Dear Alma Bible Church family,
Christmas is always a wonderful time of year. It is a time where many of us can spend time with extended family, build memories with our children; but most importantly to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
When we reflect over the past year, we are reminded of so many ways in which God has moved among us. He has been there to comfort us in hard times. He has provided for us in times of need; and He has been at work in us refining us to become more like Him. Often it is easy to look back and see the pain and heartache. For many of us, some experiences in the past year were very difficult. Yet, if we are honest with ourselves, looking back we can see that God was there with us, giving us the strength we need for each new day.
For us as a family, it was a year in which we were called to be flexible. As with many of you, we watched as some who are very close and dear to us got sick. Very recently we found ourselves having to say good bye to Wendy’s grandmother – a pillar of love in the family. She was welcoming and hospitable to so many. She will be missed.
As for our girls, with the schools shifting from in class to online and back, both Anna and Olivia had to adjust. Olivia also moved on to a new school this fall, which involved a lot of changes including the need to build new friendships.
Yet with all of the changes, one thing that we have been thankful for is that we have been together. Through all of the changes and turmoil, as a family we have engaged in new activities and developed some fun new routines that we are sure will become lasting memories.
As most of you are now aware, for the next few weeks Mark will be taking time away to refresh and renew. This is a time that he as been wanting and dreaming about for some time. Already as he looks at his calendar, there are so many things that will be taking up his time, including reading, writing, and also working to improve in some areas of his life. For a number of reasons, there won’t be any fancy trips or long get-aways. While it is not exactly clear at this point, his desire is to keep you all informed as to how he spends his time. In any case, please know that we are very grateful to all of you for this opportunity for him.
Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Mark, Wendy, Anna & Olivia