Christmas day was a wonderful day of relaxing with our family here, calling/skyping our extended family for Christmas wishes, and having 2 ladies in our class over for dinner for a great evening. Then at around 10:30 pm Caleb woke up and could barely breathe. So I took him into the E.R. and yep, he had Crupe. Poor little guy, this was his 5th time in the hospital since he has been born (4 times with Crupe and once w/ Bronchitis). They kept him overnight and we were able to leave the next day just before noon. There had been a cold cycling through our family for over a week and we knew that if it got to him, he could end up going to the E.R. again. But praise God that he's fine and the breathing treatment and steroid took well. Also praise the Lord for supplying insurance for our kids so we're not slammed with a huge bill to pay.
I wanted to give a report back to the prayer requests I had asked for back in October and then would like to update you on what God's been doing with our neighbors.
*Aaron has been able to be more consistently patient with the kids.
*We have made it through 1/2 the school year with the kids and they are doing very well overall. They are advanced in reading and math and Andrea knows already which curriculum she will be teaching next year to the kids. We are going to pick out their 'activities' in January (ie: baseball, dance, etc. - which will all be free from the school!)
*God provided financially for every single person at Impact and all of their tuition is paid in full! In fact, it went down to the wire, the last day when tuition was due, 11 students needed funds for a total of $10,000 and it all got paid!
*The Lord did provide assistance for health care for our kids. So everything w/ Caleb has been paid in full and all of their health appointments/shots/check ups/dentist appointments are covered! Praise God, it's actually better insurance than what I had at my last job, however Andrea and I were not able to get medical coverage.
*So we have met a variety of our neighbors, here is what is happening.
*Two doors down there is a large family w/ cousins/uncles/aunts/etc living there. We were told at one point drugs might have been through it and cops show up regularly. We thought not a better place to receive the love of God. They have a 5 yr old and 6 yr old that play outside regularly that our kids love to bike and run around with. A little over a month ago, the cops showed up and took the mom to jail b/c of her association even though she had not done anything to be found guilty of. Through that event, we were able to take the kids to church for 2 Sundays and they had never in their life ever been to church. They really loved it but for different reasons have not been in the last 4 weeks. During that day Aaron also got to go through the gospel with Edgar and he prayed to receive Christ as his Savior! We were able to get him a Bible to start reading but he has not been plugged into discipleship yet. The mom was released and is now trying to get back her identification that they are holding (drivers license, social security, etc). We invited her to church and she was going to come on Christmas but cancelled last minute. Please pray for this house. Edgar that he would have a desire to grow, for the kids to be able to come back to church where they can hear God's truth and for their mom. There is a lot of spiritual warfare going on in that home, but praise the Lord through different ways have been able to establish relationship with them.
*Our immediate neighbors next to us are an older couple (late 70's) that through our cookie outreach, God is growing our relationship with them. In fact the other day I sat on the porch with him for over an hour listening to all of his jobs he had and he showed me all of the cars he has owned.
*The other side of our house is an elderly widow, Irene. She has been taken to the hospital by ambulance twice since we've been here. (she thought she was having a stroke). We have been able to bring over cake and other goodies to her and she is a very nice lady, but does not want to talk about 'religion.' She let us pray over her for healing and carries on conversation, just doesn't at this point want to hear about Jesus. Her father was in the church and was an alcoholic, so I believe there is bitterness there.
*The next neighbors are a sweet couple that have a almost 2 yr old boy that Caleb and our other children love to play with. We are hoping to have them over for dinner after the Holidays.
*Please be praying for them, that God would grant us opportunities to share with them and that He would lead us to the ones that are good soil so His Word is heard and received, and that when the opportunities arise, we would take them.
A couple of fun updates on the kids:
- Malachi traded in his action Bible and upgraded to the Real Deal! He now has a real Bible that he has already started underlining verses in. He is very excited about it and told me "I want to read it front to back."
- Rachel is an amazing helper and time after time she is the one we can count on to help when we need it.
- Isaiah has had 5 or 6 'naked' days (we were really tired of poopy underwear) where he goes all day with only wearing a shirt. So far he has made it to the potty every time. Now the challenge is going to be transitioning this success into wearing underwear.
- Caleb is climbing everything, including our 24" barstools.
Thank you for praying for us out here and keeping up on our family. Please continue to pray for our neighbors and that God would use us here for His kingdom in their lives.