New Leaves

Merry Christmas 2022

Dec 15, 2022 by Bonnie

Wishing you a blessed and happy Christmas and a New Year filled with hope and joy through our Lord Jesus Christ

“…who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” - Phil. 2:6-11

God has incredibly blessed us this year, most notably by the addition of not one but TWO new grandbabies! In October, Dave’s wife Amy gave birth to their fourth child, Miriam Rose, and we were blessed to be there! And this month we expect the arrival of Laura and Aaron’s fourth child, a girl as yet unnamed, but eagerly awaited! This brings our total family to 29, and our grandchildren to fifteen: eight girls and seven boys, ages 29 to 0! We are heading to Michigan again soon, to be there for Laura’s big event. We plan to travel from there to Kansas City for Christmas, to see Bryan and Vickie, who are visiting from Central Asia for a month at the home of their sons Andrew and Jonathan, Andrew’s wife Alisha, and foster son Izayah.

Other highlights of the year were attending Aaron and Laura’s daughter Emma’s high school graduation in May and June, then driving over to Vermont for sister Dot’s daughter Sadie’s wedding to Nathan Washburn in July. Homecoming at Toccoa Falls was a special treat in October. Brenda and Quang’s three daughters recently moved in together, and for the first time we all gathered at their house for Thanksgiving. So you can see that our homemade camper VanGo has been very busy this year. Along the way, we visited many scenic and historic sites, stayed with several new Boondockers Welcome hosts, and hosted several more travelers when we were home. Both hosting and boondocking have been a real blessing as we have made and visited with new friends.

Next year, we hope to be able to head to the far west again to see brothers Garry (Iowa), Jon (Vancouver, BC), and Steve (Washington state) and their families, and son Daniel and his wife Dia in California. Bryan’s son Caleb and his wife Leah have also recently moved to California. It’s a big country, but VanGo is up to the challenge! We’re hoping gas prices stay low! If they rebound, you’ll know we’re traveling (Murphy’s Law)!

Our home church, Johnson City Alliance, continues to be a blessing as well. We have made new friends there and have enjoyed serving our church family as our schedule allows. Remote access has been a blessing too! We have said “Goodbye for now” to several dear friends this year, but are blessed to know we will meet again.

It is an understatement to say that we live in uncertain times. We thank God every day for His provision of peace and joy in the midst of the storm. What a blessing that we know how the story ends! And that someday (perhaps soon) we will be reunited with family and friends who have put their trust and hope in God’s great salvation, accomplished through the birth, death, and resurrection of our “elder brother” Jesus. May this great hope be yours as well as we head into 2023.

Love and prayers,

Art and Bonnie