Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Blog Update for 9/27 - 11/2

Well,  last time I updated the blog I was saying that fall had come, and now I am saying that fall has gone.  We had snow all day this past Saturday but not a lot of accumulation like some parts of the state.  It was very pretty to see all the trees and ground white again, but I am afraid we will be seeing that more than we think this winter.

We have about 2 more weeks of retreats that will cap off our busy fall season which has been non-stop for the last ten weeks.  We have hosted groups of church Sunday school classes, church ladies retreats, church  couples retreats, a hunting camp reunion, quilting retreats, scrap-booking retreats, and even a ladies Red-Hatters Dinner.  Although the majority of our groups are church related, we do have the opportunity to serve groups that probably are majority non-believers as our schedule allows.  It's a good opportunity to show Christ's love and to explain what our ministry is all about.  Pray for continued renewing and refreshing of Christians and also opened eyes for those who don't know Jesus.  The Lord has given strength and endurance for us, as we have been very busy with our hosting responsibilities.

In between time with the groups, we have tried to enjoy some really nice weather and also some activities with our neighbors.

 We praise the Lord for our neighbors who are mostly professing believers who have really made an effort to include us in their community.  This year has been one of the best apple seasons for this area in probably 20 years.  We got to help the neighbors right across from us pick apples out of their orchard for eating, sauce, and cider.

  They gave us as much as we wanted, and we got to see how they make their cider, just as they have done for the last 100 years.

  We love learning about the farming way of life in this area and experiencing a simple lifestyle that emphasizes family and friends.  People are very generous and have a spirit of servanthood towards one another.  We try to encourage them as much as possible and continue to look for new relationships to foster in our community.

We enjoyed having Kathryn's parents and grandparents spend about 5 days with us last month.  They got to spend a lot of time with the children, and we had a couple of nice days to show them around the area and just enjoying being together. 

Kathryn had planned to sing for a Child Evangelism Fellowship banquet last month and had worked together about a 30 minute concert, but she developed a cold and sore throat the week of the banquet.  She reluctantly had to cancel, but we continue to pray for opportunities for her to use her music and singing gifts for the Lord.  She is helping the children at church with a hand bells group that will be playing and singing this coming Saturday for a Veterans Appreciation Breakfast our church is hosting in the community.  Pray that all goes well for that outreach.  

Three Springs Farm is finishing up their field-trip season, in which they hosted elementary and middle school groups of all sizes for a day of fun fall activities.  They got to play games and do crafts, observe and catch chickens, watch horse demonstrations, walk our corn maze, eat lunch,  take a tractor-pulled wagon ride and take a pumpkin home with them.  We had groups about every day during the week through the month of October.  We pray that the experience they have with us will be very positive and that it will translate into many of them coming back for our camps in the summer where they will the Good News.

Kathryn and I are both participating in a mentoring program with our True North Interns, in which we spend a few hours together one afternoon  a week with our assigned interns.  Pray for us as we try to encourage them and  keep them accountable in their walk with the Lord and their growth  here. Kathryn's intern is a young girl named Katie who is from southeast PA, and my intern is Wade, who is a young Navajo Indian from Arizona.

All the children are doing well.  Audrey and Duncan continue to do homeschooling with Kathryn.  Their favorite part of the day is their Bible lesson, which they are soaking up.  We pray for their salvation and growth in the Lord.  Clay is really starting to talk a lot more here lately and is quite a handful.  They all get along really well and enjoy playing together.

Thank you all for your prayers, and thank you also to those who help us financially.  The Lord is faithful through the giving of His people to allow us to serve Him here full-time.  We think of you all often and love to hear how you are doing. 

For His Glory, The Rickert Family