Friday, June 10, 2016

June Newsletter

June 4, 2016 -- Pedersen Family Newsletter

From Laura, 17 … In April we had the pleasure of hosting a lovely little family from Costa Rica in our home for a week!  Our Spanish got a strenuous workout, which was great.  They knew a fair bit of English too, so communications went all right.  It was so encouraging to meet people from a country, language, and culture so different from ours, yet to have them be such dear brothers and sisters in the Lord.  Fellowship in Christ so easily crosses borders!

From Becca, 19 … Many exciting things have happened lately.  We had a wonderful time with our Costa Rican friends in early April.  I just got my passport this month, and I can’t wait to travel the world!  Benjamin, my fellow fifth-born and “B” Buddy, was born the day after our guests left and the day before the first storm that flooded Houston.  Laura and I had fun riding the bus with Seth down to Rice University one day.  He showed us his laboratory, his tiny office, and the stately campus.  We also visited the sky lobby of the Chase tower, the courthouse, the art museum, and the monster in the bayou.  Anna and Michael got engaged, which has generated a flood of wedding planning and a confusing mixture of emotions for some of us.  I finally figured out how to make really yummy crusty bread (without destroying the oven!) and I got a bunch of new customers at a church event.  

From Seth, 23 … I recently had the opportunity to go to a conference in Bellevue, Washington, on the topic of membrane science and technology.  It was a good time of learning about membrane research and meeting fellow "membranologists".

Since I was there over a weekend, I also visited two churches near Bellevue.  It's such a blessing to fellowship with my brothers and sisters and to sit under the preaching of God's word.  Later that week, a brother I met at church took me with him while he shared the gospel with people waiting at the local transit center.  It was beautiful to see his gentleness and loving boldness in sharing the good news of Christ, and to see people hear this precious news for the very first time in their lives.

From Anna, 26 … It has been just over a month since I got engaged!  In some ways, it feels like the last month has flown by, but it’s also hard to believe how much has happened in such a short time.  Michael and I will be getting married in August, so there were a lot of things that we needed to at least generally plan pretty quickly.  It has been fun learning how to make decisions together and see how we each think about things as we make plans for a wedding and life together afterwards.  I’m so grateful for the ways that God has been at work to bring us together and for how our relationship has deepened over the last few weeks.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us together!

From John, Megan, James (4), Ezra (2), and Joy (10 months) … Since we last wrote, a lot has happened with our remodeling progress!  The new half of the vaulted ceiling is framed and drywalled, and the biggest news is that the wall dividing the living space from the kitchen is finally down!!  We love the open floor plan!  It's nice to be able to visit with friends or family in the living room while still working in the kitchen, and also to watch kids while doing kitchen work.

From Ray, Katie, Peter (6), Samuel (5), Andrew (3), Grace (2), and Benjamin (7 weeks) … We are enjoying our newest family member, Benjamin.  He is 7 weeks old now, and over 12 pounds.  He’s eating and sleeping well, and is such a cuddly little bundle.  All his siblings get excited about holding him, talking to him, and giving him kisses.

Ray opened a new office that is bigger, nicer, and in a better location.  It will allow him to have more face-to-face time with his agents, and will provide space for training and for agents to come work.  It’s exciting to see the business grow.

From Judith … When we moved to Texas in 1999, we committed to making the trip back to Colorado each summer to see our families.  We’ve kept it up for 17 years.  After much consideration we decided that we will skip this summer.  Yes, Anna’s upcoming wedding on August 27 is a significant factor.

It has been a particular joy to see our guest suite “working” for us.  We hired John’s company to begin the remodeling in there in March.  It was a rather undefined and poorly designed apartment when the house was built.  Some years ago, after puzzling over how to correct the space, Anna came up with the most doable solution which has now resulted in a private bedroom with a window, a small office with a window, a sitting area which opens to the kitchen (and draws light from the enlarged kitchen window), a full bathroom, and a small walk-in storage closet.  It has served our various recent guests well even though it isn’t done yet.  (John is juggling more than one project.)  The next step is flooring.  The kitchenette only has its drywall.  What has been done so far, though, is beautiful!

From Gerald … It seems like the last two months have been a whirlwind of activity for us: guests from Costa Rica for a week; Judith’s mom here for a little over a week; out-of-town trips for Seth, Ray, and Michael; a new baby; an engagement; and the various events and activities that make up our usual routine.

The heavy rainfalls this week and a month ago have caused significant flooding in Houston. Several of our friends and neighbors have had flooded houses, but our family has thankfully been spared.  There seem to be two types of flooding occurring: 1) during and immediately after the heavy, localized thunderstorms when the water cannot drain away fast enough.  This is what affected our neighborhood; our neighbors across the street flooded and water came up into our yard but did not reach the house.  This also caused some friends of ours to be flooded last week when they had nearly a foot of water flowing through their house.  2) A day or more after the rainfall, people near creeks and rivers come into danger as the accumulation of water from upstream overflows the waterways and moves into neighborhoods.  This was the cause of flooding in the homes of at least two more families in our church (water is still rising in some parts of the area).  Please be in prayer for those affected by these storms.