Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Where does time go?! It's hard to believe that it is over a month since my last post! We had a good Thanksgiving. My father-in-law came for the big day and we had a typically American feast. He has learned to enjoy mashed sweet potatoes.

Since the last post, we went to Newtonards for their Christmas dinner, spent a long weekend in Bangor to celebrate our 1st anniversary as well as my birthday, had the church Christmas play and dinner, and went to Portadown to see Mark's family.

Last night we had a special kid's club during church. Ethel and I had expected numbers to be down on Christmas Eve, but we had fourteen, just three shy of our seventeen regulars! After church everyone came in the back for hot chocolate and mince, fruit, and apple pies. We had gotten a kilo bag of mini marshmallows, and at least half of the bag was devoured - by both big and small kids both in hot chocolate and on their own. It was a good evening.

Today was a good Christmas Day. We had friends in for dinner. Sadly, three were not able to make it due to illness, so we made up plates and sent them home. Today's dinner was a typical Northern Ireland Christmas dinner (that blending of cultures, which I so love!) We did have mashed sweets potatoes again - my husband has also enjoys those!

It is hard to believe that we have already been married for a year. The Lord is so good and I am so thankful that He has brought us together!

May the Lord bless each and every one of you in the New Year with a closer walk with Him.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Happy Birthday, Jake

Tomorrow is my nephew Jake's 15th birthday. Have a great day. I love you lots!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Christmas Baking

That's right - yesterday I started stocking the freezer with Christmas goodies. I am known for doing things as far in advance as possible, but this is early even for me! Next weekend we are going to visit some friends that we will probably not see again before Christmas. Before my marriage, it was just understood that I would be spending Christmas week with the Spiers family (and taking some of their favourite American baking) Their friendship is truly a gift from the Lord. They were there whenever I needed them. They received more than one panicked phone call, and short-notice visits when I needed support.

Mystery Solved

Since the 1988 Presidential election I have always voted by absentee ballot from whichever country I was ministering in at the time. To the best of my knowledge, my vote has always arrived in time. I was surprised and disappointed to be informed by my local polling station that my vote had not arrived for this past election. I was, quite frankly, puzzled as well as dismayed at this news. A week or so later the mystery was solved when I received a letter informing me that my ballot had been received, but as I was a first-time voter it would be considered a provisional ballot and not counted until seven days after the election. Monica Bradfield had never voted before - it had always been Monica Hain!

(On the letter there was a place to complain about the provisional status, and I do intend to comment on a vote not counting until after the election has been decided!)

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Anti-Halloween Party

When trying to explain to the new children why we had a party at church on Halloween night, Jordan Edgar coined the title which expresses it so well: Anti-Halloween Party. We want the children to learn that being a Christian does not mean that you cannot have fun. Mark likes to give the children a safe alternative and the adults an escape from all of the Trick or Treaters. We started the evening with a short service. Then, the adults went into the fellowship hall to watch a Christian DVD while Mark, Alan, Dennis, and Steve played games with the children. Great fun was had by all.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Our Chinese Service

This past week Po and Sunday Lo were visiting from England. Po is still in Bible school there, but this is their third trip to Derry/Londonderry to do outreach with the Chinese population of our town. Sunday morning Po preached and Paul Ho interpreted for we English speakers. It was a blessing to be reminded how the Lord loves and cares for all people. There were three Chinese visitors in the service as well as Ling and the two boys who have become regulars. We are eager to see how the Lord will use Bethel in helping Brother Lo to minister in Derry.

Irish Stew

Since marrying Mark my cooking/eating habits have changed some, as have Mark's. We are learning to merge two cultures and tastes. One of his favourite meals is sausages, baked beans, and mashed potatoes. (a Northern Ireland favourite) I have also learned to make shepherd's pie and today I made Irish Stew for the first time! We are never too old to learn, are we?! I am really enjoying learning to make the dishes that Mark likes to eat. He is actually quite a good cook and has a knack for seasoning things, so I have made that his official job.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Chinese Party at Wednesday Kid's Club

