It's been a while since I've last reported on our family and our busy lives here in Pennsylvania. It seems like it's harder and harder to make the time needed to sit down and write our blogs with everything that is going on. I am currently in a hotel in New Jersey just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. I drove a Christian School from our area near Three Springs here to Philadelphia on our coach bus for a two-day field trip. Since I am here with some extra time, I wanted to get our blog updated.
The last couple of months have been very busy as we have gotten into our spring retreat season at the inn. We hosted our biggest group of the year, almost 60 ladies, for a long weekend in March. It's tiring work to serve and feed these big groups for three days, but it is a good tired knowing that you are helping to facilatate a time that God regularly uses here to encourage and refresh those who come. We've also had a number of first time churches to come and use our facilities which is encouraging for us to see.
As spring has burst onto the scene especially early this year, I have found myself doing a number of different things as we transition from winter. There are always the last loads of hay that we try to sell and get out of the barns to make room for this year's crop. I get the opportunity to help my friend Nate roll and fertilize the hay fields in preparation for spring growth. There are apple trees to prune, flower beds to weed and mulch, and grass to start cutting. Our goldfish pond has to be drained and cleaned, and spring decorations have to be put up at the inn. Our challenge course and nature trails always need cleaning up from winter storm debris to make ready for spring groups. You never know what a week may bring forth here at Three Springs Ministries, but I always enjoy the different jobs that are included with the ministry.
We did have Kathryn's Mom and Grandparents visit in March, as well as my parents right after Easter. We met my parents near Philadelphia for a day to visit with my grandparents and also my Aunt and Uncles from the Rickert side of the family. We all enjoy being able to visit with family whenever we get the opportunit, and the kids especially have fun playing with their grandparents and great-grandparents. Having family here even allows Kathryn and me to slip away for a date as we did with another couple for dinner and a Laura Story concert. It's not easy making time for us to get away without the kids, but very needed occasionally.
We had a big surprise on April 23rd when we got a late winter storm that brought 5" of snow with it. This was the largest snowfall for us the entire winter and after such a warm and early start to spring! We quickly took advantage of this very wet snow that would melt very quickly to make a snowman and a snowfort in the front yard. We all had a lot of fun with our late winter surprise!
We thank the Lord for answered prayer in a couple of different areas, including Kathryn doing well with her pregnancy, and my truck finally selling since the last blog. We also had a scare with Clay which resulted in our first trip to the ER. It turned out not to be serious, so we thank the Lord for that. God always finds new ways to remind us that He is in control and our dependance must be on Him. We continue to value your prayers for us as we search for a home church, that the Lord will make it clear to us where He wants us. We are currently visiting another Baptist church in the area that we feel may be a good fit for us. They also have an AWANA program. Our kids just finished up with AWANA at the church we were previously visiting. They loved the year-end carnival that wrapped up the AWANA year. Audrey was more interested in all the games while Duncan was just as content to enjoy eating a hot dog. What fun!
Please pray also for us as we have decided to sell our home in S.C. which we had been renting. We hope to get it on the market sometime next month. Pray for a smooth selling transaction! We love and appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers for our family and enjoy updates on your families also.
Love in Christ,
Doug for the Rickert Family