Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Our Last American Christmas (for a couple years)

This Christmas is hopefully our last Christmas in the States for a couple years and because of this we have found it difficult to avoid having too high expectations. We want everything to be just right and we want to make many wonderful memories that we can recall when we're celebrating Christmas in Mexico. Amidst these great desires to make lasting memories and to spend quality time with family is a deep desire to focus on what Christmas is truly about. We have found in our experience that everything we surround Christmas with can be very distracting. We can easily make gift giving, being with family, going to parties, and holiday traditions the center of our celebrations, but being in the unique position of leaving the country and Christmas as we have known it we are reexamining what Christmas is and will be for us.
Just like you, we don't want to make presents the focus of Christmas, and we won't be able to be with family, go to our friends parties (although we will have new friends... hopefully :) ), or maintain some of our traditions. So Christmas will undoubtedly be different. What we have come to realize this year more than ever is that Christmas goes on without these treasured things because Christmas is only about Christ and nothing more. We will dearly miss our loved ones, but Christmas is not about being with others; it's about God being with us (Emmanuel). So as we face changing cultures and the changing of Christmas, God has used this time to help us refocus on Him and what it means to truly celebrate the birth of His Son. May God richly bless you this Christmas and may Christ enter our hearts anew as we celebrate the things he has done, is doing, and the good things yet to come.

(picture from Leon in 2006)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Life in Wilmore Continues

We had a big week this week because we received quite a few new ongoing support pledges. Thank you! You should be getting a Christmas letter soon with more information and updates. If you don't receive one, but would like to please let us know.
Currently, we are in Wilmore for the next few weeks visiting with contacts in the area and celebrating Christmas with our families. We'll be in Michigan for a few days with the Seitz clan at the end of the month. We are also preparing to go to Colorado in the middle of January for our missionary training courses which will last 5 weeks. This past Sunday we attended Jennifer's parents' church and were able to spend some time with her parents, brother, and maternal grandparents. Even though they live in Wilmore we don't get to see them much as we've been in and out of town and very busy.

For those of you pray for us regularly...Here are some current requests:

-Jennifer's grandfather (Seitz) who is in the hospital, and the family as they have some difficult decisions to make.

-Wisdom in making our travel plans to and from Colorado in January and February.

- Our health

-Discernment for planning our schedule in the Spring

-More church and individual contacts.

Thanks for your prayers. Feel free to place a comment on this post if you have prayer requests or shoot us an e-mail. We are praying for you!

We will continue to keep you updated over the next few weeks.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Lovin' the Locals

A whirlwind of a week came to an end today, and as we reflected over the past few months we talked with one another once again about how this time of fundraising has been a tremendous learning and growing experience. One particular thing that stands out is what we've gained from visiting a different church almost every Sunday. Hearing a variety of sermons and worshipping with other congregations is a great experience. Today we attended Highbridge Union Church where our family friend, and college professor is the pastor. In the evening service we sensed the Holy Spirit as the congregation prayed for us and talked with us. We are thankful for the willingness of churches and pastors to give up their service time and allow us to share our story. Thanks!

(Pictured with one of our new found friends, Rene Frick.)