Gary & Bev Messick August 2016

Dear Ones in Him,

As we begin our thirty-second year serving among the Native Americans of Arizona the years have been full of blessings and challenges and experiences that have stretched us in our walk with Christ, and it has been a wonderful privilege to be a part of God’s work here.

The first half of 2016 has flown by and our semi-annual newsletter is overdue! You may recall that in January we asked for your prayers as our son, Kirt, went through triple bypass surgery. So thankful to God for answering those prayers as Kirt is back to work full-time and doing well.

In May, Naomi and Bev gave a Mother/Daughter tea at church.They were hoping that fifteen to twenty might attend, but were thrilled to have thirty-six there! Mrs. Sue Smith brought a wonderful message reminding us that our Heavenly Father cares about us and we can “cast all our cares on Him.”

Also in May, our hearts were saddened at the passing of Bev’s dear sister, Betty. Though we miss her greatly, we rejoice in the knowledge that she is with her Savior and our separation is only temporary.

July saw six of our junior age at West Branch church camp. Four of the six made the life-changing decision to trust Christ as personal Savior. We rejoice in the salvation of five of our young people this year, and are looking forward to a baptism service later this month. Please pray for spiritual growth in these young lives.

We just ended a great four days of VBS with an average of twenty-four children. What a blessing to hear the children in the Sunday morning service share the Bible verses they had memorized, as well as the songs they had learned throughout the week. Naomi did a wonderful job putting this all together.

It is exciting to see our church growing, and are anxiously awaiting yet another new “member’s” arrival! Paul & Naomi are expecting their fourth little one the end of August. Please pray all will go well.

We would covet your prayers for a father who, through wrong choices brought on by drug addiction, will be spending several years in prison. His daughter attends Junior Church regularly.

Included are some pictures of the Mother/Daughter tea and of VBS.

We are grateful for your interest in this ministry and we thank the Lord for each one of you who continues to pray for us.

God bless you,
Gary & Bev Messick

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Steve De Ford July 2016

Lamentations 3:24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

Greetings from sunny Arizona!

We finished an unusually dry July with some much needed rain. But the late rain was just one of the many blessings we received from the Lord this past month.

Early in the month several of our juniors attended camp in the cool pines of northern Arizona. One of our youngsters received a scholarship from our church in order to be able to attend. Another one of our youngsters surrendered her life to Christ this year! All of them had a great week at the Bill Rice Ranch West Branch.

Later in the month we held VBS studying the life of Joseph. We averaged 49 youngsters each night; and best of all two young men were saved! Our church folk did a great job again this year running every aspect of Vacation Bible School.

As July 31st was the fifth Sunday of the month our youth group took on most of the responsibilities of our morning worship service. They made announcements, took up the offering, covered the nursery and Sunday School classes, as well as sang a special during the service. Then our youth leader, Cleve, preached the morning message.

Thank you for your continued prayer and support of our family and this ministry. It is truly our pleasure to serve our Lord and represent you here on the Hualapai Reservation!

