What a unique year 2013 was! We had so many different experiences and enjoyed time with friends new and old across Madagascar, South Africa, and the U.S. It is such a blessing to have so many people that will always be dear to our hearts scattered throughout the world. But, it can be difficult as we miss the ones we are away from and unable to communicate with as regularly as we'd like to. We are very thankful for all the friendships God has blessed us with.
The first half of the year, we finished up our time in Madagascar. Even though there were ups and downs, we saw God faithful through it all. We led several Bible studies, and as inadequate as we felt at times doing that in Malagasy, it was such a blessing to get to encourage others and be encouraged ourselves in the Word of our Lord. It was awesome to see people motivated to grow in Him.
We were so blessed to return to the U.S. in July and see our family and some friends after not having seen most of them for nearly two years. We enjoyed two months of reconnecting with family and friends in Alabama and Texas, as well as sharing the journey we were on serving the Lord in Madagascar.
In September, we moved to Kansas City, MO, to serve at Wornall Road Baptist Church. Adam got a job working with the North American Mission Board and the church to develop a program to train interns to replant dying churches. He also is serving as associate pastor and has had plenty of opportunities to preach, which he enjoys greatly. We are so thankful to be here serving with the people of Wornall Road Baptist.
We are renting a home here in a neighborhood about 1.5 miles from the churh. It is perfect for us with a little space for visitors, a good neighborhood with two parks within walking distance, a tree we put two swings on, and enough yard for the girls to play in.
We have been very blessed with new friends here who love the Lord. We have joined a small group that we study the Word in and grow closer to each other by sharing the vulnerable parts of our lives together.
We are still homeschooling and enjoying it (most days). The girls and I (April) joined Classical Conversations, a Christian homeschool program based on the classical education model. We meet with them once a week and the girls really enjoy their classes and new friends. They are learning so much. We do this in addition to their other Math and English curriculum and read books from the library to go with the Science and History memory work. They do presentations each week on a given topic, which they've both done well in. They have also learned to play the tin whistle some as well. They did a program at Christmas and played in front of all the students and parents.
We have gotten to do many fun things since we returned to the states. The girls both learned to rollerskate and rollerblade. Corinne learned to swim well at Mimi's pool before we moved to KC. They both enjoy riding their bikes to the park nearby. We've made a few visits to the zoo, thanks to several friends with passes. We visited Kaleidescope, a free place sponsored by Hallmark where kids can make art and take it home. We have visited a couple of museums and enjoyed playing in the kids' areas. The girls are also doing a tap and ballet class together, which they really enjoy.
In mid-December, we made a short visit to Fort Worth for Adam's graduation ceremony. He finished his MDIV requirements during our time in Madagascar, but we wanted to be able to visit and have that closing moment. We really enjoyed the time there and got to see many of our friends from seminary, church, and Emma's school.
After our time in Fort Worth, we drove to Alabama, where we celebrated Christmas with our family for the first time since 2010. It was a wonderful blessing for us and we really enjoyed the time. We spent a few days with Adam's family in Foley, AL, and even got to go to the beach one day. Then, we enjoyed the rest of the time at my mom and Alex's house, seeing many family and some friends.
We are so thankful to the Lord for the many blessings he has given this year. We pray for His continued guidance in our lives and ministry, that He will use us each day for His glory and help us abide in Him and His Word continually. We continue to pray for Madagascar as all our friends there will always be dear to us. We are so thankful to have served there, but we are also thankful for this new opportunity to serve the Lord in KC.
We pray God will bless your new year and grow you closer to Him during 2014.
Here is a video of our time in Madagascar; we would love for you to watch.