May God bless you in every way, and hello! Time for a newsy letter.
We are settling into life here in Hastings, NE. It's been a joy getting to know the fine people at the 1st Baptist church where we'll be for the next year. In the challenging adjustments to a more traditional lifestyle, we are sooo thankful for the hand of God in our daily steps, the comfort of His presence and the joy of serving Him!
ANSWERS TO YOUR PRAYERS:
Bethlehem and Jeremiah got in on the last five weeks of school in Adams County before summer break. With a lot of rural families, along with their cousins and a great staff, they have felt well-accepted. Culture shock and some curriculum differences were challenging. Beth has enjoyed softball this summer, Jeremiah plays a lot of tunes on his harmonica, and Ember is learning to read with mommy and dancing at home to lots of worshipful songs. We've enjoyed the tire swing and hammock which hang from our wonderful big shade tree next to our bus.
Relationships with those in the church are beginning to grow, and some new people are also trickling in. It's taking more time than usual to get to know everyone, as we settle our family into a routine that is more office/pastoral... (a lot of changes from our typical missionary lifestyle!) God has helped us build some roots with the church, nonetheless. We're glad that the staff at the church values good communication. We love the people already, and so far we feel very well-received.
Dallas gets to preach on a much more regular basis, which is GREAT! Also, he just finished a weekend of outreach in which our church was part of a “history trail” at the Cottonwood Festival... one of the annual celebrations in town. Several people from church joined him, and they so enjoyed talking with people in the community.
Dallas has worked a lot of hours preparing for church outreach, marketing, sermons and worship. Click on the article at the top of this page to read a write-up about us in the local newspaper. God is giving him favor in the community, and several businesses partnered with our church for the last outreach. This summer the youth group is not meeting... please pray for a volunteer or two to join leading in the fall. He has a great group of people on the outreach team! Praise the Lord!
Dallas would like our church to partner with the public schools in the area, to provide services to them as an outreach, such as tutoring, clean-up, etc. He's met with one high school representative already who is excited about the prospect. He hopes to meet with more in the fall... pray as God leads you!
We have met some people through Crossroads Ministry to the homeless, etc. Please pray that we will have wisdom and also fun in reaching out to them on a continual basis.
The CD “Homespun” was mixed and ready for mastering (the final step before manufacturing) several weeks ago. However, there were some technical/artistic issues at the mastering studio which backed up the time-line. Our producer Dave came to the rescue and mastered the project marvelously! We just received the master today in the mail, and will soon send it on to production. “Homespun” will be available in about a month!!! Praise God with us that we will not be in debt for this project!
Another provision praise.... the former pastor of our church offered us a rental that he keeps in town. Staying at this house will save us money and also give us a little more space for awhile. This is not something we sought out, and we will miss our bus... but it's been three years in a small space, and the break will be fun. Thank you, Lord! Pray that this transition will be smooth and emotionally/mentally sound.
Thank you for reading, and for praying!!! Dallas and I look forward to some time away celebrating our 13th anniversary, and a week's vacation with our whole family in July. Hope you all are receiving the Lord's leading “by quiet waters and lying down in green pastures, restoring your soul!” Even in the midst of seeming chaos, He is the gentle Shepherd, and Jehovah Rapha, our Healer.