facebook. I can't even get Facebook to load!

Thank you! We appreciate you so much!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Come Fly Away...

Suggested Reading List
THANK YOU for your support through this training time! We appreciate the prayers and encouragement!

Would you like an idea of the content of training that's not overwhelming? Our suggested reading list will give you an idea of the materials covered! (click on picture to read if it's not big enough)

Training and class schedules suffered at times. Tytus was sick for a few days and both were extra cranky! It's expected. Our boys have gone through a lot of transition lately. It will be good to get settled in our cabin and establish routine and stability. A small place to call home on the ship.

Today (Tuesday) we have a final presentation due. A 2 or 3 minute project that can be a song, poem, essay, video...About a concept or key take-away we learned during this time. Stephanie and I prepared a video that is quite funny(we think). To keep the element of surprise we will send you a link to it after we have presented. [Sorry for the teaser, but it will give you something to look forward to]

Wednesday July 19th, the Barton family, and about 35 others will be in the air. Traveling from Dallas/Fort Worth to Las Palmas, Canary Islands. There we'll board the Africa Mercy. In August we'll be sailing down to Cameroon, West Africa.

Keep praying! Here are a few points that come to mind quickly...
  • smooth travels for all! (and luggage)
  • adjusting to time differences and...
  • more transitions
Found a scorpion in our bed last week (wifey's pillow)...no one was stung...smashed it. The scorpions in Texas are not fatal but they can be very painful. And they are creepy looking! LOL

*We will send out another newsletter once we settle in on the Africa Mercy. Our communication may increase a bit these next two months as things get extremely busy! 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Campus Life & Basic Training

Wow! It's been busy since we arrived at the Mercy Ships International Support Center. There have been a lot of dear friends that still work here and new friends we are making.

Our housing is on campus. We share a house with a family from Holland. They are a younger family with three children ranging from 2 to 6. The children have fun playing together! They have 3 rooms on one side and we have 2 rooms on the other. The kitchen, dining, and living room we share. Some meals we have together and some are at the cafeteria. It's a little pre-taste of living in community with different nationalities and culture.

This week I (Tyrone) am training Monday through Friday in Basic Training. There are many exercises, tests, and exams. I will share a bit about the fire training with a few pictures. If you would like to see my full schedule for this past week and an overview of the details, here is the LINK.

Your partnership provides practical training for keeping everyone safe in our working environment. Above are some pictures of my fire training.
  • Full gear and self-contained breathing apparatus, or SCBA
  • Putting out different classes of fires 
  • Going in a burning container with a partner
  • Ambulance service on standby (just to watch and be available just in case...)
  • Buck is our 165-pound dummy we had to drag to safety. He is dead weight. And that's not as easy to move as you think with 45 to 60 pounds of gear on.
  • The temperature in the container climbing above 600 Fahrenheit.

Stephanie is getting the boys acclimated to our new surroundings. Helping the boys navigate the layout of the property. She recently attended a family "meet and greet" orientation. With so many changes we have enjoyed the campus having a pool. Great for a little family down-time!

Tytus wanted to have his picture taken with one of the many anchors here on the campus. Ezra did not want to take part. So I give you these 2 pictures. Ezra is wearing a Batman Robot Helmet he made himself.

Whether it's your prayers, gifts, and/or sharing our story, we are so thankful for you! We appreciate you taking the time to read our newsletters and emails! Please send in prayer requests you have for your family. We are teaching the boys to pray for others!

Our On Boarding training starts this Saturday!
We are currently at 95% financially and hope to close the gap on the other 5% soon.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


Happy Mothers Day! I hope you were able to show moms, extra special LOVE, Sunday! But you better be doing it all year! - Love you, mama! (Yes, she reads our newsletters! - LOL)

June 7th we will be leaving town as a family. Less than a month to go. It will be sad. It will be exciting. It will be one of those times when you didn't know so many emotions can happen at once.

We are at 80%!!! And we are definitely excited about that! We would love to get our last 20% covered before we go. Our biggest need is recurring monthly support at ANY amount, and one-time gifts are always welcome! If you haven't yet, will you partner with us today?

