Friday, December 24, 2010

Here We Come A-Caroling!


For the fourth year in a row we went caroling today to spread a little Christmas cheer and God's love. We sang three carols and shared some homemade Christmas cookies. Joel and Amelia did very well singing. The practice session above, complete with turkey bone "microphone," must have been effective.

Christmas Eve at the Farnsworths

Joel and Amelia opened their last fabric gift bag for the 24 Days of Christmas. We started this tradition when Joel was born. Instead of big gifts at Christmas they the children alternately open a small gift each day, and we read a Christmas Bible verse together. It's always an exciting part of December.

This was the third Christmas in a row that we roasted turkey. A local church donated turkeys to all the missionary families staying at Missionary Retreat Fellowship. What a blessing.

We all stuffed ourselves, even without stuffing! (We had mashed potatoes instead!)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!!!

This morning we woke up to a winter wonderland. All of us were very excited!




After home school we rushed outside to go sledding. This was our second time sledding this year. Imagine the excitement after four years in the tropics!


The children also made some snow angels.

Merry Christmas to All!

Feliz Navidad y Dios les bendiga en 2011. Please forgive the Spanish greeting; we (except Marisol) need to practice for our return to Ecuador next summer.

Thank you for all your prayers. 2010 has proved to be more challenging than we thought. First, we left Guam and Pacific Islands University in June, which presented our family with a HUGE transition. Then Ned's Dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer in September and underwent surgery. We invite your prayers for his upcoming treatments which start on December 27. Finally, two dear friends died within a couple months.

Through all of this we have found God to be as faithful as ever. We have participated in a number of missions conferences and meetings; God has blessed us through these opportunities to refresh existing friendships and establish many new ones. We really thank God for that.

Joel and Amelia are thriving in our local church's Awana program on Wednesday nights, and Ned and Marisol attend prayer meeting at the same time. The children enjoy swimming lessons at the YMCA and continue to grow and learn (the parents, too!) in home school.

2011 will bring more challenges and changes for us. Ned will undergo ordination at Iglesia Bautista Betania in Reading, PA on Saturday, March 12 (please pray!), and moving to Ecuador promises another BIG transition. But our God is BIGGER!

We thank you for your friendship and partnership. God uses you to help us along each step of our lives. May you reflect on Him and His love for you during this Christmas season. His love came down in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ.

God bless you at Christmas and always. We love you.

Ned, Marisol, Joel and Amelia Farnsworth

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

O Christmas Tree


We were pleased to purchase a real Christmas tree again this year after four years of artificiality. It looks so nice and smells so wintry. We all had fun decorating it, too. Enjoy!

Have You Seen a Bear?


And we're not talking about the new Yogi Bear movie! We found these prints outside our house the other day. We're hoping not to see Mr. Bear up close, at least not too close. I prefer my bears at a distance. How about you?

Field Trip # 1 Roadside America and Cabela's





Roadside America is a wonderful place to visit with a complete miniature town built to scale with moving parts and trains going all around. We four spent two hours going around the village twice on two different levels, and Joel and Amelia had a grand time. We highly recommend it.





The other part of our field trip was a quicker trip to Cabela's, the world's foremost outfitter, according to them. Their animal displays and fresh water aquarium are "out of this world," and remind us how great God created the world and everything in it.

Remembering October 31






Add ImageTwo months ago we celebrated our dear friend Melissa's birthday at the local Chinese buffet. Then we went to a hayride and corn maze at the Oley Valley Dairy with our bilingual Baptist Church. Lovely times indeed!

Christmas in October


These pictures were taken at a Christmas in October celebration at St. James Church in West Reading. (We're just two months late in posting the photos!) St. James supports our missionary work. We were thrilled to participate in the program with Dr. and Mrs. Jewell. The Jewells have been friends all my life and currently do medical missions in Zambia. Their presentation inspired all of us to "give our all for the Lord."

Blondes Have More Fun!


No, the women in my life did not bleach their hair. We were just having fun one day at my parents' house and wanted to share the joy with all of you. Have a good laugh!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from the Poconos (PA)!



Marisol, Joel, Amelia and I want to wish you a beautiful Thanksgiving with your loved ones. We all have so much to thank the Lord for, and we need to spend more time giving thanks. "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name" (Psalm 100:4). We will be traveling to Grandma and Grandpa's house in Birdsboro for the big day, our first with them since 2005. We will miss the PIU celebration in Guam, which we enjoyed for four years in a row. Love to all our friends and family far and near.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Addendum

Joel and Amelia made many new friends during the week. We have been traveling to different churches, so it was great to be in one place for a longer time. They also heard many testimonies about how God is using missionaries around the world. We are praying that God will use our children for His kingdom and for His glory.

Israel and Judy work with Chosen People Ministries. Their vitality and love for the Lord and for their people impressed us very much.

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Lift up Your Eyes and Look at the Fields"


We spent a delightful week at the Exeter Bible Church World Missions Conference. The theme, taken from John 4:35, "Lift up your eyes and look at the fields," challenged all of us to join in the task of sharing the gospel with all the nations.
Our family shared the ministry of PIU in Guam through pictures and stories in the classes of Berks Christian School by day.

Joel and Amelia helped with the Power Point presentations. Marisol had the idea of using the seven days of creations and pictures from Guam for our time with the elementary school students.

The first grade class sang a creation song for us.


For the elementary chapel we showed the ministry in Guam through the eyes of Joel and Amelia as missionary kids.

They sang a lovely rendition of "The Guam Hymn."

We attended the secondary chapel complete with a visit from Aaron the High Priest.

Afterwards we couldn't resist asking for a picture with him. How often does an opportunity like that present itself?

Every day we enjoyed lunch with the EBC pastoral staff and the other missionaries.
It was a delight to get to know Julie and Dave, missionaries in Asia.

On Wednesday Marisol and Amelia participated in the Ladies Tea. . .

. . .and Joel helped me with two class presentations. It was a joy to see our kids help with various tasks during the week.

Steve and Sharon, former New Tribes missionaries in Venezuela until President Hugo Chavez expelled all tribal missionaries, coordinate their mission's Wayumi program, which is an exciting, interactive introduction to tribal work, in Jersey Shore, PA. For more information, go to www.wayumi.com.

We ate a delicious lunch at the Cracker Barrel. The kids enjoyed the mini rocking chairs outside.
The church treated us to a wonderful production of Joseph at Sight and Sound. We rode in the van with Joel and Laura, the youth pastor and his wife and parents of six-month-old triplets!

Grandma and Grandpa were present for all of the meetings. We tried to sit with them, whenever possible.
Of course, we needed to pose with the Guam flag, and we used the ever-present peace sign from Asia.

Stacey, one of the missions committee members and my friend since childhood, certainly endeared herself to Marisol, Joel and Amelia. It was a blessing to have time to spend with her. Thanks for the chocolate chip cookie. You are the best!
Annabel and her husband work in Europe, reaching out to men and women from the Middle East.
We spent much time with our friend Marcia. She runs an organization called Christian Answers for the New Age, including a website with a treasure trove of articles and other information. Check it out at http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/. I promise you that you won't be disappointed.


Joel and Amelia loved having time on the school playground. Notice the matching outfits courtesy of our friend Juliet in Guam.
It was a wonderful week. Many thanks to Exeter Bible Church, especially the Missions Committee, for such a blessing.