Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Note: This Christmas post is in place of a Christmas letter to all friends and family. We gave the money we would have spent in mailings and postage to Ryan and Angie Ketchum, missionaries in Cambodia.  Granted, we are related to them, but we wholeheartedly believe in them and what God is doing through them - and we thought you wouldn't mind less mail in light of where and who it went toward. So read on, oh lovely friends and family - and think of less mail to throw away while praying for Ryan and Angie and their 4 girls in Cambodia - check out their blog as well at

Your Christmas letter (without the envelope or stamp)

What a year! 2011 has held an incredible amount of changes for us! God-changes. God-movement. God-vision.

We moved to Idaho the first part of this year, after a lot of prayer, to start a church. March 1st, we left a wonderful Nazarene congregation in Oak Harbor, Washington, with dear friends that we grew to love and cherish. We moved our belongings and our babies - our dogs too - and headed to Boise. We landed in Nampa for awhile as we watched rentals in the Northend for a perfect place to land. And as God would have it, he used a retired NNU professor and his family who needed to rent their daughter's home to bless us. We moved in August 1st into a quirky and awesome 1925 year old home. The floors creak, the ground is unlevel, and walls are cracked and parts of the home are just, well, old.  But we LOVE it! It is a perfect home for us and a wonderful place to begin this crazy journey!

We have already met amazing people in our neighborhood who have become quick friends. We are excited to see what is next and walk each day by faith. We meet once a week, if not more, with our planting partners, Chris and Camille Rodes. They are dear to us and we have cherished the team God has put together for such a time as this. Many people have commented on the fact that both guys in our team have the name Chris. If you take it further, the girls names both start with a C as well, so everyone of us have the same initials: CR. Weird, yes - but designed well! haha. The four of us "CR's", have finally put a launch date on our gatherings after a lot of conversation, prayer and continued faith. We will begin meeting Saturday evening January 28th. Please pray for us as we step forward in this.

The family is doing well. Chris is working at Sierra Trading Post. It is a retail job, and he'll tell you that's not his first calling, but because of the background and outdoor gear sales of Sierra, Chris is loving his job. Cherie is a stay at home mom with the three little ones, and continues to build relationships out in the community when she takes Abby, Micah and Samuel to weekly events at the Fort Boise Community Center.

Aloysia recently moved back to Oak Harbor from Pasco where she was helping with a new church ministry. She is working at Starbucks on Whidbey Island now and is working on finishing her degree and continuing to follow God's direction for her life. We love her and are proud of her and her heart to listen to God's voice.
Abby just turned 5 years old and has the creativity to prove it. She loves to sing and is so excited about going to school in the fall she can hardly stand it! She thinks that her little brothers are great, for the most part, and wants to help mom in the kitchen anytime she can. She is a handful of laughter and goofiness, and she'll sing a song for you that she makes up in her head on the spot, once she's past her initial shyness. We love her and love how she's growing up so sweet.
Micah is all boy! He loves Thomas the train and anything to do with the Disney movie Cars! He jumps and runs everywhere and makes noises for everything he touches. He loves his little brother and big sisters and think that mud is the funnest thing to play in. He is 3 1/2 years old and we cherish his precious heart and tender smile.
Samuel is walking! And doing an amazing job! He is 1 1/2 years old and all of his doctors and therapists say that he is nothing short of a miracle......ha, if they only realized. Samuel is our explorer. He loves the garbage can, the dirt in the plants, the stuff under the rug in the living room, and especially the water in the toilet bowl. I am constantly following him, wiping his hands, putting things back, and wondering where he is ALL at the SAME TIME. He is a wonderful miraculous ridiculously crazy-lovely boy! We love him and love telling his miraculous story. People still stop us in the store and on the street to meet little Samuel - for some reason he draws them - I just consider that he spent some serious face time with his Creator, and it shows.

We are blessed. Blessed, I say! We are still raising support to survive, but somehow, every month the Lord shows up in amazing ways, and we are left speechless and grateful. Our bills continue to be paid on time. We have food on the table, and our cars have gas in them. We are rich in faith, deep in love with each other, and wealthy in relationships.

When God calls, we choose to listen and obey. And as we continue to walk forward in joys and even in days of sadness, we know that God is still God in our sorrows and our miracles. We hope that this season, you experience God-miracles and God-joys. May you know that we love you from the deepest part of our hearts, and may you realize that today, you are cherished and passionately loved by God, the king of Kings, whom is the reason why we say, Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Serina Z said...

Chris and Cherie, you guys are such an inspiration to me and everyone you meet I am sure. Your faith and love for the Lord is just so amazing and shines through you both and you precious beautiful kids. I am so glad to call you friends, but more like family! I am blessed to have you guys in my life and to get to experience and watch as the Lord leads you guys on this next life journey!

Meeting your adorable kids was amazing...... They are all so full of life and I know that it all comes from the great parents that you both are to them. Please know how blessed THEY are to have you guys as parents. I love you guys so much and am thankful for your walk with the Lord as it is a great inspiration for me to want to be a better follower.

So, Merry CHRISTmas to you and your family!
Love you, Serina