Hannah Banana is crawling like a boss! So blessed to be this cutie's mama! :)
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."
Dear Family & Friends,
Happy Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for God’s abundant goodness to our family over this past year. God has blessed our family in so many ways, and we praise Him for all the gifts He has given us!
The most precious blessing we received arrived at the beginning of the year in the middle of the worst snow storm of the winter. Hannah Grace Vruggink arrived at
3:27 AM on Friday, January 9th weighing 7 lbs. 14 oz. and measuring 19.5 in. long. She is 10-months-old now and has started to crawl end enjoys exploring her little world. She loves to smile and cuddle with anyone. She adores her siblings and graciously allows them to carry her around the house and involve her in all their adventures. Hannah is such a gift!
We are grateful our older three children are also doing well! Christian is 8-years-old. He continues to amaze us with his amazing intellect and is currently writing his own adventure novel. He loves playing strategy games, reading, and spending time with friends. Abbie is 6-years-old. She loves Jesus and is passionate about sharing Him with others. She loves coloring/painting, playing with friends, and taking care of her baby sister. Isaac is 2-years-old and loves exploring, watching tractors/construction equipment, and playing his little guitar.
Our second most exciting announcement is that this summer we were officially appointed missionaries with ABWE! Over the past few months we have been meeting with churches and individuals to share our passion for training leaders in Asia! We truly believe that when Asian leaders are equipped with a strong theological foundation they will empower their churches to share the gospel and God’s kingdom will expand in Asia. We’re blessed that we already have 15 committed financial partners and 14% of our monthly committed support raised. We will be going on a trip to Singapore and Thailand January 20-30, 2016 to determine which city we will be based in while serving in Asia. Through God’s people Jehovah Jireh provided the funds for this trip in just six weeks! It has been amazing to see God providing for our family’s ministry!
If you’re interested in keeping updated about our ministry, please sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter by going to vrugginks.com/newsletters We would be honored if you would keep up with us and pray for our ministry!
We are so thankful for our amazing God who continues to bless us with the grace we need to serve Him. We hope you have a wonderful time of Thanksgiving with your family and friends this special week as we reflect on the many blessings He has given us and joyfully welcome the holiday season!
Greg & Rachel Vruggink
Today was "International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church." All day long my mind has been thinking about a conversation I had with Christian a few weeks ago.
One Sunday morning while Greg and I were setting up our missionary display table at a church in Indiana, Christian noticed a large Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Map posted on the church lobby wall. I saw my 8-year-old son walk over to the map and begin studying it. The VOM prayer map has two categories: Red Restricted Nations and Yellow Hostile Areas, and the bottom of the map describes the type of persecution that takes place in these countries.
As Christian read the descriptions he became agitated and immediately ran up to me in a panic.
"Mom! Mom! Did you know that some of the countries Dad will be traveling to when we live in Asia are red countries?!? Did you know that in those countries Christians can go to prison or be killed because they’re Christians?!? Is Dad going to go to prison for teaching people about the Bible?!?"
As I looked in the eyes of my precious son I saw so much fear. Fear that the Dad he loved so much might not come home one day. I gave Christian a hug and comforted his fearful little heart.
“Oh sweetheart don’t worry! Daddy is an American so even if they find him teaching in countries where he's not allowed to do that then the worst that will probably happen to him is that he’ll be forced to leave the country and won’t be allowed to come back. They won’t put Daddy into jail for a long time or hurt him.”
“Whew…oh good!” Christian said with a relieved smile and then he immediately wandered off to find his sister to play with before Sunday school began.
Today I keep thinking about that conversation I had with Christian because so many mothers in the world can not offer their children the same consolation that I gave to my son. They can’t assure their children that Daddy won’t go to prison or be killed today for following Jesus Christ. Hardship and danger is a daily part of their life because they profess faith in Jesus Christ. Every day some father's don't come home due to their commitment to following Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 13:3 says, "Remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering."
As Americans it’s hard for us to grasp the sacrifices families make in these restricted nations, but it's also important for us to mentally put ourselves in their shoes and remember their pain.
Will you join with me this week in praying for the persecuted church?