Friday, December 26, 2008

Gingerbread House

Joel and Jack had a very special project this year. They built a gingerbread house together!
Joel has become quite the perfectionist and it was so fun to see Jack following in Daddy's footsteps.
Everything had it's place and it was all very neat and orderly!
Now Jack can't wait to dig in and enjoy his work!
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The boys' big "best present ever"

The title captures Jack's sentiments as he recieved his big present!
Actually, it's for both boys and they both loved it!
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Christmas Eve

We have a few traditions in our house for the holidays.
One of our favorites is to come home from the service at church
on Christmas Eve and exchange - PAJAMAS!
This ensures everyone has new, nice-looking pj's on
when we take pictures on Christmas morning.
These photos are of the time we spent opening the boys pj's.
Owen was so careful as he opened the package, tissue paper
and then gently set down his pjs on the carpet.
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Christmas Morning at the Potters

We had a lovely Christmas, and it was certainly a white Christmas!
From Top left: Owen opening a gift, Joel and Bethany Christmas morning,
the boys just getting to come downstairs, Bethany making sure everything was on the table for breakfast,
Joel made fresh scones, a yearly tradition, Joel got VINYL! - The Sea and Cake (his favorite band), Jack opening a gift.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

End Of The Semester

I just wanted to write a quick update as tomorrow is the Bible School's last day of classes for this semester. The students are excited to be done and for a whole class, they will be graduating this stage of the training and looking to what the Lord has next for them. Many of them will continue on to the next two years of training with NTM. But for many others who are not yet finished here, this Christmas break holds some questions.

We have a higher than normal number of students who are either not returning or considering not returning in January due to a lack of finances. These are students who genuinely desire to see the Lord work in their lives and many of whom desire to serve the Lord full time as missionaries.

These difficulties seem to be part and parcel of life in ministry but I want to ask you to pray as the Lord leads you right now for His provision for the finances and resources that these students vitally need to return.

It breaks our hearts to see these students who desire to serve limited by finances, but we know ultimately that our God works all things (in times of plenty and times of lacking) for His purpose!
My handsome boys. Who could ask for more? Thanks Mom Stroud for
taking us to get these photos done! What fun and incredible memories they'll be!
I can't wait to see you again in a few weeks.
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

finding tree...

We found a tree and what makes it even better is that we were invited to a very good friends 'farm' to search for and cut one down. So much fun. Thank you Richard and Joyce!!!
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

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What's going on Next Door

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At This Moment

We're in Winona Lake IN, visiting my brother Jon, Christine (His Wife), My parents, and my awesome sister, Rebekah! We're having a great time and will be here till tomorrow (Friday). We've had a great visit with Bethany's mom Lynn, who is also here with us for this holiday. And though things have been busy lately, we wouldn't trade any of the time for any less activity.

What are you holidays looking like?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Jack Aiden - such a smartie pants and looks more like Daddy every day!

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Owen Daniel - the cutest 18 month old I know!!!

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Jack has been asking often lately to help us in the kitchen. He does a great job rinsing dishes after I wash them and he LOVES to make dinner or bake with us. While Gram and Gramps were here, Jack had two different opportunities to bake cookies. He was so excited, and well, he got to stay up late and eat cookies before bed - every kids dream come true!
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The boys love, love, love to read and as you can see, while Gram and Gramps were here, they read lots!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Emailing: Big Dig

Today Owen's Teacher took the boys to the playground to play after their
naps cause she had an afternoon off and wanted to spend it with my boys!
(Emily is my hero!!!). While they were out there, some of the guys who
work here on maintenance were using a back hoe to dig and so all the
kids at the playground got to watch and for Jack, this is like HUGE!!
Well, Miss Marce, the director of the preschool, just happens to be the
wife of our head maintenance guy and got permission to take Jack up on
the back hoe! He was terrified at first but she managed to talk him
into it and captured the moment on her camera phone!! True to form and
totally like our kid, Jack wouldn't let her touch any of the controls
and when she reached for them, he would freak out and say, "No Miss
Marce, we can't touch anything"! Apparently some of our child training
is getting through. :)
Thank you Miss Marce for loving our kids so much and for making it so
easy to take them to school every day! You are a gem!

<<Big Dig.jpg>>


Joel’s parents came for a visit as they are on Home Assignment from Guyana, South America.  We had a great time with them and the boys, especially enjoyed getting to know them once again.

