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Happy Easter! You probably think we are crazy. I know that grocery stores get the Easter candy out a little earlier every year...
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Happy Easter!

January 2019 Newsletter


Dear Friend,

Happy Easter! You probably think we are crazy. I know that grocery stores get the Easter candy out a little earlier every year, but why are we saying Happy Easter?

A walk around a local lake (tarn) on New Year's Day
During the Christmas season we traditionally exchange Christmas cards with friends, family and colleagues. This year at the beginning of December someone gave the OM team an Easter card. Everyone saw it sitting there on the table and asked why it was there. All the Christmas cards were ignored as we all wanted to know why an Easter card had been given.
 
At first it seemed out of place to everyone. However, for Chrysti and I, as we thought about it, receiving an Easter card at Christmas is how we felt. Our son Titus was nearing death on Christmas day 3 years ago and about 2 weeks later he died.
 
This year on a cold day after Christmas, we visited our son Titus’s grave. We try to visit the cemetery every year around this time to remember his short life. After placing flowers at the base our son’s gravestone, we went for a walk around the cemetery. It’s a very quiet place. The children (and Chrysti to be honest) were thrilled to see a few deer in the wooded areas. We enjoy spending time outdoors, but we shouldn’t have a reason to spend that time at a cemetery. That thought strikes me (Chrysti) each time we visit, but I’m reminded of the way the Lord carries us through those places we don’t want to go.
Ellis enjoys playing at the allotment.
Walking in Dartmoor on a trip to Devon in November.
The death of a child is certainly not where one expects to go. This year we remember our brave boy’s 3rd Heavenly Birthday. We’re thankful we’ve been brought through the deep, dark grief of losing a child. We’re thankful for the need to surrender to living with the death a child. We can confidently say our faith has grown as a result. Going full circle, we have a greater understanding of why Christ was born at Christmas.
 
It still is strange to receive an Easter card at Christmas. But maybe not so strange for us now… because Christ came at Christmas to die for our sins and defeat death at Easter.
 
“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go."”
John 21:18 ESV

Highlights

  • We had a peaceful and relaxed Christmas and New Year at home.
  • After celebrating Thanksgiving with our church small group, our family travelled south to Devon for a week. It was a very restful time.
  • Since July of 2018 we have been attempting to upgrade the hardware for 3 servers. The first two each took about 4 months of work with the vendor to get working hardware. In early January we replaced the 3rd server. This third server just works! If there can be spiritual opposition to server purchases it has felt like we had it. Much prayer has been raised by me and my colleagues in getting this hardware upgraded. The new server hardware is much faster, and the IT team are productive because of this.
  • At the end of February Leon travels to Bangkok, Thailand for OM’s annual leaders’ meetings. This time Chrysti was invited to come too!
Playing a game with friends over the Christmas holidays
In November, Chrysti went to Ambleside in the Lake District for the annual Charlotte Mason home educators' retreat.

Prayer Points

  • The kids (and grandparents) while we are at OM’s International Leaders Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. It will be the longest we have both been away from the children.
  • Ellis has his 18-month surgical review this week Thursday. Should be all routine.
  • Greater opportunities to grow relationships with our neighbours. This is a real passion for us and it is slow going.
  • Chrysti struggles to connect with other home schooling families who are local to us. She would really like to connect with at least one family.
  • That all our server hardware is replaced and specifically that this last server replacement went so easily.
God Bless,
Leon, Chrysti, Asher, Eva Joy & Ellis xxxxx
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