Saturday, February 18, 2017

February Newsletter

From Laura, 18 … Over the past few weeks, I have enjoyed experiencing some of my first tastes of independence.  I turned eighteen recently and earned my driver’s license just a week before that!  I was permitted to drive independently to a couple of places even before I turned 18.  Oh, the thrill!  I'm sure the novelty will wear off eventually, but right now it's all new to me.

In addition to the independence, I have also, for the first time, experienced some "only-child-ness".  Just after Christmas Seth and Becca (note: my only single siblings left) went to Indiana for a missions conference for a week.  I was very aware of the fact that I was the only one home with my parents.  Now, with Becca in Costa Rica for a lengthy period of time, I'm having similar sentiments.  While I'm not the only one home, it's still a foreign feeling to be the only daughter and have a large bedroom to myself.  I really don't mind it, but I do miss Becca's company.

From Becca, 20 … I have been in Costa Rica for three weeks, staying with friends.  I'm trying to think how to squeeze all the wonderful experiences I've had into one paragraph.  I give up—I'll just tell you some of my favorite things.  Most of all, I love my friends here.  They are full of joy and passionate about sharing the gospel.  Their sweet grandparents and all the church members are so loving and welcoming.  I know enough Spanish now (thanks to my ever-patient teachers) to be able to usually catch the drift of the conversation.  I love the laid-back culture here in Miramar where people sit on porches, eat abundantly, and honk at friends.  And I love the astounding beauty here.  The sunset in the mountains took my breath away, with all the layers of green mountains bathed in golden light and the shimmering blue sea beyond.

From Seth, 23 … Over the winter break Becca and I took a road trip to Indianapolis to volunteer at a missions conference.  It was a great trip... wonderful fellowship with friends along the way, and inspiring, Christ-centered preaching at the conference.  The refrain throughout the conference was that "Jesus is worth it".  Because Jesus is worthy, we strive to serve sacrificially, pray expectantly, battle our sin, love our churches, take risks for the gospel, and make disciples.

From Michael, Anna, and baby … We’ve enjoyed several opportunities recently to have other people in our home.  Hospitality is something we talked about quite a bit before we got married and which is important to both of us, so it is exciting to see that aspect of our life together starting to take shape.  

Speaking of life together, this week is the one-year anniversary of when we officially started our relationship!  It’s been such a joy-filled journey.  We’re grateful for the solid foundation that we’ve been able to build over this past year, and for the ways that we continue to get to know each other in deeper ways.

The pregnancy continues to go well!  We had our second trimester ultrasound a couple of weeks ago.  Everything looked good, and it was so sweet to get to see the baby moving around and count fingers and toes.  We’ve decided to wait until the birth to find out the gender, so no big reveal yet!  

From John, Megan, James (4), Ezra (3), Joy (1), and baby … (by Judith) John and Megan learned that the baby coming in late May is … a girl!  Mother and baby girl are continuing to do well.

John’s new job with the locksmith company has been a good fit.  They recently offered him a full-time job which began this week.  He still has remodeling projects to finish up on his Saturdays.

John and Megan had the excitement of a trip to Canada last week for Megan to be in a friend’s wedding.  It was Megan’s first time out of the United States.  They left the children with us for the 4-day trip.  It was the longest they have been away from each other, so it was quite the happy reunion when John and Megan arrived back!  The children really did very well.  A few video calls perhaps helped with that!

From Ray, Katie, Peter (7), Samuel (5), Andrew (4), Grace (2), and Benjamin (10 months) … Our two oldest enjoyed singing in church with a children’s choir at Christmas time.  They still march around the house singing “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”  Samuel started kindergarten, and is doing well so far.  I’ve found, though, that he’s going to be the kind of student who gets a picture of a mailbox and, instead of telling me what sound it starts with, laughs for five minutes because when he holds it upside-down it looks like a tree in a bathtub.  Benjamin is as happy and chubby as ever.  He’s starting to try solid foods, trying to stand up and walk around the furniture, and getting some curls that are too cute to cut off.  As for the others, Peter is becoming unbeatable at Monopoly, Andrew wants to wear his new dinosaur pajamas all the time, and Grace wants to do everything herself, including get in and out of her crib. Never a dull moment around here!

From Judith … At the beginning of January, we took in a needy 30-year-old woman.  A few other times in our married life, as the Lord led, we engaged in opening up our home.  In Ft. Collins a friend came to live with us for some months as we explored Christian community.  In Glenrock, Wyoming, we had a foster daughter for about four months.  Now God has brought into our lives another live-in situation.  Our new friend is very hungry for the things of the Lord.  She is reading the Bible every day and is often amazed at what she is finding there!  She willingly shares in our family worship each morning and evening and attends church with us.  Along with discipling her in the Christian faith, we are also mentoring her in her life skills.  We’re beginning to explore with her what her future path will be.  For now, she is contributing to the work here and voluntarily submitting to the rules of our home.

From Gerald … Our church is doing a 12-week Bible study titled “Behold Your God.”  We are in the third week now.  It is an excellent study.  There is a workbook with daily lessons to complete at home and then a video lesson with discussion on Wednesdays at the church.  The theme (at least so far) is getting to know God, as opposed to just knowing about him.  It is exciting to see many of the church members participating.  

With love from the Pedersen clan