Around Nov. 15th we began a long drive from San Antonio to Charleston, SC. We stopped in Longview, TX along the way to visit Billy's family for 2 days. We celebrated Libby's birthday again at her Gammy and Papa Boot's house and Libby received another round of wonderful gifts! She loves them all!
We finally made it to Charleston and stayed with my family for 6 days. I ate something along the way that messed me up and for the first couple of days in Charleston I was throwing up and feeling miserable! On Thanksgiving Day I was feeling better and we enjoyed a wonderful turkey dinner at my parents' home. We celebrated Libby's birthday for a 3rd. time and she now has the birthday song down pat! - She's a little confused though because she bows her head and puts her hands together to sing it. She thinks it's a prayer song. I guess that will fit perfectly on Christmas day when we sing "Happy Birthday to Jesus".
Oh - I have to mention that baby Camryn is BEAUTIFUL!!! This was our first opportunity to meet the 6 week old beauty. Libby was fabulous with her - gentle, sweet, always wanting to hold her.
To update everyone on my dad's health - his heart catheter showed NO blockages!! Praise the Lord! The doctor says he's in great health for his age. He is still having dizzy/weird spells from time to time - but it's not his heart and that is good! I enjoyed spending some quality time with my parents. They are more precious to me than words can say.
My mom continues to feel weak. If you know her story - please pray for her. She has lost most of her ability to stand up straight and the use of her right side (or maybe left side, I forget) is not 100%. Her previous strokes have taken their toll on her.
My sister is a champ mom of 2! I'm always impressed with her laid back, fun-loving mothering skills. Jason is doing great at his job and the whole Bowick family seems well-adjusted to newborn life (and sleeplessness!)
Kelly is still asking God to open another door for him as far as work is concerned. He and Carissa are having to work some major hours for the holidays and I know they are feeling exhausted at this point. But otherwise, they are well too.
Mema is still wearing herself out taking care of cute baby Matthew. She cracks me up!
We left Charleston on a Sunday and headed for a cabin in GA where we spent 3 days resting and enjoying the mountains - well, actually, Billy was enjoying fly-fishing on the Soque river - which was his gift for his 41st. birthday.
Then there was the long 2 day drive back to San Antonio. All I can say is I'm glad it's over. I can only sit caged in a vehicle entertaining a 2 year old for so long!
During the 2 week trip I stayed away from the Internet, phone and TV (for the most part). I didn't think much about how quiet it had been until I got home and realized how relaxed and at peace I was not having all that media input. I felt more satisfied and content than I had in a long time and the Lord really spoke to me in those quiet hours at the cabin and on the road. Looking back - it was a much needed respite from the daily grind. God is so good to me!
Since returning home I have NOT desired getting on-line AT ALL!! So- I'm catching up slowly with all the emails that piled up. Mostly I'm just enjoying my little China princess and tuning in to what the Lord is saying to me during these slow days before Christmas arrives. Ahhhhhhhh....
The Lord is giving me some much needed clarity on what the next steps are for ClubRising and for me personally concerning the older Somali girls. I am looking forward to jumping back into regular meetings in January. I am preparing now for the volunteer training night which is Jan. 8th. But before that arrives we will be having a Christmas party with the Somali kids this Tuesday evening (Dec. 11). The Quran tells of angels announcing to Mary the virgin birth of Jesus along with other biblical details so Larry Singletary is putting together a simple dramatization of the angels announcement to Mary as a bridge between our beliefs. I truly can't wait to hug all my girls and catch up with them. I miss them soooooooooo much! You'll see in the photos below a picture of me sitting with the older Somali girls. Love that picture!
Another important update is one concerning our ministry on the road. After much prayer we believe God is calling us to leave our ministry on the road at the end of summer 2008. For Billy this is quite a huge decision as he has been on the road leading worship for 17 years. We're talking a major life change here! There are several reasons behind our decision. I have struggled with acid reflux for over 2 years now and each time my voice heals the reflux seems to flare up again. Also, the phone just hasn't been ringing like we need it to in order to keep a band on the road full time. But more than any of that - I finally dropped all pride and admitted that I truly can not be the best mom, the best wife and keep heading up ClubRising and stay on the road without being completely overwhelmed. Something just had to give. Billy's heart and my heart are being more and more drawn to the work we are doing with refugees in San Antonio and we are tired of leaving San Antonio when our hearts long to be with the refugees. So, it just made sense to plan to leave the road and plant ourselves firmly into the lives of our Somali friends and the Karen People.
If you have not read any previous blogs about the work we are doing with these refugees through ClubRising, ESL under the ministry of XTI - then you can read about it at: http://www.xtremeteamsinternational.com/ - which is the organization we are volunteering for in order to do this work.
Billy Foote Music, Inc. will still exist. Billy will still write songs. We'll still record songs and see what God does with them. But we're just not going to travel to lead worship anymore after August 2008 other than some very occasional events. We are instead going to worship wholeheartedly with our lives right here in our city among unreached people groups God is divinely putting before us. We will also be involved in some short-term missions throughout the years to come. It really is a work of God come full circle for us and we are truly excited to see what God has in store.
We will remain non-profit and while we have received some financial support over the years from contributors, we have never needed it to remain on the road. Now, however, Billy Foote Music, Inc. will actually be in need of people giving in order for us to volunteer our time in ministering to the refugees. So, if you or someone you know is interested in supporting this work please know that BFM, Inc. would be incredibly blessed to receive such financial support.
I will say, though, that the most important thing we need from family and friends is prayer! I can not state this enough. The battle is not financial. The people we are working with are from people groups that have never had ANY known access to the gospel or have had very little. The Somali Bantu are the number 4 unreached people group in the world. The enemy is not going to just hand over the hearts of these people. We need your prayers in order to be effective in showing the love of Christ to these precious people who have been in bondage for so so long. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE - ask God to put these people on your hearts regularly for prayer. Ask that God give these foreigners dreams and visions that confirm His truth. Ask that God send more laborers to this field. Ask for these people's hearts to be made ready. Ask for their eyes to be open. Ask for us to find favor with them. Ask - because we have not because we ask not. So just ask!
Thank you for your precious time and interest in what God is doing in this small family.
Blessings on you all as you remember the humility of our Lord to come to us in flesh to ultimately die (and, of course, rise again!) so that we can eternally live!
With incredible love for you all!