2018, a fresh start and a clean slate!
As we begin a new year, I feel compelled to look back on, and honor, 2017 – it was a great year! Busy, busy, busy, and blessed, blessed, blessed!
Jan 2017 took us to Shreveport, La., for a fellowship meeting, where the host pastor Rev. Watson was healed of kidney stones. He was headed to the ER before church, but everyone prayed and he stayed to lead that service.
February we were in Lakeland, Fl, with Pastor and Sis. Turner for a mid-week service where there was standing room only. Lakeland is Rev. Archibald’s home town and he accompanied us on this trip. We were blessed to worship with so many of his friends and family. Then on to a fellowship meeting in Hinesville, Ga, and then services on Sunday in Jacksonville, Florida with Pastor Bigelow and the team there.
In March we travelled to North Carolina for church and fellowship meeting.In April we had a very special service and fellowship at Belleville, Illinois on Sunday Morning, then Spring Conference at the Campground. In May we headed off to Alaska where we had church and fellowship in Anchorage, and then a 12 hour train ride to Fairbanks where we visited with Pastor and Sis. Butler.
The last day of May we headed to Louisiana to begin the remodel of the the home at Ft. Polk. (More on that later) On June 15, 2017, we celebrated Graduation here at the Seminary; we are thankful for, and proud of our grads.
On the 22nd of June we headed to Germany, with a 2 day layover in Iceland. Iceland was never really on our radar, but since the airline was offering free layovers, we decided why not? It was an amazing 2 days, and such a beautiful country! We really hope to go again sometime.
Our original intent was to visit with the Annis’ in Vilseck, Germany, our 1 remaining Military outreach in Europe. During that visit, God began to work! Captain Perez and his family are stationed at Kaiserslautern (K-Town) Germany; it has been called “the overseas hub for America’s war on terror.” Known as “Little America,” in this mainly rural corner of Germany, the area now includes 57,000 U.S. citizens clustered around Ramstein Air Base and a dozen smaller bases. The Defense Department calls it “the largest American community outside of the United States.”
It seemed good to the Lord to branch out. With a commitment from Cap. Perez to do anything they can to help, Rev. and Sis. Annis have made the move to K-town to open a new outreach in Germany, Praise the Lord!!! Rev. and Sis. Stevens have already assumed the pastorate in Vilseck, and we are expecting great things from God!
Back to Leesville in July to work on the remodel of the home, and then to Hawaii, where Pastor Cardenas had found properties that were possible home/church acquisitions. Long story short; we closed on a Servicemen’s Home Sep.1, 2017. After almost 40 years of renting, God has given NTCC Hawaii a place of their own! More on that later too! 😉
August was spent in Graham, teaching classes, remodeling dorms and getting ready for the fall conference that we were hosting in September. I can’t say enough about all of the good folks who stepped up and worked hard to put it all together and make it a success; we have an incredible team here in Graham. Thanks to all of you who travelled to the conference; our guests came from around the world, and our time together was truly amazing!
In October we headed East and visited some churches we had never been to; Thursday evening we were in West Virginia with the Pettits and the Cokers, and also the Parrs and Aristizabals, who drove from Ohio to surprise us. Friday we gathered in Richmond for the Family Reunion on Saturday. So many of you came to worship and fellowship with us, it was great! Sunday Morning we were the Holts in Richmond, and then Sunday Evening we went to Newport News, VA, for church with Pastor and Sis. Goff; we hadn’t been there since 1990. (I think I’m dating myself again.)
Thursday we had church with the Brooklyn NTCC family, and then Friday night, we headed south to be in Silver Spring, MD, for church Sunday morning, and over to Baltimore Sunday Evening.
In November we went even farther East, to Asia, where we had wonderful fellowship and church with our family in Korea, at Camp Carroll and Camp Humphrys. Then off to Okinawa for midweek service and to celebrate Thanksgiving. The next step of the journey was the the Bible School in Cagayan de Oro, PI, where we had a wonderful weekend of fellowship and worship with our family on ‘the Hill.’
December took us back to Hawaii for more work on the new home/church remodel. Then back to Graham to wrap up a trimester and celebrate Christmas. Our Graham family was so good to us, we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of your love in the form of cards, gifts, goodies and loving words.
WOW- what a year! God protected and strengthened us, and He opened doors that no man could open. He has mended relationships and broken hearts. He did miracles great and small, too many to recall or recite.
Looking back, the most precious parts of the year; the thing that stays in my heart and mind the most, is the time spent with you all, ministering and being ministered to; iron sharpening iron, laughter and tears, praying and singing, and serving the Lord together. I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for us all!
God bless you,
Yours in Him,