For God’s Glory,
the Steve De Ford family

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Grammer’s July 2016 Update

July 2016
Dear Friends in Christ,
About every 3-4 weeks, Janet goes to a local nursing home to visit one of the ladies from Tuba City.  Because of the age of this lady, she doesn’t speak much English, so Janet takes a Navajo Christian  (Helen) with her to translate.  Together we sing in Navajo and Helen reads the Scriptures in Navajo.  On this last visit, we found 2 other ladies that we knew that are now residents there and visited with them also.  One of them was more fluent in English, so Janet was able to read the Scriptures, though we still sang Navajo Hymns. One of them stated that she had to miss the last 3 Navajo Bible Studies and was praying that someone would come and worship and share God’s Word with her.  How nice to find that you are an answer to prayer!
Mesa View Baptist Church had their annual Camp Meeting, “Echo in the Pines”, this month in Echo Canyon on the Reservation, Sam was asked to teach the young people and Janet helped with the music.  They have a small block building that the adults were meeting in and a tarp and canopy set up for the children.  As we were finishing the first teaching session, the rain began and water started to accumulate on the tarp and canopy  and we had to shorten the session.  We successfully got the kids under a more reliable roof when we noticed that the canopy had collapsed.  In the evening session, the lesson was continued in the eating area; a log lean-to.  How surprising to find that several of the “wigglers” that seemed to be only disturbing the class-time, were actually listening and remembered what was taught earlier and able to answer questions during the review time.  A good reminder, teachers, that you don’t really know what God is doing in the hearts as you teach.  Just stay faithful!  It was also encouraging to have a mom tell us the next day that her son had enjoyed the class and was up until 1 A.M. talking about  it.
In the middle of July, we spent a week in Inscription House as Ts’ah BeeKin Church for their VBS where Sam taught the adult English speaking class.  The theme was “Family Focus” so Sam taught on the various roles in the home; husband, wife and children , as well as finances.  It was a good week with at least 4 professions of faith and many more decisions being made to make changes that will be pleasing to God.
The day that we arrived home from Inscription House, Sam taught once again at a Navajo Family Bible Camp held annually here in Flagstaff.  He had the English speaking class Sat. PM as well as both services on Sunday and again Monday AM.  We saw many familiar faces that we have worked with over the 44 years of ministering here among the Indian people, so it seemed like a family re-union with our Christian brothers and sisters.  This year’s focus was on the book of Revelation and the Doctrine of Future Events (Eschatology). Though the teaching was mostly for Christians, we know of 3 that made professions of faith during the classes.
July 30-August 9, Sam will be in Alaska.  Pray for safe traveling, as well some reasonable bids for the exterior construction for the radio station building.  It was suggested that it would be better to get a local contractor to do the initial building, due to the cost of travel and transporting the needed equipment, as well as lodging for workers while on the site.  We are  hoping that this can be completed this winter (after the summer fishing season is completed) and the interior work can be next summer’s project.
July 20 our 4th great grandchild was born:  Peter Parker Chick; 8 lbs.; 21”; parents-Hannah & Jonathan Chick. (Hannah is Faith’s daughter.)  The following day, Peter was transferred to Maine Medical Center due to breathing problems and is presently on a feeding tube with breathing aids to help him expel the liquid in his lungs.  We would appreciate your prayers for the Chick family at this time.
Thank you for your prayers, as well as your gifts !

II Cor. 2:11 “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.”
In Christ,
Sam & Janet Grammer

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Messick’s June 2016 letter

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Dear Ones in Him,

In our last monthly letter, we asked that you pray about several prayer requests. We would like to share with you how God heard and answered in wonderful ways!

We had mentioned health needs for our son, Kirt, and grandson, Zachary. We are so thankful to report that both are doing much better now.

Another request was for the children removed from their home to due to their mother’s alcohol abuse. Mom is now out of rehab and the children are back home. Please continue to pray for this mother’s salvation and that she will begin coming to church with her children.

We also asked for safety in travel. You may recall we were to drive to Arkansas to attend Zachary’s graduation on June 3. On Saturday, May 28th, we were in a town forty-five miles from JD & Jenny’s home and our starter went out. Being a holiday weekend, many businesses were closed. A young man saw our hood up and stopped by to help. We learned he was a pastor and has a Christian friend who is a mobile mechanic. He called him for us and the starter was replaced in a short time, but when they started it, it still had a problem – it sounded as though the flywheel had been damaged and needed to be replaced. We were able to drive it to the mechanic’s home, JD & Jenny picked up us and our luggage and took us to their home.

The next morning, we were saddened to receive word that Bev’s sister, Betty, had passed away. We were planning to go to Indiana to see her after the graduation, as she had been in poor health. The mechanic was able to get our car up and running on Wednesday morning and we left for Indiana. We thought we would be attending Zachary’s graduation on Friday, but God another special “graduation service” for us to attend. Betty was a wonderful, godly sister and dearly loved her Savior. It was hard to lose yet another sibling, but it is such a comfort to know it isn’t goodbye. Heaven just gets sweeter.

