Tuesday, March 31, 2020

From a Very Quiet Place

Citylight Omaha, now live-streaming 

How things change in just a matter of a few short weeks. Even just a month ago we would have never imagined what our new norm is now. And the new name that we have given to this blog space (renamed as we approach our retirement very soon) is more appropriate than ever ... this has become a very quiet place.

How are we doing in these days where we are staying at home due to COVID-19?

On the Cru front ...

Our days continue to be very full, but this is not quite how we expected our last months as full-time staff with Cru would look! This unexpected turn of events means that we no longer can meet with students on campus, or even meet with them anywhere. It has been quite an adjustment to switch to online Zoom gatherings instead of face-to-face meetings.

It is especially difficult for us to keep in touch with many of our inner city students, who may not have adequate resources to connect online very well. It has been a joy to watch some of the students take leadership themselves, reaching out to encourage their fellow students in creative ways.


On the home front ...

Our six grown kids are watching over us closely during these days, and are pretty much keeping us on lock-down here in our home. Because of being in the most susceptible age category for this virus, they are wanting us to be extra careful. We feel so loved and cared for, and are grateful. They have even been bringing us our groceries and other needs! 

Our family text group is active all through the day, each day, as we hear directly from NYC (two sons), Wylie TX (a daughter), McCook and Plattsmouth NE (two more daughters), and from close by us in Allen Hills (another daughter). We are loving this constant daily, continual connection, and also receiving first-hand updates on affects of COVID-19 in these areas. We also love hearing from our oldest granddaughter Abigail & her husband Addison, as they moved to Japan on March 1st as long-term missionaries with World Venture.

Please pray especially for our two sons (Seth, Lance) living in the epicenter of the coronavirus in the US now, and also our daughter (Sara) serving on the 'front lines' as a social worker in a hospital in Omaha.

And in our hearts ...

We are encouraged, sustained, and at peace as we continually adjust and lay our expectations before our faithful, never-changing, loving God. Even though we miss our physical connections with those we love and serve, we never have to miss His close presence with us. We are so very blessed to know Him, and pray for many all over the world to be drawn to Him during these days of challenge. 

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock
where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in Him at all times.
Pour out your heart to Him,
for God is our refuge.
(Psalm 62:5-8 NLT)


How are you doing?

We trust that you are each doing well as you care for and love your families and friends during this time. We really would love to hear from you! Thanks for your friendship, your prayers, and for reading this ... and please share any prayer needs that you would like for us to pray for during these challenging times.

For more reading, you're invited (especially the gals), to read Cherry's posts this past month on her Pursuing Heart blog:

Two devotional posts:

Two recipe posts:

Thursday, February 13, 2020

A New Year 2020


This online space, "From a Quiet Place",
has definitely been quiet.
But not necessarily because it's 
been quiet here in our lives,
but because life has been so full!

We started this space up again last fall with a new title, sharing about our 75/70 year, and our plans for retirement from Cru (coming soon on July 1, 2020). We put up two more posts in the fall, and now, here we are at the beginning of 2020. And it's past time for an update!

What has life been like for us on the Cru front?

The first semester of the 2019-2020 school year went by in a blur! Our main focus with Cru has been encouraging Jake (now the director of Cru Omaha, as we will be retiring soon). He is doing a great job, and we are so grateful for how God has brought him to this place, at just the right time! He is perfect for this position!

Our next focus has been (and continues to be) to encourage our volunteers at the three campuses that we have been primarily in charge of ... Omaha North High School, Omaha Central High School, and Accelere Alternative School. They are doing an amazing job! Our focus is to build them up, and help them feel equipped to lead as they continue on in the coming years. We thank God for Syndi, Seven, Bill, Vicki, Danette, and Ron. They'll continue to receive leadership from Jake in the future, and will play a significant part in Cru Omaha as capable and passionate volunteers.

Volunteer, Syndi (left in back row) with some of her Cru North students!

PLEASE PRAY FOR:

* Syndi (in photo above) and our other volunteers as they give of their time to love and disciple students in the midst of already-full lives. That they would be encouraged during this time of transition as we step away from the campuses.

* A part-time Cru staff guy, Daniel, who may be placed in Omaha this next fall - he would be an amazing addition to the team here, and a great help and encouragement for Jake!

* Jake as he has many responsibilities, including leading a Cru High summer mission team to Columbia this coming summer.

* Students from our area to join Jake on this summer mission to Columbia. This mission is one of seventeen groups from Cru High going overseas on mission this summer.

Click here for more info as you pray.


And what has life been like for us on the home front?

Though God has clearly led us to plan for retirement in the middle of 2020, this change also clearly holds a wide variety of emotions for us. Change is exciting, and also can be difficult. It means slowly releasing God's calling to serve full-time through Cru, while at the same time continuing to embrace the heart of ministry that He has for us as long as we are on this earth. 

What will life look like for us on retirement? We are curious to see ourselves how this will look! We do know that our lives as followers of Jesus will continue to be an everyday listening to Him, and following His direction. Abiding in Him day-by-day, and having His love and grace flow through our lives to others.

We are anticipating spending quality time with our dear children and grandchildren ... four daughters, two sons, and their families. This is of high priority for us. We also anticipate continuing to encourage those in leadership here with Cru Omaha, being available to mentor and build into the lives of others in ministry. 

Another pull on our hearts is to have time to write and record our stories of how God has been faithful in the midst of great joys and also great trials. Desiring to pass on these stories of God's grace. And, of course, we are anticipating some slower days, more times of quiet, and time to pursue various projects we both have.

__________

PLEASE PRAY for us as we "let go" in the next few months, and as we embrace the new season ahead. Also, for all the tangible matters that need to be cared for ... changing from Cru's BCBS insurance to Medicare (which can be quite confusing as we search for the right plan), and also as we make adjustments to live with a smaller income upon retirement.
__________

Some special highlights with family recently ...

* A visit to see daughter Cristy & Mark & family in TX this past September. It was our first time there after they moved into a beautiful brand new home last summer.

* Several day trips to see daughter Amy & Joe & family at their new home by Beaver Lake (a 45-minute drive from here), including spending a very special Christmas Day with them there.

* Time with daughter Sara & Sean & family (just a 7-minute drive from us), including a delightful Thanksgiving Meal at their home. And also attending multiple events their boys are in.

* Two trips in December to see daughter Carrie & Tyler & family in McCook (5-hour drive) - the latter one to be with them at the time of the memorial service for Tyler's grandpa. We're so glad we could be there at that time.

* And though we miss seeing our two sons, Seth (& girlfriend Fer), and also Lance, all in NYC, we love every phone call, text, and connection that we have with them. We are hoping to make a trip to NY to visit them on one of our first trips after retirement!

And, sharing our most recent highlight ...


Our Family Christmas
with 23 family members here in our home! 

Schedules were too full to make it happen in December, so we celebrated a January Christmas! It was wonderful, and extra special as we also got to experience a "White Christmas". We were missing three family members who would have loved to be with us, but couldn't make it work this time. 

We also had a special evening together honoring our oldest granddaughter & her husband (Abigail & Addison), as they will be moving very soon to Japan to serve long-term with World Venture! It was a joy to honor them, and also emotional to say good-bye, as this was their last trip up from Texas before they fly to Japan on March 1st.

Just look at these wonderful grandkids of ours ... all home for our January Christmas!

We are cherishing the memories of our January Christmas, and thank God for His gift of family.

And thanks for reading this long update ... we value your friendship, and your prayers! 

Thanks also for your generous gifts/donations to our account in recent months (meeting our end-of-year need!), and thank you in advance for your prayers and support this New Year!