The past five weeks we studied Hudson Taylor, missionary to China. To conclude the lessons, we had a Chinese Party. Ethel was the mastermind behind this exciting evening. Many of the children dressed in Chinese clothes or brought something made in China. (Ethel let me borrow one of her tops.) We started the evening with chicken fried rice and prawn crackers (from the best Chinese takeaway in Northern Ireland!) We then had slices of Chinese mango pudding, which was more like jelly/jello. Ethel split the kids into two teams and they took a quiz to see how much they remembered about our story. Following the quiz there was a chopstick competition, and each child took home the sweets that they successfully got into their bowls. At this point the adults were finished with their service. The children did their worksheets and ate moon cakes and Chinese wafer cookies. The adults finished off the fried rice, tried Chinese tea, and helped with the moon cakes and cookies. It was an enjoyable evening for all. We desire that it helped the children to understand that the Lord made and loves all people no matter their nationality or customs.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


On Monday morning my friend Sandra had her fifth child, a beautiful boy named Jordan. The Lord has blessed me with Sandra's friendship, and I am so thankful for the way that He works and the people that He leads into our lives.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Autumn Giveaway

Chryl over at Chyrll's Corner is have an Autumn Giveaway. The gifts look lovely, so check it out.
The deadline to enter this giveaway is 11:30 a.m., October 6th.
She will draw the name at 12:00 p.m.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Crab Apples and God's Love

Last autumn I was given a jar of crab apple and clove jam. Mark has talked about it ever since, and I have been trying to find someone with crab apples so that I could make some for him.I had given up. Yesterday I got a text from Ethel. She had been given some crab apples while visiting friends near Belfast! I was reminded that God does care about even the small things that are important to us, and that He often answers in ways that we could never imagine!

Bible Study With A Difference

Mark and I had a wonderful opportunity/experience this morning. For several months we have had two Christian Chinese ladies attending church . Yesterday Ling contacted Paul Ho to ask if he and Mark could come to her house this morning to offer encouragement to a young Christian who had suffered the loss of a loved one. We were there for close to two hours. Paul interpreted for Mark, with Ling assisting from time to time. There were several times where Paul was obviously doing some teaching of his own, answering questions that the young Christian had. It was a blessed reminder that 'Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.' It doesn't matter what country we are from or what language we are speaking, when we are all God's children and indwelled by the same Holy Spirit!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Street Preaching

We had a good morning handing out tracts and street preaching. There were ten of us all together, standing at three different locations in the city centre. There was a Christian couple visiting from Scotland who stopped to encourage us and say how good it was to hear the gospel being preached. It was a great blessing to meet them. Mark talked the entire hour and a half that we were there.

Friday, 19 September 2008

A Busy Month

Hello! I'm sure that most of you can relate when I say that since I last posted an entry it has been busy, busy, busy! We had our holiday Bible club, protested a gay pride parade, had family up visiting, went down to visit friends and family, and have kept regular church activities flowing. In a couple of hours we will be going into the city centre to hand out tracts and do some street preaching (Mark, and other men if they are interested!). Below are a few pictures of our activities of the past month.

At holiday Bible club we have a store on the last day. We adults got a bit carried away with the shopping, and there were four tables full of gifts!

It is our desire for people with 'alternative lifestyles' to realise that the Lord loves them, and that it is His desire for them to be saved and live according to His word.

Me with my favourite person!

Uncle Mark and Connor. Connor and his sister Charlotte made a cake for Mark's bday. It is pictured belowed with their cousin, Henry.

Henry comes to stay with us several times a year. He and Mark have a great time. The younger boys in church are always excited when he comes!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Happy Birthday, Mark!

Today is my husband's birthday! I thank the Lord for bringing him into my life, and for the fact that Mark loves and serves the Lord.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Two of my favourite people have August birthdays, and one of them is today! Happy birthday, Sam, I love you very much!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Papa's Birthday

Last week we gathered to celebrate my father-in-law's (Papa to the grandchildren) birthday. We had the typical problem of getting all seven grandchildren looking at the camera at the same time, so I posted all four photos!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Extra Photographs

When I was putting pictures from camera to computer for the baby shower, I discovered some from our trip to the States that I had missed before. Hope you enjoy these!

Baby Shower

Last night we had a surprise baby shower for Karen Cullen. We had it the night of our monthly ladies' Bible study, so we were able to get her to the house without suspision. Lawrance, from their church in Newtonards, joined us as well as Stan's mom, two sisters, and Aunt Anne. A wonderful evening was had by all.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Friday Night Bible Study

Each Friday night Mark conducts a Bible study here at the house. Ethel brings her three children and Chloe and Josh are excellent at entertaining themselves during the study. Rachel, however, excells at entertaining we adults during the study! Not many can fight a 7 month old's charm!