Merry Christmas to YOU!
|Allistair loves the Christmas tree!|
Here we are to give you the Priem update -
we know you're desperate to find out what happened with us this year!
January 6th of 2013, we visited our new home church for the first time!
We are blessed by the authenticity and friendliness of the people we've met, and we have made many friends who are already dear to us.
We arrived at just the right time (God's amazing plan, once again at work!), as the early childhood director had been wanting to begin providing support to children with special needs, but needed some help to get there. She had the special needs team brochure from the program Christie developed and managed at our previous church on her desk and had been planning to call - and then we showed up on her doorstep!
About 10 amazing volunteers were ready and eager to serve families, and I (Christie) have been blessed to get to know them. So far we have two classrooms up and running (one for younger students and one for teens and adults). What a great opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people affected by various diagnoses (and their families!)
Greg immediately plugged in (ha!) to the production team, and he enjoys running sound and helping with technical stuff as often as possible. He is very happy to be volunteering again in an area that matches up well with his skills and interests and with people who are fun and welcoming.
Greg still works for Intel (19.5 years now!) He moved to a new position, and is now working on some mission-critical systems, which means he will have some on-call days now. The job is interesting, and he's been learning a ton, but there's always stress with changes, too.
2014 will prayerfully be the year that Christie expects to finish the church curriculum for people with special needs that she's been writing (since August of 2011)! Three churches are currently using it, and feedback has been positive. The newest church to sign on said that the students seem to be learning better, and the volunteers in their special needs program are feeling more equipped. What more could we ask?! It is a blessing to have an opportunity to make a difference in the world.
Our second weekend at our new church (the weekend of January 13th), Christie began having some extreme abdominal pain and we scheduled an appointment with the best pelvic pain specialist around, thinking that her endometriosis had returned. What a surprise for us to find out that she had Crohn's Disease instead! This has meant a lot of experimentation - different ways of eating, some different medications, TONS of natural supplements - and lots of rest. It finally makes sense why she has felt so exhausted for a number of years and why her white blood cell count has kept coming back high! She started treatment with a medication that is in FDA testing for Crohn's, and has noticed some improvement. There's still a lot of room for improvement health-wise, though.
We pray that your Christmas this year is centered on the One who came to bring peace between us and God.