Dear family and friends, July 7, 2012
I hope that this update finds everyone doing well. Here’s the scoop. I turned 30 two months ago. Nothing changed as far as I can tell. Melissa and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary in June. We traveled up to Ocoee, Tennessee and went white water rafting and spent the night at a bed and breakfast that has llamas, donkeys, goats, a horse, a camel, exotic birds, and a bunch of dogs. It was such a blessing and a really fun trip. In about four weeks time our eldest daughter, Kate, will be starting kindergarten. This will be a big change for us and we are both excited and nervous for this next parenting step. I continue to work for my brother-in-law, Ned, doing construction and home improvement. It is a constant learning experience and I find that I enjoy working with my hands. I will also be working part-time for a local counseling agency in the next couple of weeks. I have talked about this in previous updates and it seems like it has been dragging along for quite a while, but when a process like this turns out so much different then what I expected I just rest assured that God’s hand is all over it. Melissa continues to tutor, and work for my director’s wife, Sue, who does health coaching. Things seem to be moving forward steadily and pretty soon we will be into the school year and out of the summer. Which I don’t know what it has been like where all of you live, but I will be glad to get rid of the triple digit temperatures.
At the end of May we held our Pastor’s appreciation dinner for one of the Pastor’s group that Phil works with. It was a good time for our Grace Valley team to get together and fellowship with these pastors outside of a group setting. It was blessed with great fellowship and some good praise as well. One of the most important aspects of holding this dinner was to be able to meet these pastor’s wives and begin to forge a relationship with them and get ideas from them for how we might go about serving them. The dinner gave us a good bit of affirmation as well as some things to think about in how we serve our population of ministry families in the future.
Grace Valley also held a board meeting the first week of June. We were able to fellowship and discuss our progress and directions for the near future. We also had a couple sit in on the board meeting who are contemplating joining the Grace Valley team in a possible Board role or even in a ministry position. One of our board members also opened their recently acquired Florida vacation home to be used occasionally for ministry workers who are in burn out or crisis. By the grace of God it was able to be coordinated for a struggling pastor and his family to already take use of this vacation home opportunity. Over the past two months we have also completed the next phase of our outdoor restroom facility on the Grace Valley property. It now has walls, doors, and a roof. I had a pretty significant hand in building this facility and encourage you to check out the pictures of it on our website (I personally think it is national park worthy).
In other developments, the downstairs apartment at Phil’s house has been vacated by his daughter and son-in-law, who found and bought a house, and can now be used for ministry workers who are in need of respite and care. This is an especially neat period of growth for Grace Valley as we now have our first full time retreat cabin for ministry use, and we are in the process of finishing our first big building project on the Grace Valley property with the outdoor restroom. There are pictures of both the restroom and the apartment facilities on our website.
Please join us in prayer this month for:
- God’s provision and wisdom in the leadership of the current pastors’ groups and in the building and management of a new cohort of groups
- God’s continued blessing financially for ourselves and our ministry partners and for our ability to continue to grow our ministry
- Our being continually renewed with God’s perspective for our lives and for this ministry
- God providing us with the time and the means to make it back to Memphis this summer to see our family and friends
- Blessing for the transition for our entire family for when Kate is in school full time
- Immediate ministry support for our Grace Valley general fund so we can begin the finishing work on the outdoor restroom
- God to show us how he is going to provide the means to acquire and begin developing the property so we can start receiving pastors for restoration from crisis
Thank all of you so much for your prayers and support. I pray that y’all are having a restful and fun time this summer. So often I do not know why I receive a blessing that I have not prayed for, and then I remember that I have lots of people who are praying for blessings in my life that I haven’t even thought of. Keep up the good work, I need it. I hope that you all have a fantastic summer and that those of you who will be traveling are blessed with much mercy and grace.
435 Colmer Rd., Canton, GA 30114