A big “hello” to our family, friends and former teammates!
Happy New Year! We hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you were each blessed by the miracle of the season.
Once again, we will be making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land this summer. We are thrilled with the opportunity to spend another summer in a land soaked in historical significance. With the knowledge and experience gained from our recent sojourn, we have high expectations for an even better summer…which will be hard to achieve! Our team will continue work on the boundary wall around Hope School, a Christian secondary school in Bethlehem, providing education to orphans and disadvantaged children, both Muslim and Christian. We will also paint classrooms. We want to ask that you pray with us for this team, that God would do great and mighty things in the lives of our teammates as well as the people who call Bethlehem home. As I am sure most of you know, Bethlehem is located in Palestine. There are great tensions that exist between Palestinians and Israelis. They both struggle, and most ultimately long for peaceable solutions to solve their difficulties. We really want our team to be a light that reflects the only source of the peace they all long for: Jesus Christ. Pray also for our family, for health, safety and patience as traveling with three young children can have what I like to call “character-building- moments”! We also want to be ready in our personal walks with the Lord so that we can stand firm no matter what awaits us.
Still heavy on my heart is the uncertainty of whether to begin home schooling Kenya in the fall. Although, I feel so inadequate for the task, I just can’t stop thinking about it! There are many arguments for and against it, most of which are valid. I have many reasons (which I could possibly call excuses) why I do not want to do it. However, my biggest reason for wanting to do it is the responsibility Mike and I feel that we have has parents to provide a solid Biblical foundation in the lives of our children. In light of the long life span we are hoping our children will have, we only have a few short years with our kids until they are grown up and making their way. We are not naïve to the idea that we can shelter our girls from the evils of this world. We can, however, protect them as much as possible and prepare them. Please pray with us about this BIG decision, and that our struggle with it would not be us struggling to follow through with what God is asking us to do. I am very aware that my persistent heavy heart is quite possibly the persistent prompting of the Holy Spirit! I also find rest in the knowledge that there is no safer place to be than in the center of God’s will. Isabelle will be starting school in the fall. Lord willing, she will attend a local Christian school to begin VPK (Voluntary Prekindergarten), a free program that will give her a jump start by preparing her for school and enhancing her pre-reading, pre-math, language and social skills. She talks about it all the time and is VERY ready to be a big girl like her big sister, Kenya. “Only big girls go to school, right mama?” ~Isabelle
Isabelle has clear fluid in her ears that will not drain. She has had this problem for a few months now. Because it impairs her hearing and could possibly negatively affect her speech development, her doctors would like to put tubes in her ears as well as remove her adenoids to correct the problem. The prospect of our little girl undergoing surgery, even though they are common procedures, is scary for us. We actually hurt our own feelings just talking about it. We are asking the Lord to deliver her from this ailment and that the Lord would give us and the doctors wisdom and full knowledge about how to proceed.
Lily continues to be such a source of joy to us and to those she comes in contact with on a daily basis. She literally knows no stranger. She will ask anyone to hold her, even if it is the woman behind us in the grocery store line and or the gentleman enjoying his dinner at a restaurant as we pass by his table! She loves to be loved and loves to love others! We are amazed at her confidence and exuberance…she is only one year old!!!! Not one day goes by without a passerby reminding Mike and I that we will need some big guns in the house for when our girls are older! We thank the Lord daily for the gifts He has given us in the form of three little girls…it is like having Christmas everyday! What a reward! (Psalm 127:3)
We want to thank every one of you for taking a personal interest in our lives and ministry. Thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support that allows us to continue on with the ministry of Teen Missions. We are grateful for the work the Lord has put before us.
Mike, Michelle, Kenya, Isabelle and Lily