Happy New Year from the Blackhurst’s
The Christmas letters have been flooding in and we have enjoyed reading about what has happened in all of your lives this past year. Thank you for remembering us and keeping us up to date. We are so thankful for you all – and as God brings you to mind, through a photo around our home, a Facebook update, an e-mail or a providential thought, we remember you and are so grateful for the time we have shared together. For some of us – that was a long time ago and others; we are still enjoying your company.
This will be our seventh year in Amarillo. And we are so thankful that God brought us here close to Crista’s parents. As many of you know, Crista’s mom was diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago and went to be with the Lord on August 4th. We got to spend so much time with her over the past seven years and are so happy that we were able to be with her through most of her treatment. What a blessing God has given us to experience His grace in the midst of real difficulty.
Katelyn is in 5th grade and her second year of school at the Blackhurst Academy – (home school for those of you who didn’t get that). She is doing great and is an excellent student. She loves to read and is learning Latin along with her other subjects, but almost all of her spare time is devoted to dreaming about horses. Thankfully, we have some wonderful friends who actually have horses that allow her to join them for some rides occasionally. This summer on a family trip to Colorado, we got to share a ride through the Garden of the God’s together (daddy-daughter). I kept thinking how much longer and she kept turning around saying, “does it have to end?”
Ashlyn is in the 2nd grade at our neighborhood elementary school and has the same teachers as her older sister. She is a true friend to all the kids in her class and cares for everyone. We love to see how God uses her to reach out to girls who feel left out and don’t have the community that others might. She is our social butterfly and would love to have a party every day of the week if she could – and I’m sure when she gets older, we will!!! She loves movies and is our resident expert on electronics – usually fixing things that the rest of us mess up.
Andrew is 5 years old now and goes to a three day preschool at our church. He’s a manly man growing up in a house full of women. He loves everything sports related and playing soldiers and knights. He’s even found a way to integrate his sisters Barbie’s into his battles. He played soccer on a team with all his friends this year and who knows what the next thing will be. He really enjoys the activity and being with his friends. He and his sisters get along well and play together like best friends.
Crista spends much of her day teaching and mothering. I don’t know how she does it all, but she does it with excellence and joy. I’m so proud of her for the way she takes care of us and also teaches Katelyn. She also leads a group of young single women through a study of systematic theology one night each week and is teaching a high school girls Sunday school class. It has not been an easy year, but God has been faithful to care for us and give us His strength and grace in increasing measure along the way.
I have spent the year learning about my family and how much more important they are than anything else I do in life. My work is important and I enjoy it, but it is not my life. God has used the events of the past year to teach me many things that I’m still figuring out, but the most important is that my influence and impact at home will be the most far reaching and important thing I accomplish with my life. The things that I do outside of my family all flow from the reality of my life in my family. That being said, one of my best friends took me with a medical team to Honduras this summer where I had a wonderful experience learning about grace. I also was able to return to Taiwan for the fourth time this summer and continue the work we began five years ago. Our team got to participate in the baptism of one of the college students we began working with two years ago who God saved along the way!
God has been good to our family, far beyond what we deserve. His grace to us in Christ is our strength and help. You are a part of our story and we hope that 2010 connects us together. But if not, please know you are not far from our thoughts and prayers.
Todd, Crista, Katelyn, Ashlyn & Andrew
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