Dear Friends and Family,
I just went to our website to see when the last update was. January! Oops, sorry we have been negligent in keeping in touch. I will just touch briefly on some of the highlights from the last few months.
In January, friends treated us to a Sight and Sound show. For those who don’t know what that is, it is a play but way more than a play. There are several moving sets, live animals and screens that surround the audience. It was amazing. We saw “Moses”. One of the things I love about these shows is that it reminds us the people in the Bible were just that, real people with emotions…all kinds of emotions and reactions. Also in January we went to the PA Farm Show.
In February, we went to a Superbowl Party with a group of friends from church, many of whom we have been worshiping with since before we were married. Also that month, Rachel and Drew participated in a talent night for Hershey Christian School. Rachel played a song on the piano and did a choreography routine with 3 of her classmates. Drew was part of a neat song/routine with his 5th grade class. We also celebrated Drew’s 11th birthday surrounded by friends and family. The day included the usual gifts and cake as well as lots of fun playing in the snow!
In March, my mom came up for a couple of weeks and we traveled with another family from church/school/life group to Kentucky to visit the Creation Museum. It was neat to connect with folks from the past (a man who was in my parent’s dorm at R.V.A. when he was in 6th grade and a couple with whom we also have connections through the missions community) who gave us a special tour of the warehouse and ark site. It was an amazing week and a good reminder to always start with God’s Word–the Truth! We also visited with great friends on the way home in western Maryland. We thought we were done with snow at this point, but no, it was a snowy drive home that day! The kids were so excited at the beginning of winter but were tired of cold and snow by this time! Also in March, we celebrated our 16th anniversary and enjoyed a weekend away together while the kids stayed with Mimi and Pop Pop.
In April, we enjoyed a lamb dinner with friends as we celebrated the death and resurrection of our LORD and savior, Jesus Christ! We are overwhelmed with His love for us and His continued blessings in our lives. We enjoyed a Newsboys concert, have had several social engagements with friends and family, medical appointments and speaking opportunities. Jon has continued to work in Elizabethtown and I have continued to be involved in 2 women’s Bible studies. Our family has been so blessed to be part of a life group with 5 other families this year.
In less than six weeks, we begin our cross country trip. Please pray for us as we pack and say our good byes here in Hershey. These time of transition are always stressful and emotional. It is bitter-sweet as we are looking forward to returning to our home and work in Tanzania but know that we will be leaving loved ones behind here in the U.S. The kids are feeling it too. Please pray that we will show grace and love to one another and that we will know God’s peace during this time. Jon’s last day of work is May 27th. The kids finish school on June 5th. We will leave our home here in Hummelstown on that afternoon, go Jon’s parent’s house for the weekend and begin our travels on Monday, June 8th. We are taking a southern route out to California, traveling up to Oregon and taking a zig-zaggy northern route back to the east coast. We will end up in West Virginia for a week with Jon’s extended family and then head down to Florida for a week with my mom. From there we will return to PA via our mission headquarters near Atlanta, GA. We will have about a week before departing the U.S. on August 10th. We will send out more details about our trip in the near future.
We thank our God every time we remember you. Thank you for your love, support, prayers and friendship! We have been blessed to have reconnected with many old friends this year and we have made new friends too.
May the LORD bless you and keep you until we meet again,
Melissa for all