Fruition!

Since Thanksgiving…

I finished two articles for the BCM World. Brian is now putting the magazine together and it will be published within the next week or two.

Our church put on its 9th Annual Living Christmas Village:

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The kid’s area kind of dictates the theme throughout and this year, they chose Christmas in Hawaii! It was very pretty and definitely a change from the norm. As usual, there was great music in the sanctuary and lots of free cookies and cocoa in The Hub. A great addition was having the Gospel clearly presented out at the Nativity scene by two of our pastors.

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Saturday, good friends watched our kids for the afternoon and evening so Brian and I could both volunteer. Brian is always the head sound guy; I help with seating and getting people through the tour (part of the event is a play and we allow in 50-70 people at a time). This year I was the doorkeeper to the entrance to the play and got to personally greet about 950 people! Sunday was even bigger; we estimate well over 2000 came through the Village this year. Which means that all 2000 clearly heard the Gospel!

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Before we headed out to the Village on Saturday, though, Brian thought he would sit in the woods for a few hours and see what would happen. I got an excited text at 8:30 saying, “I think I got my doe!” About an hour later, he came home to collect Big J, our hunter enthusiast, so he could see the deer and help him drag it home:

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Another friend came out today to help Brian process it since this is his first deer. We are ecstatic about the freezer of meat this provides our family! So proud of Brian!

We welcomed a new long-term family to MRF this past week. Our daughter has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 8 year old girl. She kindly left a note welcoming her to MRF and introducing herself. We tucked another note in their door on Friday about Christmas Village since they weren’t home. Sunday after church, E was floored to find a note in response tucked into our door! We got to meet them Sunday afternoon and found out their little girl had been praying for a friend during their time here, so this is obviously a gift from the Lord.

Lastly, I came home to find this in the mail today:

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This is the end result of hours of work for Brian. He poured through thousands of pictures, I sent multiple emails around the world asking for more pictures, he designed and compiled and edited, I wrote the text and he slashed it in half (haha), and this is the result! If you have supported a BCM missionary or the ministry in the past, it should be arriving in your mailboxes soon. If you do not receive one and would like one, drop us a note and we’ll be sure to get you one! They really turned out very nice.

On our agenda now:

  • Christmas Shopping in our Kidz Konnect Store on Wednesday night
  • Annual MRF Christmas Banquet on Friday
  • I teach Sunday School this month
  • Brian will be completing the BCM World and getting it online
  • Kids’ Christmas concert at school next week
  • And the big one…. A trip to Florida to visit my parents for Christmas!
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The snowman is his “senior buddy” at school – the youngest grades get paired up with the seniors each year and spend extra time with them. Big J was thrilled to see who it was and could not stop hugging him and visiting him! It was awesome!
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Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

Just wanted to take a minute to wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving! We continue to be grateful to God for where he has placed us… in a tiny house in the woods in the corner of Pennsylvania, ministering to our church family, missionaries from around the world, and our BCM co-workers. Thank you for being a part of that. Thank you for caring for our missionary kids, praying for us, keeping up with what we’re doing, and supporting us financially. If you have done any of that this year, then you are as much a part of our ministries as we are because we cannot do this alone. 

We hope your Thanksgivings are filled with wonderful family times and great food! We are home this year and have no visitors, which means it’ll be just our family for the first time ever for Thanksgiving! And we decided to do what every normal family would do in that case: celebrate on Friday. The kids generously shared their colds with us and even though Brian is basically fully-functioning, I am completely miserable, have no voice (which the kids think is hilarious, by the way), and have no desire to be in the kitchen coughing over the pumpkin roll. So, we’re postponing and declaring Thanksgiving Day the day of snack food, family games, and movies! 🙂 Whatever works, right??

Happy Thanksgiving!

Busy Week!

