I spent the month of December reflecting on Immanuel, “God with us.” In spite of the many hardships and sufferings in this world, we are blessed to have One who knows firsthand how hard this world can be and has shown a way to live that overcomes the world.
How grateful we are to be bearers of Christ here in the city of Minneapolis! Whether we are encouraging young boys to read, driving kids to basketball practice, cooking food for community meals, leading a Bible study or listening in prayer through spiritual direction, we pray always that God’s love and grace might, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be imparted to those we meet.
Chris is continuing his mentoring work in the Minneapolis public schools, encouraging young boys to grow into men of integrity. As he volunteers time in the school, he is always asked to do more, as the leaders see the way he connects with young people. The practices for two basketball teams take up several evenings a week and Saturdays are filled with all the necessary driving and logistics for two teams. It is a bonus for Chris that our son is helping coach one team this season. It is also a blessing to have a core group of high school guys that includes our youngest son, Ezra, who meet regularly for Bible study and fun activities. We have two high school seniors this year, our son Javan and Alize,, the daughter of one of our oldest “children in the Lord.” We are spending time helping them prepare and plan for their next steps as they finish this last year of high school and whatever God has for them next.
We had a wonderful holiday season with many holy moments. Our annual Christmas party was lots of fun and we were so blessed to have some of our college students back for their break. We are so proud of how they are working hard and succeeding in spite of obstacles and difficulties. What a joy to see them come into the house, with a friend or two in tow. The holiday season also brought about the marriage engagement of one of our children in the Lord. How we rejoice that God has been working to bring the growth and healing that has made that possible.
Last week was one of those crazy weeks at house church where people just keep coming in and we are squeezing extra chairs into the circle. A young man whose family moved away some years ago found his way to church last week. We stay in the same place and they can always find us—and we pray that as they look for us again that they are also looking to draw closer to the One who has never moved away from them.
So we continue our labor of love, always grateful for your prayers and support, which are used by God to sustain us in this ministry.