These past few months have been full of ministry and transition for our family. In early July we hosted the Nehemiah Discipleship Program Summer Training with seven young people participating. Each day of our training had a different theme. We used the classic book Celebration of Discipline to focus on different disciplines each day. Since our summer training focuses on leadership, we also had a book summary from two books each day that helped us learn more about our six “Lessons for Leaders.” Our leaders spent time in Detroit, working with our team there and helping with outreach efforts at nearby Wayne State University.
Later in July, our family travelled to MO and KS where we represented EFM and made memories along the way. From July 29-August 7, our family participated (for our 7th time) in Mode Camp in Mode, IL. This time has been such a blessing to us over the past few years, and we are so thankful that our children are growing up with this rich spiritual tradition as a part of our yearly rhythm.
Less than a week after camp, we were standing together in the Cincinnati airport, saying goodbye to Kaylynn, who was heading back for her second year at Hobe Sound Bible College in FL. It was bittersweet. While it was easier this year than last year, it was still hard to say goodbye. Two days later we waved goodbye to Rebecca as she embarked on her college career (studying business) at God’s Bible School and College in Cincinnati, OH.
I then flew to Wichita, KS to participate in a city ministry gathering. It was a blessing to develop connections with over 60 ministry leaders from around the nation and the world who are working to plant churches and extend the Gospel. We are prayerfully considering how God might want us to partner with new people in new places. While I was at this conference, I met with two leaders from Tanzania. I shared their contact information with President Gibson a few weeks later while he was in Africa. He was already planning to meet with both men on that trip! It was another reminder to me of the connection between urban ministry and the global harvest field. Each of our major cities is relationally connected to the world.
Samuel and I represented EFM at a camp meeting in Evansville, IN near the end of August. We spent most of the month of September working to move projects forward at Victory Acres. Samuel and I attended the Men of Integrity retreat in Mendon, OH, and he was baptized at The Gathering on September 25. I am thankful for the young man that he is becoming. At 13, he is almost as tall as I am, and he wears bigger shoes than I do.
Sarah, 15, had a dream come true on August 29. After years of waiting, she finally got her golden retriever puppy. She named him Levi, and she has been working hard on training him. Sarah is a hard worker with lots of dreams and ambitions.
Esther, 10, is preparing for Junior Convention with Heartland Christian School. She will be singing in the school choir and competing in a number of events on November 11 in Bird Lake, MI. She is a lovely young lady with a beautiful smile.
Karissa, 5, is playing her way into learning. She has been working on the basics with her mother at home this year in preparation for formal education next year. She loves books and has a vivid imagination. She does a great job of playing by herself, which is something that she has to do quite often while her siblings are at school.
In June, Rachelle and I had an amazing trip to Niagara Falls to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary. It was our first time to leave our children by themselves, so it was a big step for them. (They did great!) We are so grateful for how God is helping us in this new and different season of life.
We are thankful for God’s provision for our family in ministry through friends like you. It is because you have given that we have been able to continue to focus on developing new places and discipling people.
We are thankful for the friends God has given us who have prayed, given, and encouraged us. We deeply appreciate your partnership with us in this work. It is because you give that this work is possible, and we are SO grateful. May God richly bless you!