Friday, September 29, 2006

A Day at the Pumpkin Patch

Mom and I have been reading about all of these Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches in the newspaper lately, so we decided it would be a great idea to take the kids to one of the pumpkin patches. We decided to go to Walter's Pumpkin Patch which was not only the closest of the patches listed in the paper, but the one with the most activities for the best price.

Here you can see Timmy and Kara trying to see how big a pumpkin they can be.

Here, we have Lydia, Timmy, and Kara taking a break on a hay bale. We were having a hard time getting both girls to look at the camara simultaneously.

One of the highlights of the day for Timmy, Opa, and JA was Boo Mountain. Boo Mountain was a hill with two black tubes running down it. It appears that they dumped a bunch of hay over the tubes to keep them in place. They went down the slides on trash can lids and circle sleds. While Kara was fascinated by the slides, she didn't want anything to do with them. Lydia seemed to enjoy her trip down on Daddy's lap.

After Boo Mountain we walked over by the Corn Maze. Next to the corn maze were some peddle cars. Timmy took off in one followed by Opa, with Kara and JA trailing behind. However, At the end of their race, Timmy came in first followed by JA and Kara, and Opa who accidently pulled his steering wheel off was in last place.

While they were racing, Lydia decided she needed to learn how to drive. After the race, JA let Kara sit in the car alone while he pushed her into her parking space. I'm not sure who had the most fun, but Lydia certainly enjoyed herself on the car.

We finally made it to the corn maze and oh was it a maze. We probably spent a good 30 to 45 minutes trying to find our way out of the maze. Lydia had a blast being pushed in her stroller. Oma and Opa took turns pushing her. Kara began with walking and ended up with Daddy carrying her through the maze. JA's favorite saying was "Corn, Corn, Corn." After walking in circles for so long, Oma and I finally just pushed our way between the stalks to get out while everyone else completed the maze. I was just too tired to keep walking for an indefinate amount of time. Less than five minutes after we cheated our way out of the maze, everyone else comes walking out the exit. I guess we should have just kept going -- Oh Well, we still had a great time!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Old Fashioned Sunday

This past Sunday was Old Fashioned Sunday at dad's church. The day began with and outdoor Sunday School class followed by the morning service. The morning service was exciting as we also had a baby dedication and two baptismals.

Here is a picture of one of the baptisms.

Kara did a wonderful job of sitting through the morning service. JA had to take her out right at the very end, but otherwise she did great. Kara was paying attention to the beginning of the sermon. At one point dad was talking about not bursting someone's bubble, and Kara yells out I blow bubbles too! A few minutes later dad said someing about being like someone and Kara yells out I be like that! And then, dad said no regarding something and Kara yells out No No! Normally I would have tried to quite her down from talking during the service; but since she was responding to what she was hearing in the service, I was excited that she was listening.

After the morning service, we had a picnic dinner with hamburger's, hotdogs, beans, and potatoe salad. The best part of the dinner was the great variety of homemade pies that everyone brought. Following the dinner and a short time of fellowship, they began a time of games for the kids.

The games entailed bobbing for apples (above is a picture of my brother Timmy [red shirt] bobbing for apples -- he was excited when he finally got one), a turtle race [Timmy's turtle hid in his shell during the race, so unfortunately he didn't win]. I spent all of last week watching the roads for a turtle, but the only one I can confidently say I saw was probably a big snapper -- something I didn't want to mess with to show Kara. They also had a hobby horse race as seen in the picture below.

Kara was okay with lining up for the race; but once the kids started running, Kara stood stock still and refused to race her horse.

After the kids games, the adults participated in an egg toss. Since I was taking pictures, Timmy was JA's partner in the egg toss. JA and Timmy's last toss was from Timmy. Timmy was too far away to continue tossing underhand so he threw hard overhand. The egg hit JA's watch and splattered all over his pants and shirt. As humerous as it was at the time, the smell was disgusting at the end of the day. Sunday night I think I laid in bed all night smelling rotten egg.

Kara and Elizabeth got a little tired in the afternoon, and mom was able to catch this shot of them trying to take a nap. Kara has become quite attached to her Aunt Beth.

I apologize for the long delay in posting. We spent last week trying to recoop from our drive back from Canada.

Some praises:

1. We now have medical coverage for the baby's birth!
2. I have already met my new doctor.
3. I measured at 36 weeks (hopefully that means my due date is wrong and not that I just
happen to have a big baby
4. The girls absolutely love living with their Oma, Opa, Aunt Beth, and Timmy.
5. Wonderful parents who are willing to let us stay with them while we are in transition.

Some prayer requests:

1. That the Lord will allow us to serve in a church soon (JA will be talking with a pastor next
2. That if it's not the Lord's will for JA to do ministry full time as an occupation, that JA will find
the right job and we can get an apartment/house soon.
3. The Lord will give us grace and wisdom as we will soon have nine people living in a three
bedroom house.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Trusting God

Monday morning we left Moncton, New Brunswick to return to the states. We praise the Lord for his faithfulness and provision toward us. He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. We will greatly miss the people of Grace Baptist Church whom we have grown to love. However, we are excited about the next step in our lives.

