Monday, July 31, 2006

Oceans of Fellowship

Saturday morning, shortly before J.A. was going to leave to go study at the church, we received a phone call from Alex Henderson asking us if we wanted to go boating with some people from the church. So, at 1:00 we began driving out to the ocean. We had a wonderful time being able to visit with four different families from the church.
The above pictures is of Ruth Simmons, Jessica and Jacques Beau, Laurie and Alex Henderson (Andrew [Fuzz] and Heidi's parents).
Above is the Elton and Roberta Steeves and their son William.
And you already know who this handsome man is!
At first Kara was terrified to be on the boat;
as she got her sea legs, she became braver than I would like.
Lydia was comfortable just letting Daddy hold her
as she watched everyone swimming in the ocean
Kara couldn't decide whether or not she wanted to join Emily and Stephanie
in the water swimming, but she definately enjoyed being dipped in.

Wow, I was just thinking from all of my posts that it appears we are up here just having fun and playing. However, we have been quite busy with the church. JA spends every day at the church studying, preparing for VBS, and visiting people. I will be posting more on what we have been doing at the church when I remember to actually take the camara to the church.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Genesis 33:20 states "And he erected there an altar, and called it El-el'ohe-Israel." This name means God is the God of Israel. This is the first time in his life that Jacob referes to God as being his God. In Genses 28:20-21, "And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God."

Jacob was unwilling to have a personal relationship with God unless God brought him back safely to his home (never mind the fact that God had already given Jacob the promise of being the stronger nation).

When I read this in my devotions today, I was greatly convicted. Have I tried to put conditions on my relationship with God, or can I say El-el'ohe-Tracy? Thankfully, I believe I can say I haven't placed conditions/demands, yet I know it would be so easy for me at any time to begin to doubt God's promises.

I am so thankful that God's Word is Truth, and that God is the Father of Truth. Because of this I can rebuke my doubts with the promises God has given to me in his Word. My favorite promise of late has been "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Despite our circumstances and the unknowns that we face, I can trust God to always provide for us and our family.

I am also thankful for the wonderful husband God has given me in J.A. I know that when I get discouraged, JA will return my focus to what is true and what God has promised us. Oh how blessed I feel to know my God and the hope He gives me for each day.

Book I strongly Recommend: Created to be His Helpmeet. by Debbi Pearl. Terri Janke gave this book to me while we were visiting them, and I just finished reading it. I can honestly say it has totally changed my perspective of what my marriage is suppose to be like (not to mention how I am to disciple my children).

Our Temporary Home in Canada

One of the things I have enjoyed greatly is the home that the church has provided for us. It has been wonderful being able to have a place to call ours. I have also enjoyed having the privacy for taking care of the girls. I never thought I would enjoy living in the country (Northland doesn't count). I have loved being out here away from the busy city. I have even enjoyed drinking milk straight from the cow -- something I said I would never do since we used to get farm fresh milk when I was a little girl. Amazingly, Lydia has even been able to drink the milk. She can't even drink store milk without throwing up. What a blessing that the Lord has allowed her to be able to digest the milk! We only have one can of formula left, and formula up here costs about $30 a can. I am excitedly amazed at how the Lord has been meeting our needs since we have arrived here.

Here is a picture of our new home. It is a three bedroom farmhouse. The people at the church have graciously supplied us with furniture, dishes, cookwear, and a host of other things for us to use including a variety of toys for the girls. We are blessed to be able to work with such a wonderful group of people here.

Having the huge front yard has been such a blessing since I can send Kara outside without having to be right there with her. This has been especially wonderful when I am fixing dinner (usually Kara's grumpy time).

More Family Camp Pictures

Here are some more pictures from Family Camp in Nova Scotia. As you can see the girls had a great time.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Prayer Letter

July 25, 2006
Dear Partners in Prayer,

We are now in New Brunswick Canada serving as a summer intern with Pastor Jason Cochran at Grace Baptist Church. We are praising God for this ministry opportunity and are excited about learning more about the ministry. God has continually demonstrated His faithfulness throughout our trip to Canada.

“I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34:1). After completing our master degrees in May, the Lord led Tracy and me to work with a friend, Pastor Cochran, in Canada. On our way to Canada, the transmission on our ‘93 Dodge Caravan went out. “The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17). God is faithful, and had already provided for us a newer Chevrolet Venture, with which we completed our journey.

My family arrived in here on June 26th. A couple of days after our arrival, Pastor Cochran took nineteen church members to Quebec to help missionary Jacques Brind’Amour. During this week, my family remained here. I preached in all the services as well as in the combined adult and teen Sunday School.

After Pastor Cochran’s return, I began preaching in the teen Sunday School on a regular basis. The teens are finding that they can know God, first through salvation, then through immersion in His Word through devotions, memorization, and Godly friends. Pastor Cochran allows me to accompany him on visits, and he also includes me in the some of the internal functions of the church. Pastor Cochran not only instructs in ministry, but often provides instruction through example. July 10 - 12 we assisted Pastor Crossman in Minto, NB with their Vacation Bible School. We enjoyed the time of doing puppets, running games, and assisting with setup and take down. What a joy to be able to fellowship and minister to the different pastors here in New Brunswick.

