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 biggest blessing our family received this year arrived on March 20th at 4:14am weighing 7 lbs. 15 oz. and measuring 20 in. long. We are so thankful for our precious Isaac Timothy! After a difficult pregnancy, he truly embodies the meaning of his name “laughter” and has brought us so much joy. He is an extremely happy and easy going baby. He rarely cries and usually sleeps through the night. He has recently started scooting around and eating baby food (he especially enjoys sweet potatoes). He is a big, healthy 8-month-old boy weighing over 20 lbs. (80th percentile for weight) and measuring over 28 in. long (90th percentile for height). We are so blessed to have Isaac in our lives!
We are thankful for our precious daughter, Abbie! Abbie will be five years old in February. She started ½ day preschool this fall and has been enjoying school immensely. She is spirited, smart, happy, creative, beautiful, feminine, compassionate, tenderhearted, determined, and sweet. She still enjoys her ballet, tap, and tumbling class every Thursday morning, and was thrilled to participate in her first dance recital last June. She has a wonderful imagination that always makes us smile – whether she’s making fairy houses in our backyard or pretending to be a mommy with her dolls. Abbie is a wonderful big sister to Isaac. She’s constantly showering her baby brother with hugs and kisses. We are so proud of the young lady she is becoming!
We are thankful for our wonderful son, Christian! Christian is six years old and excelling in the 1st grade. He is smart, loves learning, and is especially advanced in reading (already reading 4th grade level chapter books). He enjoys his school, fabulous teacher, and friends. Christian did well at swimming lessons over the summer, and he asked to begin participating in basketball this winter and track this spring. It has been fun watching Christian experiencing sports for the first time. Christian is still extremely outgoing and talkative. He is a strong leader, generous, and thoughtful. He is an amazing big brother to Abbie and Isaac. We are proud of the little man he is becoming!
We are thankful for the ways God has allowed us to serve Him in ministry! The past three years Greg has had the privilege of serving at Long Island Abundant Life Church (www.lialc.org) as the Youth Pastor and last year transitioned to serving as the Pastor of English Ministries. Greg preaches, leads worship, teaches Sunday school, plans youth group, coordinates youth events, mentors teens and adults, and in July led a group from our church on a life changing mission trip to Guatemala. Rachel has been serving as stay-at-home-mom, coordinates a ladies Bible study on the book of Proverbs, leads a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) discussion group, and mentors several of the teenage girls in our church.
We are thankful that we had the honor of attending Rachel’s brother’s wedding in Indianapolis! On May 24th David and Karin were married in a beautiful Christ-honoring ceremony. Christian and Abbie had the privilege of being the ring bearer and the flower girl – they both were thrilled about their special responsibilities and did a wonderful job. We are so thrilled God brought Karin into David’s life, and we were so blessed to be part of their wedding day!
We are thankful God had provided clear direction for the next step in our family’s journey! Over the past five years Greg has been working towards his Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) and he will graduate this spring. In July our plan is for our family to move to Grand Rapids, Michigan where in the fall Greg will begin pursuing a Master of Theology degree (Th.M.) over the next two years. This degree will give Greg the ability to teach seminary level courses in Southeast Asia. We are excited to live closer to our families and reconnect with our home church, Grace Community Church, before we head overseas, but we will miss the many wonderful friends we have made in Long Island, New York. Please pray for us as we work out the important details of Greg finding a job, locating an apartment to rent, and obtaining health insurance.
We would be thrilled if you would visit our family’s 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 about family events.
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 Vruggink