July 2014 - Summer Newsletter
Psalm 77:1 - I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will
remember Your wonders of old.
An "American History Missionary"
I think Bernie
has coined a new term to describe a good part of our ministry in recent years.
As he says, an "American history missionary" is "someone who uses America's
history for evangelistic purposes." :-) Bernie has had many more
Christian heritage outreach and tour opportunities with families, churches
and international organizations this year. He loves it! Bernie
is just so hardworking and extroverted and eager to take advantage of every
opportunity that presents itself. Every year since we launched Great
Commission Families in 2006, Bernie has gotten more and more requests.
Word of mouth seems to spreading about his enthusiasm and skill in presenting
American history from the Founder's perspectives. He is so
interesting and easy to listen to! And by God's grace these
outreach tours and the Gospel fliers he creates help tell 'the rest of
the story' of America's Christian heritage, much of which is left out in many
modern textbooks. A Capitol Visitor Center official tour guide who overhead
part of his talk once, told Bernie that as official guides they are actually not
permitted to say anything with a religious orientation. Which is a
shame since what Bernie shares is all true stories and direct quotes "in their
own words" of the people who founded and shaped our nation. What he shares
is not some fabricated story, but just the true facts and details based on
source documents, which it seems to me should be part of the story told to all.
A person certainly doesn't have to agree with the founders views, but isn't it
important to not be denied knowing what those views truly were? So Bernie
is happy to be able to fill that niche, in particular and most often in
Our hope is that when Bernie leads tours and outreaches, telling the
stories of the good in the heros of the past, we can remember God's
goodness and trust Him and serve Him as we look to the future. These men
were not perfect, as none are, but Bernie chooses to speak of the good
they did and lived as our nation was founded, in the hopes of inspiring
us, in our own imperfection, to do the same.
- We cannot express how much
your tour meant to us! You are very exceptional." - a Baptist pastor after
Bernie spent the day with him & his family in DC.
- "What you do is really unique, and a
great ministry help for us!" - an int'l student ministry
Please pray for more opportunities as the Lord wills!
Bernie and I are excited about Sarah's acceptance to and
attendance at the Summit Oxford Study Centre for 9 weeks this
summer. The first three weeks she is enjoying a World View
Intensive course taught by Kevin Bywater of Summit Ministries.
Through the relationship between Summit Ministries and Oxford
University, she will be privileged to have access to Oxford's
massive library for the full 9 weeks, and the last five weeks she
will enjoy a tutorial with an Oxford professor as she reads,
studies, dialogues and writes about the Pre-Socratic Greek
philosophers and Plato as part of Oxford's OSAP program. Along
with 14 other Summit Oxford students, she is able to walk the same halls
and enter the same rooms as some of her favorite
authors, including 'Inklings' CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. She is terribly
excited and loving her time there so far. :) I think it has been a
nice little break from her world here; in many ways I think
philosophy might be at the core of what motivates her in life, so
to spend a whole summer soaking in and discussing ideas and
writing about it, is wonderful for her. She does enjoy music too; her collection of books is rivaled only by her collection of mostly classical music scores.:) I wonder if maybe music is one way philosophy can express itself? Some of the
wonderful modern classical music in the acoustic of the large
cathedral-like churches there has been an amazing experience for
her. Studying at Oxford for a summer really seems like a
wonderful and stimulating break for her so far.
Please pray for Sarah's safety and protection in every area as she
travels and lives there for 2 months, and for health, strength,
discipline and confidence for the rigor
of the program.
Where the Inklings met!
We wanted to ask for prayer for Ezra. After a fun morning at a
playground, having enjoyed for the first time, coming down a slide
backwards, and climbing up that same slide as well, he tried a
twisty slide on Christina's lap. His foot got
caught on the way down, and he fractured both bones in his lower
leg! It was shocking to find out that something that seems the
safest way to try to slide, Christina discovered afterwards is a
fairly common way children get a playground injury. We think they
should have warning signs next to those slides! If they can have
'choking hazard' on so many toys, why not 'tibia fracture hazard'
next to these slides!
New York Times article - surprising playground risk for toddlers
He is really doing well and has already largely adjusted to wearing
the cast, and manages crawling and even cruising with it. He actually is doing some
coloring and stays still a bit longer which has been a sweet fun
'blessing' amidst this trial.
Please pray for Ezra's bones to heal with no problems, as is
expected. Pray for his continued tolerance of and adaptation to the
cast. Pray for peace when the cast is removed with a loud saw, as
he is rather terrified of Doctor visits right now, and the saw will
make it even more unnerving for him. Ezra is an extremely brave boy, when he broke his leg he didn't even
cry much. He seems to be rather tolerant of pain, but I think not
being able to understand what is being done to him and why, in the
Doctor's office, makes it more traumatic to him than the actual
injury which he barely seemed to notice.
Ezra is about 11 months, and isn't he adorable? Still a very big
and adventurous boy, munching some popcorn on Grandmomma's lap. :)
At his recent follow-up doctor visit post strabismus surgery, his eyes are perfectly aligned and stable. :)
Feel free to keep up with Aaron, Christina
and Ezra at this link where Christina writes so poetically and so
well about her family. www.fullmooninksplots.blogspot.com
We hope you all are enjoying your summers as well!
God's abundant blessings to you all!~ Linda for the Bealls