Happy Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for God’s abundant goodness to our family over this past year filled with many changes. God has blessed our family in so many ways, and we praise Him for all the gifts He has given us!
We are thankful God has helped us transition from New York to Michigan! In the spring Greg finished his Master of Divinity degree through Columbia International Seminary, then over the summer he transitioned from having served for four years as the English Pastor at Long Island Abundant Life Church to becoming a full time Master of Theology student at Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Greg’s program should take him two years to complete, and this degree will give Greg the ability to teach seminary level courses in Southeast Asia. God has graciously provided for us during this time of transition.
We are thankful God provided us with a comfortable, three bedroom, affordable, on-campus apartment in seminary family housing. The kids have a huge backyard, playground, and are surrounded by dozens of others children. We love living in a close community with other likeminded families whose husbands/fathers are also going to seminary fulltime. We are so blessed to live on-campus at Calvin Seminary!
We are thankful God provided Greg with two, part-time, flexible jobs that combined give Greg fulltime work! Greg is working both as a researcher for Docent Research Group doing theological research for pastors and also as an online tutor for Pearson Tutoring helping students with their writing. Greg enjoys both jobs in different ways, and we are so grateful for the work God has given him to provide for our family during the next two years.
We are thankful God provided our family with health insurance! As everyone knows obtaining health insurance can be a stressful endeavor, but thankfully Rachel and the children are under Michigan Medicaid health insurance and Greg was able to purchase student health insurance through Calvin Seminary. We feel so blessed that God provided for our family in this important area.
Another new adventure to our family this year has been homeschooling. Monday-Thursday Rachel covers Bible, Math, English, Reading, Handwriting, Spelling, History, and Science with Abbie who is in Kindergarten and Christian who is now in 2nd grade. Rachel and the kids have been enjoying learning at home and the children are excelling in their studies. Every Friday from 8:30am-3:45pm the kids each join a class with 15-20 other homeschooled children in their grade and attend classes where their teachers cover Art, Music, Spanish, P.E., Chapel, Science, and Economics. We are so grateful they can participate in this special homeschool group every Friday!
Our biggest cause for thanksgiving this year is that we are expecting our fourth baby, another precious daughter, on January 11, 2015! Abbie prayed for a sister every day for a year and God answered her request. Evidently we tend to have babies in sets as Christian and Abbie are 18 months apart and then after a four year gap Isaac and our little girl will be 22 months apart. We are thankful that this pregnancy has gone smoothly thus far with no complications. Our fourth baby was a completely unexpected surprise so we had already given away all of our baby items, but God has been faithfully supplying all the things we need for her. We still have a few items things we need for her listed on our Amazon Baby Registry if you’re interested in blessing our sweet baby girl.
We are thankful for our littlest man, Isaac, who is now 20-months-old! He is a feisty explorer who loves to wrestle, open cabinets, and dance on top of the table. He continues to be built like a football player and is obsessed with balls, cars, and dinosaurs. He has a sweet heart and loves to laugh and wrestle with Daddy. He is such a blessing to our family!
We are thankful for our precious daughter, Abbie! Abbie will be six years old in February and began her Kindergarten studies this year. She started gymnastics lessons this fall and has been enjoying learning to tumble, flip, and balance. She is also excited to try cheerleading this winter. She has a wonderful imagination and loves playing with her dolls and making new friends. We are blessed to have such a sweet princess!
We are thankful for our wonderful son, Christian! Christian is seven years old and excelling in the 2nd grade. He loves reading, playing with friends, and telling jokes. He will be playing basketball again this winter and continues to love it telling us, “I want to be a basketball player when I grow up.” Christian is a huge help around the house whether he’s watching his siblings or drying the dishes. We are proud of the little man he is becoming!
We are thankful for our new church family at Grace Community Church! We were thrilled to become members of Grace Community Church in October. Greg has been teaching an adult Sunday school class, helping with the youth group, and occasionally preaching on Sunday nights. Rachel has been helping with the 1st/2nd grade Sunday school class, watching the little ones in the nursery, and encouraging women serving as international missionaries. Christian and Abbie love everything from Sunday school to children’s choir to Sonlight Kids Club. We are grateful for our new church!
We are thankful God has provided clear direction for the next step in our family’s journey! This year we will be starting the process of joining a mission organization in hopes of eventually heading overseas so Greg will be able to teach seminary level courses in Southeast Asia. Please pray for us as we begin the journey of becoming full time missionaries. We will keep our blog updated with any important announcements.
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.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 reflect on the many blessings He has given us and joyfully welcome the holiday season! Love Always,
Greg & Rachel Vruggink