Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Evans' Christmas Update

Dear Friends and Family,
We pray this finds each of you celebrating Christmas with JOY -knowing that Jesus came to earth - to show us what God is like - and to lay down His life for each of us - if we are willing to accept who He is - and acknowledge our sin and that we cannot save ourselves.

And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2: 10 - 11

2008 has been an eventful year for the Evans family. The year started out with Mike in Kenya with us until mid January. Shortly after he returned to Union University, the school was hit by a huge tornado on February 5 that devastated the school and destroyed many dormitories and buildings on campus. Miraculously, no one was killed. Mike was able to stay and help with the clean up while the school was closed for 2 weeks. When we saw the school in August we were amazed at the building and cleanup that had taken place in just 7 months. Many students at that campus will forever remember God's hand of protection during that fateful February night. Mike is doing well in his Junior year at Union as a Christian Studies major.

In May, Bob and Susan saw their youngest, Maria, graduate from high school in Nairobi, Kenya. We also were able to visit Lisbon, Portugal, on our return to the States in July to revisit where we started out in language school in 1992 when Maria was just 2 years old! Maria is now completing her first semester at Union University and loving it!

Before leaving Kenya, we went out to Mombasa to meet our second grandson, Caleb Robert Ghrist, born May 17 to Maggie and Josh Ghrist and brother, Matthew (2 1/2 years). Maggie and Josh have served with Lighthouse for Christ for 2 years now. They are currently on stateside in Tyler, Texas until May 2009.

Bob and Susan also celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in June! [guess who??]
Although we are sad thinking about returning to the field without children, we acknowledge that it is time:-)

The six month stateside has flown by and we are down to just a few weeks remaining. When we arrived in Decatur, Texas, back in July, we knew that the IMB was making some changes in the organization. During the last few weeks, those changes have changed the course of our future missionary service. Bob has been asked to be the Director of Finance for the Sub Saharan Africa Affinity Group. It will require a move to Johannesburg, South Africa, around July 1, 2009. We both have a peace about the position and the move, although leaving Kenya and closer proximity to the grandchildren is clearly a difficult thing. We covet your prayers for us
through this transition.

We want to thank each of you for your support of us in many different ways. Many of you pray for us and we want you to know we appreciate that and know it sustains us. Another simple truth is that we couldn't serve overseas as we have for the last 16 years without your gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Those gifts are the means by which we devote ourselves
to full-time ministry, providing us with a place to call home, transportation, medical care - even the schooling our children received.

It is both a humbling and exhilarating experience to live life dependent on the faithfulness and generosity of Southern Baptists and others who contribute to our needs. Thank you! Please know that many people around the world are truly celebrating Christmas for the first time this year because of your sacrifice for God's Kingdom.

Bob and Susan look forward to returning to Nairobi in mid January. We have enjoyed the peace and quiet of our time in Texas living on a black angus farm outside Decatur, but it will be good to get back to work and ministry and to some Ethiopian food!

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, Jesus,

Bob and Susan

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

ADULT 5 sends BOXES to TROOPS!!!

Update on boxes sent to GIs as an Adult V class project. We started out sending boxes to all those on our list Oct. 2007, at which time we sent 1 emergency box to a GI in Japan who was having a difficult time. In November, the class sent 7 boxes + 2 (one in rehab and one at home) making 9.

Dec 2007- sent 7 boxes + 1 in rehab = 8
Jan 2008- sent 2 boxes-we missed Christmas = 2
Then we started sending boxes of goodies to those "In Harm's Way"
and wounded and cards to the others.

Mar 2008- sent 8 boxes + 2 (one in rehab + a friend of his in rehab)=10
May 2008- sent 14 boxes + 2 (one in rehab + a friend of his in rehab)=16
July 4th 2008- Sent cards of Appreciation to about 20 GIs
Sept 2008- sent 12 boxes + 2 (one in rehab + a friend of his in rehab)=14
Dec 2008- sent 14 boxes (the wounded in rehab is getting out )
Dec boxes included candy and home baked goods = 14
Total to date: 74 boxes sent to our soldiers.

Thanks for all your help- collecting personal items, food items, baking, monetary donations, helping sort and pack packages, writing addresses and mailing boxes. God Bless all of you.

Becky Culpepper

Monday, December 1, 2008

Angel Tree for Mission Families

First Baptist will celebrate this Christmas by sending gifts to each of our mission partners. Join us by working with your Bible Study Group or Department to adopt one of our families and bless them this Holiday Season. Call the Church or check with one of our Mission Committee members: Frank Maxwell or Jerry Howard.

As every year, First leads the way in giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Last year we took in over $13,000 toward these worldwide mission causes. This year our goal is $20,000. The first $15,000 will go to Lottie Moon and anything over that up to the goal will go for our mission partners to help with projects like building a children's home in Mexico. Pray about giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Pastor and Mission Committee