We are still here! The world hasn't ended, as predicted, but many things have changed! How comforting to know that God is changeless and his faithfulness is great.
Russell will be changing jobs. Since finding out that his position as Stewardship Coordinator was being eliminated, he made the difficult decision to resign also from his position as Area Director for Africa/Europe with ACGC. For many reasons he has decided to try to find work in this area, and didn't feel he would be able to find a job that would allow for the kind of dedication that position requires. He also has been working with his brother, Ernest, to plant a new church in Big Lake Township and committed to be involved with that just before we learned of his job loss. So he's been back to school at Northeast Technical Institute and is waiting to take his final test to get his commercial driver's license. He's had many opportunities to share his faith with his classmates and has found this to be a great blessing. He did travel to Africa in May and had his best trip in seven years; productive, inspiring and instructive.
I published a new book in October called Light Over Water. My sister Sandy helped me with the cover design and it's available in both paperback and electronic form. I have previous blogs with links for both. About a year ago I finished writing my third book which was finalist in the Women of God Novel contest. I'm not sure how this book will be published but I'm hoping for a new venue in the new year. I've continued to work at Faith Family Health Care. The majority of my work there involves insurance and billing and I love my co-workers and my job. Since Barbie, my cohort, has semi-retired, I'm actually working four days per week now and have taken on some of her responsibilities too.
Peter has had a tough year with disappointments at two schools he tried to transfer too. You may recall that just before Christmas last year he was moving to Michigan to go to school at University of Michigan. They have a renowned business school. His understanding when he went was that by going for a semester in the regular classes he stood a better chance of being accepted into the business school. They decided to wait until he had transferred and was registering for classes to inform him that NO transfer student had ever been accepted into the business school. Probably they were hoping he'd decide since he was there to enroll anyway. But he didn't. We're thankful for two kind uncles in the area who helped him through Christmas and get back home! Then he was accepted at New York University provisional to passing one class he needed. He went to New York City in the summer to take that class and didn't pass it. So he's taking a break from school. Actually he went to Northeast Technical School with Russell and is also working on getting his CDL. His plan is to work for a couple of years to pay off his accumulated school debts, then resume his education.
Emily and Chris lived with us for awhile this year while they were trying to find more permanent housing. Several leads fell through, which was the Lord's protection - we know now! They are renting the home right next to Emily's new place of work and continue to enjoy their life together. She began working at Murray LaPlant & Sons, a trucking and logging company,in July and enjoys her position there. They just learned that Chris needs some dental work done that will be pretty costly, so they're thankful that they're not trying to pay a mortgage and other housing expenses right now!
Ryan and their family visited in September and we had a lovely long visit with them. We enjoyed the lake together with fishing, canoeing and campfires. We played a lot of badminton and the girls and I worked on their sewing projects when I could get them to sit still long enough. They are all doing well in home school. Ryan has a permanent shift at his armed security job. He and Crystal are both going to school; Ryan is working on a master's of divinity and Crystal continuing her EMT training.
Russell's mother, Joyce, also lived with us for some time in the spring after she broke her foot in a fall at her home in Florida. We learned a month later that she also suffered a subdural hematoma in that fall. She was hospitalized a couple of times but has fully recovered and is back in Florida.
Campmeeting this year was busy and happy with twenty-nine campers and more than twenty-two members of a work team that came from Stroudwater Christian Church to accomplish a work project in conjunction with campmeeting. With the staff included, my sister Lois, brother Tim and I fed over eighty people each meal. The work was finished, the campers enjoyed a great week and in November the tabernacle got a new roof - so great work was accomplished by the Lord's mercy!
As we look forward to new things in the new year, our prayer is that you will see the hand of God in your life: his faithfulness, his mercy and grace. We're so grateful for where we are and what he allows us to do here.
Love from Noelle and Russell