Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Busy Summer

Nicolas, Annikah and Allison - Aug 2008 - Sedona, AZ

Joel and I started out our summer in 5 weeks of intensive Spanish school. This was a great time of learning language and Mexican culture. We also made a significant connection with our teacher, a lovely Mexican lady and very experienced teacher.

Immediately following that, we attended meetings in San Diego which brought together most of the leaders of the Border Initiative ministry. Nine of the eleven District Superentendents of the border districts of the US and Mexico were present to cast a vision of church growth and development in their individual districts. It was a very exciting time of rejoicing in what God has done and looking forward to all that is ahead.

The following week, Joel, along with Gavin and Jill Fothergill our fellow missionaries, welcomed back the 60 university students that served around the world this summer through Youth in Mission. This Re-Entry Retreat is always a blessing - to hear reports of ministries started and strengthened and hearts and lives won to Christ. Also, we are able to see in these university students a greater understanding and passion for ministry and missions.

The day Re-Entry ended we loaded up the family and began the trip north. We were in Kansas City for a couple of days of meetings at Headquarters, and then traveled on to Olivet Nazarene University for the annual MK Retreat. We are so thankful to be on staff at this wonderful event for Nazarene college-age Missionary Kids, which began 4 years ago. This is a powerful time of connection between the MKs and a rich spiritual retreat.

At the close of the retreat, we loaded up the family again to travel south to our own district campground to serve as the "missionaries in residence." Since El Paso is directly below the middle of the state of New Mexico, we are a part of the New Mexico District. The campground is located in the beautiful mountain town of Ruidoso, and we enjoyed our time there tremendously. We were able to speak in the children's service, the teen service and the NMI mission service, as well as connect with new and old friends.

When the camp was finished, we came home for one day to get ready to leave on vacation. We were able to spend a week with my brother in Sedona, Arizona at a lovely place. My brother and his family serve as missionaries with RCE in Madrid, Spain, and we had not been together with them as a family for a year and a half. So, this time together was so special, and we had a wonderful week of rest.

After vacation, we came home to one week left before school! So, the summer has flown by, and Allison and Nicolas began school yesterday for another year of learning and growing. Please pray for them in 4th and 1st grades this year. Pray that they will be a testimony of God's love to their friends and classmates and teachers.

We are glad to be back home and ready for ministry here in El Paso this fall, and in the Universities as Joel travels for Youth in Mission.