Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone

To all those who didn't get our email, we post our Christmas letter here.
I hope this finds you all enjoying this wonderful time of the year. It has been a terrific year, filled with new adventures and new trials and new discoveries about the grace of God, and how sufficient it is to meet our every need. In Christ, we have received every spiritual blessing we need to love and live for Him every day of the year.
As many of you know, we have been blessed with Victoria , who is now 22 months old. She had an interesting first birthday as she spent it in the ICU ward of Gillette children's hospital in St. Paul Mn. She was so very sick with so much wrong with her, that we were sure that the Lord was going to take her home to be with Him. We all went down and stayed  at a friends place for one week, then Bruce had to get back to work, so left Linda there with her for another month.  The longest we had ever been apart, and we missed them so much…but God’s grace and presence proved to be all that we  and they needed. Though I would be the first to admit that there was much wrestling with God in prayer about what He was doing.  After many trips down (and flying Linda home one weekend as a surprise for the children and a balm for myself) Victoria slowly got better. The three operations helped (for the shunt and to put in a G-tube for feeding), and we are now enjoying her at home. There are still many trials in taking care of her, but blessing and joy too.
For most of the year, Bruce was on 32 hour work weeks, but God’s grace helps us to live within our means and we are blessed to have all that we have need of.  He is pursuing another job about 1.5 hrs from here, and we are just waiting for the house to sell before we move there…Lord willing of course.  He was able to fly to Toronto for a nephew’s wedding and got to see all his family for the first time in 5 years, such sweet memories.
Linda still keeps busy as family accountant, mother, wife, nurse, pyschologist, counselor, entrepreneur, full of good works for neighbors and widows, gardener, teacher, and so much more. What a wonderful domestic engineer she is.  She had many wonderful opportunities to share Christ with others during her stay in the hospital.
Benjamin 22 still lives on his own in Thief  River Falls and is enjoying his job as training supervisor with Digi Key.  He has just joined the Army National Guard, and as I write is at his first training weekend. Please pray that God would guide and sustain this godly young man.
Reuben 19 lives a little further away….like, the far east in Nantou ,Taiwan. We all spent a wonderful week away camping with all the family in Aug. and then said our goodbyes. He is teaching English there for the year, all paid for by the Taiwanese gov’t. To say the least, he is loving it. He has 6 different schools he goes to every week, along with work on  Sat . in an orphanage. He is there with a team of 40 young people, though lives with only 7 of them at one of the schools. Please pray for his health, spiritual growth, safety, a burden for the lost there, and for the gift of tongues, that he would be able to learn the Chinese language. We miss him so much, but are thankful for Skype and FB and email.
Elizabeth is 17 and will be graduating next year, so would appreciate prayer for God’s will for what she should do next.
I could write about all the other little (and not so little ones) children, but this letter would get quite lengthy . Rachel is 15,and along with Elizabeth, are mother's great helpers. Matthew 13, is growing tall, and loves to drive....not yet sonny boy, need more practice :)) Caleb 11,is full of life...and a little mischievous? at times .  Marie 9,loves to read and quote from videos..please, no more UP Joanna 6, is quiet, shy reserved, and then wakes up. And Esther is 4 and comes up with just the greatest one liners. Do you know she is faster than snow?  If you would like to see a few pictures of all of us, here is a link that you can go to.  We are so blessed to have so many young disciples to train up for Christ. Thank you for praying for us as a family, we are blessed.
We are so far from being what we ought to be in Christ, but little by little , here a little , there a little we are changing into the image of Christ in practice what we are already in position with Him.  At this Christmas season, and always, may you hold tight to Him in trials and joy, sorrow and good times…He is coming again soon .
With much love , prayers and blessings , Bruce, Linda and family

""God has a reason for everything He does. You may not understand why he leads you now in this way and now in that, but you may, nay you must believe that perfection is stamped on His every act." E. Prentiss

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