As we head deeper into this new year, we’re so thankful for the experiences, blessings, challenges and relationships that enriched us last year. We see over and over, how God leads, guides, provides and protects His people and His work.
The past few months have seen us working on reestablishing our routine in the offices after a summer of travels and performances and picking up the projects that had been put on hold. We started up the monthly Sinjstunds, worked on a few updates for the studio, spent time practicing new songs, translating, writing and editing new songs for songbooks and the website, writing Sunday School curriculum in Plautdietsch, filling mail orders, preparing more devotions for publication, notating the songbook, editing pictures and activities for children’s activity books, and myriads of other tasks that we try to keep on top of. Besides all the office time, there were many events we participated in with singing and/or preaching.
Over the past year, Diedrich and Nettie have been very involved with a group of mostly recent immigrants who were searching for a church group to belong to, where they could worship and fellowship together in their mother tongue of Plautdietsch. This has grown from a small group of two or three families to a small church of seventy to eighty people on a regular Sunday morning. Currently they are meeting at the Winkler EMMC in the fellowship hall in the basement. This is a group of mostly new believers, lots of young families, who are on fire for the Lord and eager to grow and learn in their walk with the Lord. Giving leadership to this group takes quite a bit of time, and your prayers would be greatly appreciated as we seek the Lord’s will as to how to move forward. It is our desire to see the needs of this group met, while still carrying on the work we’ve been doing for the past many years. We know God has a plan, and we trust Him to lead us in it, step by step.
We were blessed to have Andrew and Deanna join us in Manitoba for a few weeks over Christmas and New Year. Along with celebrating Christmas together, we spent time working on our songs for the upcoming trip to Bolivia, as well as singing together at several events, church services and funerals. Andrew helped out at the Low German services with song leading and preaching for several Sundays, which was a big blessing and took some of the pressure off of Diedrich. Lots of brainstorming, planning, goal setting and dreaming for the future of this ministry also took place, along with praying together for God’s wisdom and direction.
We are excitedly preparing for a trip to Bolivia in February! It’s been almost two years since we were last there and we’re looking forward to this ministry opportunity. The plan, if the Lord wills, is to spend time in three different communities, singing, preaching, and connecting on a personal level with whoever God brings into our path. Diedrich, Nettie, Andrew and Jason are preparing to fly out in the second week of February. Prayers for this trip are also greatly appreciated. We will be heading to some communities we’ve never been to before and we are greatly aware of our need for God’s wisdom, strength and discernment in ministering to these people. Backat home, we plan to continue working on local events, fundraisers, writing and translation projects, and planning the spring and summer schedules.
It was good to be able to spend time with the family over the holidays and do some events with Andrew and Deanna. I’ve been practicing the guitar more and playing at some of our local events. It’s always good to see how music touches people’s hearts and how God can use it to spread His message of love. A new thing I’ve been involved in the past few months, is helping out with the Low German church group in whatever ways I can, especially helping to lead singing and connecting with the youth and young adults. There’s always plenty of ways to keep busy in this ministry, and I look forward to continuing that in the year to come.
This last season was busy as usual. October was spent catching up on book work from a busy summer season. November was spent preparing for the annual D’Friesens fundraiser. This year I took on the responsibility of the décor and dietary needs baking. Most of my days were filled with baking, and making center pieces that we can use for fundraisers in the future. In December I was busy with doing the daily social media “Countdown to Christmas” posts, and resting a bit from the overly busy season. I am grateful to be a part of this ever growing and flourishing ministry, praise the Lord!
Going into the winter months, we had quite a few programs to prepare for, so practicing and performing was a large part of my workload. Going on trips such as the Ontario trip this summer, always gets me remotivated for music, so I also spent a lot of time rehearsing, and writing for an upcoming Low German project! I made some really good progress on the Low German notated songbook, and I hope to have the first draft of all the songs done by the end of January. Thank you all so much for your support, and please contact me if you have any questions or comments.
Praise God For:
-The faithful provision of God, who continues to meet all our needs
-The positive feedback we receive from people who use the products we produce
-The opportunities that keep coming our way
Pray With Us For:
-The group of Low German Christians meeting on Sunday mornings for worship and fellowship
-Our upcoming trip to Bolivia, for wisdom and discernment in ministry, along with protection in travel.
-Financial support to cover all the publication and travel costs as well as living expenses.