Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ministry Update - Fall 2016

To say a lot has happened since our last ministry update would be an understatement.

First, James accepted a call to pastor Mouthcard Baptist Church in Pike County, Kentucky. So we loaded up and traded the flat Midwest for the mountains of eastern KY.

Second, my sweet Daddy passed away.  It was sudden and unexpected. 

Third, Hudson started preschool. 

And that doesn't include the day-to-day events of learning a new area and culture, ministering in a new church and community, and every day family stuff.

So here's an update in a nutshell.

Church Life

James has been at MBC now for almost 3 months.  It's been a great three months.  We've been blessed to see three join the church, two by salvation and one by transfer of letter.  We are stoked.  James preaches Sunday AM, Sunday PM, and leads the Wednesday evening service.  I am teaching Sunday School (grades 1-3).    James is out and about in the community daily.  Weekly, he goes out on "official" visits with another church member.  It's been wonderful for him to have a partner in ministry, other than me.  It's much busier here than it was in MO.  Here's some pictures of our ministry-related activities.

We attended Senior Night at the high school's girls' Volleyball team. 

Trunk or Treat! 
We had over 160 families register and come through to get treats.
James has been busy visiting each family.

Homecoming was the first Sunday in November.
Oneida Baptist Institute were our special guests. 
Their choir sang and their president brought a message.

Our sweet friend, Amy, lives and serves the Lord in South America.
She came for our missions night to share about her work in Peru.

I attended the Baptist Women Day of Prayer at one of our sister churches.

 Our kids from church attended the performance of Willy Wonka, Jr!

Operation Christmas Child!
I haven't heard an official count yet, but at least count we had over 50 boxes.

H being baptized.

NAMB Send Relief Christmas Backpacks were delivered to the Freeda Harris Baptist Center.
These backpacks will go to children in need right here in Appalachia.

In addition to this we've attended Executive Board Meetings, had several members of our church over for dinner, made hospital and nursing home visits, visited shut-it and delinquent church members, prayed with strangers, shared the gospel, etc...  It's been a good and busy 3 months.

Home Life

Moving to KY has been a much easier transition for our family than moving to MO was.  James is thriving here.  His hometown is about 90 minutes northeast of where we are so I often joke that these are "his people."  I am learning a new culture - Nashville ain't Appalachia, y'all.  I now know the difference between the mouth of a holler and the head of the holler.  (We live at the mouth in case you were wondering.)  It's been fun (and sometimes exhausting) to learn a new community.

Our new home is mostly unpacked.  It's HUGE!  4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths - way more room than we need.  It's been a lot of fun to decorate and find new homes for things as I try to have an organized home.  Hudson particularly likes our new home because the hardwood floors make a nice foundation for his train tracks!

Hudson started preschool about 3 weeks after we moved.  I know you're probably shocked we didn't homeschool, but it has been a great decision for our family.  Hudson LOVES school.  He has the opportunity to get out of the house, learn to obey non-parental adults, and make friends.  He is learning quite a bit and overall we're satisfied.  It has also been a wonderful ministry opportunity.  We have met families we otherwise probably wouldn't know.  The admin has been very welcoming to our coming in as the church to do things for the students.

My sweet Daddy

My daddy passed September 20th, just over 2 months ago.  It was a whirlwind.  He went for back surgery which was supposed to be very simple.  In the pre-surgery tests, it was discovered that he had some spots.  Those spots turned out to be kidney cancer that had spread to many places.  He had his surgery on Friday and passed away on Tuesday.  It has been very hard for me, my sister, and our stepmom. 

So that's what life has been like the past 3 months.

Please join us in prayer:

  • Safe move to Kentucky.
  • New ministry in Mouthcard.
  • Hudson's smooth transition to a new home, new church, and new school.
  • G and H's decision to commit their life to Christ and L's decision to join our church.
  • My sister, my stepmom, and myself as we continue to grieve my daddy.  Grief is weird, it comes and go like an unwanted guest.
  • G, H, and L - our new church members.  We are planning a new members class to begin after the holidays to help encourage them in their journey of faith.
  • The D family, James has been ministering to the husband/father. He is not a believer.
  • Christmas Events:  Our church has a dinner and Christmas play planned.  Plus we will be passing out fruit baskets to needy families.  It's a great time to share the gospel as people's hearts are typically more tender during the holidays.
  • Our transition to Mouthcard - the Lord has been so faithful so far and we ask him to continue to do so.
No matter what happens always be thankful,
for this is God's will for you who belong to Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18