Monday, October 20, 2008
For those who do not yet know, our precious little gift from God has a name:
Sayde Elizabeth Craft
The origin is quite simple: Sayde is a name that we saw/heard somewhere along the line and really liked (although we spelled it differently than most). Elizabeth is Page's first name. Only after we decided upon that name did we look up what it meant. We may be in trouble...it means "Princess"
Joey & Page
(Judy is wearing the prayer shawl knitted by Joey's mom)
Here is a picture of some of our dear girl friends. (Left to right: Stephanie, Hollie, Page, Judy, Amanda)
Joey & Missael
Here is Page holding Lysett (Missael & Judy's niece). She is ADORABLE!!!
Asland, one of our two cats, perched looking out the window.
Page and Asland taking a little afternoon siesta...
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thank you all for your prayers since our last update – God continues to work in and through our lives. Thank you for being part of our lives.
We just wanted to give a quick update in our baby/graduating/moving/church planting journey.
Page is still teaching her “little ones”. For the most part there are no crazy children (or parents), so that makes the school year much more enjoyable. However, the “Mama” bug is closing in rapidly and she is looking forward March with great anticipation.
I am still enjoying being immersed by people much smarter than me. Despite the heart-wrenching and emotional/spiritually exhausting events of the past few weeks (for details see our Blog post titled “God’s Grace is Enough”) I have managed to get caught up on all my school work and I am looking forward to the rest of the semester.
The church plant is moving along. We have started meeting as a “D.C.” small group every week with Nathan & Andi Knight – our church planting cohorts. It is a valuable time as we study the Scriptures, pray for D.C. and discuss any pertinent church planting matters. We are planning a visit to D.C. in mid November to meet with key local pastors and to do some more housing/location research. We are working on our newsletter format and delivery method, so look for formalized “Restoration Church” updates in the coming months.
Last, but certainly not least, here is an update on the pregnancy. I had to save this one for last to ensure everyone read the first part of the email! We just found out last Friday that we are having a little GIRL (see blog post below for more information). Page is doing great and the Lord is faithfully knitting our precious gift together in Page’s womb. March 2 is the delivery date, but who knows when our little girl will arrive. Praise be to God!
Here are a few quick praises & prayer requests:
-Praise that Page is having healthy pregnancy and for a growing baby
-Praise that God has continued tighten the bonds of friendship between the Crafts and the Knights
-Praise that Judy (a girl being disciple by our small group) has placed her faith in Jesus Christ as her Lord & Savior
-Pray for a profitable trip to D.C.
-Pray that God would give us wisdom as we finalize our budget and begin a transition/ fundraising plan
-Pray for healthy pregnancy and baby
Please let us know if there is anything that we can be praying for you about.
Grace and Peace-
Joey & Page
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Now to the other question: Boy or Girl? You have to watch the movie to find out...
Here is audio of our precious little child's heartbeat...143 beats per minute.
Here are some 19 week ultrasound pics (you can click the picture for a larger view)...
These last two show we have a little girl!
Please continue to pray for a healthy child and healthy pregnancy.
With much love-
Joey & Page
Friday, October 10, 2008
13For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.15 My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.16Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I have debated for some time as whether or not to post this on the blog, but I feel God will receive much praise and glory by sharing the grace he has given us, so I have decided to do so. Here is a quick run down of our last few weeks:
Page and I, along with our dear friends David and Jamie Knight, left for a “vacation” to Puerto Vallarta Mexico on Friday, September 12. On the evening of September 13, I received word that the Lord decided to bring my Papa (my grandfather) into His presence. After tossing and turning, I finally went to sleep only to wake a couple hours later with severe nausea. This began an adventure of uncountable “bed to toilet” trips.
Finally, after three days of being limited to the bedroom and bathroom I was able to emerge Tuesday, September 16 for dinner. Shortly after dinner I called to see how PaPa’s funeral went. It was then that I was informed that my dad (biological father) had been given only a few more days to live – his seven month battle with lung cancer was coming to a sudden, unexpected end. We were not scheduled to return to Raleigh until September 18; however, my father was in the hospital in Atlanta. After trying to rearrange our flight and travel details, we had to keep our original schedule
We arrived in Raleigh really late on the evening of September 18. Just a few hours later at 3:30 AM on September 19, I received word that my dad had passed away. So we got up on Friday unpacked from our vacation and repacked to go to Atlanta. We spent the weekend in Atlanta ministering to and being ministered to by family and friends.
We returned to Raleigh on September 22 and we thought for sure things were going to calm down….When we came home from church on Sunday, September 28 there was a message on our answering machine from Missael, a young man who I have been discipling for about 7 months. In a frantic, tearful, frightened, panicked voice he was trying to get in touch with us because his three week old baby had just passed away. Since that time me, Page, and the rest of our small group have been ministering to Missael and Judy, his fiancé.
While I would not wish these few weeks on anyone, it has given me a greater view of my God. And for that I am forever grateful. Psalm 73:25-28 has been ringing in my ear and heart declaring God alone is sufficient. My soul savors Romans 8:31-39, which reminds me that nothing can separate me from the love of God.
May we give God the glory for…
-Praise that my grandfather lived 94 years longing to know Jesus and make him known (he shared the good news of Jesus with the Chaplain at the hospital!)
-Praise that I had seven months of the most intimate conversation with my dad during his battle with cancer; it was during this time I was able to share the gospel with him and hear him profess faith in Christ
-Praise that Missael and Judy, who are both new believers, have grown closer to each other and Christ through their loss
-Praise that the members of our church have stepped up to minister to Missael and Judy during this difficult time
-Praise that, by God’s grace, I was able to be part of two funerals and encourage those hurting from the deepest pain imaginable with the true hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ
-Praise that Page and I are surrounded by Christians who shower us with the love of Christ – we cannot count the number of emails, phone calls, cards, text messages of encouragement that we received
-Praise that God’s is sufficient even in the midst of difficult circumstances
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
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