Admittedly, we’ve not been the greatest at sending out the traditional new-year letter, but too much is going on to not take a little time to reflect.
The biggest thing in all of our lives is a career change that’s going to require a move. It’s a big process that has been at the front of our minds. Darrel has been a graphic designer for 15 years and Gail has been a homeschool teacher for nine years. Even so, the transition into full-time mission work seems like a very natural progression, something we can look back over our lives together and see that God has been patiently guiding us into this position with Beautiful Feet in Oklahoma City. There is a lot that needs to happen yet before we can move, but God is loving, faithful and good. We hope to be down there early this spring, as soon as funding and house sale will allow.
That’s the big picture; but in the midst of that, everyday life keeps on moving…
Darrel‘s job at Bethel College in North Newton has been a blessing. The round-trip commute is about 55 miles closer/cheaper and 45 minutes shorter. It’s still a very big challenge to fundraise and try to be of some help to Beautiful Feet while working a busy full-time job and wanting to be an attentive husband and father. I was also blessed to be able to join some friends for a weekend at a Benedictine monastery for some peace and alone-time with Jesus, which was a much-needed reprieve.
Gail has been blessed this year to have had some more time with friends – getting together for coffee, making Christmas gifts, shopping, and even an impromptu trip to Kansas City for cheesecake! The challenge for her continues to be managing the household while homeschooling and helping with our fundraising and things for Beautiful Feet. Intimate, supportive friendships are extremely important for her at a time like this!.
Noah is part of the youth ministry at our church and has enjoyed the chance to go to summer camp plus a couple trips with the group. He loves his friends and experiencing new things with his peers. He’s a young man who’s trying to find his niche in life as he matures. Parenting a teenager is both sobering and fun, humbling and an honor.
Lily got an email account and loves writing to and reading messages from some good friends who have moved away. She is also enjoying her friends nearby, one is a neighbor and another we get to see every week. Another developing friendship is happening at Beautiful Feet, so even though she’s very sad about leaving Kansas, she’s excited about what Oklahoma holds for her.
Jude seems to see the world from a social perspective. He’s learning about friendship, family, connecting and withdrawing, conversing… keeping all of us on our toes at all times. He has really enjoyed his friendships through Sunday school, family friends and with cousins.
All of us have a similar mix of sadness at the prospect of leaving Newton and excitement as we look forward to full-time ministry with Beautiful Feet. We’re really ready to be there and to move out of this transition phase though! We go to Nomads there every year, and 2012 saw us down there a few more times for work, meetings and to help with a community Thanksgiving dinner in Valley Brook, Okla. – a community that is gradually being transformed by the power of God’s love from a place of material, social, spiritual and moral poverty into a community where you can find love, help, understanding, forgiveness, healing and family. Add to that the fact that our position has been vacant at Beautiful Feet for some time now, and we’re really feeling the urgency!
That’s a little glimpse into what’s been going on. Be on the lookout for more news from us in the new year – we are asking for and expecting great things from God this year and we’d love to share it with you as we go.
Have a wonderful new year!