International Ministries

Christmas Update

January 13, 2012 Journal
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                                       A child to God is born

                                      And all is brought again

                                      That ere was lost or lorn.

                                      Could but thy soul, O man,

                                      Become a silent night!

                                      God would be born in thee

                                      And set all things aright.

                                                          15th Century


Dear Friends and Family,

We greet you all with much love during this Christmas Advent season from our home in North Carolina this year instead of our home in Haiti. As many of you know, this is our year of “Home-Assignment” with ABC and “Off-Field Assignment” for CBF.  Steve, Micah and I have been enjoying the change of seasons and now that winter is here, we are trying to stay warm! We enjoyed our first snow of the season and realized we hadn’t really experienced snow in six years!

The week before Thanksgiving, we were pleased to announce the birth of our 5th grandchild born to our daughter Miriam (Mims) and her husband Jon Swinger. They had a sweet baby girl named Stevie, after both her grandfathers.  Her 2 ½ yr old brother, Jericho Rudi, is thrilled and tells his mom and dad every day how he loves “my new baby sister!” said with a beautiful smile on his face. The awesome thing is that Stevie was helped into the world by her aunt Kirstin, a Certified Nurse Midwife practicing here in North Carolina. It was wonderful to be here and to be part of the excitement and we were able to help with the care of Kirstin and Lee’s three while she was at the hospital for the delivery.

Carrie, our third daughter, who is also a nurse, was able to be with Mims for the birth as well. It was a joyous day to welcome a new life into our midst. A week later, all of our children and grandchildren were able to gather in our small farmhouse to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. It had been six years since we have been able to be together for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Wonderful to have a newborn at Christmas, with much rejoicing in the Lord!

Other highlights of our months in the United States have been:

- Enjoying a family reunion this summer at our home in North Carolina

- Spending quality time with our parents, June Beaver and Lloyd James

- Helping Micah settle into 12th Grade at the local public high school

- Reconnecting and getting involved in the life of our home church, First Baptist Burnsville (singing in the church choir is a joy!)

- Fellowshipping this summer with other field personnel on our Latin American and Caribbean CBF team in Atlanta and with other ABC missionaries at Eastern University in Pennsylvania during the Conference for Missionaries

- Steve spent a week at a Masters in Organizational Leadership conference in Santiago, Dominican Republic

- Speaking and sharing about what we see the Lord doing in Haiti and around the world with friends, churches and faith groups in various states (deputation)

-Participated in a conference on Peacemaking at the Agape Community where we reconnected with old friends and were challenged anew to make a difference in our war-ravaged world.  

We are looking forward to times together with Steve’s dad and family after Christmas in Pennsylvania, and then in January with my sisters and mom in Florida.

These first 5 months of our Home Assignment in the US have been very energizing and renewing to our spirits. We specifically wanted a time of “quiet reflection,” this year as we try to discern what God might want us to do as we face the next term in Haiti.

Steve and I continue to have our minds and hearts in Haiti. We receive weekly updates through emails and phone calls from our friends and co-workers there. Word from the Haut Limbé area where we live brings news of another surge of cholera especially in the north affecting the Ebenezer Clinic. In early November there were over 100 patients interned with cholera and sadly, some deaths were reported. The increase in rains and people slipping back into “life before cholera,” was blamed for the outbreak. Public health and grassroots efforts, including the inspiring work of our CHE (Community Health Evangelism) partners, are continuing to educate and remind people of what is crucial to prevent such a life-threatening illness. We will continue to update you on events in Haiti as they come to us.

May the Lord Jesus bless you and your families and communities in the year ahead. Although the future often looks bleak, we see evidences of God moving in many places around the world and we put our hope in Him. We are indeed grateful for your love, friendship and support.

         Much love,

         Nancy, Steve and Micah