Deputation Update

Lots of people talk about 3-day weekends. We feel like we have those in reverse – 3-day weeks. The last two weekends we’ve traveled for meetings (in North Carolina, then in Alabama) and have been home during the week. But when we drive home Monday and then pack to leave on Friday, the week feels really short. Especially when we try to cram in all the work we can’t do while we’re on the road.

Our North Carolina meeting was over the Valentine’s Day weekend, and the church invited us to come to their Valentine’s Banquet. We enjoyed going since it gave us extra time to get to know the people there. For the next weekend, we had a meeting at a church in Alabama, in addition to visiting relatives in Florida. Having my (Brian) grandparents come to the meeting was a special treat.

A few blessings found along the deputation trail: it’s amazing how many mutual friends we have in common with people we meet. For example, the church in Alabama had another missionary family for the morning service, while we did the evening service. As we got to know that family, we discovered a number of friends and acquaintances we both know.

A second blessing is the response to our ministry. This is especially true for me (still Brian) since I get to do the teaching and preaching. I’ve been preaching a message that the Lord has really challenged me with. The feedback I’ve gotten encourages me that I’m preaching a passage people need.

After this 3-day week, our weeks will really get interesting. This Friday we leave for Michigan, where we have two Sunday meetings. A Wednesday Illinois meeting in between will give us a chance to visit more relatives. Then it’s up through the Upper Peninsula to speak in a Christian school chapel on a Thursday, followed by a Sunday meeting halfway down Wisconsin. After that, we’re off to Virginia, which allows us to complete a good loop around Lake Michigan on this trip.

We’re praying for continued safety as we travel and for continued fruitfulness in our ministry.

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Cute Kids

Not everyone is interested in all the cute things our kids do, but we are, and we wanted to post a few of them. We’ve been working hard at teaching Bella about politeness and obedience. A few days ago she asked me to get her cup of water. That involved a trip from the bedroom to the kitchen and back. When I returned, I realized I’d put the lid from one of Emmett’s cups on hers, so it was back to the kitchen. I gave her the cup and went on with what I’d been doing. A few minutes later, Bella said “Thank you, daddy.” I had to ask her what she was thanking me for, and she replied, “Thank you for getting the cup so sweetly.”

We also want to teach her about praying for what we need. She’s had a pair of toy sunglasses that have gradually fallen apart as she’s played with them. She started asking for new ones, and we told her we’d think about it and look in the stores to see what we could find. On a trip to Walmart, we didn’t find anything suitable, so we explained we couldn’t find what she wanted, but we could pray that God would allow us to find some for her. As we went on through the store, she asked out of nowhere “So can we pray about it now?” So we did, and we were happy for the chance to pray with her about something she’s interested in. We’re looking forward to how the Lord lets us teach her more about how God answers prayer (even when the answer is no).

Incidents like these are important to us for two reasons. First, they give us some good experiences so we don’t get too frustrated with them. There are plenty of bad stories! The second is that these things let us see that our children are learning from us, and that God is using us to train them. As inconsistent as we sometimes are, they’re getting some of the big lessons we’re trying to teach them.