Christmastime is Family Time

Leslie, the girls, and I had a great Christmas and New Year holiday break!  We had lots of quality time with family.  Leslie’s sister and family and brother came and stayed with us and Granny and GPa (G-Pa?) in Lakeway and we a had a full house.

Les and Amanda and the babies

It’s always great to hear how God has been active in our family – a family member had just returned from trip to South Asia where he was doing some neat missional work.  It wasn’t “overseas missions” in the typical sense; his group spent most of their time interacting with local church leaders, sharing best practices, encouragement, and Bible studies.  They visited both non-Christian and extensively Christian areas (including Nagaland, which I was surprised to learn is more Baptist (75% of the population) than Mississippi (55%)).  He shared a lot of stories about church planting and discipleship strategies.  It was encouraging to hear about efforts for missional transformation (helping God’s people follow God’s will for their lives) are happening around the world.

The day after Christmas we got up and caught a flight to the east coast for round two of family time.  We spent a few days in the Kennett Square area and got to see some friends from high school and college.  Then we all drove up to the Poconos to my parents’ new house just down the road from the Pantazes’ Poconos home.

Lu and Mabel poconos

Our “Panta-ment” family New Year’s celebrations are getting more and more crowded over the years (11 people in our house, 8 in theirs) but in the best way possible (new babies and new spouses!).  It’s hard to pick my favorite part of NYE, but I should probably eat less scrapple next year.  (Shower thought: I wonder how well an artisanal scrapple food truck would do in Austin…)

As we visited with family and friends, we had the chance to spend a lot of time sharing our church planting plans.  We got some great feedback and words of encouragement.  I hope to incorporate all their suggestions into my proposal and get it submitted in the next day or so.  Thanks for reading!

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