The year 2008 in review
New Years Eve and ringing in 2008 was awesome as we were at Casa De Elizabeth orphanage. Something to be said about bottle rockets, orphans and dry grass. I thought the place was going to burn down.
2008 also brought change in our lives. We went on a church plant and teamed up with another couple in leading the Youth Group. It was challenging and fun. But then things got a little bit weird for us as far as the leadership went. It started being a very authoritarian form of leadership that in my opinion was just wrong. So instead of stirring up the masses, we just stepped down gracefully and moved on. The sad thing about this is, there are some there that refuse to have anything to do with us even after attempts at meeting with them and continuing friendship. Sad but so true.
We ended up back at the mother church, Vineyard Community Church of Gilbert, and I must say that we were welcomed back with wide open arms there. It was touching to say the least and I can say now that we are "home". It is such a genuine community of people.
I personally have grown so much in my journey this year. To me, it is all about being a follower of Christ and doing the things that He did. It's all about Grace, Mercy and Love. Not about rules, religion or authority.
I have become friends with some really cool folks and gotten to know them better. The folks I am about to mention have had very positive influences on me. Obie, Lonnie, Leo, Jeff F., Sharon W. and Bryant. All of these folks love instead of judge. Pastor Jack and Pastor Danny have also preached some damn good sermons this year. Obie did one too that was probably my favorite and I was not even present to hear it. But thanks to technology, I was able to listen to it.
I also asked God what He would want me to do. I will no longer take a position of leadership in a church but I will always serve wherever He wants me to. I am not a teacher or Biblical scholar, but I am a Christ Follower and will "do the stuff" to the best of my ability. I like to help people that need it and I believe that is what I am called to do. To help and be an encouragement to others. God will do the rest in His timing.
2008 also brought much sadness and hurt. We had been serving at an orphanage for almost two years. But through some people that are on power trips or are control freaks and through some outright lies that were spread and also still some unanswered questions, we were told not to come back. To this day, I still have not received a reply to our formal letter that we wrote asking for details and answers as to why this decision was made. But God knows what is going on and He knows truth and I am comforted by that. What was so hard about this entire ordeal was what it did to my wife. I blogged about it a bit and I can tell you this, it was a very difficult time for her and our family. She went into a very deep and dark depression. But God is good and He got her through it. We are going down there on the 3rd to speak with the Director since we have not received a response to our formal letter. Who knows how it will turn out? But it is something we have to do to get some answers.
Shannon went through some personal struggles but we were able to get some counseling and we are still going. Mainly her and I. She has had a steady job and is doing well.
Patty continues to work at the eye doctor's office and I am still with the NWS and managing the Cooperative Weather Observer Program as well as being the Local Office Union Steward. At the end of the year we were able to negotiate a major change in the schedule that I think will be good for the office morale. Beginning in 2009, I will also be the Diversity Focal Point in our office which I am looking forward to.
For all of my friends and family, here's wishing you all a very Blessed and Happy New Year. If you're out this evening and celebrating a little bit too much with your favorite alcoholic beverage, PLEASE PLEASE do not drink and drive. There are many other options that you have to get yourself and others home safely!