Family Letter by Debra
As I begin to write our family letter for the year 2017, my mind wonders back to an email I received a couple of weeks ago from a very dear friend. Her words have echoed over and over again in the mind and heart. This is what she had to say, “Congratulations to David for being accepted into college!! Another one leaving home.... I find that the adjustment is never easy. ...... Sometimes I wonder where I fit in - not in a bad way, but just because things are not the same anymore. I'm pretty sure you know exactly what I mean; Deb, Life is so full of changes, all the time.” It is true things are not the same anymore and life is so full of changes, but the Lord never changes and in that truth I put my faith and trust.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8
January, February, and March - Snow, snow, and more snow! The winter snow accumulated more than any prior winters since 2002, our first winter here. Biblické Baptistické Shromáždění Brno (Bible Baptist Church of Brno) focused on evangelism. In order to accomplish this goal we introduced some changes each month. We encouraged members to write their salvation testimony, to memorize the “Roman Road”, and to give to other mission works. Our grandchildren are each unique and played an important part in our family during 2017. They are such encouragement to us and are changing every day. We love to hear stories. Changes in our family happen daily. David continued to do well in school, but he took every opportunity to ask for a “snow day”- some things never change. Jeff had his hand repaired. The plastic surgeon was able to repair the damaged “trigger finger” caused by another surgeon during corrective surgery. He now has use of that finger again which is a big change. And as for me, all my doctor visits are finished and I am back to normal, well as normal as I am able to be. - falling and hitting ones head is no fun.
April, May, and June – We continued the “Bibles in the park” ministry in Brno and added nearby villages. We made changes and ran several new advertisements to get the name of the church, Biblické Baptistické Shromáždění Brno, out among the people. Among those advertisements were Face book, our web address, QR code, flyers and other printed materials, personal invitations. We had a few visitors; but had hoped to reach more for Christ. As I said at the start of this letter “Life is full of changes”. Gina, Daniel, and Lydia moved from Colorado to Kentucky. Donna’s training time period was completed. Her employer was pleased with how quickly she learned their system. Lilibeth, Elaina, and Elijah finished their first year of school in Missouri. James was on the “Dean’s list”. David finished the 11th grade, took the SAT, scored high, and decided to apply to the college of the Ozarks, where his brother attends.
July, August, and September - The summer, the hottest recorded, has not only stressed the power grid and hospitals, but the continuous high temperature caused the šalina track at the Osová stop to bend. Biblické Baptistické Shromáždění Brno started scripture memory from the book of John a change from the “Roman Road”. Bibles were still free in the park and new tracts for the winter season were completed and ready for printing. Ready for the changes and challenges ahead, our grandchildren returned to school, David started his senior year, and James received his learner’s permit and has been learning to drive. I changed the inserts in my shoes relieving the pain in my left foot, Jeff and I celebrated 35 years of marriage, and David after one very difficult morning was admitted into the children’s hospital and scheduled for surgery. They cleared a small blockage at the base of the bladder and enlarged the urethra.
October, November, and December - Just how many people have their future all planned out, they have read, written, and added everything into their plans, except the fundamentals of eternity and the unexpected changes and challenges of life. Just before our weather turned ugly and rainy, we added another park to our Bible campaign. Our children and grandchildren are doing well during the autumn months, looking forward to the holidays. They are all into so much, Donna’s job, James’s summer internship interview and Tigerhack competition, Lydia, Lilibeth, Elaina, and Elijah’s school subjects and activities, Gina finished writing her book, David and Jeff have been working together on Pre-calculus, and for me this will be my last year of homeschooling – what a change that will be.
To finish out the year, we experienced a few additional joys and sorrows – David was accepted into the College of the Ozarks, James received a summer internship with American Century in Kansas City, Missouri, one year since the death of Jeff’s brother, an open door into one of the orphanages with Bibles and tracts, and much needed supplies, mitten ministry to warm hands and hearts, new tracts distributed, and the “homeless” bags found their home among a small number of the homeless of Brno, and a greater falling away of those who attend Biblické Baptistické Shromáždění Brno, and an increasing coldness to spiritual matters among the Czechs.
I have tried to give an overview of 2017 for our family and the ministry. You can read more details and view photos at Allisonz.net. Happy New Year and May God bless you richly for your faithfulness to Him.
I want to say thank you to each of you for your prayers, gifts, encouraging cards, notes and emails, and support.
Love and Prayers,