The two weeks we were in Indiana gave us to opportunity to see many relatives, friends, and to visit some of our supporting churches. But our car problems were not over. During those two weeks, we again had problems with the starter, brakes, and some transmission issues. But in every instance, we saw God’s protective hand. He always brought along help at just the right time, we were never left stranded in the middle of nowhere! We are so thankful to those who helped by giving us rides, housing, and even with financial gifts to help cover some of the expenses. We saw so many blessings during difficult times.

Our Youth Pastor and wife, Paul & Naomi Sondergaard, did a tremendous job handling the church services while we were away – another huge blessing! We appreciate Brother David DeFord bringing the Father’s Day message during that time. We will have to say, it is good to be home!
Please pray for:
*the lady who recently attempted to take her own life
*the mother now home from rehab
*our young people going to camp
*preparations for VBS in Aug.

*And please pray for us as we strive to see lives changed for God’s glory. We are greatly encouraged, knowing that there are friends like you who take interest in what we are doing. Thank you for praying.

In Christ,
Gary & Bev

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David and Becky DeFord’s June Letter

Dear Prayer Partners,

 

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:2

   The months of May and June have been awesome as we have been witnessing the Lord’s working in hearts and answering prayer before our eyes.

 

We were invited to do pulpit fill for Pastor Gary Messick on Father’s Day. It is always a joy to be with these dear folk in the Camp Verde area. We had a sweet time of fellowship with fellow missionaries Paul and Naomi Sondergaard and their three children after the morning service.

 

The Baptist Indian Chapel has just finished a week of VBS with an 11 member team from Faith Baptist Church in Morristown, Indiana. It was such a tremendous week with 5 young people asking the Lord to forgive their sin and ask for eternal life. The attendance was low with 13 the first three nights, and 11 the final night. It is so exciting to realize God’s working in these young lives. Sunday June 26, following VBS, 3 of these “babes” in Christ were in church. Please pray with us for these young ones that (1 they will be faithful in church and Sunday School and (2 we can encourage them in their new life in Christ.

 

Also on June 26 a special baptismal service was held for the two adults we had brought to your attention in our last update letter. Both of these adults had invited their families to witness their testimony of their salvation. Attendance, due mostly to these family members, was increased to well over 40. Pray with us for these two; Eric and Verlinda that they will continue to be steadfast in their growth.

 

We know, as you do, that the enemy in the world would have these tender lives ruined. Please pray for the leadership of the church as we’ve already been made aware of attacks. The attacks are meant to discourage and weaken what has begun.

 

Continue to pray for the 6 year old that knows he is a sinner, but as yet has not made the critical decision to accept God’s free gift of salvation.

Be

We’ve mentioned our neighbors Jim and Nancy in previous letters. Jim passed away in late June. We would ask that you continue to pray for Nancy. Jim had a good salvation testimony.

 

 

In His love and ours,

 

Dave and Becky DeFord

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David & Becky DeFord’s May 2016 Update

Dear Prayer Partners,                                                                       May 2016 update

 

Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.” Psalm 119:111

There are many wonderful rejoicings to relay with this update letter.

 

To begin with we were excited to be asked to be a part of celebrating 20 years of the Tohono O’Odham Baptist Church building. We have watched this ministry grow steadily under the leadership of Pastor Jay Shannon. There were five of our IBIMI missionary pastors present at the service.

 

Pastor Marshall Yazzie is well rested after a brief time off. He is preaching each week and planning VBS this June 20 through 24. We look forward to this ministry with Faith Baptist Church from Morristown, Indiana.

 

David has finished a series of Sunday School lessons on Spiritual Gifts and has begun a series teaching basic doctrines of Christian Responsibilities. The Lord has used His Word to prompt two adults to request baptism. It is a real blessing to see these two respond to the Lord’s leading in their life.

 

Becky has been alternating with Debbie Yazzie teaching Sunday School and Children’s Church. We are seeing the Lord working in one young boy especially as he is realizing what sin is and that God hates it. He asks questions and knows that we all have sinned. Pray with us that we can soon see this sweet one born into an eternal life with the Lord.

