Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I know you have not heard from us in a while; that would be called "Life on the Road." We WERE just waiting for the baby, and now Gideon Luke is already over a month old. We continue to praise God for a safe, smooth delivery and a very beautiful, healthy baby—9 lb. 3 oz. and 21 in. long at birth.

So much has been happening I do not know where to begin, what to tell, and what not to tell. This letter could be labeled “Praise the Lord for His protection and provision while He works on my attitude all the time.” First we went from Michigan to Florida, back to North Carolina, and then back to Florida where we are now. God protected us driving through a blizzard—the roads were covered in snow and it was coming down hard. In North Carolina the snow storm made the power go out for about seven hours. We thought that was not supposed to happen in America.

Also in North Carolina, Ruth was able to do chalk art while Seth preached a great message. I do love to hear Seth preach and watch Ruth do the chalk art. Keep praying that God will use them for great things. We had a great time at a week-long family seminar in Alabama with our mission. That was so useful to us to help get refocused.
On to our huge answer to prayer: You know Ruth and Hannah have been looking at Bible colleges. They have both been accepted to the Newlife International School of Midwifery in the Philippines, which is accredited in America. It is two years and is a ministry opportunity. They will be working there as missionaries while studying midwifery; the tuition goes to caring for the patients.

We arrived for a banquet in St. Petersburg, Florida, after a long trip and with a sick dog. (I just do not know how to keep this short and still tell you how God has taken care of us all along the way.) That same night our housing plans that Dan had just made fell through, as in, we did not have a place to stay at all. The vet even offered for us to park and sleep in our very small camper in their parking lot. We did not think we could do that because it was a cold night, and we would have been very tired Sunday morning. That meant we were looking for a hotel until about 1 a.m. and had a meeting the next morning. At church, one of our friends, Mrs. Stratis, invited us to stay in one of her apartments—a beautiful place at the beach with a heated pool; one that only God could provide. It was fun.

The next week God provided an empty house in Tampa for us to stay in, that belonged to a church there. It was great!! We needed a few things, so we went out immediately to get set up. Not far away we came to a moving sale and pulled in. There was everything we needed—4 sleeping bags, a queen size quilt/sheet set, camping chairs, and extras besides—great prices and stuff in great shape too. We have all the air mattresses and sleeping bags we need. It was so nice to be in a house with space for the kids to run around and do some school as well. Also, the people were so friendly and generous. We made some great friends and also had a meeting in their church. Sometimes missionaries are somewhere for so short a time that they make friends quickly at a deeper level. We really enjoyed our time with them.

On we went farther south in Florida for another missionary conference; God blesses us so much at these. We've had so many opportunities to share, preach, and be blessed. People have been coming forward and talking to the pastors, and at this church, Faith Baptist in Palm Bay, we were able to talk to the AWANA groups. Six or seven kids got saved, and that is the most exciting thing of all. Sure it is great when God takes care of us so well, even if I wish I knew ahead of time what He was going to do; but it is way better to see people getting saved or getting their lives right. My mom and the Messers (my sister and brother-in-law) were part of the conference. Also, a lot of people knew my dad, who is always great to remember and talk about.

Now we are at the Helm's house (Dan's sister Linda and brother-in- law Tom) enjoying some rest and relaxation. They have had us here for almost a week, and the kids are enjoying so much their very heated pool and the great weather. When you go through a hard time, know—this too shall pass; learn what you can, and go on. And when you are going through a great time, know—this too shall pass; praise God, and go on. Praise God in the hard time too, it is just a little bit harder to do.

We are all fine—no sickness at all, although a few aches and pains lets us know we are not getting any younger. Gideon is getting chubby—he is so cute. A good thought, though a sobering one—aches and pains are death whispering in our ears—you will die; are you ready?? Phil. 2—At the name of Jesus every knee will bow and confess that He is Lord. That is such an awesome thought.

Thanks again for your prayers. God has been answering!! Please continue to pray for Ruth and Hannah and their plans for the Philippines and for our plans to return to the Ivory Coast.

Love in Christ,

Joan and Dan,
Ruth Marie, Hannah, Seth, Lydia, Susanna, Isaiah, Stephen, Rebekah, Josiah, Joseph, Esther, and Gideon

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