Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas to all our Family & Friends!

As we approach Christmas and the New Year, we think back to all that God has done and the ways He has blessed us this year.  There is always so much to be thankful for. Here are a few of them:

1. Enjoyed visits from Steven’s parents in February, Jenny’s brother’s family in March, Steven’s mom in July, and Jenny’s mom in October.

2. Ventured into pig farming!  We had many adventurous pig chases, as the pigs managed to escape from their pen all too often!  Our most challenging adventure was when Miss Piggy got loose as we were trying to get her in the trailer to take her to the butcher.  It’s as if she knew.  My brother’s family got to be here for that memorable escapade. It took a while but we finally succeeded…she is now in the freezer.

3. God moved us to a new church this year! We have made wonderful new friends and are excited about the new things God has ahead.

4. Experienced 3 baby goats being born! And sadly, we lost our beloved Liberty Belle (our first goat, and faithful milk goat).

5. Zack & Ben started taking piano lessons (Abel likes to play too). Jake is teaching himself the harmonica.

6. Jake had limb lengthening surgery on his left arm in August (due to his Ollier's Disease that has caused his radius and humerus bones not to grow properly). He has been very brave through the whole experience. He's had 2 more surgeries since and is finally "bar & pin-free." He will get to unwrap his bandage from his final surgery right around Christmas....and have a new arm!

7. Abel turned 1 year old in September.  Our baby is growing so fast!

8. Stepped foot into a new business venture....selling Dad's Disappearing Salsa Mix!  We are currently building a certified salsa kitchen (renovating what was going to be our laundry room) & working on getting our food processing permit so that we can sell online, in stores and at markets.  Like us on facebook!

9. Steven turned 40 in November!

10. God has blessed us with a new addition to our #8...coming at the end of May 2013.  Here we are at our celebration dinner holding up 8 fingers. We are so excited!

11. And last but certainly not least, Steven & I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary! We've been best friends for 20!  God has been so good to us.

We hope you are enjoying these last few days before Christmas. It's always a fun time around here as we celebrate our Savior's birth.  We have lots of traditions and activities that we enjoy doing at this time of year, but one of the most exciting things we've done this year started a couple months ago.

Jake is heading up a team of kids called the Stormers, whose goal is to storm the world for Christ. It started out with just his brothers but now is about 20 kids.  They decided to start a campaign through Gospel for Asia to raise money to save street kids in India. They set their goal to raise $10,000 by Christmas!  We have all tried to spread the news to get as many people involved as possible. The kids even did a Rake-A-Thon, in which they raked leaves for an elderly widower whose health is poor, a widow who recently lost her husband and another older widow who's endured many recent surgeries.  They were able to serve these dear people as well as get sponsors to give money for each hour they raked (they raked about 6 hrs).  All of the money went directly to their campaign to save street kids.  It's been so exciting to see how God has blessed their efforts and is providing.  You can go to their website to see how much God has provided so far:

There is still a ways to go to reach their goal of $10,000 by Christmas, but we know God can do it if He so desires.  Have you had an opportunity to give to Jesus this Christmas?  If not, would you consider giving to these poor, destitute children who have nothing? Matthew 25:40 says, "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." These children need to know the love of God and find hope! Please pray and consider giving, to save the life of a child this Christmas. And remember to check back on the website to see what God has done!  He loves to show Himself mighty on behalf of the poor and needy.

We pray God's richest blessings on you and your family this Christmas and this next year. May you experience His presence in your lives more and more each day. We love you!

Love in Christ,

The Mena Family