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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.
Christmas is just around the corner and we are looking forward to presenting a special Christmas musical program entitled “Led by the Star”.
This Christmas musical opens with a family enjoying the wonders of the night sky, which leads to a discussion of the star the wise men saw announcing Jesus’ birth. From there, it explores the story of the wise men being led by that special star. In conclusion, the family once again gathers, talking about that special star and the Star that leads us today, Jesus Christ. The storyline is interwoven with a variety of musical numbers.
We will be sharing this Christmas musical program on…
Sunday, December 4th at 11:00am
North Eulalia Baptist Church
683 State Route 49E
Coudersport, PA 16915
Sunday, December 11th at 10:30am
Catatonk Baptist Church
1199 Owego Road
Owego, NY 13827
Sunday, December 18th at 11:00am
Cowlesville Baptist Church
798 Church Street
Cowlesville, NY 14037
Sunday, December 25th at 11:00am
Jackson Summit Baptist Church
2851 Route 328
Millerton, PA 16936
Sunday, January 1st at 6:00pm
Dexter Baptist Church
1215 Route 660 West
Wellsboro, PA 16901
What better way to spend a cold, damp fall day than enjoying warm Christian fellowship while crafting seasonal decorations?! It was a delight to watch friends, and even several mother-daughter pairs, enjoy relaxed, informal time together. One highlight of the day was fresh cider, pressed on-site throughout the day, complemented of course by fresh apple cider donuts. Blake helped with the cider pressing, and the girls were each stationed by a craft, supplying helpful tips as the ladies worked on their projects. Even Braelyn found a job, playing with baby Elizabeth, who came along with her mother.
Erich quizzed the ladies on which craft was their favorite, and each answer I heard was different. I think each craft was my favorite . . . for different reasons. My station today was the friendship knots, and in our devotional time we explored some ways the friendship knots can help us remember to be intentional in our friendships, making sure we are influencing those around us to be more like Christ.
This past week, we were in Belmont, NY, putting on a Vacation Bible School for First Baptist Church. The theme for the week was “Timber!”
Throughout the week, we shared of different illustrations of timber through the Bible and correlated them to colors in the wordless book. We were excited and praise the Lord for three young people who trusted Christ as their Savior! There were a lot of youth who attended who don’t attend church, so it was exciting to share God’s Word with them.
Each evening, we had a visit from Saul Onion (puppet) and some of his fellow loggers sharing of the different jobs in the logging camp as well as a visit from dendrologist Dr. Yewleaf Willow sharing about trees and applications to our lives.
Through the week, the young people also enjoyed singing, games, crafts, and snacks each evening.
Several of the days we played street hockey in a local park and were able to make some good contacts and even saw some come out to VBS because of it.
While there in Belmont, we also enjoyed the fellowship of Pastor and Mrs. Bill Matthews and the people of the church.
After a couple weeks of camp, we were able to take a week of vacation to rest and be refreshed before we hit back at a few more full weeks. We were able to relax and enjoy the water. It was so warm some of the days that we really wanted to be in the water. Waterskiing is one of my favorite things to do and I was able to waterski at least once each day while we were there. Actually, everyone in the family got to go waterskiing at least once during the week.
Of course, it wasn’t all just sitting around relaxing. I got a few pictures for some new inspirational backgrounds to add to the website, and I also preached on Sunday in the chapel on the lake. The chapel was pretty full, with around 167 in attendance from several different provinces in Canada, a bunch of different States, as well as a couple from Singapore. It was a great time of worshipping the Lord together in His beautiful creation. I was also encouraged to hear reports of individuals taking on the challenge from God’s Word in the message to put their priorities in proper order, with Christ being first place.
It was fifteen years ago that I got down on my knee with a diamond ring and proposed to Shawna there on the shores of Aylen Lake. The spot where I proposed hasn’t changed much, but our lives have changed and our family has grown through the years as you can see from the picture below taken in the spot where Shawna and I were engaged. We have five wonderful children.
We have been trying to get some communication items taken care of as well as some final details on the next couple weeks done here these past two days. Then tomorrow, Sunday, August 7th, we will be ministering at Maple Avenue Baptist Church in Elmira, NY, followed by assisting with another week of camp on Monday through Saturday. On August 14th we will be ministering at one of our supporting churches, North Eulalia Baptist Church in Coudersport, PA, then we will head to First Baptist Church of Belmont, NY, for August 15-19 to run a VBS. Please continue to pray with us that God will work in hearts and draw many to Himself.
We have finished two weeks of camp with the theme “Discovery Zone: Amazing Experiments That Teach God’s Truth.” They were fun packed weeks with science experiments and all the camp activities. Twice each day during chapel we pulled out our “Truth Scope,” zeroed in on a verse of Scripture, then interacted with a science experiment that helped us understand the truth of that verse. We observed lots of experiments like exploding polymers, air pressure instantly crushing cans, dragon fire, elephant toothpaste, and a few campers even got to experience walking on water! It is mind boggling to explore some of the amazing reactions and interactions God designed.
But, most of all we are excited that there were many spiritual decisions made through the two weeks including four campers accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. We saw many make the commitment to read the Bible daily and others to commit their lives fully to the Lord’s service. Over the two weeks the campers memorized 1,329 verses. It is great to see young people hide God’s Word in their heart.
Please pray with us for the children who attended camp. Some return to unsaved parents and worldly homes, and the reality of living for Christ in those environments is a daunting challenge.