First Married Christmas

As the business of the holiday season starts to climax, a moment for contemplation and praise is in order. Looking back over this last year I am amazed at God’s work in our lives. He gets the credit for where we are now, and for crossing our paths those many months ago. And it is because of His great love and mercy towards us that we have something to celebrate. Christmas…Christ with us! What an awesome reality!

We shipped our Christmas decorations to a container in TX which will leave for Africa in a few months, but my parents graciously let us borrow a few decorations, and the Winslow family sent us our first nativity scene (as seen on the fireplace mantel).


Don’t worry, we have two stockings…I just need to hang the other one 🙂


We didn’t have Christmas tree topper, so Carlan got a single sheet of paper and voila!


A paper poinsettia ornament I made out of some old sheet music.


We have so very much to be thankful for!

“O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds, and enlarge my mind; Let me hear good tidings of great joy and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore, my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose, and my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father.

Place me with ox and ass, camel, goat, to look with them upon my Redeemer’s face, and in Him account myself delivered from sin.

Let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart, embrace Him with undying faith, exulting that he is mine and I am His. In Him Thou hast given me so much that heaven can give no more.” Valley of Vision

Delicious and Easy Butternut Squash Soup


We’ve been living on a budget and trying some fun/easy recipes. This one is definitely one of our favorites! My mouth starts to water just thinking about it. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 medium butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cubed

1 (32 fluid ounce) container chicken stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring chicken stock to boil. In a separate pan melt the butter and cook the onion, celery, carrot, and squash 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add to chicken stock and cook until soft, (around 40 minutes).

Transfer the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper (or cayenne pepper if you like your food spicy hot).


Hope Burundi: Reappointed!

Some of you know (or realized) that we were in Philadelphia this week visiting Serge’s Serving Center (aka, Mission HQ) for a process known as “A&O” for “Assessment and Orientation.” This is the interview and evaluation process by which Serge determines if the mission is ready to send us (and we are ready to be sent) to the field. In our case, things were easier since this was Carlan’s second time around, but there is always more to learn and to master. We were approved yesterday and offered a five-year appointment, which is the maximum available, for which we are very grateful and excited. We would covet your prayers as we enter the next phase of fund-raising and pre-field preparation.


The Journey Back to Burundi

Next week (December 5th 2015) we leave on a jet plane bound for Philadelphia, another step in our journey back to Africa. The goal of this trip is to meet with the leadership at Serge, Grace at the Fray, and to Lord willing be approved and sent to back Africa as a married couple. Our hearts are yearning and eager to return to the team and the dear African people, and each step closer brings us such joy and anticipation. Yet, we remind ourselves that God is sovereign over our movement forward in this direction, and if he chooses to redirect our steps we know that His will is perfect. So with eager, yet surrendered hearts we step forward and prayerfully surrender our plans to His will.

Prayer Requests:

  1. Wisdom for the Serge leadership as they seek God’s will in the approval process.
  2. That we would be approved.
  3. Travel safety.
  4. Wisdom in all the decision making that the journey back to the mission field requires.