|Back Row: Dave, Luke, Micah, Jed. Front Row: Teresa, Sarah, Lauren.|
Merry Christmas Everyone,
For those who might not have heard some of the newsy highlights of our year, here’s a quick summary of what’s been happening with our family. First, we’re thanking the Lord that Teresa is now four years cancer-free. (Knowing that film critic Roger Ebert died in April from thyroid cancer reminds us that things could have turned out so differently for my Teresa.) Suffice to say that she thoroughly enjoys being in this young grandmother stage of life.
Luke graduated from Liberty University in May with a degree in graphic design. That marks the end of an era for my family. All the kids are now college-educated, and the hemorrhaging of money for tuition has finally stopped. (What a relief!) Luke, Jed, and Lauren are all working, and they’re making ends meet, but they’re all still mostly unsettled about their career paths in this merciless economy.
In August we celebrated my 20th year of ministry as the lead pastor at Avalon. Naturally, the people we serve are like true family to us after all this time together, and we are very happy to be here with them. It’s also a real pleasure for us to see all our kids using their considerable talents for the Savior in our church family (building relationships, providing special music selections, worship team ministry, literature and website development, young adults ministry, teen ministry, women’s ministry, etc.).
In late November, Josh and Sarah told us they are expecting their third baby! You might remember that we lost our granddaughter, Evie, just four hours after she was born in November of 2012, so this announcement in November of 2013 came as monumental news for us all.
And just this month, Josh graduated from nurse anesthetist school with a Master of Science in Nursing. He has already signed a contract to work in a local hospital, but he still has to pass his boards in January to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. He was the top student in his graduating class.
As you can see, we have so much to celebrate this Christmas, but the best of all is that we know how happy we’ll be when this life is over since we have chosen to follow the One whose birth was announced by the Christmas angels so long ago, the “Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
Warmest affection and Merry Christmas,
Dave and Teresa Rieke, and family