Isn’t it interesting to think about how many different types of churches there are? How many people on any given Sunday morning are at church? And how vastly different are the worship service options? The last few weeks have been hectic for Noah and I. While the students are home on break we are busy getting in the word, catching up on administrative tasks that are neglected during the semester, preparing bible studies and messages for the upcoming semester, re-connecting with churches, friends and supporters of our ministry, trying to stay in touch with our students and of course, celebrating the holidays with our families :) Oh, and did I mention? Get some time off? :) I counted this morning and all of this has taken us to 6 different churches in the last 5 weeks (one was on Christmas Eve) I thought I’d write a bit about the past few weeks from the perspective of these churches.
This past Sunday morning we sat in Vineyard Church of North Phoenix with about 1,500 regular attendees, a vibrant worship team, and enjoyed a pre-recorded sermon from Dave Ramsey presented on the big screen on the topic of…. you guessed it..... money. :) We were blessed to spend the weekend with some of Noah’s relatives who love the Lord, are making a huge spiritual impact on the lives of many around them and are a great blessing to us as they love investing in and hearing about what God is doing on campus!
As well as spending time with the Diamonds, we enjoyed the beautiful 70* days, a chance to visit my grandparents who winter in Mesa, AZ and meet their friends, a day trip to the Grand Canyon, a tour of Sedona and some good time away from home to be in the word, enjoy God’s creation, and spend time with each other :)
Last week we were so thankful to join my sister and my new niece Claire at Littleton Bible Chapel in Littleton, Colorado! It is a Brethren church under the leadership of some incredible elders: Godly men who are true shepherds of the church body! We enjoyed the intimate family feel of the church, the solid bible teaching, the chance to meet some of my sister and brother-in-law’s friends, and of course the company. Our first niece Claire Elizabeth was born December 9 and we were thrilled to meet her, get to know her, take lots of pictures of her and celebrate her first month birthday with her during our stay in Denver! What a blessing that we were able to meet Claire before she takes her first trip to Wisconsin this summer!
We got to be at Twin City Bible Church, our church in Champaign, two weeks ago. What a blessing it was to see friends and others from our church family. It is hard to believe that we have been attending TCBC for 6 months! We appreciate the size of the church, the great pastoral staff, all of the great people there and the way the church as a whole invests in students and student ministries at the U of I. We enjoyed some time in Champaign over break, although it just doesn’t feel the same when the students are away. We are thankful to have them back as classes start back up tomorrow!
A few weeks ago we had the privilege of visiting Faith Evangelical Free Church in Fall Creek, WI. This church is truly a close-knit family with about 125 people attending each week. We so appreciate these people!! They took us in and treated us as their own children while we attended there and graciously sent us out, commissioning us and supporting us as we moved to the University of Illinois. It is hard to find a church body that is as warm, welcoming, and caring as this one! It was great to get a chance to update them on what God has been doing over the past few months as well as thank them for their faithful support!
Last but not least over the holidays we got to visit both of our home churches: Community Evangelical Free Church in Platteville and First Lutheran Church in Rice Lake. It is always a blessing to be with family, catch up with lifelong friends and just be at home!
We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Rice Lake. We enjoyed getting to see Noah’s family, go on a sleigh ride, play in LOTS of snow and celebrate the birth of Jesus! In Platteville we were able to go skiing, catch up with lots of friends, take care of a sick dog (you’ll have to ask me for the full story!) and ring in the new year with my family!
Well, that about does it. Hope you enjoyed the update on our lives. Let the spring semester begin! :)
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