 

Living in east Mesa, we are in close proximity to hospitals and rehabilitation centers which makes it easy for us to visit folks coming in from three reservations where we have ministered. It is a blessing for us to be able to pray with these patients and also be an encouragment to them as they always are to us. Praise the Lord for where He has us located.

 

Please remember to pray for the two adults desiring baptism, the young boy realizing he is a sinner, plus the ones we had on our prayer request list in the last update letter.

 

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April Letter from Grammer’s

Dear Friends in Christ,

So what do we do now that we are no longer pastoring?  Glad you asked.  It’s quite diversified and yet in so many ways similar to what we were doing when pastoring in a single church.

Many of our week-ends are busy with pulpit supply; mostly on the Navajo Reservation, but not exclusively.  Sometimes they are having special Sunday events and sometimes the pastor is sick or needs to be away from his pulpit.  We actually find this a bit more difficult when you only have one day to preach rather than able to follow a more extensive and intense study of a book or doctrine.

Each week, Sam is now teaching the next class in Theology at a local Bible School in a Navajo church that is now pastored by a former student from years ago when we were with the Southwestern School of Missions here in Flagstaff.  This semester, the class is not as full as last semester, but we are thankful for each one that desires to understand God’s Word and therefore know God more intimately.

We are also filling in our calendar with speaking and teaching opportunities:  fall conferences, annual camps, Mother’s Day, retirement celebration…

Our week days are often busy with unscheduled visitors wanting advice from God’s Word.  Since this often involves traveling a distance, we try to have something to feed them.  Add to that nursing home and hospital visits and Janet’s piano students…  We are just thankful for each opportunity to serve the Lord.

Another trip to Thorne Bay, Alaska is being planned for late July and beginning of August.  It has been suggested to us that the cost of travel and lodging and getting the equipment needed for building, would make it more sensible to get a local contractor to put up the outside construction for the Radio Station cabin.  The interior finishing could then be done with smaller groups of volunteers in the future.  This trip will be a scouting trip to find a local contractor that will understand what we want to accomplish and hopefully at an affordable cost.

We know that many of you pray with us for these needs, as well as help us financially.
Please pray for both of us as we minister to men and women, both in public and personally, as well as safety in travel.  Also pray with us about the progress on the Thorne Bay radio station project.  Thank you.

II Cor. 2:11 “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.”

In Christ,
Sam & Janet Grammer

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Sam & Janet Grammer March 2016

Dear Friends in Christ,

Last month, we shared with you about a Navajo Pastor, Albert, who we had visited in the hospital as he was dying.  He was on pain medication for several weeks (months) and is no longer suffering pain.  The Lord has taken him home.  His funeral was this last week-end but we were unable to attend as we were both home sick with the “flu”/  “bug”/ “virus”/?  What mixed emotions, as we rejoice yet weep with the family.

This last week, one of Janet’s piano students (a college student- who happens to be a grand-nephew of Albert) shared how he had only slept a couple of hours the night before as he had received news of the suicide of a young man he had gone to high school with.  A couple days later, he called with questions about God’s view of suicide as another young man from his high school days, one who was raised in a Christian home, also committed suicide.

Also, this week-end, we received news of the death of a young 27 yr old woman that we have ministered to in the past and had made a profession of faith in Christ.  A couple of years ago, she had left her family and fellowship with other Believers, to pursue a sinful life style. What a difference from the end of a life served for the Lord and one that focuses on personal desires.   Death of others does cause the living to think about their own life and death.   May we leave behind a legacy of following the Lord and encouraging others to do the same.  Our very purpose for life is to glorify God.

Now that Easter and spring have arrived, our schedule usually gets busier.  The printed materials for the Bible School classes have arrived and we expect to soon begin the studies.  We also have some meetings scheduled in various Indian churches to celebrate special days and encourage the local Believers by studying God’s Word together.  Please pray for God’s direction in all of our plans.

This coming summer, another trip to Thorne Bay, Alaska is being planned.  We would appreciate your prayers each step of the way and that God would use the radio station to spread the Word of God.  Pray also for wise use of the funds provided and for the future financial needs of building and running the station.

