Every July we take the opportunity to dedicate a full ministry update about how the family is doing. We do this because, one, many of you asked. And two, we’d prefer focusing specifically on ministry in all other letters rather than having family updates buried in them every month.
Honestly, this last year has been the most difficult season of our lives. As you know, we were displaced from December 2016 to September 2017, while we waited to close on and move into our home. While we’re thankful for the low-income program through which we were able to afford a home, unfortunately there was delay after delay.
After moving in, we were hoping it would be smooth sailing, but it wasn’t. Almost every week until December 2018, we had to call the builder to send in workers to repair things that should have been done right the first time. It was exhausting. On top of this, we were adjusting to our newborn and the boys being in a new school.
Suffice to say, it was a whirlwind.
Thankfully, though, Jesus was near to us. When it felt like it was all a mess, He was our strong and sturdy rock, reminding us that we were in His will and that He did not abandon us. This was the sweetest gift of this life season: Jesus drawing near to us.
That said, it wasn’t all dim and gloomy! We truly do feel blessed to finally own a home that we are paying the same amount toward as we previously did rent. It feels like much better stewardship. On the design end, Jenn is having a blast making the home our own for the long term, decorating with family photos and fun cozy décor! The house has slowly but surely felt like a home. We also had a truly restorative 30-day sabbatical from May 17 – June 17!
As for the kids, we’re so grateful they adjusted and are doing well!
Gianluca (turning 7 in August) has continued to mature in his self-contained class for kids on the Autism Spectrum. He has truly impressed us with the strides in socializing and conversational development he’s made! As a protective brother, he’s always asking where his little sister is. And recently he answered himself with a full sentence: “Mommy is putting Lana to sleep.” A year ago this would have been impossible for him. He still cannot have full on convos and his socializing needs work, but he has come a long way. He still loves to draw, write, climb and laugh as always. This last month he wrote 3 of his own books which were read in his class!
Gabriel (turned 5 in March) is a ball of energy. He never misses a moment to crack a joke or enjoy thecompany of family and friends. He has a huge sympathetic heart and doesn’t like to offend people. One morning I asked him whose eggs he liked better, Jenn’s or mine. His response: “Well daddy I can have your eggs one day and mommy’s eggs the next.” HA! He could not bring himself to admit which he preferred (mine of course). He’s so curious too! Always learning, he has fresh new questions about everything every day. After learning about the Civil War, he asked, “but HOW did the states decide who won after the Civil War? I mean, they can’t TALK.” He’s too much!
Lana (turning 1 on July 23) is our little lady. It has been a joy to see her mature over the last year. Her personality has really shown itself! For a few months (from her 4-8 month age) we were worried she was an extreme introvert, crying whenever anyone would LOOK at her! But sometime around 9 or 10 months, she just grew out of that and blossomed. She loves people. She loves playing with her big bros. She’s able to play peek-a-boo on her own, and she’ll always give a kiss to family when asked. It’s truly fascinating how much more docile and attentive she is than the boys were. We love her!
As for our summer assignments, please pray for “Summer Connect.” We have 5 student-lead groups all over the state meeting every week! Pray also for the many responsibilities we have for the Jersey ministry in prep for the fall. Pray also for the fall! It always comes quicker than our students expect! We’ll be intentional this summer about meeting and praying with our student leaders as possible in preparation for the new school year.
Thank you so much for your prayers and continued support!