First of all, Merry Christmas! I pray that you are celebrating the birth of Jesus and spending time with those you love. Please remember to share the reason for this celebration and rejoice in the knowledge of our hope in Christ.
“But God” has become a big catch phrase lately. I even have a t-shirt that says it! The women’s group at my home church (Country Bible Church) used it as our focus this past year. It helps us remember that even when we are in the midst of trials, God is bigger and He always reveals His faithfulness.
As I sat down to write this update, I was going to have to make a strong appeal for some end of the year giving. Our ministry insurance costs went up by $250/month, and this has put me in a pretty big deficit for the year. But God! came through and I received a message that said my deficit has been covered. I still need to fill that gap in my ongoing support, but this past year’s deficit has now been resolved. Praise God with me in how He shows up in our time of need.
So now my update is a little different. I still need to make that “plea” for extra support, so please consider signing up for monthly support (or raising your current giving) to help cover the difference in the rising cost of insurance. When that is taken care of, I can focus all of my energy on ministry work instead of support-raising. If you aren’t in a position to give, please intervene on my behalf to our God who is able to supply all of our needs (Phil 4:19).
I have to admit, this has been a difficult year of “firsts” after losing my Dad. But God continues to show me the joy around us, especially with all of the “firsts” of our youngest grand baby, Lilly. It’s been so fun watching her little personality blossom as she enthusiastically fills the role of the baby in the family. Since that’s my role as well, I’ll be able to train her in lot’s of tricks for getting spoiled… although I think she has that skill down already!
We are loving our neighborhood. As difficult as it’s been adjusting to an old, drafty, house filled with history, we certainly are blessed with wonderful neighbors. One thing I miss about about Mexico is walking outside my door and seeing all of the people. American suburban neighborhoods don’t always feel that way. People get home, go in through their garage, and if they go outside, the fence is made so we don’t have to see anyone else. In Carrollton, we rarely saw our neighbors (who were awesome, btw) unless it was planned. Here, our door (the one we use the most) opens up across the driveway from one of our neighbors’ doors. We are often caught outside at the same time and we chat. We’re so grateful to be in a “small town” where we can get to know people. And… they are always quick to help us out (see photo of the guys cutting some limbs on the roof with us girls watching and ready to dial 911).
Highlights, Praises, and Prayer Requests
I’ll break these down into categories…
Old houses require patience. Sometimes we maintain that patient demeanor, and sometimes it’s really hard to stay calm. Often times we wonder what we got ourselves into, but when we look back at what we’ve done, it starts to feel worth it.
- Insulated under the floors and attic. Note the photos with blankets everywhere and then the close up of the insulation foam coming between the planks. The cold air was freely blowing through those openings! We’ll let you know after the first cold spell how it’s helping. But so far so good!
- Endless small “fixes” throughout, including adding a door to the primary bathroom where there was none!
- Repainted the neon lime green/black room to a rich eggplant with gray.
- Had the pool repaired and resurfaced.
- Replaced (actually in progress) the ancient HVAC on the main level.
- Added a little to our seasonal yard decor (a big thing in this neighborhood). We’ll just add a little something each year. It’s overwhelming to do it all at once.
- Had a huge bee hive removed from an interior wall. It was quite an interesting experience. My brother was in town and was excited to suit up and watch the process.
- I built a backyard fire pit (with the help of a few teenagers; my nephews, Jax and Camp).
- Natalie published her first book!
- Joe has a new position at Aspyr (Market Analyst)!
- Amanda is a boss at being the “boss” in her position at Green Oaks Academy.
- Casey was laid off at his previous job, but within a week he had snagged a new one with better pay (praising God). He’s already moved up in the ranks and is doing great!
- Carson is now stationed in Hawaii!
- Logan is practicing for his driver’s license (oh my!).
- Said final goodbye’s to Balto who we rescued in 2009 (Joe’s senior year). He’s the dog that turned Scot into a Husky fanatic.
- Survived the anniversary of the first year without my Daddy.
- Celebrated all the birthdays (Winry: 5; Alphonse:3; Lilly: 1).
- We took mom on a summer trip to Angel Fire, New Mexico.
- Did all kinds of fun stuff with the grandkids (see photo gallery).
- Finished the curriculum for the Gospel of John (now teaching through it with the Women of Grace Bible Church (Dallas).
- Scot celebrated the birthday(year) of his radio station: KSCS 50th Anniversary (see photo gallery).
- Celebrated with First Baptist Academy (Camp is on the football team) as they won the state football championship (undefeated I might add).
- I have a day-surgery planned for January 3rd. I appreciate your prayers for the procedure and recovery time.
- Relatively smooth handover of Obrero Fiel to the Mexico team. I’m still helping with some maintenance, but all of the training and delegating are in place. Once the team is confident in taking all of the reigns, I’ll be able to check that off my list.
- Currently working on small projects within Avant Español as the leadership team makes decisions about how we want to move forward with the online curriculum applications. These decisions will determine my course for work next year.
- Please pray for God to provide new individual supporters and churches to help sustain this ministry. You can give (or refer others to give) here.
- Pray for the Avant leadership as they make decisions for the upcoming year.
- My Avant “boss” who oversees my work is currently raising support to go to the Philippines. David and his family live in Guatemala and have a heart to support Latino missionaries who are trying to settle into new surroundings. Their ministry directly relates to the program my department works on. They have been able to initiate a relationship with a small Latino church in the metroplex and have seen the gratefulness of the people about our church network and it’s missional training. Here’s a quote from David about their ministry:
“It has been a surprise that Hispanic churches and Hispanic ministries are still struggling to know what our mission as a church is: to make disciples who make disciples from their neighborhood, communities, state, and country to the ends of the earth. And we discover that our role as missionaries is not only to spread the gospel between those who have not heard but also to teach and guide those who have believed.”