Sunday, July 10, 2016


Hudson turned four about 6 weeks ago.  It's crazy to think that he has now been with us as a married couple,  longer than we've been without him.  He's growing every day, learning something new.  He's such a fun kid: friendly, witty, affectionate, spirited, and smart.  Obviously, we're still in love with our little boy!  

I finally got around to taking some pictures of our big four year old!  He's still tall and skinny at 41 inches but only 31 pounds.  If Lord blesses our plans, he'll go to preschool in the fall.  I'm already slightly nervous just thinking about it, but I know he'll do great.

Sun flare and corn!

This is his "senior picture" photo!

I like this picture because it highlights the expanse land that is the midwest.

I took this one when he wasn't looking and cheesing. 

I think this one might be my favorite.

Such a happy boy!

Hudson, your Daddy and I pray for you every day.  We pray that you will follow Jesus as a little boy, not wasting any years.  We ask God to change your determined personality to a spirit that seeks to be stubbornly obedient to Jesus, not seek your own  pleasure.  We thank him for you and all the joy you bring to everyone who meets you.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Ministry Update - Spring 2016

March began with Youth Sunday - the day where our children (preschool and up) lead the services.

Our middle school and high school students taught all of our Sunday School classes.  They are always so nervous, but generally do an awesome job.  K took over the sound board, H was our worship leader, our elementary students took up offering, and our preschool students led in the offertory song.

Sadly I have zero pictures :(  Hudson had had a cold for several days leading up to Youth Sunday.  He woke up that morning at 2am (!) with a fever which meant he and I stayed home.  Serious bummer!  We had practiced the Saturday before so I was confident in their abilities to serve well, even with me not there.  The preschoolers even just asked this past Sunday if they could sing again in church soon.  Yay for hearts for service!

Easter came early this year.

Good Friday, the kids were out of school so we took them all (preschool and up) to Bonkers.  Imagine a McDonalds playplace on steroids that is Bonkers.  They played and played and played.  A good time was had by all.

The Saturday before Easter, I took the kiddos to a sister church's Easter Egg Hunt.  Each year, I want to do an egg hunt for our community.  However, it never works out so I'm learning to take that as God's sign to just take them to enjoy another church's festivities.

Our church got a new deacon in March.  Bro. D who joined our church with his sweet wife a few months before had his deacon ordination recognized.  Now Bro. J is not alone in the service of deacon.  This is good news!

March ended with us celebrating being in Missouri for 3 years.  How fun!

April went by like a flash and I honestly don't remember much of what we did in April - lol!  One thing we did do is participate in a new ministry through our association: Project Dignity.  Basically, it's a sewing ministry where we get together and make reusable/washable cloth sanitary pads for ladies overseas.  So far we've sent 150 to the Dominican Republic with some nursing students from Hannibal-LaGrange University and are now working on creating 450 to send to Panama with a former member of Providence (now in Illinois) who is going on a medical mission trip with her new church.  It's hard work, but so worth it.  Each bag has three pads, two Ziploc bags, two pair of new underwear, and a gospel presentation included.  An easy way to show that Jesus cares, even about the little (not-so-little) things ladies go through each month.

May began with preparations for Baby Dedication.  We have two babies at church, who are a month apart in age.  We had them and their families over for dinner one evening to go over Baby Dedcation stuff: what it is, what it isn't, the biblical mandate, etc...  It was a great time having all those kiddos running around.

Mother's Day came and we recognized our ladies and had baby dedication.  It was a nice service focusing on families and how God uses them in his kingdom.

James is finishing up preaching through Mark on Sunday mornings.

He just finished up Nehemiah on Sunday evenings and has started 1 Peter.  On Wednesday nights, he leads a devotion from 1 John after prayer meeting.

Five months in and children's church is going strong.  We started in January to help the little ones not have to be so still and quiet.  I put my seminary degree to use putting the curriculum together.  Each week, we watch a video story from the Jesus Storybook Bible, then do a craft, game, and sing a song based on that story.  Four ladies, our teens, and myself rotate through the weeks.  It's the most exhausting 30 minutes you'll have all week!  But it is fun to see these little ones grow in their knowledge of scripture.

Eating snacks while watching, Daniel and the Scary Sleepover.
That's Daniel and the Lion's Den for all unfamiliar with the Jesus Storybook Bible.

