Each New Year Lena puts together a Top 10 list from the previous year. Here is the 2009 edition:
1. Hundreds received Christ as Savior and Lord as a result of visiting evangelism and medical teams. Ohio XA went hog-wild and sent us three evangelism groups this year! We had a blast! A special thanks, also, to Timberline Church in Colorado who offered healing and physical comfort to hundreds in the jungle, Dr. Raquel Mullen who treated the kids of Lima, Ralph and Jo Allen who gave their time and expertise of photography to showcase LACC ministry here in Peru, the Belding family, whose balloon art and illusions attracted a slew of kids to come hear the gospel! Through them, Peru was blessed and we received an incredible outpouring of love.
2. Two of the Fabulous Four Shrader children experience a dramatic physical change--morphing into teen bodies ... while the two older Shraders are morphing out of theirs!
3. Will (age 7) learns how to read and discovers that he likes it.
4. Lena realizes how precious her family is as news of her dad’s cancer and ongoing treatment continues. (Dad is doing well, but continues to need your prayers!)
5. Abigail goes to kindergarten and Lena has her first daytime empty nest experience—with all four Shrader kids in full-time school for the first time in 15 years. Lena is recovering nicely from her sudden change of identity!
6. Lena got a surprise invitation to speak to the national women’s conference, with more than 500 in attendance!
7. Productive ministry! Hundreds have received Christ in salvation; wells have been dug--providing water to flush toilets and take showers; and our Latin America ChildCare schools are now able to feed up to 1000 kids per day (3-5 days a week) with the help of friends from Fire Peru and Feed My Starving Children!
8. God’s sovereign hand of protection is evident as the Shrader family counts it all joy, facing trials of many kinds. We have been through many challenges and blessings this year. We understand more than ever what it is to trust God through the storm.
9. The members of the Shrader family complete the honeymoon stage of missions, and finds themselves still loving the country of their calling (Peru).
10. The amazing way our children have become an essential part of our ministry team! We find that wherever we go, and whatever theme we present, the Peruvian nationals are primarily intrigued by one thing and one thing only—our family. That Bill and I publicly speak well of each other and function as a team, that our kids worship and invest in ministry, and that they kiss on each other (even though they wiggle a lot through 3-hour church services), are all very interesting for them. And by the way, many invite us to come and minister primarily because they have heard about Hannah’s voice and want her to sing!
Thank you all so much for your support in every way. So many of you have sent emails, checked in on us, continued to send in your support even in the midst of great economic uncertainty. I know that God is teaching you, as He is us, that He is our certainty. Some of you are even waking up in the morning with a burden to pray for us—how precious you are! We are looking forward with great anticipation to getting home for itineration to tell you all the things a newsletter can’t hold, and to give you all the hugs we have been saving up for you! We’re hoping to return to the states for itineration in July of 2011.