August, 2012

Dear Friends,

In recent years, we have developed four types of ministry events:

  1. Family Outreaches (mostly with American Christian families)
  2. American History Outings (mostly as a witness to int'l groups)
  3. Speaking at conferences and in churches
  4. Discipleship opportunities in our home

This month we thought you'd enjoy a highlight from each category...

stonewall

Jim Hendry as Gen. Thomas
"Stonewall" Jackson at the
Dunker Church, "considered
the most historic church site
in American military history."

1. Antietam Outreach

Several fathers and sons joined Bernie and Daniel at the Antietam Battlefield during the Fourth of July weekend. Though it was a hot day, it was a particularly fun outreach that included "Stonewall Jackson's return to Antietam!" Jim Hendry, in character, drew attention as we handed out hundreds of Civil War Gospel fliers (i.e. actually reprinted from the Civil War), plus one that Bernie wrote specifically about the Battle of Antietam: "Life Lessons for Today from the Bloodiest Day in American History." Stonewall Jackson (Jim!) recounted his time at Antietam, and shared thoughts on his personal faith in Christ. We pray the Lord blesses their labors for Him, and that the seeds sown will bear fruit. It was a positive experience for all.

2. High School Group from Asia

A highlight for Bernie this summer was hosting a group of international high school students for American History Outings in Washington, DC. The young students were amazingly attentive and interactive, and really seemed to enjoy every aspect of their time here with enthusiasm. Bernie also set up Christian host families for them, an experience which we heard later was a "highlight for their time in the USA!" This picture was taken at the dinner with the host families, who were all good friends from our years in Northern Virginia.

tour group

3. Roxbury Family Leadership Camp

bernie speaking at roxburyBernie enjoyed speaking again this summer at Roxbury Family Camp. His main part was a two talk series:

  1. God's "Rules" for Christians: "LOVE...One Another"
  2. God's "R.O.L.E.s" for Families in a Fallen World:
    Lead Lovingly/Love Courageously/Love Obediently

If you'd like a copy of his handouts for those talks, send him a quick email: bernie@gcfamilies.org.

4. Family Bible Night

This year we have enjoyed leading a monthly family discipleship series in our home using John chapter 15 and the theme: "Bearing Fruit Through the Year." Nearby families from our church attend (including Josh & Kerin's family) and the format is simple, providing a time for each family to study a bible passage together. We start the evening sharing a "fellowship meal" (i.e. potluck), then Bernie opens by reading a key part of John 15, plus related scripture passages, offering options for families to choose from the key passage itself, or a related parable or miracle of Jesus, command of Christ or 'one another' command. Then we break into family groups, explore the passage, then come back together and share and pray. Each family shares with the whole group what they have learned, including hearing

Big News on the Home Front - Wedding Bells Set for September 29th!!

aaron and christinaWe ask you to please keep Aaron and Christina in your prayers as they move forward with wedding plans and lots of other details as they prepare for their future together. They were extremely happy to find a wonderful home that they both really love, that is only a 25 minute commute to Aaron's job! They will close, Lord willing, in the coming week or so, which gives them time to move things in before the wedding and have a wonderful place to come home to after the honeymoon. We are proud of Aaron for being such a saver all these years, which is enabling him to be in the position to purchase a very nice home in a rather pricey area. Watching Christina in the process of planning the wedding is fun, too! She is such a creative bubbly person who loves life, and that enthusiasm comes through as she excitingly figures out each new wedding detail that comes to pass: finding the woodsy outdoor venue, planning the music (oh my what a beautiful program that is), picking wedding colors and bridesmaids dresses, working with Aaron on the invitation design and web site, etc. She is such a source of joy for our son and our family. She is a wonderful writer (see Christina's blog) and in some ways makes everything beautiful and poetic with her speech and manner. Sometimes when I talk to her, the way she describes things kind of makes me feel like all of her life is a beautiful and at times dramatic story. She loves words, and their meanings, and can make a simple text message an enthralling tale. It has been such a fun thing for me to watch Aaron and Christina's relationship blossom, and to see the many ways this is truly a "match made in heaven." Unknown to me, going back even five years or more, there were some details that surfaced in the recent year that make the story even more special. I may be talking vaguely, but I will leave it to them to tell the details they want to share. Their wedding web site is up and some of their story should be forthcoming there. Their story is truly unique, and God's fingerprints are all over it. :) I feel about to burst when I think about it. I am so grateful to the Lord for bringing them together!

Prayer requests - As we enter our fall season of outreaches and tours, please pray for our scheduled future events and opportunities! Thank you for your part in touching people's lives with the gospel message, by lifting us up through your prayers and financial support! We are grateful!!

In Christ' great love,

~ Linda for the Bealls

 



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