Conference #9 of 10 this fall in our season landed us in Suffolk, Virginia where the team was able to celebrate Thanksgiving and an early Christmas during our time ministering to and with the people of this community. Our last stop of this season is next week in Hayden, Alabama. Pray for the Silver team… for safe travels, energy and focus for those we meet and serve. Keep us in your prayers over break as we minister in different ways, places and also as the team members make decisions about traveling the next year.
This summer seemed to take flight even before we realized it. The children reconnected with old friends and made new friends. The girls camped in a tent for a month with other staff kid girls. They rode scooters, horses, bikes, skateboards, ripstiks and the tops of golf carts. We were blessed with a new bike, a horse, a place to keep the horse, a temporary house to live in, and amazing friends. We looked tirelessly for a home and were outbid on several occasions, we changed teams, said goodbye to beloved team members and hello to new marriages, babies and families. We buried a duck named Rohly, several frogs and Parker the rabbit. Lindsey was baptized and Joshua attended VBS for the first time and loved it! We ate way too many Thornburgers at Bucks in St. Joe, drove to Chicago airport twice, flew to South Carolina, went to a horse camp in Pennsylvania, and served with We Can Ride program in Berrien Springs. Our family still has not made it to the U.P. much less Holland MI but we are hopeful every summer.
This is our view for the week in Millington, Tennessee. The children and the dogs are enjoying the extra freedom to run. The travel day afforded us with a blow out on the trailer but no accidents. We are looking forward to what God will be doing in the hearts of our team, this church and the surrounding community.
God gave me the opportunity to share His great name with the ladies of First Baptist at Millington and I was thoroughly blessed by all the encouraging words and life changes that God worked in and through these amazing ladies.
Shane and I celebrated 22 years of marriage while we were in Millington and we were able to sneak off the Memphis and enjoy dinner at PF Changs, something we used to do each year but have not been able to in the last few years. He had my favorite flowers delivered to our table.
Currently under construction by His Grace, Leigh
On Wednesday I asked the Lord to give me patience and gentleness. I am not new to this prayer, it is one I have asked for quite frequently over the years raising six small children so close in age. I chose Colossians 3:12 to meditate on throughout the day and then by 3:00 pm had gotten so overwhelmed by the schedule of the day I promptly forgot my lofty desires of the early morning. As the day came to a close I determined in my heart that I had chosen the wrong prayer for the day. Not the most encouraging self talk I have to admit and I went to sleep with the thought of trying again tomorrow. As Thursday dawned I cried out to God before my feet hit the floor, desperate for His being Lord over my all and asking Him to live through me and consume me with His Holy Spirit. As I opened my Devotional Thursday morning I smiled to see 2 Corinthians 12:9 as the scripture of the day. I mean ‘really?!’ It never ceases to amaze me how much He loves me. Because you see, 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. I can never exceed His grace, when I am weak He is strong and when I am empty, He is full. He can and will be this for you as well.
And just in case you do not have time to look up Colossians 3:12, here it is. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And for the ones who think praying for patience is a bad idea, I would like to remind you that some things worth having are not always easy to come by. I read the other day that God hides His most precious treasures for His saints in their most difficult and painful experiences.
Currently under construction by His grace, Leigh
We began our new travel year in a new trailer (provided by the ministry) in a new state with new expectations. We are feeling a little more experienced and a little more comfortable with where God has called our family. We are growing increasingly dependent and desperate for Him to move, sustain, train, educate, change us, mold us, make us in His image and generally mess up any preconceived notion of what we think we need. The first church on Red Team’s schedule is Union Baptist in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. A beautiful area, different from the south we are accustomed to but we still feel very much at home here with this wonderful group of people we are blessed to do life with if only for a week.
On the trip over, our family had the amazing opportunity to experience Niagra Falls on both the US and Canadian sides. We spent the day exploring, riding the boat, eating lunch and marveling in this small part of God’s beautiful creation.
During our off days in Vermont Pastor Paul was gracious to loan us some fishing poles to use at the river behind the church..
The children were also blessed to be able to spend a few days learning self defense from a member of the church.
We are already hearing great things from this group of God’s people about how He is working in their lives and families and in their work places. To hear more of the ministry side of things look for our newsletter and updates on the blog listed as Ministry Updates. For the lighter side and (mostly for the grandparents :’-) we will have our Family Updates on the blog as well. Watch for us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Until next time, we love and appreciate all of you for the part you play in our journey with God for revival in our personal lives, our churches, communities, families and nation. Love the BlackPack