Merry Christmas !!!

 Dear friends and family,
    Merry Christmas! We trust each of you have a meaningful time as you celebrate the 2,015th anniversary of Jesus' birth. For us, we'll be traveling to Pensacola, FL on 23-24 Dec, and are looking forward to being with both of our families for Christmas.
    Our first semester at New Tribes Bible Institute in Waukesha, WI has come to a close, and we continue to be thankful for this opportunity to be immersed in great teaching and study of God's Word. Our prayer is that the academics and class time will not just result in more head knowledge (not that this is necessarily a bad thing), but that we will know the God of the Bible better as a result of our time here and allow His Word to further align and establish His perspective and grace in our lives. Woven into the teaching is threaded a more thorough understanding of the gospel (good news) and God's intended meaning and purpose for our lives, both in a broad sense and for the day-to-day Christian life. Courses that one or both of us have either taken or audited this semester are: Pentateuch (1st five books of the Bible), Hermeneutics (how to study and interpret the intended meaning of the Bible), Hebrews, 1&2 Peter, Evangelism in a Post-Modern World, and Bibliology (how we got the Bible and is it reliable). We also have a daily chapel time. 
          - Two books that have been especially impactful recently are Disciplined by Grace, by J.F. Strombeck, and How Good is Good Enough?, by Andy Stanley.
    We're thankful for how God has seen us through this time of transition:
  • Isaac (8yrs), Jackson (6yrs), and Leah (6yrs) have enjoyed attending the local public school. We had concerns about the quality of their education and influences in their lives, but we like their teachers and they have all done really well academically and socially. 
  • Carter (4yrs) and Selah (7 mos) go downstairs to child care each morning; and Carter really likes it. Selah doesn't have much of an opinion yet, unless she's hungry or tired.
  • Devon had some concerns about being able to reengage in school after having been out of school for the past 10yrs, but she has done just fine.
  • Jonathan has been driving morning and afternoon bus routes for the local public schools, and the schedule works great with school and family. It's been convenient to be on the same schedule as our kids' school.
  • It's an answer to prayer to have found a local church home at Faith Bible Church, where our kids have been able to participate in a very organized Awana program.
School Life ---->    Living at the school has worked out well and has also had its challenges. We have an apartment with a kitchen, dining room, living room and three bedrooms. It was a bit of an adjustment having to share communal restrooms with the other families on our floor, and comunal living did lend itself to germ-sharing and some extra sickness this past semester. But the community atmosphere has also been a big blessing and means to developing relationships with our peers. The kids love the interaction with their friends without having to arrange any play dates or leave the building. And there is a gym on campus that works well for roller blading and ball games. So overall we've really enjoyed the community aspect of campus life.

    Here's a tentative timeline for us over the next few years:
(Fall 2015 ---> Spring 2017) Waukesha, WI at New Tribes Bible Institute
(Fall 2017 ---> Spring 2019) Camdenton, MO at the Missionary Training Center
(Fall 2019 ---> ........) Overseas to where God leads us over the next few years; destination ????
Well, Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing in our lives!!
                                              Jonathan & Devon Ames (+5)
Copyright © 2015 Jonathan and Devon Ames, All rights reserved.

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