I hope you are all doing well! As I write this the sun is shining which is AWESOME - since most of February has been overcast. The Elk are out in full force as we drive to and from steamboat each week (they like to steal food from all of the cows). And things are going great. There is a lot to update you on as we move into March, so here are a few things to catch you up.
Christmas Eve (better late than never)
Many of you know already but our Christmas Eve Service went great! I preached at two services- one further north in the old Hahn's peak village school house, and one at NRCC in the charter school. For several years if has been a community tradition for some of the folks that live in Hahn's peak village to have a Christmas Eve service at the historic school house and this year I was asked to speak. It was a lot of fun and we actually used the school bell to call people in - which was ... Awesome! We had about 30 people show up to that at about 5PM. Then 2.5 hours later we had our service for North Routt Community Church and it was a blast! It was an absolutely packed house (We ran out of chairs) of a 100 people and we were able to join together and celebrate the birth of our King. It was really special. Here are a few pictures from the night.
|A few people in the back (mostly from the Ranch) were troopers as they stood most of the night.|
|There is Andrew (left) & Bubba (Right) leading us in worship. (2 of 6 who helped lead us)|
|Singing "Silent Night" with candles lit|
It was an awesome night to see the community gather like that! Right after service Suz and I packed up and jetted off to Indianapolis/Chicago for the holidays, which brings us into another story...
The nightmare that was Christmas travels (At least Denny's is open on Christmas day)
Suz and I were all hopped up on caffeine and ready to drive through the night (we had left Clark around 11PM). The plan was to drive straight to Kansas City so we could caravan with Suzanna's sister and brother in-law, Bekah and Andrew. But sometimes plans don't work out. Instead we didn't even make it to Kansas before our Subaru said, "you know what? I don't really feel like driving anymore" - which sounded a lot like our engine popping, followed by a horrible clicking noise. Long story short we broke down at 6AM, Christmas day in Stratton Colorado - which with no disrespect, it is in the middle of nowhere... So we get the car towed to Burlington CO which actually had some shops. We get our car to 1 of their two shops and have our very nice tow guy drop us off at a mom and pop motel. It was so "mom and pop" that the owner (an older lady) came out in a bath robe because she had been in the shower (haha). After she heard our sob story (I also told her I was a pastor) she took pity on us and gave us a room for free. It was incredibly nice and took a little of the sting out of a pretty crummy Christmas. In between naps and HGTV we tried to figure out how the heck we were going to get to Indianapolis without a car (The shop was closed for the day and I was pretty sure the engine was shot) and no rental car for 200+ miles from where we were. So we did the only thing we could- we walked to the nearby gas station/Dennys to eat our feelings...And because of the emotional state we were in - it was glorious. However, although we went back to our room full we still didn't know what to do. At this point the family knew we were stuck and Andrew (brother in-law) offered to come get us and drive us back to KC - A total of 12 HOURS! Even though we felt bad, we accepted and he came and brought us back to KC and from there we all decided to drive through the night again (I know, what were we thinking). They let Suz and I borrow their second car and we hit the road. Well to close the story we got to Indy and Chicago, so it all worked out. I turns out the Subaru blew it's engine and needed a replacement. We decided to go ahead and replace it since the cost was much less than its worth. We would have never been able to afford it if it wasn't for the generosity of family that graciously chose to foot the bill for us and we could not be more thankful! So that was the condensed Saga of our trip back to the Midwest
Since we've been back
In the months that we have been back a lot has happened. We are so thankful for the ways that God has worked in and through our community here. We had one of my mentors Keith Carlson come and stay with us, which was a great encouragement. We are continuing to meet every week for service and every month for community dinners in each others homes. We now want to have a community outreach dinner at the charter school for anyone and everyone who wants to come and eat with us. We are thinking of doing that every other month and advertising it in the community. Also this month, I participated in a 2 day training program called ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) because suicide is a surprising, yet glaring issue within our community. Also NRCC is in the process of partnering with a group called REPS (Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide) to run a clinic up in Clark for the whole community to be trained in ways to be aware of warning signs and how we can ask questions and connect others to help and resources. Suicide is such an area of brokenness here and we want the Church to step into that brokenness to offer love and hope to those who feel hopeless. And to close with, we finally got the internet at home!!! We were without the internet at home for about a month and a half, which was preeeetty awful. So since we are hooked up to the world wide web you can now expect more updates from us in the near future.
Please let us know if you have anymore questions, comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have a Facebook page for the Church that will give some info on whats happening at the church, so be sure to check it out if you are interested!
Thanks so much for your love and support,
Dave & Suz