God has provided housing for my family through the church on July 14th. Pastor Cochran and the members of Grace Baptist have generously supplied furniture for us to use this summer. Moving into this house provided some stability for Kara and Lydia, who have been uncomfortable with living on the road since leaving Wisconsin at the beginning of June.

Pastor Cochran and his family will be visiting family and friends in the States from July 23rd to August 12th. Please pray for them as they travel and minister. Please also pray for my family as we continue to minister during their absence. I will be preaching most of these services. Tracy has the opportunity to teach Children’s Church for the month of August. Please pray that we will be Spirit-controlled as we minister, depending upon God to work in the lives of people.

We praise God for your prayer-support as we continue to serve Him in New Brunswick Canada! Please pray for us as we seek God’s will for ministry after this summer.

Serving Him,

J.A. and Tracy Hall

Friday, July 21, 2006

Family Camp with Dr. Ollila

What a blessing we had as a family to be able to attend Family Camp at Forest Glen Bible Camp in Nova Scotia July 13- 15. Dr. Ollila was the speaker for the weekend. We had a wonderful time hearing messages to encourage us in our relationship as a family. We also had the opportunity to get to know a few of the families from the church. Kara and Lydia enjoyed the kids groups, and Kara LOVED the family carnival (I think that had something to do with her getting a piece of candy everytime she played a game. Here are some of the pictures from camp.

I've been trying to post more pictures but our connection is not allowing them. Maybe I'll be able to add more when I get back on.

Vacation Bible School in Minto, NB

July 10-12 we helped Pastor Crossman in Minto, New Brunswick run a Vacation Bible School at their church. We had a wonderful time. JA and I assisted with puppets, and then I had the opportunity to assist the primary teacher (1-3 grade) while JA ran the games outside for the kids. Because Minto was quite a drive from where we are living for the summer, a couple from our church here in Moncton allowed the Cochrans and us the priviledge of staying in their cottage. We had a wonderful time of relaxation in the mornings and then the afternoon and evening working with VBS. Here are some pictures of our time out at the cottage.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Safely Arrived in Canada

After spending seven days on the road we finally arrived at our destination of Moncton, Canada two days later than our intended date of arrival. We praise the Lord for his Blessings to us and for the safety in our traveling.

Our first week here in Canada has been quite full. Tuesday JA helped a college student move from one apartment to another, Wednesday night he preached (because the pastor and several from the church left on a missions trip to Quebec Wednesday a.m.). Thursday and Friday JA spent preparing his sermons for Sunday (he preached three great sermons on Sunday), and then Saturday was Canada day.

We drove around town for any possible sign of celebration. Other than seeing everyone dressed in red and white we didn't see much. We finally ended up at Centennial park. Kara and Lydia both had a blast at the playground, and Kara had her face painted with the Canadian Leaf. We watched all of the ducks get fed, and Kara received a baloon dog.

We had a wonderful time and it was probably one of the most relaxing days we've had since we left our vacation in Colorado.

Off to Canada . . . with a little delay

Praise the Lord for his Goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men!

We left Kansas to head to Colorado on Tuesday, June 20. When we arrived in Pana, IL JA took the van in to be serviced and have an oil change. The result = The mechanic informed us that the transmission on our van was shot. My dad (thank you dad!) immediately began searching the internet to find a cheap van we could buy somewhere in the state of IL (The cost to replace the transmission would cost more than we spent on the purchase of the van . . . not to mention all of the other things that the mechanic told us where wrong with the van).

Thursday morning we drove up to the subarbs of Chicago and the van died about two miles from where we planned to purchase a new vehicle. We called the dealership right away and they said the would have someone to pick us up in half an hour. An hour later with our cell phone nearly dead (we had neglected to charge it the night before), we were still sitting on the side of the road. Believe me, Kara and Lydia although not happy about the situation were actually fairing pretty well. They finally picked us up, and drove us the five minutes to the dealership. As soon as we arrived, I began to get nervous about the whole situation (the dealership was not in the best location, and all I could think was Please Lord Don't let this be a Chop Shop! The last thing we needed on our trip to Canada was to end up buying a stolen vehicle. Well, we spent about six hours at the dealer trying to buy the specific van we had predetermined to buy. At the end of six hours and problem after problem interfering with the sale we called Josh and Bekah (who were about twenty minutes away) and asked them to come get us. We told the dealer we would spend the night praying about the van that night and call him tomorrow morning to finalize it.

Thank you Josh and Bekah for coming to our Rescue! After we loaded all of our stuff into their van, we sold our current van to the dealer for the cost of the towing). Then later that evening, Josh's dad got us in touch with a dealer who was a Christian and we purchased a better van for less than the cost of the van we were looking at. Praise the Lord for his provision! We were able to purchase the van Thursday night, and Fridaywe drove up to Kenosha, Wisconsin registered the van and got liscence plates and then continued on our way to Canada making it all the way to Ohio on Friday.

Vacation in Colorado and Joe Pluths Wedding

Because of lack of time I am not going to update about our vacation in CO (so much has happened in the last three weeks). If you would like to read about our time in CO, please visit Josh and Bekah's blog wedding pictures and vacation pictures. Thank you!