This short-term illness for us both has made us so thankful for the good health that God has given us over the years.  Thank you for your prayers and gifts that allow us to continue to minister in this way.

II Cor. 2:11 “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.”

In Christ,

Sam & Janet Grammer

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Sam & Janet Grammer Feb 2016

February 2016
Dear Friends in Christ,

January ended with several deaths of elderly people that we knew.  Some were believers and others left us uncertain as to their relationship with the Lord.  Once again, we were aware of the difference it makes when you know the Lord as your Saviour, both in the one dying and in those left behind to mourn.
I Thes. 4:13 “…we sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”  We have seen families rejoicing that their loved one is finished with the suffering and know that they will see them again in Heaven.  What a gift to knowledge is to give to our family and friends.

We stood at the bedside of a Navajo believer who was on pain medication.  His family shared with us that as he drifted in and out of the conversation around him, he would start preaching and sharing the gospel message.  They said that he knew that some of the family were still “traditional” rather than Christian and even as he was dying, he was concerned about their relationship with Jesus Christ and wanted to see them accept God’s gift of salvation.  What a testimony!  Before we left, he asked Sam to give a short message and then Sam was able to speak personally to his nephew.  Wish we could say that this man accepted Christ but he stated that he was still undecided.  Pray for Albert as he spends his last few days on earth with his family.  What a blessing it would be for him to see another loved one come to Christ even this late in his life.

Sam is still available for pulpit supply on the different reservations here in Arizona and this month we were able to fellowship with a Navajo congregation as the pastor had to be away.  We always enjoy seeing friends that we have known for years and their children, now grown, carrying on the ministry.

We’ve also been busy this month with nursing home visits and hospital visits.  The month started off with definite winter weather but it soon warmed up and was more like spring weather.  This change in weather seems to affect the health of many and we’ve had various older ones that have been struggling as the virus went into pneumonia.  We have been spared personally but have found ourselves at the hospital visiting a bit more than usual.  It is not unusual for us to have freezes until the beginning of June, so we are hoping to get a bit more snow and the moisture it brings to our mountain desert before spring officially arrives.

We have also had several visitors in our home as folks come to Flagstaff to do business.  Many have to drive by our home and stop by for a visit and ask about various struggles that they have to deal with in their lives.  Pray that as we counsel and encourage others that we will stay true to God’s Word and not just give opinions or wisdom that is popularly accepted but contrary to truth.  One of the blessings of the slower winter months, is the freedom that we have in our schedules for just spending time in the Word of God, renewing our minds.

Thank you once again for your prayers and gifts to help us stay in the ministry.

In Christ,
Sam & Janet Grammer

II Cor. 2:11 “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.”

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David & Becky DeFord January 2016

Dear Prayer Partners,
January 2016 we celebrate 39 years of ministry with the Native American folks. We are overwhelmed at the opportunities the Lord has extended to us as a family with three sons in earlier years of ministry. He continues to extend ministry opportunities to the two of us, although not as rigorous and numerous. We are grateful for all He provides for us and for the partnership many of you reading this have had with us. Some have been our partners for all the 39 years.
One of the blessings of the last few months of 2015 have been filling the pulpit through the month of December for Pastor Yazzie. He needed a rest from the responsibilities of the church for a time. He is back in his pulpit now and doing much better after the rest. He has also added a Sunday afternoon service in addition to the regular morning worship and Sunday School classes.
We are looking forward to being with Messicks in February for their Sweetheart Banquet. It is always a blessing to be with Messicks and the church family there. We are also looking forward to visiting with the Sondergaard family. IBIMI’s newest missionary family the Lord has called to help Messicks in the Camp Verde area.
Please remember Kay Z., Brian J., Jim and Nancy M. in prayer. There are various needs in these individual lives as the Lord is fully aware. We need to be faithful in bringing these dear folks before the Lord.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who remembered us with calls, cards, letters, and gifts this Christmastime. We appreciate so much hearing from you. Many dear friends reminded us of their prayers for us in ministry needs. You are encouraging to us and we are grateful.
In His love and ours,
Dave and Becky DeFord

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Veldhuis January 2016 Prayer Update

