Happy Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for God’s 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!
We are thankful for our church family at Long Island Abundant Life Church (LIALC)! In October our church joyfully took on a new Senior Pastor, Chinese Pastor, and Greg is transitioning from serving as the Youth Pastor to serving as the English Pastor. We are so excited to have a strong pastoral team at our church, and are looking forward to serving with them. For more details on LIALC, please visit our church website www.lialc.org
We are also thankful that Greg has been able to continue his graduate studies long distance through Columbia International Seminary! Greg takes online courses throughout the year and intensive classes two weeks at a time in January and/or June. He is currently working towards his Master of Divinity degree, and we are hoping he will be able to graduate in the spring of 2014.
We are thankful that our family and home remained safe during Hurricane Sandy! The night of the hurricane was frightening - the wind was so loud combined with the sights and sounds of huge falling branches and trees. In the morning we woke up to discover lots of branches down, no electricity, and some wires that had been pulled off our home by a branch, but our family and home were safe. We were without any power for two days and only had ½ power (meaning no stove/oven or washer/dryer) for sixteen days. During our time with no/little electricity, God faithfully provided for us through the love and generosity of others. We have a renewed sense of appreciation for the blessing of a home with electricity.
We are thankful for our sweet children - Christian and Abbie! Christian is five years old and started full day kindergarten this fall. Christian enjoys kindergarten – he loves his teacher, friends, special classes (art, gym, music, computer, etc.), and learning. He is very outgoing, intelligent, and loves to talk. Christian is also thriving in Chinese school! Last year Christian graduated at the top of his Chinese school class. We are so proud of him and the great progress he is making in learning the Chinese language. Most of all we are proud of the wonderful little guy Christian is becoming - he is kind, hardworking, and thoughtful. We love our amazing little man!
Abbie will be four years old in February. She has a feisty and independent personality. She is still our girly girl - she loves having her nails painted, playing with her fairies and princesses, having tea parties, wearing skirts and dresses, and most recently dancing. Last spring our church partnered with a wonderful ministry called Gotta Dance (www.gotta-dance.org). Each week Abbie is blessed to receive two hours of ballet, tap, and gymnastic lessons. Abbie looks forward to her dance classes more than anything else during the week. We love our sweet little ballerina!
We are also thankful and excited to announce that Baby V #3 is due on March 23rd! We will be having a little boy! As you know last year we started the adoption process, but God had a different plan for growing our little family. This pregnancy has been very difficult. At the end of the first trimester Rachel experienced a lot of bleeding and was placed on bed rest. Thankfully after a few weeks the bleeding stopped, but Rachel still has a small pool of blood between her amniotic sack and uterine wall. Every two weeks Rachel has to have an ultrasound to make sure the blood pool is not growing or moving. Specifically we are praying the blood pool does not move behind the placenta as this could place pressure on it and cause it to detach. Rachel is now 22 weeks along and no longer on strict bed rest, but she still has to take it easy - no exercise, stretching, bending, lifting, driving, or sitting up too long. We are so thankful for all your prayers for Rachel, our baby boy, and entire family.
We would be thrilled if you would visit the blog regularly to keep up with us! Our family’s website is www.vrugginks.weebly.com Rachel frequently updates the blog with pictures and shares how her pregnancy is progressing and what our family is doing. We would also love to hear from you! Greg’s NEW cell phone number is 516-439-2694 and Rachel’s NEW cell phone number is 516-360-4628, so give us a call when it’s convenient for you.
We are so thankful for our amazing God who has blessed us with another incredible year! We are grateful for the gift of Jesus Christ who has forgiven our sins and gives us the grace and strength we need for each day. We hope you have a wonderful time of Thanksgiving with your family and friends this special week as we all reflect on the many blessings He has given us and joyfully welcome the holiday season!
Greg, Rachel, Christian, Abbie, and Baby Vruggink #3