Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Recent Newsletter

I hope you are all enjoying the anticipation of Christmas! After spending four winters in Michigan, I am trying to adjust to the holiday season minus the snow. I am grateful for the sunny skies of California, but I have to say that there is definitely something magical about a white Christmas. :)

To back up a little, as I mentioned above, I am living in California. After spending most of the summer with my parents in Texas, I drove here to Atascadero, California, around the beginning of August. My mom accompanied me, and I was very grateful to have her with me, especially when we blew a tire just outside Phoenix! By God’s grace, we just happened to be quite close to the home of some friends, Dave and Peggy Coots. Thanks to their hospitality, we were able to get the van fixed and back on the road the next day. Just another story to add to the “Adventures in Esther’s Van” book! More on that later…

Here in Atascadero, God provided me with a room in a family’s house and two jobs: working for one of the church elders in his business office in the mornings and working in the church office in the afternoons. Being in the church office has really helped me get to know the staff and different members of the congregation. I am also involved in choir, our Christmas musical, the missions team, and a home group Bible study.

Moving to a new place is always difficult, and I have struggled these past few months. However, God has been SO faithful! He has used many people here to encourage me and to provide for me. I have formed a friendship with a very special lady who has an amazing heart for prayer and giving. Through her, God provided me with a new computer. In addition, to add to the continuing saga, my van has needed several repairs, and she has been right there through it all! God truly is Jehovah Jireh, my provider.

I know I have shared with you all the possibility of a trip to Italy. I am excited to say that a few days ago I finally bought my ticket! The goal of my trip is to meet the New Tribes Mission Italia team and to see firsthand the ministry they are doing. I am praying about continuing the training and joining New Tribes Mission, and Italy is one of the fields I am considering. My trip will begin with four days in Holland, where I will visit a Dutch girl whom I met and became friends with in Malaysia earlier this year.

Once again, I ask you all to pray for me during this journey, specifically from January 10 to January 31. Please pray for safety and good health, but most of all, please pray that God will use this trip to direct my steps for the future.

I hope you all have a blessed Christmas with your families and friends. In the midst of the frenzy, let us remember that we enjoy a relationship with our Heavenly Father all because a little baby was born in Bethlehem so many years ago!