Happy Christmas to you (in Irish). I took this picture on Grafton Street in Dublin on our first trip to Ireland in December 2015.
Like many of you, this has been a challenging year. This year has been a year of goodbyes and new things. Hence, the title of my 2023 year-end newsletter.
In February, my father went to be with Jesus. For those who may not know, my mom died in January 2022. In May, per my parent's request, we had a private inurnment ceremony and laid both to rest at Lindenwood Cemetery in my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Throughout the rest of this year, time was spent wrapping up details with closing out of their estate and other things that come when we lose our parents. Many of you know exactly what I am talking about. It still seems surreal that I have come to the end of this chapter of my life. The Lord has taught me so much about myself, others, and Himself during this long journey. And because of that, my walk with Jesus has grown more dear and sweeter to me than I could have ever imagined. He truly is my only Sustainer and Refuge.
We said goodbye to Houston, Texas, where we have lived since the summer of 2018. Tony accepted a position as Lead Pastor at Little Rock Church, so we now call Arkansas home. While we have only been here about three months, we love our new church and being closer to Tony’s family who live in Tulsa. But we also love the abundance of hiking/biking trails and easy access to the arts. We are so thankful for this new beginning that the Lord has so graciously given us.
On New Year’s Day 2022, during my devotional time, I read Isaiah 43:18-19:
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it: I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Since that day, this Scripture seems to come up all the time. Don’t you love when God does that? He was certainly preparing me for the new things He had in store.
Next year is already looking like it could be quite full of trips. Of course, we all know things change quickly, especially when it comes to international travel.
Ministry prayer requests:
I will be sharing about my ministry in January with a group from my church
South Africa mission trip March 7-17
A possible vision trip to Spain in April
An e3 conference in either Plano or Nashville in April
Greece mission trip May 9-18
Ireland mission trip June 19-26
Two more possible trips to Ireland that are in the planning stages for next autumn
Personal prayer requests:
For Tony and me to continue to settle into life in Little Rock. But also, to find a house/condo. We are currently looking.
There are a few opportunities for me to serve/volunteer here locally. Please pray for wisdom and discernment. All three opportunities are exciting and good, but I only want to serve where the Lord wants me.
For safety as we travel to spend Christmas with Tony’s family in Tulsa
As we say goodbye to 2023 and look forward to new things in 2024, I want to again say thank you. I love what I do, and because of your partnership in praying for me and partnering with me financially either monthly or by your one-time gifts, I can continue serving with e3 in the role God called me to almost 18 years ago.
May our Lord Jesus Christ fill your hearts this Christmas Season.