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!