Family News


“It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him” Genesis 2:18.

Signing the Register by Edmund Blair Leighton

 

Recently there has been a flurry of engagements and weddings among my friends from church and school and even in my own family! Two of my cousins and my own dear brother have each entered into the sacred covenant of marriage this summer and one more cousin will follow this fall.

The first wedding was in May. My dear little cousin Courtney married Chad Phelps, a godly young man whom she met while attending school up at Maranatha. The wedding was beautiful! I am so happy for them and excited to see how God will use them as they serve Him together.

Kenny and Hannah (photo courtesy of Jana and Janene Brackbill)

My brother’s wedding was on July 6. Last August/September, at the close of Kenny’s leave, my mom suggested that Ashley and I “introduce” Kenny to some of the sweet girls we know via facebook. He was quite taken with one of the profiles I showed him…the one of my friend Hannah Potter. I met Hannah a number of years ago at Mount Calvary, the church where I was a member during my time at BJU. The Lord enabled us to renew our acquaintance a couple of years ago when I returned to BJU to finish my degree. After a note of introduction (warning Hannah that she would soon receive a friend request and note from my brother) their correspondence began. After a month or so of writing, a meeting was arranged and Kenny and Hannah met in person for the first time. Not long after, the Lord made it clear that He intended them for each other. In February, approximately six months after the first letter, Kenny, with her father’s full blessing, asked Hannah to be his wife. The wedding was a glorious celebration of all that God has done! They plan to spend the first two years of their marriage in Korea, Kenny’s next duty station.

Two of my other cousins, Josh and Caleb, will also be married very soon. Josh is getting married this afternoon and his brother Caleb this fall.

It is exciting to see how God has worked and brought each couple together for His glory. May each of these marriages grow to become radiant pictures of Christ and the church!

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“In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You, For You will answer me” Psalm 86:7.

three-pink-rosesThroughout my family’s life the Lord has repeatedly shown Himself strong on our behalf by answering countless prayers. We had occasion to review some of these experiences during our friend Tulip’s visit. We sat around the table rejoicing over the times that God has provided food when the pantry was bare and money to pay bills when our resources fell far short. God hears His children and is faithful to provide, we encouraged our friend.

Just a day or so later, while driving Tulip back to Greenville, God vividly demonstrated His willingness to answer prayer. As we approached Atlanta we heard a strange noise coming from our van. Our concern was aroused, but when we changed lanes the noise stopped and we assumed it must simply have been some grating in the road. Not giving the noise another thought, we decided to stop in Marietta for a bite to eat and some shopping. After our break, we got back on the road and drove almost all the way through Atlanta when suddenly we heard that strange noise again, this time much louder. It only took a couple of seconds for us to realize that something was terribly wrong with our tire. Thankfully traffic was relatively light, and the Lord cleared the way for us to limp across approximately six lanes to the wide shoulder on the other side of the road. Upon inspection we discovered the mangled remains of our ruptured tire. None of us girls (only my mom, Tulip, little Sarah, and I were on the trip) know how to change a tire, so we started praying. My mom pulled the spare tire out of its hold but the jack was nowhere to be found and we could not reach my dad on the phone to ask him where else to look. Tulip wanted to try to flag someone down, but I explained that it could be potentially dangerous for just anyone to stop. Instead we simply needed to pray for the Lord to send someone trustworthy to help us–a policeman or a nice person.

Just a few minutes later, while we continued to pray and survey our situation, someone did stop. A pick-up truck pulled off the road in front of us and a dark, solidly built man with an island accent climbed out. The man, whose bumper sticker led us to suspect he was an off-duty state trooper, kindly yet very firmly took command of the situation, warning us to not get near the edge of the road. Still unable to locate our jack, he dug his out, only to discover that it was incompatible with our wheel.  After a moment’s thought, he decided to get the proper tool from an auto parts store off the next exit and promised to return. Shortly after he left, Daddy returned our call and told us to find the jack hidden in a side panel of the van, which, in our excitement, we had completely overlooked.

Just minutes later, another man stopped–a very nice person with a little girl buckled in the backseat. He was able to quickly change the tire and gave us directions to the nearest Wal-Mart where we could purchase a new tire. Meanwhile the other man returned and my mom, running over to his truck, thanked him, giving him a tract and some money for his trouble. We very much appreciate his kindness!