Thanks and Prayer

We are continuously amazed by God and His love for us.  That we are able to serve Him here with our lives is the highest of honors!  Thank you for praying for us and standing with us in this journey! 


Some things you can pray with us about:

·         That we would maintain a healthy balance between our family and our ministries.

·         We have had a drop in our support due to the economic strain on several supporters. Because of this decrease in support and our ongoing medical bills and debt, which we incurred from going to and from Indonesia, we need to see a increase in our support.  Please pray with us that God would bring along others to financially join His team, with us so that we can continue to serve Him in this way.

·         That we will continue to grow in our relationship with Christ so that we can bear true fruit for Him.

·         That Jack’s health issues would be healed, if that is God’s will.  But that no matter what happens, we would trust Him with our little boy and his health.



The Boys

The boys continue to grow everyday in everyway. Owen is starting to talk and he is a bundle of energy and fun.  He is following in his brother’s footsteps and loves to play with trains and read books.  As a matter of fact “train” and “Thomas” were two of his first words!  He is beginning to run and loves to play chase with Jack.  Thankfully our home is roomy enough for them to get this energy out without being underfoot!

Jack is also such a fun little boy, full of expression and very articulate.  He loves learning and just recently has been asking to hear stories about our own childhoods or the story of his birth, and he often asks, “What happened to God?”  He has an amazing memory, especially with music and songs.  I think he’s going to be a lot like his daddy, more than just being the spitting image of him!  About 3 weeks ago, we began to see a change for the better with his digestive problems and for about 2 weeks, his “D” issue seemed to be going away, but then for the past 4 days or so, it has come back with a vengeance.  It’s hard not to get our hopes up when we see improvement and then to not be disappointed when the change doesn’t last.  For now, we are in a holding pattern to see what will happen next.  Thank you for all the prayers you have prayed for our little guy!  I know so many of you have felt this burden with us and we are so thankful.  We even have a little friend, Noah, who is 9 and he prays for Jack every day.   We are so humbled by that!



What's Bethany Been Up To?

I, Bethany, am enjoying my ministry, assisting the Dean of Education.  I love to organize and that’s just what I get to do for a few hours each morning.  I am adjusting well to balancing life at home and my ministry at school.  I pray daily that God will bring along my path, gals that I can build relationships with.  It’s been tough as I have felt a little “stuck” at home and not able to get over to the school as much as I’d like, but I am learning to enjoy the down time and am enjoying more time with Him.  This past year has been the toughest of my life spiritually and emotionally, but I have also learned so much.  In some ways, I think I am re-learning lessons from the past that I thought I knew, but this time, God has taken me deeper than I knew I could go.  I wouldn’t yet choose to repeat this year but my hope is that God will use the things I am learning to be an encouragement to others. 



What's Joel been up to?

Joel has had a full schedule lately.  He is sitting in on the Evangelism class in preparation to teach parts of it next semester. He is preparing for the class on Prayer he will be teaching in January. He is working with the student worship team and he is discipling several guys each week.  A few weeks ago, he was able to go to University of Michigan with a group of our students to do “worldview interviews” with the students at the university.  This is the beginning of their introduction into evangelism cross culturally.  You may be wondering how an American University qualifies as cross cultural, but the U of M is one of the most ethnically diverse schools in the US.  Will you pray for Joel as he faces these ministries God has brought his way?



September at NTBI

It’s autumn here and the trees are beginning to turn beautiful shades of orange, red and yellow. We are really enjoying the cooler temps and beautiful scenery here in Michigan. Jack is on the hunt for acorns and I am busy following him around making sure there aren’t any within Owen’s reach. 

The students here have been in classes for 4 weeks. They are processing all they are learning from God’s Word.  It’s so exciting to hear a freshman say, “I went to church my whole life and yet I feel like I never really put it all together till now”.  The juniors are in Romans class and are learning that living apart from the life of Christ in them is futile!  In the next few days they will be given the plus side of the coin… Romans 7:24- 25 – “Wretched man that I am!  Who will set me free from the body of this death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”  The seniors are facing the future with many decisions to make.  “Where will I go from here?  Because of all God has done for me, I owe Him my life.  Lord, what would you have me to do?”  We are so privileged to be here now at this time with these students.  Our prayer is that as they grow, we grow, as we learn, they learn.  We pray that we can make an impact not only for their lives today but for eternity.