Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Have A Merry Merry Christmas

Christmas pictures 

If you are interested, here is our Christmas 2011 letter:

Normally we don’t send a Christmas update; we just send the picture of our smiling faces and let you assume that all is well. Don’t worry, we are happy to report that all is well and God continues to be faithful. We love that about Him, that He is unchanging and continually sovereign and merciful.

So, while all is well, all is also very different. This past year has been full of redirection for us and at times, it seems like we were just barely clinging on for the ride. We feel God’s leading for our family to be involved in full-time missions overseas. As we have prayerfully considered what this means, God continues to lay Ethiopia on our hearts. Jon and I had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia for further exploration in early November.

Jon has worked at Paragon Landscape for five ½ years and our whole family has been blessed through this company and Jon’s coworkers. He is done with his job as a landscape designer/salesman as we move towards beginning our support raising/missionary training journey. The vision for our time in Ethiopia would be to work within a “business as missions” model and start a business with a “double harvest” mindset. The basic explanation would be that while the business will hopefully bring in monetary profit for the sake of community development, it is crucial to also be paired with discipleship and biblical teaching and training for the sake of a harvest of souls as well. While we don’t have an exact timeline or plan (trust us, we wish we did!), we are moving forward, praying for faith to follow where God leads. Jon hopes to use this time to work in an agricultural setting to learn more about the industry as it seems that agricultural businesses are one of the most effective industries in Ethiopia.

I continue to stay at home with my little “silly beans”, Little J and Little A. They crack us up with their antics, melt our hearts at their sweetness and sometimes make us crazy with their orneriness! Jon and I love the toddler stage. It is hard to believe that two years ago at this time, we had never even considered raising twin girls. Once again, it shows how God’s plans are so much better than ours (Eph. 3:20-21).

Teaching Christmas to two year-olds has made it come alive again. The deep kind of alive that leaves us humbled and with goose bumps as we stop to think about the well-known words of the Christmas story and realize their magnitude. They girls have a much-loved Nativity set and we have a hard time keeping track of “Baby Jesus” as they snatch Him out of the manger for cuddles. They watch in wonder as the nativity scene plays out again and again as we tell the story of when God became man and lived among us. They love when the angels appear to the shepherds. Little J and Little A giggle when it gets to their part, “Hallelujah, glory to God in the highest!” Little J just says, “Glory, glory, glory!”

We wish you much love and Christ’ abiding peace in your Christmas season.

Glory To God In The Highest,

J&A, j&a

4 comments:

erica said...

Beautiful!!!!! May God richly bless you as you anticipate this coming year and all that it holds in store for you. Merry Christmas!!!

L, An and boys said...

praying for you all

Jessica said...

Merry Christmas to you! I still remember getting an email from you nearly two years ago when we were traveling to Mekele saying you were "considering accepting two little ones" and meeting you teeny tiny twins. What a blessing!! Can't wait to here the details of you mission work. What an awesome priveledge to serve in Ethiopia amongst some of God's most beautiful and loving people!

Jessica

Duane and Ann said...

PRAYING for you as you follow God's direction in your life and allow Him to use you in the double harvest. Praise Him for the faithfulness He provides.