International Ministries

Staying Connected

November 21, 2004 Journal

Dear Friends,

The days alternate between warm and cool, and the leaves still cling to the trees in the heart of Texas.Flint, Deb, Ben and Chris find themselves becoming familiar with yet another "home."More and more, we take "home" to mean wherever our family happens to settle, whether it be for a few months or a few years.Since August 7, we've called Waco, Texas our home – or to be more precise – Woodway, a suburb of Waco.We are fortunate to live close by Flint's parents, Arthur and Louise Miller, who have been in the process of selling their house and moving to their new home at St. Elizabeth's Place, an assisted living facility.

Chris is a fourth grader at Woodway Elementary, while Ben is a seventh grader at Midway Middle School.Both guys like their schools and are making A's in their classes.As well, both have been active in sports – Chris playing fall baseball and now basketball, and Ben playing basketball for Midway Middle.We are also blessed to stay in the Mission house of First Baptist, Woodway.They have been very warm and gracious hosts, and we have been blessed by the many opportunities at their church.Ben has been involved in the youth group, while Chris is involved in the music, missions, and Bible drill programs for children.They've experienced a youth "Whoop De Do" (like a lock-in), a trip to a Texas Rangers Baseball game, fall festival, model rocket building and, of course, good worship and Bible Study designed for their age.They are enjoying life in Woodway, but they are both still eager to return to the Philippines.

Debbie and I have both traveled to churches and mission conferences since September in order to share about our experience in the Philippines.Typically we alternate weekends of travel so that one of us may be home with the boys.Sometimes the entire family will travel to a speaking event at a church if it's not too far.A very special church in Franklin, Indiana, the Amity Baptist Church, even flew the entire family out for a visit over the first weekend in November.All of the family spoke at different occasions that weekend and truly enjoyed the fellowship with these good people.American Baptist missionaries have been encouraged by the response of churches and individuals this fall to the World Mission Offering appeal.An increase of 36 per cent is needed in order to avoid the "recall" of missionaries from overseas to home. Many churches have responded by increasing giving by as much as 50% and even 100%!Our mission board will notify missionaries on March 20, 2005 if there is the need to recall missionaries.Presently, we are hoping to return to the Philippines but also keeping our eyes open to other opportunities as the Lord leads.

Flint has enjoyed teaching part-time at Truett Seminary of Baylor University. He loves to teach and the compensation goes to American Baptist International Ministries in order to support missions.This fall he is completing a course on Ethnography in the Mission setting – a class that teaches how to study and understand a particular cultural context.Next spring he will teach a class entitled "Cross-cultural Living" which basically examines the insights of cultural anthropology for mission.Deb has been a great support to Flint in this teaching role.Moreover, both Flint and Debbie are glad they have been here to help Flint's parents in this time of transition.They have been a great support to us through the years.It's nice to have the chance to help them.

At this season of the year we want to say how very blessed we are to have you in our lives! We have experienced God's love and spirit through you and find joy and meaning in staying connected through e-mails, cards, phone calls and visits.We will be in the Waco area until next June. Please come and visit us!

Happy Thanksgiving!May God continue to show you his goodness and mighty power at work around you. We love you and miss you!

"We thank our God upon our every remembrance of you."Philippians 1:3

Flint and Debbie Miller