Friday, 25 December 2009

A Lovely Day




Hello,

We truly had a lovely Christmas day. The sun was out all day save a short sleet shower in the afternoon. We opened the presents this morning except for the one the kids talked Dad into opening on Christmas Eve. Turns out they each opened a box of chocolate that they felt no obligation to share. Thanks to our home church and some other churches sending gifts this year, we had a good number to open. Then it was a quick cleanup of the house while Kent went to pickup the Dudleys for Christmas Dinner. Turkey, a roast joint, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, carrots and broccoli were on the menu. We opened our Christmas cracker and wore our hats. For dessert it was a traditional English Christmas Pudding, apple pie or a slice of lemon cake. We retired to the lounge with a cup of tea and ended up singing Christmas carols for a bit. It was very interesting to hear how the observance of Christmas has changed in the lifetime of the Dudleys. They spoke of how it was a fortunate family that even had a special Christmas dinner when they were children.

We then spent the rest of the day eating whatever we could find and we found alot. Now time to recover slightly as we celebrate Andrea's birthday tomorrow.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Blessings




Hello,

What a time of year. There is so much scurrying about and spending and events that even when you try to remain focused on the true meaning of Christmas, it is very hard to do so. However, hard does not equate to shouldn't.

We have truly seen God's blessing already in this holiday season.
A lady who got saved some time back was in church Sunday morning for the first time in probably a year. We had 22 for our carol service in the PM. This included 8 first time visitors of which 4 were teens that walked in off the street. They stayed the entire service and even for the snacks after. They heard a clear presentation of the Gospel and so we consider that a fair trade. Our home church sent us 5 boxes of goodies and presents. We have started to enjoy the goodies but are making the kids wait to open the presents. We may let them open them on Christmas Eve. Kent's dad had an operation last week and is recovering well and all our parents seem to be doing fine health wise. We truly could go on and on but suffice it so say, we have been blessed beyond measure and are grateful to God for all He has done in our lives.

May you enjoy the Christmas season as well!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

A Snowy Candy Cane Day








Hello,
Today was our annual candy cane handout. We have been handing out candy canes with a church invite for each of the last 7 years. Usually we buy about 1,000-1,500 canes and depending on the crowd in town takes about 1 hour to give them all away. We had no sooner started today when it began to snow. The rest of England got hit with snow on Friday but Cornwall had remained cold and sunny. We also had two ladies from the church come and help us out and that was a blessing.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Not Possible

Hello,

You can always dismiss one instance as an anomaly but two instances tend to show a trend. When Austin turned 18 we merely dismissed it mentally as not really happening. However, when Ben turned 18 yesterday we had to face the reality that somehow our children have aged and yet we have not.

Please do not burst our bubble.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Boy, Are We In Trouble!





Hello,

Sorry for the lag in posts but we have been away for 10 days. Each year a supporting church in Germany hosts a Christmas banquet for missionaries. If you can make it there, they will feed you and provide accommodations for the weekend. We have tried to go each year and make this our family vacation time. Since we are already in Germany, we try to show the kids a part of Europe they have yet to see.

We left on Thursday(Dec 3rd) after Austin got off work and drove to Dover to spend the night. Up at 4:00AM to catch the 5:55AM ferry to Calais and then spent the day driving to Mannheim, Germany. Arrived in time to check in, shower and change into our dress duds. Andrea had found a dress on a sale rack this summer and thought Kent needed a dinner jacket to match it. A thorough search of Ebay and we found one for 1 pound. It cost more to have it cleaned than to buy it. Friday was the banquet, Saturday was breakfast and then two preaching services. Lunch was the highlight for any trip we take to Germany, Taco Bell. The church is right next to a US military base and they have a TB and also Mountain Dew. The kids could stay there and be happy. Off to the Christmas Market for the afternoon and then dinner out. Because alot of missionaries have younger kids, we always offer our kids as babysitters for the evening and then just us adults can go out and visit. Makes for a nice evening. Sunday was church there in Mannheim and then Monday we took off for Bavaria. We took the kids to Rothenburg which is a walled medieval city that is quite lovely all decorated for Christmas. We then headed south to the ton of Fussen. This is where Ludwig II built his castle, Neuschwanstein. This is the castle that Walt Disney based his castles on. While the kids (17 and under are free..woohoo!!) took a tour of Neuschwanstein, Andrea and Kent toured Hohenschwangau which was the summer castle of Ludwig's parents. A quick detour into Austria for lunch and then it was off to Prague. This all sounds quite far but Europe is not really that big of a place. We spent a few days in Prague and Kent preached for a missionary there on Wednesday night. You want to visit a hard field? Go to the Czech Republic. Praise God for faithful missionaries who go to places like Prague.

Now comes the hard part....getting home. Back in the day....we used to travel 600, 700, 800 miles in a day and walk away just fine. Just another day in the life of a missionary on deputation. We left Prague at 7:15AM on Friday and drove 630 miles to just outside Paris to spend the night. We were shattered. Then we got up Saturday morning and headed for Calais to catch the ferry. The Lord blessed and we made good time and got home by 7:00PM Saturday evening. Shattered. No desire to go anywhere for a bit. It will be tough whenever we go to the States to do a furlough.

It was a great time as a family and possibly our last trip with everyone. Austin and Ben will be heading back to the States in 2010 and who knows what God has in store for them.