Lion puppets... 

Playing "What Time is Mr. Lion?" from last year's LifeWay VBS.
It's a great game! 

All in all it has been a good, albeit fast, Spring!  I love spring - the flowers, the warmer temperatures, the hustle and bustle of planting season.

Please continue to pray for our church and community:

- New Deacon, Bro. D.  He is proving to be an excellent source of encouragement for James.  They go to nursing home visitation together which has been nice as it relieves me from going!

- Baby Dedication!  I love our sweet babies, I & A.  Pray for their parents as they parent them, pray for their continued growth physically and spiritually, and pray for our church to support them by pointing them to our dear Jesus.

- Summer is coming!

- We have a new family in our community.  Technically they aren't new as they are the child and grandchildren of a current resident, but in a farming community with a declining population - any new transfer in is exciting news.  Pray for us as we reach out to them.

- Summer activities:
     - First up is Camp (June 6-10) for children grades 3+.  We are taking 8, 4 of whom are
       unchurched.  I will be teaching missions again and adding Bible Storying.
     - VBS is June 20-22.  We're doing a camping theme with Bible Stories from the book of Joshua.  I
        wrote our VBS again this year and always have such fun doing that.  Pray for our workers and
        students who will attend.
     - Mission Trip is July 10-15 in Tennessee! My heart couldn't be happier about that!
     - Pray for James and the deacons, J & D, as they seek to divide our church family amongst each            other as to better keep in contact and serve well.  While this is in the church's bylaws it has not            been done so it's a new ministry.

- Discipleship.  James meets with two guys throughout the week for one-on-one discipleship.  They     try to meet weekly as their schedules allow.  This is such an awesome ministry!

Thank you so much for your prayers.  God has been faithful to us these past 3 years and we know he will continue to be!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Ministry Update - Winter 15/16

Winter is always slow here.  Snow + ice + freezing cold temperature + wind = people stay inside!  Ministry always slows down in the winter, it seems.

December was full of Christmas fun.  Sunday the 13th, we had our Christmas program with soup/sandwich lunch following.  We did a Hanging of the Greens service where different people read about the various Christmas symbols and what they mean.  It was different than the typical nativity scene play, but it seemed to be enjoyed by all.

Believe it or not, but a Christmas tree graced Providence's sanctuary for the first time in 40+ years this past Christmas.  Apparently way back when a gentleman didn't think Christmas trees belonged in a Christian celebration of Christmas, so out of respect for him the church didn't put one up.  Year after year, no tree until 2015!

Closer to Christmas, we had the youth over for a Christmas celebration.  We ate food, put on a impromptu Christmas play, and headed to Keokuk, Iowa to drive through a park decorated with Christmas lights.  Then we hit up McDonalds because teenagers are always hungry.

January was a slow month as far as outings.  I fell and dislocated my knee shortly after my birthday so we had to cancel attending the WMU's Pursuit retreat.  So disappointing :(  but we did gain two sweet new church members in January - the S family.  So grateful for them!

Mid-February, we celebrated Children's Ministry Day, which I've already written about here.  The end of February our sweet church gained two more sweet members - the W family.  That's six new members in less than 6 months - we are super excited for God's blessing.

Please continue to be in prayer for us here in rural Missouri.


- Our new members!  Such a blessing from the Lord, especially after such a dry 2014 and first part of 2015 - it's encouraging to see people being added to our congregation.

- Winter was rather mild this year!  Compared to previous winters (I'm looking at you, 2014 and 2015) this winter was relatively warm.

- TWO babies now grace our church services weekly: Baby Ava (born in November) and Baby Isaac
(born in December) are such wonderful additions to our church family.


- James and B meet every Thursday evening for accountability partners and discipleship.  Pray for their friendship as they encourage one another.

- Our youth group.  As our kids get older, they get jobs and that takes them away from church activities.  That's not a phenomenon unique to our church, for sure, but it definitely impacts our small church in a big way.  Pray for our sweet teens.

- Deacons to be ordained.  For the past almost 2 years, we've had only one deacon (Bro. Bill passed in March of 2014) and they are beginning the process of selecting men to be ordained into this important ministry.  Pray for James and Jim as they seek the Lord in this matter.

...for behold winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
-Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Spring is just around the corner!