In our little corner of the world, growth and progress often feel like three steps forward and two steps back, with the occasional three steps back. In order to survive and thrive in this life, we have learned to appreciate and rejoice at every forward step, every sign of movement and growth, no matter how small. We enjoy those tiny jewels and carry them around in our pockets and pull them out to treasure when the days are discouraging or when we must travel through a desert. Here are a few of our steps and jewels from the past month..
It has been a very full winter with lots of basketball, practices, games, tournaments, dinners, outings, winter retreat. We appreciated your prayers for the winter retreat at which every young man in attendance committed themselves to following Jesus. We ask for your continued prayers that they would continue to grow in faith and trust in Jesus.
A Sunday or two ago, a couple high schoolers spent the night. Chris had said they might go play ball for an hour before church time, but as they were hard asleep when he went downstairs in the morning, he let them sleep. They came upstairs later for breakfast and then left our house, sending Chris a text that they felt he had tried to trick them into coming to church. Since church with us has never been for any except those who choose to come, we were deeply disappointed. After Chris had a long dialogue with them days later, they apologized. But still, sometimes a person really does want to say: “Are you kidding? Have you been paying any attention to anything that has been said or done around here for YEARS?” I remind myself that no growth comes without struggle and faith tested and examined is more real than faith from conformity. So, the boys grow through these tests and struggles. And Chris earns another gray hair!
This past Sunday, we were having a quiet Sunday fellowship as a tournament game was taking place at the church hour. However, near the end of our usual meeting time, I received a call from Chris that the team had three hours before their next game and when given options to go on an outing to fill the time, the boys decided that they wanted to meet for church. So I put an extra frozen casserole into the microwave and when Chris and the guys arrived, we settled in for worship and lunch before the final game. You have never heard a group of middle school boys worship with such enthusiasm. The beauty of that church gathering made my heart so full. Words cannot express. My own heart was tired and weary that day and then I was blessed to see the very heart of God in the face of our boys. God is good! The frosting on the cake for the team was that, later that day, in spite of a very negative fan section with their opposing team, they won first place at this grade level championship tournament complete with GIANT trophy, big personal medals and a winner’s banner.
With the numbers of kids who have been attending our activities, Chris has been feeling we must consider getting a second minivan or a 12-15 passenger vehicle. If anyone knows of one of these vehicles (in good condition) or someone who might contribute towards this need, please let us know. We have been able to put donated vehicles to good use ourselves or for families in need and we appreciate those who have been able to help support us in that way.
Thank you for your prayers and support. We hope you are enjoying your own jewels in your life of faith this month. See our Facebook page online for pictures of all the good times God has given!