Last Sunday Summit Crossing Community Church (our church family) commissioned us! "What does that mean?" you ask. In simple terms, it means they love us! They love what we are doing, partner with us, and send us to do it. Here is our official letter from Summit Crossing! (click link->) The Bartons
"As their supporting church, we officially commissioned them on May 7, 2017 and are excited to partner with them as they labor for God’s glory in West Africa. We heartily recommend them and encourage you to consider partnering with them as well." - Nathan Jewett, Pastor of Mission Life
It's always crazy to have your kids up front or on stage. Anywhere. You hold your breath wondering how long you can make them stay still. Obedience seems a foreign concept to kids at the most uncomfortable times. Our kids did great! BUT Ezra was all over the place once the prayers started and eyes closed! One time I opened one eye to make sure Ezra didn't run down an aisle or start hitting his brother. He was smiling mischievously while laying across the front row of seats, propped up on his elbow. Just chillin'. LOL
It's busy with preparations and working our current jobs. This past weekend we took a break. We found a good deal on a room and indoor water-park in Tennessee and we took a little road trip. Our kids played for 6 hours straight! It was a great time for our family to relax and reflect before jumping back in. Stephanie used her "Mother's Day" to focus on her children and family. Those boys don't have a clue how great their mama is!

Thank you so much for your prayers! We appreciate you taking the time to read our newsletters and read our emails! Please send in any prayer requests you have for your family. We are teaching the boys to pray for others!

Friday, April 14, 2017

7 Weeks Left!

Thank you! There were so many of you who volunteered to help us clean and move out of our house! There was no way we could take advantage of all the help! There are so many of you praying for us and encouraging us from all over! We closed on our house yesterday and we owe you a debt of gratitude!

You should see us now. Living in a small 2 bedroom short-term apartment! The great thing about that is it helps us transition down to where we need to be for the next place. Which is smaller still! LOL

7 weeks. That's all we have left here at home. Now that you have helped us get past the monumental task of selling the house, we continue on with...
  • Finishing work & school
  • Getting the required shots
  • Reading requirements for training
  • Passports [CHECK! - we received the last one!]
  • Sharing to raise awareness
  • Fundraising!
We are about 30% away from reaching our monthly goal.
Would you consider a recurring monthly gift? This helps us maintain our budget and brings long-term stability. -- If you're more comfortable with one-time gifts this would be a great time! It will pay for our Mercy Ships training fees and airline tickets. If you haven't yet, will you partner with us today?  Your gift is tax deductible!

Thank you for your continued prayer support! We can tell it makes a big difference! Our boys have been so good during this transition of showing, selling, and cleaning the house out. We took them out for a special treat. We have a local restaurant that has all the old-school video and pinball games in it. THEY LOVED IT! Tytus and I (Tyrone) played a lot of Super Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-MEN (Super Hero) fighting games! Ezra, being 4, "played" a lot of games that we didn't even put tokens in! LOL And Stephanie played some Ms. Pacman.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Our House is Under Contract! - Prayers Answered

Wow! Has it been a month since I last wrote? Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers as we have felt the impact!

In our last newsletter we talked about selling our house. IT'S UNDER CONTRACT! Over 29 days we had 35 visits. Pray for a good inspection and we should wrap this up in 45 days. (Around April 15th) -- Do you know how hard it is to keep a house "show" ready for a month with two small boys?! Someone out there was praying for us! (LOL)

Now that we have a buyer for the house our current priorities are:
  • Where are we living ??? for the remaining time...
  • Passports, new for kids, renewals for us.
  • Shots
The #1 priority is finding individuals like yourself to be financial partners. We signed up for Mercy Ships because we trust that God wants us there. The same way God nudged us towards Mercy Ships, he will nudge some of you to give. We are confident that God will bless you through giving. Would you consider a monthly gift? This helps us assess our budget needs and brings long-term stability. -- BUT whether you give once or monthly, we appreciate your generosity! If you haven't yet, will you partner with us today?
Click to Partner with US!
Awhile back I asked some friends advice about buying a laptop. We donated our laptops to a local school a few years ago. And the home computer we have is a second-hand from my parents. But for returning to Mercy Ships a laptop is almost a "must have" for keeping up with friends, family, and newsletters! -- To make a long story short they bought us two laptops and said "Go pick them up, they're ready at your local Best Buy!", WHAT?! Thank you!

Life has not been without its struggles! Tytus (6) had walking pneumonia. With his asthma it's complicated. But after 8 days and 3 doctor visits they got it under control and he is doing very well! He is back at school and just in time to share his 7th Birthday with his classmates! This video is just a small sample of the love and laughter he brings to us! We think you'll enjoy it as well!
Got Dance Moves?
Cameo appearance by his brother Ezra!
Feel like you missed something? Click Here to See Past Newsletters
Or catch up on our website BartonsOnBoard.com

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

International Health Insurance: A Big Part of Our Budget!

A big part of raising money for our family to serve in Africa is the insurance. Being U.S. citizens we are still required to have health insurance. Our policy should include international health insurance and emergency evacuation. The Omega Plan (for families) by Talent Trust Consultants covers this and is U.S. approved. The cost on average is $750* a month for a family of four. Can you help me "brainstorm" and "think outside the box"? Has anyone had Blue Cross, Cigna, or another company be willing to sponsor them