November is turning out to be a packed month. We worked together to finish the annual Christmas giving catalog for BCM. You should have received, or will receive soon, one via snail mail if you have ever supported us or another BCM ministry. Now, we’ve moved on to the 2018 calendar that gets handed out. Brian is compiling pictures and when he has the layout done, I’ll help him with the text. It’s an interesting task as wall calendars are not as popular anymore, so they need to be more artwork rather than functional. Brian does a fabulous job, though!

I am working on a couple of articles for the last BCM World of the year. I have also been asked to consider working on another publication and will decide this week if I have the time to devote to it or not. When I asked Brian his thoughts, though, he looked at me and said, “Based on how you’re smiling and how excited you are about this, I think you’ll find the time!”

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We had asked prayer for James as he had a little procedure done this week. He was sick a week ago and we weren’t sure if it was going to proceed as planned since he had to be put under anesthesia. But, he was cleared for surgery and Tuesday morning everything was done. We are thankful to God for how all of this transpired as his “routine procedure” turned out to be a little more complicated than planned. He is more sore than anticipated and still not moving around much, but is healing well. The whole thing could’ve been much worse, so God was gracious and spared him a lot! Thank you for continuing to pray for his recovery!

Winter temps hit NEPA this week, so Brian rushed to get everything winterized, especially the outdoor pavilion restrooms. We have vacant homes, so he had to check on pipes and plumbing as well. This week, we welcome some short-term guests and our new neighbors, whose arrival was delayed, should move in as well.

The kids are gearing up for Thanksgiving. Their classes will both participate in missions outreaches this week where they visit different nursing homes. Big J’s class is filling shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child and the entire school is collecting canned goods. Grandparent’s Day is coming up right before Thanksgiving; they’re thankful that a great friend from church is playing surrogate Grandma and will be there with them!

And then, in between all that, there’s been time for this:

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He’s anxiously awaiting deer season, especially with the regular appearance of a large buck on his trail camera right where he’s putting up his tree stand! At least he’s got a hobby. You all know Brian; it’s good to see him not working once in a while and doing something else he enjoys.

Welcome, November!

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We don’t do much for Halloween, but the kids got to participate in a community Trunk or Treat with friends and then they got some candy Halloween night.

October is past and we can officially start thinking about the holidays! Snow is in the forecast for today, the heat is on in the house, and everyone has a cough. Yup, sounds about right.

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Front row, ponytail with a white bow – that’s E.

I had the opportunity last week to speak at my kids’ school about the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. They called it “Reformation Celebration” and spent the afternoon teaching the children all about the Middle Ages and the importance of what Martin Luther, Gutenberg, and others did. This was the first time Big J has sat under any of my teaching besides Sunday School. It was almost surreal having his little blonde head sitting in a big kid class.

Brian has been working on putting new-to-MRF furniture into a couple of the homes. One home in particular needed new dressers and bedding; it changed the feel of the home and is a nice update. He got rid of some furniture and other items that are no longer needed – some necessary cleaning out before winter hits. He’s worked on getting leaves off of roofs and cleaning up around our private lake so it won’t flood (and found a giant, resilient beaver in the process!). When he’s not doing all that, you can find him fishing for bass or hunting for turkey. He’s anxiously awaiting doe season and we’re all holding out a little hope that we’ll have venison for the winter.

The kid’s ministries have been booming. We have welcomed new children every single week both Sundays and Wednesdays and have had a great attendance in every class. My team has taught children’s church all month and it’s gone very well. I asked Sunday if anyone feels God is calling them to be a missionary and had a whole group raise their hands! The discipleship time with the 6th grade has even touched on harder topics and been challenging for the girls. It’s been a full year already and we’re only two months in. Brian has even decided to join us on Wednesday evenings. It’s one of our favorite things – doing ministry together – and so I’ve been thankful to have him join us.

