It's hard to believe that we're already one month into 2015. Last year when Hannah and I received so many Christmas cards with a "year in review" letter, I decided that I wanted to do that this year. But since so much happens in one year, I thought it better to do a "month in review" and later pick the best of the best for our annual Christmas letter.
Hannah and I rang in the new year by going to bed early. We knew the kids would get up early anyway, so we decided to treat New Year's Eve like any other night and enter the new year well rested.
On January 10 I officially began carrying out my duties as Associate Pastor of Youth and Young Adults (Youth Pastor) at Enfoque Ministerio de Alabanza, our Spanish-language church that meets on Saturday night. It's part-time, so I won't be giving up my full-time Government job anytime soon, but it's my first paid ministry position. I hold two classes: one for high schoolers and one for college-age young adults, and my focus is on exposing them to the gospel of God's amazing grace and helping them get grounded in the faith.
Hannah began the second half of her school year as a part-time teacher for WEE Care, a preschool and kindergarten at the church. Lukas and Abigail both attend as well and they're always bringing home new pictures and craft projects, as well as new ways of expressing themselves. Lukas's vocabulary has exploded and he's beginning to talk in 2- and 3-word phrases.
On January 24 we traded in our 2007 Ford Freestar van for a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan. The extra space is much appreciated, and the handling is definitely better. Even though it's primarily Hannah's vehicle, I got to drive the exact same model to Cleveland for work the very next day. In a snowstorm. It was more a trial by ice than a trial by fire, but it performed well and we're confident we made the right choice.
In addition to my four-day trip to Cleveland, the last week of January marked the start of my last Hebrew class for my seminary studies and the first time I got to preach as Youth Pastor. That made it the busiest week of our year so far.
We've been very blessed by God, and we are thankful for his provision and care. Now that we're settled in to 2015, we're beginning to plan out the rest of the year, and I think that the best is still ahead.