Dear friends and family,
As each year comes to a close, one of the things I like to do as I write my annual family Christmas letter is to reflect upon the previous 12 months. Although there is always a mixture of good times and bad times, I find myself praising the Lord for His faithfulness to our family, and for all of the good things that He does for us.
This year, Liza and I celebrated our 20 year anniversary by hopping on an airplane and leaving behind the snow in Winnipeg for the sunny warm beaches of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It’s hard to believe we’ve been together for that long!
Liza and I have been through many ups and downs over the years, but I’m looking forward to spending many years together with my sunshine! We were married in Surrey, BC in March of 1995, and now twenty years later, we are living in Beausejour, MB with four amazing children.
One of the highlights of the year for me happened in January when Hannah was baptized in water at our church. She was the fourth and final one of our children to make a public declaration of her faith in Jesus Christ, and nothing could thrill me more as a parent!
One of the hardest things our family faced this past year was the loss of our little Cooper. Our Ruby King Charles Cavalier Spaniel died on Easter morning, and there were many tears in our house that day.
In May, Liza and I had the opportunity to travel to Halifax, Nova Scotia for our annual Foursquare Pastor’s Convention. It was the first time either of us had been in the Maritimes, and it was a great experience! We visited Peggy’s Cove and even got to sail on one of the tall ships!
Our summer activities included a family camping trip at Wild Oaks in July, a camping trip with my family in Minnedosa, Liza’s niece Cassidy’s wedding, and several beach days at Bird’s Hill Park.
This year, Hannah is in Grade 8, Austin is in Grade 11, Tori is in Grade 12, and Caleb has finished his first year of university.
This December I will be celebrating nine years of ministry as the lead pastor at Beausejour Community Church. In November of this year, I spent a lot of time working on my youth fantasy novel The Voyagers: Mutiny on the Fellowship and have only one more chapter to write!
In the spring, Caleb finished his first year of university. He also played football for the Transcona Nationals, a majors team in Winnipeg. He continues plays drums on Sundays once a month at church with our youth music team. He has worked at our local ESSO gas station for this past year, and is attending the music program at Pacific Life Bible College (my alma mater) in January of 2016.
Tori was involved in a local theatre company’s production of Beauty and the Beast in the spring. She is currently rehearsing for their spring 2016 performance of The Drowsy Chaperone. This fall, for her grade 12 year, she transferred to a high school in Selkirk where she was able to take several more music courses. She plays basketball and enjoys playing trumpet in her school band, and singing and playing guitar on our church youth music team.
In October, Austin became our third child to get a driver’s license (well, his learner’s anyway – he’s got a while before he gets his full license!) Austin continues to be involved with our local branch of air cadets. He is an avid reader, and plays percussion in band at school. He helps out teaching one of our children’s classes at church, and is involved in The Drowsy Chaperone with Tori.
Hannah continues taking Jazz dance lessons in Oakbank for the third year in a row. She plays the flute in school band, and enjoys taking photographs. She likes to draw and doodle. Hannah played on the school volleyball team this year. She also sings on our youth music team at church.
It is a great delight for me to see all of my children involved at church serving the Lord together with Liza and me!
Liza continues to work part-time at the church as our office administrator and book-keeper, and she also does a fabulous job of leading our children’s ministry. She did another Vacation Bible School for kids in the summer. This year, she got involved with a new business called Thirty-One, selling bags and other products as an independent consultant.
This Christmas season, we are praying that you and your family would experience the good tidings of great joy and peace that the birth of Jesus the Saviour is all about!
With love and prayers,
Chris, Liza, Caleb, Tori, Austin & Hannah