Friday, December 28, 2012

THE BLESSINGS OF SERVING ~


I can hardly believe it has been five months since the military base where we served in Germany closed and we returned to the states to continue our ministry with the U.S. military on a broader scale.   Leaving Germany and our 20 year ministry with the soldiers and their families was one of the hardest things we've ever done, but God closed the door and so we know it was His will.   We arrived back in the states on Monday, August 30 and were met at the airport by a delegation of family and friends.  That was such a surprise and blessing.   We were very humbled.   Dawn, Mitch and the children were there to welcome us home.  Dawn has been so supportive of our ministry and has never complained about us living in a foreign country 5000 miles away from her for 20 years, but I know  she is so happy to have us on this side of the Atlantic.   We went straight to Pigeon Forge, TN for our biennial Rhein River Military Reunion.   The dates of the Reunion were very timely this year because Tom and I  were both emotionally drained from leaving Germany. Reuniting with former soldiers and their families who at some time in the past twenty years had been a part of our church in Germany was more rewarding than usual.  It reminded us of the joy and privilege it is to serve these wonderful men and women who serve our country.  It was like an extra big hug from the Lord.  We had folks attend from all the way back to our first year on the field in 1992.

The next couple of weeks we spent at our home outside Chattanooga just trying to get caught up on some needed rest.   We were blessed to have our granddaughter, Emily Joy, with us for three weeks before she returned to Crown College for her junior year.  We filled in for Mark and Julie getting her settled in the dorm and that was a special blessing.


The next few weeks we reported to several of our supporting churches in the Chattanooga area. On October 10 we boarded a plane for Portland, OR where we were in a mission's conference at Timberline Baptist Church.   This was a special time for us because the Associate Pastor and his wife were both saved at Rhein River Baptist Church.   To see them serving the Lord and making such an impact in  so many lives is a joy beyond compare.


From Portland we flew to Korea where we spent a little over a month ministering in two military churches.   God blessed in a mission's conference at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Pyeongtaek where Bro. Bruce Rosko pastors.  After one of the evening services Tom was able to lead a man to the Lord who had been invited to church earlier in the day while the men were passing out tracts.


Our last three weeks were at Calvary Baptist Church in Daegu, S. Korea, where our beloved friends,  Larry and Kay Ferguson serve.  They are also products of our ministry at Rhein River Baptist Church in Germany.  We filled in for them while they took a short furlough to the states to visit with his father who has cancer.  It was such a blessing to serve there.




We were thankful to be able to be with our children and grandchildren for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It was the first time in 20 years that we had all been together for Thanksgiving.   We certainly had much for which to be thankful.


                                Some Of  Our 2012 Rhein River Reunion Folks

Kristen, who was saved at RRBC presented us with this
 beautiful gift at the reunion.  She put many hours in this
 crosstitch of "Amazing Grace".  It will be treasured.

                                       Calvary Baptist Church, Daegu, S. Korea

                                               Tom enjoying some yummy Korean food
                                             Tom preaching at Calvary Baptist

                                                       Christmas 2012