Dear Family and Friends In Christ,
Increasingly out of control and depraved national and world events point to our Lord’s soon return and stir us more than ever to labor to our fullest in His harvest.
“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain” (James 5:7).
The earth may be filled with the violence of our reservations (Gen. 6:13), but our sovereign God will surely give the increase for faithfully sowing and watering His gospel seed.
Your prayers for ongoing ministries ‘midst reconstruction from last Fall’s breathtaking downburst and subsequent sandstorms were as appreciated and fruitful as your almost unbelievable gifts. BLESS the Lord and each of you for sufficient physical progress on our building, parking, and vehicles to know the great blessing of spiritual fruit through our Nov. 3-6, 2015 Native revival.
Alexis, Daren, Edward, Ezequiel, Ricky, Toni, and Valerie were touched enough by the revival to help with days of fruit picking and endless church ministries. Many other Cocopah and Quechan natives heard the gospel through Christmas and New Year’s services and the personal distribution of fruit bags or gifts and treats to almost every Cocopah home.
To God be the glory for significant spiritual inroads into the lives of Ashley, Karen, Lorie, Lydia S., Tillie, and Tyrus as well as for renewed contacts with Alyetha, Arturo, George, Laura, Sarah, Wanda, and the many others exposed to the Living Water over Christmas.
PRAY for these and the many who recently moved or disappeared into foster care and society at large. Chauncey, Darnell, Gabriel. Joe, Matthew, Ralph, Raul, and both Andrews are professing Christians we can rarely contact. James is growing in prison as are Shirley, Daren, and young people from the 50 mile North and West Reservation circuit.
Huge Godsends toward vehicle needs miraculously caught up repairs sufficiently to pick up all three reservations simultaneously. This brings in more children without increasing the “annoyance time” of their long rides with adults. How grateful we are for the Hastrichs’ age- tailored King’s Kids ministries to young people from all three reservations.
Lydia’s work with these and other children in Sunday School nurtures them further while opening heart windows to unimaginable needs. Personal conversations on the bus with literally abandoned, abused, or horribly neglected children have turned hopeless, atheistic, unloved, or suicidal thoughts in Cocopah as young as eight into renewed trust in our loving Savior.
PRAY His light will shine through our church/“orphanage” ministries and “pull brands” of all ages from the humanly hopeless fires of despair. (Jude 23) PLEAD for our Lord’s deliverance from the wake of death and destruction normally accompanying this month’s annual casino profit sharing checks. Pray for His convicting, saving power on our Jan. 30 church-wide Bible study/craft day and February/March revivals at Heritage and Maranatha Baptist churches.
Endless miles’ mission driving on remote unlined or mud-covered county roads make your prayers for strength and safety that much more critical and precious. These in turn stir us and give grace to pray for the scattered homes we pass and the unprovoked opposition or hatred we often encounter.
We began house and property repairs from September’s storm last month at the expense of heartfelt Thank Yous for your staggering Christmas gifts and kindnesses. We owe you more than gratitude for your additional prayers for each of these blessings and petitions:
BLESSINGS:
· Return of some Thomas, Twist, Hayes, and Stevens family members to church.
· James B.’s growth in prison.
· Edward, Eric, Toni, and Ricky’s adult Bible studies and help with physical work.
· Enormous special gifts for church building and vehicle repairs.
PETITIONS:
· Lydia’s February 9, 2016 eye surgery after cancellation of her 12/29/15 date due to chronic bronchitis.
· Dawn’s evaluation of cardiac irregularities.
· Lori’s spiritual and physical needs and the best custody of her 4 children.
· Silas’ church ministries ‘midst full time work and university commitments.
· Salvation of Oriah, Phoenix, Caesar, Jasmine, Lena, Marcus, Rosie, Sage and other children.
· Summer Neighborhood Bible Time and camp preparations.
· Resurrection Sunday Plans.
· The Hastrichs, Dawn, Lydia, Silas, and Edward’s long battle with the flu.
Gratefully Yours In Christ,
Michael, Dawn, Lydia, and Silas Veldhuis

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