The second man refused any remuneration, taking only the tract and saying that maybe one day someone would help his little girl. About five minutes later we pulled off the exit he had instructed us to take and were debating upon which way to turn, when suddenly we realized that the man was still in front of us. He graciously led us all the way to the Wal-Mart (about a mile down the road), pointing out the auto center before going on his way. How kind of him to make sure that we found the place safely! How good of the Lord to so thoroughly and specifically answer our prayers!

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me” Psalm 50:15.

“For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 100:5).

By God’s grace, after many hours of intense study and very little sleep, my final semester of college is complete!

Vida and Ashley at Commencement

Ashley and me after Commencement (There was a mix-up with the BFA hoods. They accidentally handed me a white hood instead of a dark brown one to match my tassel. I exchanged it later, but, unfortunately, the new pictures did not turn out.

The semester opened with my senior art exhibit.

guest book

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It seldom snows in Greenville, so this unexpected snowfall (on March 1) and the resulting half-day of classes was a delightful surprise.

snow

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Once every four years, the University enjoys a special day of games and activities called Gold Rush Daze. The unseasonably warm weather took everyone by surprise and nearly the whole campus ended the day with a bright red sunburn.

Emily and Vida at Gold Rush Daze 2009

My roommate Emily and me enjoying Gold Rush Daze 2009

With my friend JiWoo

Enjoying the lovely weather the first day of Bible Conference

My friends Ji Woo and Bora

My friends Ji Woo and Bora

The last month of school was especially difficult. I had to work night and day to finish papers, projects, and paintings. God was faithful to provide grace and strength and enabled me to finish the race.

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A beautiful rainbow gracing the sky after all my exams were complete

Melinda and Vida

Melinda and I enjoyed a lovely picnic in the Gazebo in celebration of finishing all of our exams

The last few days of school before Commencement were spent packing, cleaning, and attending various award ceremonies, recitals, and concerts.

Cleaning under the matress

Cleaning under the mattress

Emily

Emily cleaning

Katie and me after Artist Series

My friend Katie and me after our final Artist Series

With Elissa after the award ceremony and music recital (Lizzy in the background)

With Elissa after Thursday morning's sermon contest and honors recital (I found it quite amusing that Lizzy, a friend from my home church of whom I saw very little all semester, just happened to make it into this picture.)

all six of the BFA candidates at the commencement rehearsal

The six BFA candidates at commencement rehearsal

Ashley attended the Commencement Concert with me

It was a treat to have Ashley attend the Commencement Concert with me

after commencement

After Commencement

Graduation Party

Graduation Party at Aunt Sarah's house

After graduation, my friend Tulip came home with us for a week. (We are taking her back to BJU a little bit later this morning.) We had a wonderful time showing her the sites and learning many fascinating things about Chinese language and culture.

Tulip with Timmy and Sarah

Tulip with Timmy and Sarah

Sarah's sidewalk portrait of Tulip

Sarah's sidewalk portrait of Tulip

Tulip and Mama on the Walnut Street Bridge

Tulip and Mama on the Walnut Street Bridge

In Coolidge Park

In Coolidge Park

Tulip and Ashley riding the Incline

Tulip and Ashley riding the Incline

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

senior art exhibit invitation Since Christmas, my family and I have been working hard to complete the final details for my senior art exhibit, which will be on display at Bob Jones University (Greenville, SC) in the Sargent Art Building from January 18-February 6. (Anyone in the area during that time would be welcome to come view the exhibition.) This art show, the last major requirement for my degree (outside of classwork), has been a huge undertaking! I’m so thankful for my dear family and all the work they are back of invitationputting in to make this show a reality. Our house resembles a frame shop at the moment! While I have been finishing several paintings, my dad and brother have been building beautiful frames, which my mom is now staining, and my dear sister has been running errands and helping to keep the whole operation running smoothly. I am indeed blessed to have such a wonderful family! There is still much to be done, but I trust that, with God’s gracious enablement, all will be in place when the show opens on the 18th.

French News Cast, Vida and Laura

French News Cast--Vida and Laura

These past few months have been a whirlwind of activity! After five years of working and waiting on God’s perfect timing, the Lord very suddenly made it possible for me to return to Bob Jones University to complete my final year. Just a week or so before the fall semester opened we received a phone call regarding a scholarship for which I had applied months ago. Previously I had been notified that I would not be receiving this scholarship, but now they were calling to inform me that I had been chosen as a runner up and would be receiving it after all. It was a scramble to complete all the paperwork and packing, but somehow the Lord helped us accomplish everything and within a very short time I found myself enrolled as a student at BJU. The Lord blessed me with a wonderful roommate, excellent teachers, and a number of good friends. By His grace all of my classes, as well as my internship, went well.

