Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
We know not everyone likes to say that, but we enjoy seeing the change of seasons when we go up north. There is not much season change in Florida! So we like it when we can escape the south once in awhile. We recently returned from a few very busy but relaxing weeks of vacation and deputation time. We saw many of our friends and were blessed by our time with them. We left on December 20, after the kids got out of school, and drove to Turbeville, SC. We spent a few days with our friends, Mike and Carol, in their lovely home and enjoyed catching up with some of our other friends there as well. Anthony was able to do some deer hunting on their farm and actually got a doe. We were also able to experience a southern pig roast. That was some good eatin’! We appreciate Mike and Carol taking us into their home during this special time.
We then continued on to Pennsylvania, arriving on Saturday, just in time for the Myers’ extended family dinner. We always enjoy these times because we can see family all together that we only see once a year! Christmas Eve day we saw our first snowfall. There were about two inches or so and Darin and Anthony went right outside to make a snowman! Then everyone played football in the snow. Over the next few days, we saw about six inches fall and it was beautiful. We enjoyed Anthony’s whole family being together on Christmas Day. It’s fun to watch the cousins reunite after a year. It’s like we never left.
The next day we traveled two hours north to a small town in PA, then continued out in the woods to a cabin where we spent a few days with our friends, Curt and Diane Bitterman, and Mike and Michelle Myers, (who are also on staff) and their three girls. We were able to relax, go on walks, sit in the outdoor hot tub, roast marshmallows, play games in the cabin by the wood stove, etc. We were truly able to relax and enjoy the company. Most of the meals were cooked over the fire, and those who were adventurous (or desperate), headed out to use the outhouse nearby! The excitement continued with making angels in the snow…in our bathing suits, then jumping back in the hot tub! But it didn’t stop there as some had to go in the freezing cold river too…then back in the hot tub!
The rest of our time was spent visiting friends, family and supporters. We enjoyed an afternoon of Duckpin Bowling. It’s a lot different than regular bowling because you use a smaller ball with smaller pins. It is definitely a northern sport and was a fun new experience. The boys were able to do some target shooting and making homemade potato chips is always a good time. We always enjoy the time we have on the farm with mom and dad. Go day always comes too fast. We then headed to Georgia to visit our friend, Dotty, for a few days before heading home.
LAST FALL IN A NUTSHELL
This fall was busy for us as Anthony made a trip to Toronto to help take down the Tabernacle to be stored until May. We also went to South Carolina for Anthony to speak at the Turbeville Youth Retreat again. We were all able to go and enjoyed the fellowship there. Brandon took part in two 5k runs. One he came in third in his age group and at Thanksgiving, Brandon, Jess, Anthony and Darin were part of a 5K Turkey Trot. Anthony had a surprise 50th birthday party for me at Teen Missions. He invited a number of “old time” staff and friends. There were about 90 people there and we had a great time reminiscing and catching up with each other. Jessie made the cake, “Flintstones” of course, my dad’s (and my) favorite cartoon! We also had a couple of other parties at church and Anthony’s family surprised me at Christmas. I used to think that 50 was old…not any more!
ANTHONY’S HEALTH & TEACHING
Anthony’s health has been improving some. He had a check-up for his Crohn’s Disease recently, and the doctor was pleased that he is doing well. His iron levels are slowly improving, but please pray with us that his Ferritin level will go up. Anthony is teaching Personal Evangelism this semester for the Bible School students at TMI. It takes a lot of discipline in studying, but he is enjoying it.
We had the privilege of helping out at the Winter Jam concert in Jacksonville, FL. Teen Missions is one of the groups that has a representative traveling with the tour for the 47 concerts. We made a lot of contacts and prayed with people. The concert was great! There were over 22,000 people there and close to 5,000 had to be turned away because it was full. What a great ministry to young people! You can check it out at www.jamtour.com.
This summer will be an exciting summer for us. We are scheduled to go to the Philippines, where Teen Missions has a base and Bible School. The Philippines base is the oldest overseas base and is located in Butuan, on the lower island of Mindanao. I went on her first TMI team to the Philippines in 1980, so she is looking forward to going back. In early December, there was a super typhoon that went through the area and did damage to our base as well as wiped out many towns and villages. Over 200 people came to the TMI Philippines base to seek shelter as their homes were swept away. We hope to help with rebuilding some of those homes and some of the buildings on the TMI property, as well as help at a Children’s home. Darin will be coming with us.
Jessie feels the Lord leading her to go on a team to Panama this summer. They will fly to Panama City then travel four hours by boat to the island of Ogodsukun. They will work with the Kuna Youth Missions. They will renovate an old building and put a roof on it for a Children’s Center. She will be going on an Early Boot Camp team so she will not miss any of her senior year. We will need to raise about $4500 for Darin and Jessie to go on their mission trips. If you would like to help, please send in the coupon with your donation or make a donation online
Please pray for Brandon as he seeks what the Lord has for him this summer and for his future. He graduates in May and is not sure what he would like to do.
As we start another year, we look over 2012 and we are so thankful for you and how the Lord has used you to bless us. Your prayers and encouragement are invaluable to us and we couldn’t do without them. We pray for God’s richest blessings in 2013. Please drop in to see us and the ministry here in Florida if you are in the area. We would love to see you.
Anthony, Shawna, Brandon, Jessica and Darin