Gosh, 40 seemed to go quick. Now with only four days left of my 40th year I'll try to highlight the last year with some of my fondest memories. Maybe in my next blog post I'll talk about our struggles and then the one after that I hope to share our goals for 2012 and what we hope God will accomplish through us.
So, let's see - last November 17th I was in Georgia. Alan and I came home in early November to raise our final support for our first year in Germany and fun memories from that trip were going to a GA game with Alan, my dad and Uncle Ron, picking Charlotte up from school and she was dressed like a Pilgrim (sooo cute!), going hiking in South Carolina, seeing Lily Kate be dedicated at church and our wonderful Thanksgiving trip to Walt Disney World with the family.
In December we got to hang out with some old friends at Christine's open house at Madison markets (Joe, Leigh, KB, Katie, Matt, Mel). My Uncle Ed also came for a visit which was great. I love this man and his sweet family so much. I only wish they lived closer!!
My dad was trying to sell his boat that month I remember and Alan had a battle with a duck for fishing rights on the dock of the condo. Christmas was great, as usual. Announcing that Christine and I were both having girls and Chloe Lee was to be the name of our baby was special for me and my parents I think. Fun memories.
In January we moved to Germany and started getting everything setup for our ministry here with Pioneers. In February we went on a retreat to Garmisch with our church called Victory International. March and April were all about learning German at the Vochochschule and the many friends we made in the process from all OVER the world!
May was about Chloe and June and July and well every month pretty much since! :) Late July though we got to go to England to see Alans family and our church family there. That was neat. In September it was back to school for Mary and Alan kept plugging away helping to renovate the buildingsat the CVJM. He also got involved ministering to young German school children with a couple of ladies from the CVJM. He plays music and plays with the children and He really enjoys the experience.
October was about starting a new college ministry at our church called Worldviews and handing out flyers with gummy bears attached to students at the University of Heidelberg. We had completed a survey analyzing spiritual needs a few months prior and the results of that survey are in a blog post from October I believe.
And now it's November. Work at the CVJM continues. We go to church there every other Sunday night which although 100% in German, is a blessing to us. Work with University students is also going well. We just had a hamburger social at our house and had a great time. I just love throwing parties and investing in the lives of young people. We have quite a few in the 18-30 age group at Victory so getting to know them better through monthly socials is the plan for now and then we'll see where God leads after that.
Looking forward, Alan and I continue to make plans for missions teams to come and work alongside us next summer. We hope to welcome students from the US, the UK and Croatia. Wouldn't that be awesome if it worked out? But God is in control so whatever He wants is just fine by us.
Well that's about it! My 40th year in a nutshell. Not too bad when I think about it. We moved to a new country, started a new ministry, had our first daughter and spent wonderful quality time with family and friends, Christian brothers and sisters and people representing every worldview imaginable. God did a lot through us and in us and although it was one of the most difficult and challenging years of our lives, it was definitely worth it. Praise God for His eternal faithfulness and love.