Although out of chronological order from our January Update, I wanted to share some of the exciting things that happened in December (time is just moving too quickly for me to keep up!)! It was a whirlwind month of ministry, activity, family, and even though there was rarely time enough to pause and reflect, there was much to reflect upon!
The beginning of December was filled with a lot of sewing for me (Adria), one of my new-found hobbies. I made purses for most of the women in my life as Christmas presents because I fancy myself original and thoughtful in gift giving...but really I'm just CHEAP!! :) Well, maybe I could be all of the above??
I also got to visit my good friend Amber in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for her baby shower and help decorate her baby room! We put a decal on the baby's wall with the verse in James that says "Every good and perfect gift comes from above." I love that little Blake will come into the world knowing he is a gift from God. Pray for his arrival coming in March!
Mid December brought about a long-awaited and celebrated day: Bruce graduated from college! Bruce grew up a block from World Impact and has known Andrew for many years. Andrew mentored him in high school and he was a graduate of World Impact's L.I.T. (Leadership In Training) program for high schoolers. It was so special to share in his day of celebration and to see what a solid young man of God he is! He is now in the process of applying for med school so keep him in your prayers as he still has a long road ahead of him!
Then we had the privilege of sharing Christmas with Stephon in Kansas. Stephon was a part of Bridge of Hope's youth group and has also known Andrew for many years. He is now attending college at Missouri University in Columbia, Missouri, about two hours from us. We picked him up on our way out to Andrew's parents' house in Topeka, Kansas, and he spent the week with us. It is a joy to spend time with this young man who exudes such resiliance and joy even in the face of the trials he has experienced. Continue to pray for him as he goes to college and grows in mind and spirit!
Then came Urbana 09! The largest missions conference in North America (with over 15,000 students) held here in St. Louis between Christmas and New Years! Our St. Louis staff were the point people for our National booth at the conference and Andrew was one of our representatives! So we kept very busy builing displays, putting together literature, giving tours of our facility and trying to recruit, recruit, recruit!
Andrew and I also hosted number 18-25 of the people who have stayed with us since we moved into our new (larger) home in October! Dad told us that if the missionary thing didn't work out we could open a bed and breakfast (those of you who know how much I love to cook and clean, feel free to laugh now).
Phew...December was a busy month, but one filled with many blessings and in the moments when I get to pause and reflect I am so grateful for the family, the friends, and the ministry that God has seen fit to place in our lives. We love you all...and Happy New Year!!