We have had a full month,as have most of you,I’m sure. After celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends and hockey (Kalamazoo K-Wings)…
we headed into the New Year. Chaz and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary at a bed-and-breakfast here in Kalamazoo,with a great time of sledding the next day. We are thankful for the years and family that God has given us!
A few days after our anniversary Helga’s Dad and Lydia came to visit Kalamazoo for a week,so Chaz and the kids could meet her. We enjoyed several good visits together,getting acquainted and showing them some of our favorite spots in Kalamazoo.
Now it has been a time of returns. Danny returned to Texas in mid-January for his last semester of college. The rest of us returned to our routines as well:Kirsten is in her last semester of grad school at Western Michigan University and Laura in her second semester as a high school freshman. Chaz and I continue with Wycliffe work and studies,our part-time cleaning jobs,and tutoring. Chaz preached three Sundays as pulpit supply at a small church in Grand Rapids,sharing what he’s learned from his studies on the Kingdom of God.
Chaz spent a recent weekend at Calvin College in Grand Rapids,attending the annual Symposium on Worship. The keynote speaker was N.T. Wright. Wright used his main lecture to show how the Psalms are used throughout the New Testament,not only as snippets of prophecy or other quotes but as contextual backdrops for the theme of the Kingdom of God. Wright also has published a New Testament translation. Other presenters and workshops dealt with the various aspects of the Psalms,with a frank and refreshing look at their honesty;for example,compare the dark Psalm 88 with the messianic Psalm 89. Many types of music were employed at the numerous worship services,we tried out a new psalter (Psalms for All Seasons;all registrants received a copy),sang archaic,traditional and new hymns,sang the Doxology in eight languages,and other songs you would not think were contemporary.
This month has also brought sorrow to our family,as we said farewell to Chaz’s grandmother,Betsy Nummy,who passed away January 24. She was a strong woman of God,full of energy and enthusiasm and love for her family and for life. ”Her cookie jar was always full!” She will be greatly missed. Chaz remembers especially how kind she and Grandpa Nummy were to welcome him as a grandson when his Dad married Kathy. Grandma was quite the golfer,and took all the grandkids golfing at some point. He recalls,“Once we played nine holes together at the public course in Midland,but Grandma liked to keep moving. My (lack of) progress led her in the future to take me only to the Par-3 course!”
Another family loss last month was Chaz’s uncle,Jim Mortensen,who passed away January 30 in Florida. Please pray for God to comfort his wife Brenda and son Art,brother Joe and sisters Marguerite and Mary,and the large group of nieces and nephews and their families.
If you scroll down in our blog you will find the obituaries for both Mommer and Uncle Jim,along with recent posts on our work and lives. As you browse this blog a bit,you’ll find lots of other information as well about what we do,background information on Wycliffe and how to donate to our work. Thank you all for your prayer and financial support!