"And if you SPEND YOURSELVES on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday."

"The Lord will continually guide you. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."- Isaiah 58:10-11

Monday, December 15, 2014

Merry Christmas

Warm Christmas Greetings from the Smiths!

Thank you for your outpouring of encouragement, prayers and support to our family over the last year.  We are so thankful for the many ways you have walked alongside us.  We could not have accomplished the tasks God placed before us without you!  We know that God is calling our family to grow and expand the Oasis for Orphans programs in Kenya, and we remain excited about continuing in this work.  

2014 Family Updates
Rick – Was grateful to see Oasis officially grow from one to three sites as legal partnership documents were signed with The Valley and The Shelter.  Enjoyed teaching at Moffat and seeing the first group of Maasai and Kisii pastors graduate from their three-year training program through Commission 2:2.  Upped his manliness when he killed a snake in our house. Added a few grey hairs as Rachel is now learning to drive.

Ann – Was overjoyed at seeing the Oasis sponsorship program grow by 30 children at The Valley!  Is excited that four Oasis kids graduated from High School and are headed to college. Is thankful for the more than 70 visitors who visited this year from the US and Canada.  Embraced working with the dental team by pulling out someone’s tooth! Found out the hard way that she doesn’t like paint balls in her face or baboon spiders near our house.

Katie – Is teaching the Model United Nations class at RVA this year. Enjoys leading the Jr. High kids in worship each week. Traveled to Zanzibar with her class and swam with dolphins and ate octopus. With typical Katie priorities, took last place in the One World Run to hang with her little sib because, “Walking is SO FUN Katie!”  Looks forward to finding out where she will be going to college. Is approachable, humble, and embraces joy even when it means laughing at herself.

Rachel – Had a surprise Sweet 16th and went paintballing. Nearly tossed Rick and Caleb out of the sunroof of the car when she rolled over a small cliff in the road while learning to drive.  Joined the art class this year and renewed a passion.  Has boldly shared about Jesus with several people who have chosen to become Christians!

Julia – Became a teenager! Built her first “snowman” in Africa (in the sand).  Confirmed the loss of the missing Malaysian flight when she pulled some plastic bottles from the Indian Ocean with “Made in Malaysia” stamped on the bottom. Fell in love with a janitor-turned-superhero in the school play.  Bravely, rock climbed up Hell’s Gate.  Has a precious heart of generosity and compassion for others.

Caleb – Wants to visit the US so we can put his clothes in that awesome thing that makes them warm. Couldn’t move his arms for three days after his birthday party because he and his friends did push-ups through two decks of cards.  Scored with a header and both feet in soccer this year. Is our faithful prayer warrior – send in your requests.

Enjoy your families this Christmas as you focus on the birth of our amazing Savior!

All this took place
to fulfill what the Lord has said through the prophet;
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son,
and they will call Him Immanuel,
which means God with us.”

Much Love – Rick, Ann, Katie, Rachel, Julia and Caleb

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