Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas from the White's!!!

Before the last two years, I was able to send out Christmas cards or letters wishing all of our family a Merry Christmas. The last two years, we have been in the process of moving during the Christmas season, so the cards were never sent. I just do not have it in me to add one more thing to my to-do list, and for this I must apologize.
In December of 2012 we moved to Hermiston, OR with the hopes that Kyle could get healthier, and that God would give us a new work in ministry through the church here. Both of those things happened, just not the way we thought they would. Through various circumstances in the church, Kyle and I were left wondering where God was taking us. Our lead pastor retired, the church brought in an amazing interim pastor, then the church would look at a full time pastor for the long term. We kept asking God if He wanted us to stay here and help the church through this difficult time, and that is when Zillah Church of the Nazarene called to meet with us about a ministry position in their church.
Through lots of prayer and seeking, we decided to accept the position in Zillah, WA. It was a very difficult decision to make, but since making it we have seen how God went before us in all of it. We do not regret our time spent in Hermiston, since Kyle was able to begin managing his asthma and has lost a total of 62 pounds since we began the Atkins diet last February. I have also lost a total of 40 pounds, and we both feel fantastic!
Gracen is nine years old and loves math, science, reading and writing. He has had a bit of a rough year at the school here, with many adjustments that needed to be made. He could really use prayer for the move to Zillah, but we are looking forward to a much smaller school district.
Payton is seven years old and loves PE class and reading. He is just a funny, silly, absent minded boy who loves to run and play.
Braden is four years old and began preschool at the beginning of this year at the Lutheran school a block away. His teachers say he is very easy going and easy to have in class. He loves to play with Legos, and copy Gracen in everything (he has a bit of hero-worship going with Gracen).
Kamden is two years old and is just a sweet, lovable, cuddly little boy. His favorite things include Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, playing with a football that Pastor Terry gave him, and annoying his brothers. Really just typical two year old stuff.
I went to Arequipa, Peru this summer with Love to the Extreme, where I witnessed over 500 people come to Christ. The church in Arequipa now has a permanent building, a new full time pastor, and the Extreme program is now moving to Quito, Equador where God is going to do even more amazing things!

Kyle spent his summer at teen camps and youth events, which is normal for him. We were able to squeeze in Nana (Sharon White’s) visit and a two week vacation to the Oregon coast thanks to amazing people in the church who let us stay in their beach house for free. No matter where we go, no matter what we do in ministry, God goes before us and shows us the way we need to go. For this we are thankful! We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Hope of Christmas.

I cannot wait for God’s kingdom to come. It’s more than just heaven, more than just eternity with Christ, more than seeing those I have loved and lost, and more than being able to forever worship the Father face to face. What I long for, what I weep for, what I yearn for in the coming Kingdom is to see broken hearts healed. I want to see stomach’s full, bodies that have never starved, hands that are never broken, minds untouched by sin. I want to see men and women living out holy, godly lives, in loving and caring families.

I want to see children who have never been hurt, who have never been sexually/physically/emotionally abused. I want to see animals living together in perfect harmony with one another and the world. I yearn for the time when people care about the earth not because we worship the created, but because we worship the Creator and want to take care of the good things He has given us. I want to see the end of poverty, cancer, disease, war, and all suffering that takes place so consistently on this earth. I want to see the life of peace in the new hope of Christ’s glorious return to live on earth for eternity with us, reigning and transforming and renewing and redeeming all of creation under the mighty power and work of the Holy Spirit. I want to see the potential of people’s lives lived to the fullest in light of who God created them to be.

This is what I am reminded of during the Christmas season. This is the hope I long for, the joy I find in serving others, the peace I feel in the presence of God and the love I know the Lord has for all of us. This is the Holy Spirit living, moving and breathing in us now, so that we can continue to move toward fully giving ourselves over to God in every part of our lives so that one day, we can see the fullness of the Kingdom of God reigning on earth. 
Most importantly, God promised to do all of this and more than we could ever think or imagine. This is my hope. This is my peace. That in the end, God's love will reign, redemption will renew us all, and we will return to what we were originally created to be and do.