The last couple weeks of school were extremely busy. For the final project in my French Conversation class we were required to put together and film a news broadcast in French. My team members and I worked very hard writing our scripts, practicing our lines, and filming our stories. We were right on schedule to begin editing when we ran into major technical difficulties. We had used two cameras for our filming, one that belonged to the school and the other to one of our teammates. Apparently the two cameras were not compatible. The media center staff spent several hours trying to remedy the problem, but in the end we had to re-film everything that was shot on one of the cameras. This major set-back left us working feverishly night and day down to the very last minute. God gave much grace and we were very thankful to have a finished product to turn in at the exam!

Danae filming Laura

Danae filming Laura

Danae and Maria filming

More filming--Danae and Maria

Maria and Natalie

Maria and Natalie editing

Vida and Maria

Editing down to the very last minute

After three and a half months of very hard work, it is wonderful to be home again! Kenny came home on leave Sunday night. What a blessing to have everyone home for Christmas this year!

This final week before Christmas has been very full. Tuesday we held our annual Happy Birthday to Jesus Christmas Bible Club Party. Approximately twenty-five children plus several adults were in attendance. It was a blessing to have Miss Patti Anderson come again to teach the Bible lesson. The children enjoyed meeting her special friend Lenny.

Miss Patti

Miss Patti teaching Bible Club

Miss Patti and Lenny

Miss Patti introduced the children to Lenny.

Ashley leading music

Ashley led the singing.

caroling

children singing christmas carols

children singing carols

Little Sarah (the girl my family tutors) is spending Christmas with us again this year. On Christmas Eve she and my dad worked together to build a charming little gingerbread house.

Reading The Gingerbread Baby after building the gingerbread house

Reading The Gingerbread Baby after building the gingerbread house

Christmas morning Ashley made a scrumptious batch of pancakes for breakfast, including one in the shape of a gingerbread boy for Sarah.

Sarah's gingerbread boy pancake

While the rest of us were savoring the food and fellowship, Sarah could hardly wait to get through breakfast and family devotions. When the approval finally came, she made a mad dash for the tree and it was all we could do to get her to wait for everyone else before opening presents. Sarah has been praying for an American Girl doll for a long time and was absolutely delighted to receive one from her parents. Sarah and Mia

We spent an enjoyable afternoon with family and friends and closed the evening with music and a good time of family discussion.

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music

“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” Luke 2:10-11, 14.

Each summer my family hosts a week long neighborhood Bible Club.  (Last year we began holding one in my grandparent’s neighborhood as well.)  With all the extra pressures of a month of summer school, my independent studies course, and a number of other responsibilities, we did not have time to adequately prepare for the clubs.  So the Lord graciously sent Miss Patti Anderson to help teach.  This left me free to paint and relieved a lot of stress for Mama and Ashley.  The clubs ended up being some of the best ever!  Praise the Lord!  Between the two clubs, we had fifty different people (kids and a few parents) attend over the course of the week.  One little girl prayed to receive the Lord as her Savior.   

~Bible Club at Grandpa and Grandma’s House~

~Bible Club at Our House~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Solomon Strings Rehearsing for Church~

~Painting~

 

 

 

Little Sarah took this picture for us.  Time flew so quickly these past few weeks while Kenny was home!  This past Thursday (July 17–the end of Kenny’s leave) dawned all too early!  There was so much to do, we barely had time to eat the delicious pancakes Ashley prepared for breakfast.  After devotions, we all drove to the airport, including Little Sarah, the dear little girl we tutor.  She helped take a few of the many photographs we took.  (Poor Kenny was the subject of so many photos, he felt like a celebrity.)  Below are a few  of our favorites.  

 

 

 

Kenny and Ashley

Kenny and Ashley

Kenny and Little Sarah

Kenny and Little Sarah

Goodbye, Kenny!!  (He did turn around and wave, but, alas, the camera was too slow!)

Goodbye, Kenny!! (He did turn around and wave, but, alas, the camera was too slow!)

“The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace”  (Numbers 6:24-26).

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