Happy Thanksgiving!

This month has been busy, as usual in our family of 14!  Seems like we just wrote an update yesterday, but looking back - November is gone already and I sit here now trying to recall what exactly we have done all month long.

The most immediate memory is of our Thanksgiving Day celebration with other American families here in the area (we gathered on Saturday the 29th - I think there were 38 of us in all).  We gathered together as brothers and sisters and shared a great meal as the children played together before a movie finally settled them into "the quiet zone".  We miss our family very much, but this holiday gathering was a great encouragement from God as he provides for us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  It was  great to have a chance to Skype with Grammy, Papa, and Katy.   It takes a while to work our way through all the kiddos getting a chance to say hi, but we are glad for the internet and other technologies that help close the distance gap.








Jeff turned 39 this month and we enjoyed a nice celebration together with the family.  It was on Thanksgiving Day this year, and Gracie prepared the traditional Cracker Barrel type breakfast for us all.  We went to the outdoor market and discovered that lamb is the same price as pork!  This is a great thing to know - because we much prefer to eat lamb over pork.  Amy prepared it beautifully and the kids got us tickets to a play at the theater downtown.  Amy and I didn't understand every detail, but with the words we could pick out and the acting on the stage we were able to follow along well enough to get the main idea of the musical.  It was a fun night out together.

We are excited to have finally visited the church plant in our village.  It is a plant from the larger Baptist church in the city and has a small group of regular attenders.  Our family literally doubled the church attendance numbers upon arrival!  They have ministry plans to reach the 8,000 people in our village with the gospel of course and Amy and I both felt the Holy Spirit encourage us to participate in this ministry.  After all we live in Zelenovka and want to form relationships and share the truth in the environment that we live.  The most likely group of people that would come to any Bible study or small group we would host will be people in our own village that can easily come and go each week.

We are not changing churches, our children will still go to the youth events on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, and we will continue to worship with brothers and sisters in our home church every other Sunday - but think that God is calling us to participate in the church plant and evangelism efforts going on in our own back yard so to speak.

Finally, we received the first snow/ice of the season.  Temperatures were down to 11 F last night, and we have had a layer of snow and ice for 4 days now.  It's pretty, but lots of car wrecks and people falling as they try to walk down the sidewalks.  Jeff has taken 2 spills and Anna hit the deck once.  They don't do any sidewalk or road clearing around here (except perhaps 1 or 2 main roads).  A pulley seized up on our van, so Jeff, Alex, and Anna had to go track down a new pulley and engine belt to get the van back on its feet.  They have a new appreciation for the van!  Waiting outside for buses to come and walking around town from place to place is a lot harder in freezing temps and layers of ice.  The pulley and belt were replaced yesterday and we are thankful for a vehicle.







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