Our first Thanksgiving as missionaries was spent in Richmond, VA four years ago. (Click HERE for that blog post.). The way God has provided for our family and how He has done so many amazing things over the past four years makes us so thankful. We are thankful to God and so thankful to each of you who spend so much time praying for our family.
These past couple of weeks have been really busy but a whole lot of fun, too! Here's some highlights:
- Liesa's Birthday on November 3. We celebrated with Liesa's mom and dad and the nieces and nephews on November 2 and then with Liesa's sisters and the brother-in-laws on November 4! Mucho fun was had by all involved. We are thankful!
- Petal Panther Football. Jeff's brother coaches at Petal High School and they have had a great year and are rolling through the play-offs and, hopefully, will win a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. We are thankful!
- Royal Ambassador Day at Mississippi College on November 5 was a great day! It was a lot of fun to spend the morning with about 200 young boys and teach them about missions. Everything worked out fine and 'The Snake Guy' who was with us was a lot of fun, too! We are thankful!
- On November 6, we spent the day at First Baptist Madison, MS to help raise money for Lottie Moon. It was fun spending the day with my friend Clay Stegall and his family. Clay is the student minister at FBC Madison. We are so thankful for churches like FBC Madison who are one of the top 200 giving churches to Lottie Moon. Great job Madisonites! We are thankful!
- On November 7, we spent the evening with the students at the Baptist Student Union of Mississippi College. We're thankful for the group from MC coming to Oaxaca, Mexico in the Spring to work with us. And, we're hoping to work out some avenues for MC students to work with us next summer. We are thankful!
- On November 8, we celebrated Thanksgiving with the students who attend International Chapel. These students are from East Asia and meeting with them each week is a blessing. For most of these students this was the first time to be in the home of someone from the USA and it was definitely a first for the typical southern Thanksgiving food. We had a great time sharing Thanksgiving stories and traditions. We are thankful!
- On Wednesday, November 9, we traveled to New Orleans, LA to tackle the task of trying to get our VISA for Mexico. Immigration issues are always challenging but the Lord provided a sweet Mexican lady who is a member of evangelical church in New Orleans to handle our paperwork. We had our VISA within a couple of hours!! And the nice lady at the Mexican consulate told us she would pray and was thankful of our work in her country. How 'bout that?? Go God. We are thankful!
- On Friday, Nov 11, Haylee had her update with her rheumatologist. All of her test results look good and Dr. Edelman feels so good about her progress with rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Edelman is a strong believer in Jesus who is so supportive and encouraging to Haylee. We are thankful!
|Mississippi College International Chapel 2011 Thanksgiving Celebration|
- On Saturday, Nov 12, we went to the Ole Miss/Louisiana Tech football game with our friends, Dr. Jerry and Mrs. Bobbye Rankin. It was so much fun being at the game with them. They had not been to an Ole Miss game in 30 years. We had a great time but almost froze to death. You never realize how many cuss words are in your school cheer until you're sitting with the former president of the world's largest mission sending agency. Quite convicting but I think we still have jobs. We are thankful!
- On Sunday, Nov 13, we spent the evening with the fine folks at First Baptist Yazoo City, MS. This is Jeff's home church from his high school days and it was fun seeing old friends and making some new ones. It was great for Jeff to be their 'guest preacher' and to be able to share about what God has been doing through the work of our REAP NORTH team in Peru. We are thankful!
- On Monday, Nov 14, Jeff was able to spend the day at the Mississippi Baptist Student Minister's Retreat. It was fun to re-connect with old friends and be able to encourage student ministers to be more involved in missions, especially international missions. We have been blessed to work with some outstanding student groups over the past few years. We are thankful!
We have a lot of great things coming up that we're excited about and that you can pray for.
- Early Thanksgiving with some of our Peru Missionary Family! We'll be meeting the Penningtons and Bredbenners in the big hills of northwest Arkansas for some great fun. (To say that the Ozarks are mountains would be offensive to our Conchucos friends from the Andes Mountains of Peru.) It will be good to have all of the crew back together again. We have a short tradition of spending Thanksgiving Day together. We are thankful!
- Thanksgiving Day in Petal, Mississippi with Jeff's mom and family. It is a blessing to be able to be around family during the holidays. We are thankful!
- Sunday, November 27. We'll be talking missions at Cato Baptist Church (Rankin County Mississippi) and First Baptist Clinton, Mississippi. Both of these churches are strong in their giving to missions. We are thankful!
- Wednesday, November 30. We'll be at the home church of Liesa's Aunt Pat in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. Carmel Baptist Church is a special place and Jeff hopes there's Carmel Cake involved. We are thankful!
- December! Our final days on the campus of Mississippi College will be bittersweet. We have grown to love the students, staff, and faculty of this fine school. We are so indebted to Dr. Eric Pratt for allowing us to have this opportunity. It is blessing to serve with so many fine servants. We are thankful!
- Thursday, Dec 1. Jeff and Liesa will be leading chapel for the employees of the Mississippi Baptist Convention. We are such close friends with so many of these folks. It is an honor to work with them in completing the Great Commission task. We are thankful!
- Sunday, Dec 4. We're returning to Center Grove Baptist Church in Maben, MS to talk about missions and raise some money for Lottie Moon. Center Grove is the home church of Chris McMinn, our brother-in-law. We have been blessed by their encouraging support through the years that we have been serving as missionaries. We are thankful!
- Monday, Dec 5. We'll be talking missions with the WMU of First Baptist Church in Yazoo City, MS. Many of these ladies helped keep Jeff straight during his high school years. It is wonderful to be able to spend some time with them. Liesa will speak to them while Jeff rolls all of their yards just for old time's sake. We are thankful!
- On Dec 6 Jackson will be inducted into the Brandon Middle School Beta Club. He doesn't really know that Beta Club is for outstanding students and he really doesn't care. But mom and dad are excited! We are thankful!
- On Dec 8 to 12, Jeff and Liesa are headed on a CRUISE! We've always wanted to go on a cruise outside of Disney World and we've saved some money and also found a great deal so we're sailing away to Cozumel, Mexico for a few days. We're excited about the cruise. Of course, Jeff has a fear of deep water so he's hoping wearing a life preserver 24 hours a day is socially acceptable on a Carnival cruise. We are thankful!
- On Dec 14 SANDI BRIDGES COMES TO LIVE WITH US! The only down-side is that it's only for a few days and not forever. We were honored to work with Sandi in Peru and learned so much from her. We are ready to spend some gluten-free days with her. We are thankful!
- On Wednesday, Dec 14 we'll pick up Sandi and head to Jeff's mom's church in Petal. Petal-Harvey Baptist Church has been a great support for Jeff's mom as she's lived in Petal, MS. Liesa's former student minister is minister of education at this church. We'll be talking missions and raising money for Lottie Moon. We are thankful!
- On Thursday, Dec 15 we'll be speaking to the Prime Timer's Group at Liesa's home church, Crossgates Baptist. We are going to love this opportunity to spend an evening with some wonderful older adults. We are thankful!
- On Sunday, Dec 18 we get the privilege of talking missions for ten minutes in the morning worship services at our home church of First Baptist Oxford. FBC Oxford is our family. Our hearts still remain with the people there. There is no way to repay these folks for their encouraging support over the years. We are thankful!
- January 5, 2012! We head out to our new missionary assignment in Oaxaca, Mexico. We cannot wait to step off the plane and hug Caleb, Luke, Elijah, and Hope. We are thankful!
Blessings to all of you and have a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving!
Jeff, Liesa, Haylee and Jackson