Blessed be our God and Father for His abundant blessings, far more than we could ever imagine. He has shown His blessings to this family of seven so many times this past year, many times each day to be exact. Here are just a few of those blessings:
Trailer upgrade – It has been so much more comfortable as we minister in churches, with enough beds for all and room to move around without bumping into each other.
Hospitality – There have been many over the past year who have shown us hospitality in their home or even taken our family to a restaurant for a meal. Either way, it is a huge undertaking for a family of seven with all but one on a celiac diet. Others have given us money to go out to eat, which the kids always enjoy, especially when we are on a trip.
Animals – Everyone has enjoyed interacting with a variety of God’s creatures, from bears and deer on the hill, to chicks in the incubator and stingrays at the pet shop that we could touch!
New laptop – Given by a church’s VBS offering, this allows us to do more, especially with visual aids in youth ministry, and is more dependable than our old one.
Kids who enjoy serving the Lord – It is a huge encouragement to see our children excited about their involvement in church services and outreach efforts!
Salvation of souls – It is such a delight and privilege to see someone come to know the Savior. The smile on their face as the load of sin has been lifted is priceless.
Generous churches and friends – We are grateful for the financial support of God’s people as we serve the Lord. There’s just something comforting about keeping those bills paid.
Imaginations – Planning VBS programs and decorations, camp backdrops, Christmas programs, and more keeps the creative juices flowing year round, and we are so thankful that God has placed us in a ministry with these opportunities because we love creative work.
Vegetables from our garden – It is always amazing to see how much produce can come off of about 4,500 square feet of garden. We are thankful God gave the strength to be able to bip in and out of the garden, keeping it weeded, etc., through our busy summer with VBS and camp ministry, as well as to put up all that produce.
Internet – Say what you like about today’s technology, there’s nothing like online shopping when you live at least 50 miles from any decent shopping options!
New friends – We have each enjoyed getting to know new people in our travels. Braelyn identifies each church we go to not by name, but by a special friend she will see there.
God’s abundant love – We are humbled as we experience the vastness of God’s love, unearned and unending, freely offered day by day.
“For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting: and His truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:5
Our fall newsletter is finally out. Be sure to read it to find out about some exciting things we have been working on. There is a link below for a larger/printable version.
Larger/printable version: Fall 2017
Here is our summer newsletter giving you an update on our very busy summer full of VBS and camp ministry.
Larger / Printable pdf version: Summer 2017 Newsletter
We have been praying for months about the possibility of getting a bigger rig to use as we minister in churches. The one we had was very cramped for our family of seven. Even though it was classified to sleep nine, it only had a double bed and three bunks (the top bunk where Blake slept was so close to the ceiling he couldn’t turn over without hitting his shoulders on the ceiling). It was also hard to move around in, especially when Shawna was trying to cook in the kitchen area. This spring we decided to put it up for sale and see if the Lord would provide a buyer. Meanwhile, we researched what travel trailer would be a better fit for our family. We had many inquiries about the travel trailer we were trying to sell, and the Lord sold it nine days after it was put on the market for a better price than we really thought we would be able to get out of it. We knew the Lord was in it, and had settled on a model we felt would be a good fit, but the price was five thousand dollars more than the sale of our travel trailer. We continued to pray for God’s direction and His provision.
God provided every penny needed, including having the sellers of the model we were looking at drop their price $2,000. It is awesome to see God work. This past week we made the four and a half hour trip to southeast PA to make the purchase. The new to us travel trailer is just what we were looking for. It is a lite, so it can be pulled with our Chevy Suburban, is five feet longer, has a nice slide-out, four bunks, and a few other perks like an oven for Shawna. God is so good!
On our way back from picking up the travel trailer, we stopped by Hershey’s Chocolate World and took the kids on their tour (a free tour and we all got a free Hershey’s chocolate bar to boot 🙂 ).
Check out our spring newsletter for an update on our ministry happenings.
Larger / Printable pdf version: spring 2017 newsletter
For a recent update on our ministry happenings and things we are working on, check out our winter newsletter below.
Larger / Printable pdf version: winter-2017-newsletter
We praise You, O Lord, for Your greatness. Your might is beyond comprehension, and You reign over all the universe, yet You care about the daily needs of our family.
We praise You for granting us health and pray that we will use the strength You give us always to serve you.
We thank You for creating our unique personalities, granting us unique talents, and giving us opportunities to use them. We are grateful to You for opportunities to be creative – planning, writing, acting, singing, cooking, building, teaching, preaching. Our efforts are a tiny reflection of Your mighty creative acts, yet You use us for Your glory.
Daily we thank You for home and food. You control the rain and the sun, and this summer You chose to withhold the rain, yet miraculously You still blessed us with an abundant harvest. Our best efforts in the garden are useless apart from Your blessing, and we humbly thank You for fruitful seasons that fill our hearts with food and gladness.
We thank you for work and for play, for children’s laughter and for grandparents’ stories, for heaven and the joyous expectation of seeing loved ones again so that we do not have to sorrow as those with no hope.
We thank You for the peace that comes from knowing that Your will is always best, even when it isn’t easiest, and treasure Your promise to give us all the resources we need to live for You.
You are our strength, our sustainment, our joy, our peace, our guide, and our Savior. For all of these we praise and worship You.