Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Grateful New Year?

Dear Friends, as Jackie and I pause to reflect on this past year, we are filled with gratitude for each of you. Not just at New Years, but throughout this past year that began with the Souper Bowl of Caring that stocked the church food pantry, followed by our annual global outreach banquet entitled Valentines for India where we raised nearly $4k for a vocational trade center in India. Thanks to your generosity, sons of sex workers there will be learning a different trade other than pimping or dealing drugs!

Around Easter we celebrated with six more individuals who were baptized and committed their lives to following Jesus. Our evangelistic non-profit organization, Haven of Hope, performed two bedroom make overs and was the recipient of grants through our partnership with Toledo Area Ministries for two more. The spa day for the women at the Aurora House that Women’s Ministries provided was again very well received.

Our own children grew in grace too through the combined ministries of Kid Connect, Teen Girls Retreat, Adventurers, Pathfinders, Sabbath School, and Connections. Watching them play in the park on hot summer Sabbath afternoons and dancing in the puddles at the Kidz Crazy Car Show this year brought smiles to numerous faces including all 15 trophy winners.

Summer fasting from sweets and media brought us closer to the heart of Jesus. And led us to into a full scale church retreat that nearly a hundred experienced—many for the first time at a retreat of any kind. And because the Holy Spirit has blessed our ordinary outreach opportunities from ten years of Ringfest to the first few months of Soup for You on Wednesday nights, we know God will continue to bless in the new year. I can hardly wait to see what new adventures, surprises and miracles God provides in 2010!!!

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