To our dear brothers and sisters in Christ, at White Creek, from whom we are separated for the work of the Lord, for this little while. Grace, mercy and peace be unto you, in the name of Jesus.
Here we are in the big city, where life is so very different, but our God is the same. We live on a six-lane road, and we hear sirens all the time. We miss our quiet little home in Indiana. Marcus even insists that the country smells better: he much prefers the scent of a dairy farm to the mixed aromas of fast food and exhaust fumes. Yet, we are learning that there are a million ways to live faithfully as a Christian, a million different ways God’s grace can pour out of His church. There is a new kind of beauty to this life, and yet because Jesus is in the midst of it, it is also a familiar beauty.
The children are doing well. We have often thanked God for their White Creek teachers and the way they poured themselves out to teach and love our children for the years we were there. Their works were not in vain, and we rejoice to see the fruits of their labor in them as they adjust to their new school.
Pastor is energized by the new challenges here, and simultaneously overwhelmed to his knees, which is a good place for a pastor to be.
I (Emily) am slowly finding my niche. With all six children in school, five days a week, and no sweet Vandercars to babysit, I experienced a season of quiet grief. God is gently giving me rest, along with new work for a new season. I am working part-time at the church’s preschool and I love it. I am beginning a new group for moms, and hope to foster the kind of support and community among mothers as I experienced in White Creek.
When you pray for us, please pray that God would keep our hearts open to new people and our hands eager to do the new jobs that He sends. Pray that He would give the children good friends, and keep them safe in His care. Pray also that pastor may be upheld for his enormous task here, and that he would be a faithful and competent steward of God’s Word in this place.
We ache for you often, dear church family. We thank God for our time in your care, and the love that you showed us and our children. We pray for God’s care for each one of you, and for your beautiful church and school. You are so blessed in that place, and we pray God will continue to provide you with faithful teachers, and also a new pastor, that you may continue to work together in the Lord, faithful to His Word, and loving one another as we have seen you do so well.
God's richest blessings to you this Christmas and always,
With much love,
The Cook family
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:10-11)