Hey friends, we hope you’re all doing well! Spring is officially, well, springing here in Norman. We are loving every minute of it and have been out in the yard and going on walks as often as we can. It’s been great to get the kids out of the house and away from screens. They don’t seem to care about them as much when they are outside exploring, even if it means they are just playing around in the dirt and looking for worms.
It’s been a busier season for us in that we’ve had quite a few things going on in the evenings and on weekends. We recently went to NW Arkansas for a wedding of some friends of ours. We were all in it, which made for an interesting ceremony! I officiated the wedding, Brooke was a bridesmaid, Henry was the ring-bearer, and Eden was the flower girl. In larger crowds or in new settings, Eden stays especially close to Brooke and I. Once Eden walked down the aisle (which she did in the most gracious and stunning way!), she decided to stand by me under the arbor. Most everyone in the audience couldn’t see her, but it was difficult to stay focused with her pulling on my leg and talking to me during the ceremony. The couple was cool with it, so we just rolled with it!
We’ll be heading back to NWA this evening. For my Christmas gift, Brooke purchased us tickets to see a John Crist show in Bentonville. We’re big fans of his, so seeing him live should be fun. We’re going with some friends of ours and are looking forward to taking a true mini-vacation for a few days.
Since I last wrote, we launched our youth ministry here at Providence Road. We’ve had a group of middle school students meeting in our home on Monday evenings (see top picture). It’s been a joy seeing the students get excited about meeting together as a group, exploring the Bible together, and to think about what this could become. We’ve got 10-12 students that have been coming, which seems incredible given that we have tried a few different things in the past couple of years and they never took off. This time, it feels different. We are going to remain committed to meeting weekly, which has been huge. Consistency matters.
Additionally, I’ve had a young couple from our Missional Community commit to being there every week with me. Relationally, they have been such a huge help. I’m leading or involved in several areas of the church. Leading the discussion and hosting are sustainable for me during this season, but interacting with and really getting to know each student on a personal level isn’t realistic for me right now. That’s where they have stepped in and done such a phenomenal job. I’m excited to see what God does among our youth over this next year!
I’ve been really excited about what’s happening within our Missional Community as well. Our MC has embraced the church’s special emphasis on prayer and mission. Once a month, our MC spends a night in prayer over those in our life who we are hoping to see come to faith in Jesus this year. The Elders have challenged us to all have 2 people we are consistently praying for and are evangelizing. As events come up, those are the first people we are inviting into our spaces. Cookouts, walks to the park, or games we get together to watch are examples of events we are inviting people into.
Easter is coming up, as well as a big celebration we will be having on May 5. Our church recently turned 7 years old, so we will be celebrating that day with baptisms and a church meal afterwards. You guys can be praying for those events, as many non-believers will be around for those days.
Let us know how you guys are doing as well. Feel free to call, text, or email us. We’d love to connect with you and hear how your families are doing and how we can be praying for you all.