November includes:

  • a medical procedure for Baby J – please pray his cough clears up so they can proceed as planned next week.
  • a conference for me for women’s leadership training.
  • prep for our church’s biggest outreach of the year, the Living Christmas Village.
  • Grandparent’s Day & Thanksgiving – our first two big events with the grandparents in Florida – pray for the kids as this will be especially hard on them. We are praising God for surrogate grandparents who are filling their shoes and doing a great job with it!
  • numerous ‘short-stays’ here at MRF, which means lots of double-checking homes to ensure they’re ready for the next guests.

Have a wonderful first week of the new month!

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……this smile is just about the best thing ever.

Fall Ministries

Birthdays are over and fall is supposedly here, but the weather feels like spring and the colors of the leaves are pretty dismal. But, a part of me secretly loves the fact that it’s still warm so late because that means less time in the bitter cold! I’ll take it!

Here’s what’s been going on around here:

I spoke in chapel at the kids’ school on Sept. 27 – Big J’s birthday (I was essentially at school all day). It was a blast and I was so glad I got to do it! I speak again in February, but told them I’d be willing to be a fill-in if they needed someone last minute. It was just to the elementary, but it was so much fun. I return to the school on Oct. 29 to help teach part of a “Reformation Celebration.” I thoroughly love doing more at the school and being a hands-on part of their education, even if it’s in small areas.

The day I was gone to Philadelphia, our roof got replaced (if you haven’t read about my experience in Philadelphia yet, click the link). A team of men from area churches came and helped Brian redo our roof. It was a HUGE blessing, especially because Brian didn’t have to do it alone! Our roof was getting quite ‘iffy’, so having a new one before winter is awesome.

We had people move out of MRF and realized we had a lot of work in a couple of homes. One was just in need of basic maintenance due to normal wear and tear, but the end result was lots of plumbing, a fair amount of cleaning up afterwards, and digging out new bedding and towels. But, it looks great and should be set for awhile now.

We have a number of “short stays” the rest of October, then a few will be here for longer stretches starting in November. We were overjoyed to provide a stay for a couple who had never had a break from ministry, not even for a honeymoon. They loved their restful week here and were a good reminder of why we are involved at MRF. Our daughter is seeing once again that God cares about her: she has been praying faithfully for a family with a daughter to move in next door. She gets her answer on Nov. 1 when a family with one child – an 8 year old girl – moves in for a year and a half!

2017 coming to a close means lots of computer work for Brian and writing for myself. We are currently working on the giving catalog, then the 2018 BCM calendar that gets handed out. We have been tasked with the design and the writing for both.

We had our first Skill Nite of the year this past Wednesday at church. We had a blast teaching them about puppets. The leaders did a phenomenal job, especially considering a number of things that went ‘wrong’ behind the scenes! We had a big turnout and a number of guests. By every estimation, it was a wildly successful evening.

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The end of Skill Nite with one of our leaders sharing his testimony with the 30 kids.
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Brian took the big kids fishing a few weeks ago. Big J is an avid fisherman who loves it so much. E is a little more unsure. 🙂 
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My girl and I, since I realized I’m usually the photographer and don’t share many pics of myself!

Biegert Birthday Week!

Every year, I try to write up a little tribute to my kids on their birthdays and it’s that time again!

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Big J turned 5 yesterday. I remember turning 5, so I know this is a milestone of sorts as memories are now going to start sticking.

This has been a big year for Big J. He asked Jesus to be his Savior this year. We’re still working on growth with him, but that’s normal. He’s turned into quite the fisherman – still incredibly patient and hauls in more of a catch than his father when they go out together. He loves to get enough fish to “feed the family.” He helps Brian all the time and is a hard, persistent worker. He’s my sweet boy who is quick to give kisses and hugs, especially if someone is sad or hurt. He’s kind and doesn’t like to see other people upset. We are still working on sharing and not teasing his sister, but we’re pretty sure that’s going to be a life long struggle.

We are thankful for his sense of humor, his sweet spirit, and his work ethic. Just praying he keeps these qualities as he grows up!

