Thursday, December 18, 2008
I'm sorry that I haven't posted for so long... I have been busy with multiple things. I figured that I should MAKE time tonight and post our Christmas letter. (written by Dad)
Have a blessed Christmas!
Ben for the Mittons
“The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many”…Jesus.
Greetings one and all in that precious Name above all Names. The lights are up, the tree is trimmed, the snow is falling , the fire is on, the house is quiet (that is a miracle), and my dear wife wants this Christmas letter done. I hope this letter finds you all steadfast in Jesus, unswerving in your desire to please and follow Him, and unashamedly in love with the lover of our souls. I’ve been reading Life as a Vapor by John Piper (thanks Frank for introducing him to me), based on James 4:14. “whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is you life. It is even a vapor, that appeared for a little time, and then vanisheth away We appear for such a short time on this earth, just like a mist, and then we are gone. To what end???to know Christ and make Him known. To glorify Him. To enjoy Him. To live for Him. To minister, to serve, to give…just what Jesus did and does.
Looking back on the year, we have had lots of opportunities to do just that.
As you can see from the picture, the boys are growing taller not only in stature, but hopefully in wisdom and in favour with God and man , the girls more Christlike in beauty and
Character, and my wife and I,well, more in love than when we first began this adventure. All of our nine children are such a blessing dropped down from heaven . Please pray for us as we raise them for His kingdom.
Our youngest, Esther, is walking all over now , and definitely knows what she wants, and when. Her vocabulary is growing, and if ever you see her without an apple in her hand and a smile on her face, something is wrong. Marie and Joanna are such good friends, in both mischief and serving. Linda often takes them to the nursing home to visit “Katie” our 92 year old friend. (I’m not sure if they enjoy her or the candy the most) We take the services there for the month of December, and I think they just look huggable to the old folks. Linda has many opportunities with widows and elderly, and just loves to include the children in ministering
Reuben and Elizabeth both worked this summer with CEF and enjoyed the training and being able to share the gospel in 5 day clubs, helping with VBS, and the fair ministry. A highlight this summer for Reuben was his 2 week canoe trip to the boundary waters with a friend of his. The hiking, fishing ,canoeing , exploring and goofy pictures were all enjoyed, He still works at the diner (professional dishwasher), loves to skateboard (mom, don’t look at what is going on in the garage)), read books, ride horses and enjoys building forts with his brothers. Reuben also got his driving permit this year, and is looking forward to getting his license before too long. This year found Benjamin down in Texas at Alert Academy training towards law enforcement. It was stretching, challenging and really taxing physically, but worth it. He had anticipated finishing this year in the final phase, but he was postponed till next March. In the mean time, while he was home, he found time to go to Tenn. To help La Espada, a ministry that works with Spanish speaking people. He learned a lot about printing. He helped at the CEF camp, and the door also opened for him to go north of Kenora Ontario, to help at a camp for native American children. Repelling off a 160’ cliff was thrilling…well, for him anyway. (he did his repelling near where he had helped at camp ) He is working at Marvins part time as a temporary until the end of next week. The Border Patrol has its own Academy where they train their officers, so Benjamin decided not to finish his law enforcement phase down at ALERT…he was told that there would
Be a lot of overlap between the two…and the BP is hiring now. Pray for him next year, as he has applied to be a Border Patrol officer and has his first interview next month. If he gets in, it would mean a few years on the southern border, but plans on coming back up north. I suppose we will let him go…I think I miss him already. We had a banner year picking blueberries, and were able to share the location of our “secret” patch with others..what fun...Except for Marie, who panicked when she thought she was lost in the woods .Blueberry jam, muffins, sauce, coffee cake,…wow, what a treat. The Lord also blessed the garden this year with lots of produce. Elizabeth and Rachel were such good helpers. They got to help a neighbor couple by caring for their flowers this summer, and of course making them cookies…hopefully, they will come to know our Saviour. We would also “loan” them out to grandparents, and other families in the church who were sick, or needed help around the house. Funny how one minute they are girls..the next they are young ladies….its that vapor principle at work I guess. The shot gun is all loaded…just in case those boys start a calling.
We were also able to enjoy a trip to Texas this year for a family conference. The week long camping, sermons, activities for the children were really refreshing.
One of the highlights of course was seeing Benjamin.
We also camped for a weekend at the Mississippi headwaters, where we were able to take in a bluegrass music festival. Such a little stream, that travels so far to eventually empty in the Gulf of Mexico. I pray that our little stream of a family will travel far (in Christ)blessing the lives of others for generations to come. Never think that your little stream can’t make a difference. We certainly enjoyed having Bruce’s parents come out again this year for a visit. Thanks mom and dad for taking the time.
Caleb is at the stage of loosing things..namely, teeth. He is all boy. Loves to wrestle, run, and play. but has a tender little heart. Linda and I have had a good year. Linda still works at the same “job”, I guess her “boss” really likes her. I am so blessed to have such a good wife, she continues to teach me about how to reach out and touch others. I still continue on at Marvins. Interesting how even though the housing market is devastated, we still continue to have work (could be God answering prayer?) I started a new job this year as a CNC operator, running a computerized router. I am called preacher man by some…so I think that’s a good thing. We continue to help out in the church in the children’s program ( though this year we handed off leadership to another couple), on the board, preaching occasionally, leading music (they must be desperate) and loving others. In the coming year, we hope to start a discipleship program for fathers and sons, and mothers and daughters. Still in the works though. We don’t know what the new year hold for us…but we know Who holds the new year. May the Lord bless you as you live out your vapor for Christ and others.
From all 11 of us here, MERRY CHRISTMAS