New Year’s Blessings to you all!! David and I hope and pray you had a wonderful time celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and that you had a safe and happy New Year’s celebration as well.
We had a very special blessing in late November. We were able to travel to Cheonan, South Korea to attend Joanna Shin’s wedding! She was one of two Korean young ladies on the Missionaries to Canada team we led in 2010-11. It was such a joy to see her again and to meet Wonjeong (now her husband) and her parents, sister, and brothers. It was a lovely time of reunion and of celebrating her and Wonjeong’s wedding. We were treated like royalty the entire time we were there. Joanna’s family arranged for hanbok (means “Korean clothing”) to be custom made for us, and she mailed them to us when they were ready. I promised her we would wear them when they got here, so we did – on Sunday, Jan. 10 that is what we wore for church.
While in South Korea, we also had a few days in Seoul and were able to meet Sora, the other Korean young lady from the Missionaries to Canada team. She wanted to spend all day every day with us, but due to her new job, that wasn’t possible. So we had to be satisfied with every evening after she got off work. Not as much time as the three of us would have liked, but we were very thankful for what time we had. We were able to meet her family also: parents, grandmother and her brother. Her father went with us one day on a tour of the DMZ. It is almost eerie to think of having so much hostility so near, and yet, life in South Korea goes on pretty normally. The DMZ area was so interesting and we learned so much. It would take too long to share it all. It is our hope and prayer that the Lord will make a way for us to visit South Korea again someday.
Our holiday season was much quieter than it has been the previous five years. We didn’t travel for the first time in many years. It was very different, but nice, too. Besides our time of opening gifts, we had Todd and Rosemary MacPherson and their three children in for Christmas dinner and a nice time of fellowship.
Weather has been quite unusual for this area – much milder and far less snow, as well as quite a bit warmer than is customary. This has been something of a disappointment for me, but most are quite content with the less severe winter. There are still a good 2-3 months where we could still get some pretty intense winter weather, so I am not giving up yet on lots of snow.
After a very welcome two weeks of Christmas break, we are back in the office. Canadian receipts need to go out by the end of January, and there are the usual daily things like processing mail, donations, and attempting to set up promotional opportunities. There are a few conferences coming up towards the end of January, in February, and in March. Our great challenge is finding open doors in churches and youth groups. Most churches just don’t seem to be interested in having us share about the opportunities Teen Missions has to offer.
I think the biggest news we have for now is the fact that we are not going to lead a team this coming summer. Todd is going down to help with the Navajo Boot Camp this summer and Rosemary (and the children) will stay in Florida as summer staff. David will go to Florida for probably 3-4 weeks, during Boot Camp only, then return to Outlook and the office. I will stay here and keep things running. Since we came on staff in 1996, there’s only one summer that I’ve missed going on a team and that was in 2001 – the summer after we brought Olga and Azzie home after the adoption was finalized. David’s never missed leading a single summer in the total of 12 years we have been on staff, so this will be different for us.There will be the daily office things to take care of – mail, processing donations, things like that.
We praise the Lord that our health continues to be good. David will be 71 next month and I’ll be 63 in May. Not exactly spring chickens, but God is good and we enjoy good health and mobility. I, personally, have weight issues and would appreciate your prayers that I can keep the motivation to do all I need to in order to reduce my weight to a healthier level. I got a Garmin Vivo Fit for Christmas (aka my “personal tyrant”) and it keeps me aware of my need to walk more. I don’t always make my daily goal, but I am usually close or even a bit over. The calories is the bigger challenge, but I am working at it as well as working on eating “clean” and nutrient dense foods rather than the empty calories.
All of our five children are well, as are their children. I guess I shouldn’t refer to most of them as children now since only two of our grandchildren and our great-grandson are not teenagers! I just don’t know how that happened so fast! Seems like only yesterday they were little…and we were a lot younger.
We pray for God’s blessings for all of you in every situation. We thank you for the role you play in our ministry through your prayers and through your generosity as God directs.
God bless you all,
Together in His Service,
Stephanie and David Spindler