We continue to praise God for His faithfulness to us even when the uncertainty of life arises. We cannot see what our next step is, but we are so thankful that God does. He knows all of our future steps, and we desire to continue to walk by faith trusting that God will illuminate our steps as we go. Right now we feel as though we are taking a step in darkness (because we don't know what we are to do), but Praise God He will reveal it in his time.

Rom 8:28-32
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Trust His Heart

All things work together for our good,
Though, sometimes, we can’t see how they could.
Struggles that break our hearts in two
sometimes blind us to the truth.
But our Father knows what’s best for us,
His ways are not our own,
So, when the pathway grows dim,
And you just can’t see Him,
Remember, He’s still on the throne.

God is too wise to be mistaken;
God is too good to be unkind.
So, when you don’t understand,
When you don’t see His plan,
When you can’t trace His hand,
Trust His heart.

He sees the master plan,
And He holds our futures in His hand.
So, don’t live as those who have no hope:
All our hope is found in Him.
We walk in present knowledge,
But He sees the first and the last.
And, like a tapestry
He’s weaving you and me
to, one day, but just like Him.

God is too wise to be mistaken;
God is too good to be unkind.
So, when you don’t understand,
When you don’t see His plan,
When you can’t trace His hand,
Trust His heart.

Church Cornboil

Saturday was the annual church cornboil. We had a wonderful time of fellowship at the church picnic. The picnic was also our last church function before leaving. While JA played softball, I helped some of the women husk the corn.

Laurie, Melissa, Kiersten, and Shelby husking corn
Lydia and Judah playing together after dinner
JA delivered the devotional after dinner before the soccer game. He spoke on the unity of the believer -- How we were united with them even after we leave, and how we should encourage each other in the Lord.

JA was able to hit this ball and make it onto base -- He even made it all the way home!

Friday, September 08, 2006

August Prayer Letter

Dear Partners in Prayer, September 8, 2006

“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5) We praise God for what He has done throughout the summer. The Lord has continually proven Himself faithful and kept us humble as He has graciously enabled ministry here in Moncton, New Brunswick Canada.

While Pastor Cochran and his family was visiting family and friends in the States from July 23rd to August 12th, I filled the pulpit for all services and adult/teen Sunday School. As I preached these services, I was challenged to preach the wisdom of God, which opposes the wisdom of the world, and to refrain from preaching while depending upon my own wisdom.

Grace Baptist Church began laying some of the groundwork for our Vacation Bible School while Pastor Cochran was gone, distributing fliers and canvassing several neighborhoods. After Pastor came back, preparation for VBS began rapid progression. Pastor Cochran asked Mr. Bob Roberts of Kids4Truth Ministries to preach and present the program for VBS this year, which was titled “A Journey to Knighthood.” Kids4Truth is a ministry of which the primary goal is to teach doctrine to children.

The attendance of A Journey to Knighthood allowed Grace Baptist Church to make contact with several new families. Mr. Roberts preached a salvation message. Please pray as the church follows-up on these contacts. A teen rally was planned for the two days following VBS; we praise the Lord again, who tripled the attendance the second evening. Each evening, following the salvation testimonies of church members, Mr. Roberts preached salvation messages. At the conclusion of the service the second evening, three unsaved teens raised their hands for prayer.

Please pray for a teen who attended the rally. He excused himself after the preaching part of the rally started each night. I met him as he was returning to the rally at the close of Mr. Roberts message, and he gave a clear salvation testimony. This teen admitted he did not consistently walk with God, saying, “I figure that is normal for a fourteen year-old going to public school.” Pray that a strong Christian brother will disciple this teen that he may experience the joy and victory of a personal relationship with God.

Please pray for two of the children who ride the van to church, Dominique and Alexander. These two are brother and sister; as we see them and interact with them we can tell that they long for the true love which only Christ offers. Dominique and Alexander will be moving forty minutes from the church. However, there is still a possibility that they may be able to continue coming. Please pray that Satan will not be able to keep these children from attending.

We praise God for your prayer-support as we have served Him throughout the summer 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

Monday, September 04, 2006

Prince Edward Island

These two pictures are of the coast line of PEI. It was beautiful. The soil is so red it makes a wonderful contrast with the blue ocean and green grass. I was a little nervous walking out by the cliffs because there was no fence, and Kara kept trying to pull away from me.At another point along the coast we were able to stop at this beach and see the huge sand dunes that have formed on the island. Here at the beach I was also educated on what sand dunes were and how they formed and moved -- Quite interesting! This was the first time I had ever seen sand dunes (Bouctouche supposedly had sand dunes but all I saw there was beach with grass growing on it).

Friday we had the opportunity to go with the Cochran family to Prince Edward Island. I've never been a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables (although I enjoy watching it every few years), but all summer I have been excitedly waiting for our chance to go to PEI. The day turned out to be a wonderful day for going, and the children were relatively cooperative.

We arrived at the island at about 11:00 so we began with a picnic at Avenlea Village. After lunch we spent a few hours walking around the village. The village is a recreation/memorial to Anne, and Lucy Maud Montgomery. I enjoyed learning that Montgomery was also a photographer. They had a photo museum where we were able to see her photography. We also went to the Anne Shirley Photo Studio, where we were able to dress up in old fashion clothes and take pictures (with our own camaras). It was great to be able to take these pictures without having to pay an exorberant price for them.

With school starting here in Moncton tomorrow, I thought this picture was appropriate. You can see both Lydia and Kara are eager to learn.