Dear Family & Friends,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We have much to thank the Lord for; but during this season our gratitude is focused on the gift of the Lord, Himself. It goes beyond our ability to comprehend that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Almighty God of Heaven, had such compassion for us that He left His glorious throne for a manger in Bethlehem; but that is exactly what a few frightened shepherds discovered one night over 2000 years ago. What amazing grace! What wondrous love! So it is our prayer that as you enjoy the many gifts of this time of year you will also remember God’s Gift to humanity – Jesus Christ. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
When we consider all that has happened during this year, we wonder if it has really only been one year. We started the year with the realization that our efforts to return north were not the Lord’s will for now and began the hunt for our first house. By the beginning of March we had looked at 47 houses and were especially interested in one of them. However, on the morning of March 7th while I was on my way to the dentist our purple pick-up was totaled by a hit-and-run driver. Although it did not seem good at the time, it was all part of God’s plan for the rest of our year. The very next day we discovered that Melinda was expecting our second child! Also on March 8th, Dad arrived for a visit and to re-examine a few of our more promising prospective houses. By the end of Dad’s visit we had made an offer on the house we liked the most and Dad had informed us that he and Lesann would like to give us Lesann’s Explorer. We are thankful to Dad & Lesann for their generous gift; to Coart & Lori and Brad & April for letting us use their cars for a time; and to all those who prayed for us.
On March 24th we celebrated Kenneth’s first birthday by taking him out for Mexican food. We know it is a bit unorthodox, but he enjoyed it. By the end of March we closed on our very first house. During April we took a trip north to visit our families and retrieve Lesann’s Explorer. By the end of April we were finally moved in with the help of several friends from the area for whom we are very thankful. As the year progressed, Melinda and I refinished our bookshelves & our new house’s deck and managed to get unpacked for the most part. Kenneth worked on his walking by exploring his new home, and he graduated to a regular bed with the help of some bed-rails. On October 18th Melinda and I celebrated our ninth anniversary, and on October 29th Hannah Melinda was born in our new home. We thank the Lord for helping us through our first home-birth without any complications and delivering to us a healthy daughter. We thank Mom for making the long drive to visit over Thanksgiving and helping Melinda as I was just returning to work. We especially appreciated her playing the role of chef after three weeks of my cooking during which time I made sure the smoke detectors were working. Now we look forward to celebrating Hannah’s first Christmas in our new home and hope that yours is filled with wonder and joy.