 

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Oh this girl. She turns 7 tomorrow and is more grown up and mature by the day. Some days, I wonder if I’m talking to a 7 year old or a 14 year old! She comes up with the deepest stuff; I can’t even imagine what she’ll be like as a teen. Her current kicks are face painting, bike riding (she mastered riding a 2-wheeler this year!), and science. She is curious about a lot of things, including outer space and how things work. She informed me last night that she wants to build a robot when she grows up. She is kind and considerate, makes friends easily, and cares deeply. All of her emotions are strong – if she feels something, she’s all in, good or bad. She’s spiritually very sensitive and is worried about everyone’s spiritual state. Her prayers are sincere and is the perfect example of childlike faith in a great, big God Who listens to her.

We are most concerned in just honing all of her amazing attributes and helping her see the potential she has. Helping her grow in self-control and patience with others.

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We thought life was an adventure before these 3, but boy, were we wrong. I haven’t been bored in 7 years. Something random, weird, and/or exciting happens every day. They alternate between making me want to pull my hair out and being so in love with them I could just cry. Life is loud, messy, crazy, silly, frustrating, and so much fun. I’m thankful for healthy children who love Jesus. I’m grateful God gifted us with another year of life for both of them.

To read last year’s tributes, click here and here. Here’s Big J’s 3rd birthday and E’s 5th. There’s more, but I won’t bore you with much older posts!

Fall Beginnings

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And we’re off and running! I spent this week prepping for today’s start-up of fall programs at church. I’m not a decorator at heart, but thanks to Pinterest, there’s new decor and new bulletin boards in each classroom along with more things on the walls in the Kidz Church area. It may not be perfect, but at least it’s colorful! We had a phenomenal first day back with a full worship service and overflowing classes. I have a fantastic group of teachers who came prepared and ready to go for a new year. Move-up Sunday is busy and exciting for everyone. This Wednesday will be our kick-off for our Wednesday evening program. If today’s attendance was any indication, we’re going to be filled to overflowing this week – the best kind of ‘problem’ to have! Praise the Lord for being fully-staffed!

Meanwhile at MRF, Brian got siding done on another portion of the Main House. He has one more end to do – way up high – the hardest part. And then he’ll work on painting the front of the house instead of trying to side the whole thing. It was a cold, rainy week, hindering a lot of his outside work.

I have an awesome opportunity this month that came up last minute. An organization in Philadelphia contacted our BCM HQ and asked for some help for an evangelistic event they’ll be holding in Courthouse Square on Sept. 23. It’s a huge event and they’re expecting about 1000 children to come through. They needed someone to present the Gospel about every hour during the event to groups of children. After some prayer and discussion with Brian, I went ahead and accepted the invitation. Amazing how our Family Carnival has become practice for a much larger event! I will head to Philly on the 22nd and the event is 11am-6pm on the 23rd. Please pray with me; I have never been to Philadelphia by myself and have to navigate a large city and find my way around, plus meet up with and work with a group of people I have never met. And I’ll be presenting the Gospel 4-5 times to inner city children in one afternoon. I feel very unqualified and nervous! Yet so excited and humbled to have this opportunity!

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School is going very well for the big kids. As you can see in the picture, we’ve had to break out some winter clothes lately due to some cooler temps. All three kids managed to come down with colds this week, randomly enough. I’ve been busy disinfecting every night and trying to get a handle on germs because this feels just too early to have to be dealing with this! The toddler and I are enjoying some quieter days alone, allowing me to get work done at church beyond just my Mondays in the office, and to even sit and relish in a quiet house for a little bit each day.

For those who may be wondering – my parents are not in Florida yet and don’t plan on heading down until the 20th, barring no major hurricane damage since their condo is now in the direct path of the storm (at least, as it sits right now). My brother and family are in Pensacola and do not need to evacuate, but are keeping an eye on things and will adjust life as needed. We are just continuing to pray that God calms this storm.