December 2016


2016. A year of great contrasts. Three precious babies born to close friends; eight friends, neighbors or parents of friends “graduated” from Earth, including Donna’s dad – missed dearly by us still earthbound but promoted to Heaven (itself a contrast!).

The girls, too: greater pride and joys along with ever-changing challenges, as I’m sure all you parents know!

Zoe (7) just started piano and is already on her second book.

Matti (4) bounces more than walks and hides how much she can really read.

Gwendi (2) counts to 17, runs, jumps and climbs, and constantly tells you all about it.

And now for the big news: For the first time in seven years, we DIDN’T move this summer and therefore we still say,

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR from southern New Mexico…for now… 🙂

No, Slick didn’t really dress up as Santa. And Santa was a bit too much for Gwendi…

All the best to all of you and yours.

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After six years at a small church in Oklahoma, our friends M and A sensed God leading them to leave their pastorate and return to her childhood home in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Upon arrival back home, he took a secular job while she transitioned from homeschooling their four small children to teaching a second grade class of six. Six girls, of which Zoe is one. Surrounded by family and friends, they began to rest and recover from the intricacies of ministry. God, however, had other plans.

It seems he had deliberately placed them here at this time. In October, doctors discovered breast cancer in A. that had already moved into several lymph nodes. When we visited with them around our kitchen table just after the diagnosis, it seemed clear that God had arranged all this in His perfect timing and plan. Unlike the military folks here who have no family nearby, this family is virtually incubated by family and long time friends.

It will be next spring before we know whether the chemo will extend A’s life, and doctors say the chances are good, but for now we reflect that God’s timing and direction have already proven perfect and that following Him closely is well worth the risk. We look forward to the rest of the story and pray daily that God would comfort them all and make the chemo work.

Speaking of cancer, it seems very prevalent in our sphere of live these days. It is huge and life-threatening, but not without eternal lessons and practical encouragement. Our friend Howie, who succumbed to cancer two months ago, left behind some excellent mini-allegories – about termites of all things! (read them here)

Happy belated Thanksgiving and thank you for praying with us along the journey.

Hiking at Three Rivers Petroglyphs in front of Sierra Blanca (the peak behind us, 12,000ish feet tall)