Saturday, November 30, 2013

Asher



Happy 2nd Birthday Asher!!!

                                      Created @Tagcrowd.com 


Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them;
for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you.
He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Over the Pacific


As I type this, Stephen is flying somewhere north of Alaska, headed to the frigid-but-friendly land of Mongolia. There are so many open doors with young men in the same area where Ruth is serving. Stephen has had such a heart to meet those needs and we're thankful he's taken the initiative to make a difference.

Much of his focus will be on serving with our friends, teaching guitar, basketball, and exploring furniture building possibilities. We're excited about what the Lord has in store for the coming weeks and continue to pray for his safe travels and effective opportunities.


Saying goodbyes


Packing tight!


Heading out at the airport last night preparing for the long flights ahead. 

We love you,  Stephen. 
You're in our prayers half-the-world away!

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye."
Psalm 32:8

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mongolia Update #2

Dear friends and family,

"O my soul, you have said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord! Apart from You I have no good thing." ... I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel. I have set the Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore!" Selected verses from Psalm 16

Praise the Lord! Throughout the past few weeks, I have found these verses to be so very true. Real ministry is able to take place only when we acknowledge our utter need for God's grace & power - saying with David, "Apart from You I have no good thing!"

Then our mighty God steps in with amazing grace, mercy and pure love to supply the lack & transform the situation. The resulting outcomes, relationships & ministry leave me in total awe of our God!! This has been a repeated story in my weeks since the last update! And your prayers are a huge part of this sequence! Thank you!  :)

Even in the winter months, the sights are vividly colorful here in Mongolia: 



The view from my hotel window


Big sky country


Colorful storefronts


I made my first successful trip to the marketplace without an interpreter. The vendors were very understanding -- having patience with my gestures and even helping correct my pronunciation on my limited Mongolian vocabulary. 


Welcome to the grocery 'store'!


A classy hotel


The traditional Mongolian home called a 'yurt'. Many mongolians still live in them. 


A bright smile at my door.


Some of my eager English students. 

Recent Answers to Prayer:

-  English classes are going well and have provided an avenue to develop friendships with a large variety of ages and English speaking levels. I currently have 8 classes a week in my home and 2 classes a week at a local hotel & restaurant for their staff. 

-  The Ladies Health & Fitness class has been hugely successful and such a delight for me to be apart of! We are currently running out of room at the current building and it has been suggested that we find a new place to meet. Last night a lady told me, "My husband loves the change in me!! Thank you!!" 

-  First Aid & Healthcare: The opportunities to minister in these ways could keep one busy full time! But as the schedules have worked out, these opportunities are squeezed in between English classes. Burns & blisters, dog bite, nausea, headaches, infections, heartburn, skin rashes, allergies, back lower pain and a variety of digestive issues are a some of the situations I've had the privilege to counsel the past few weeks. I covet your prayers for wisdom! Many of the "natural treatment options" so easily acquired in the States are unavailable here.


This is a little glimpse of the situations I face each week. Darkness abounds. But where the darkness is great - the light & truth shines greater!  I am so grateful for your prayers and the notes of encouragement you have sent my way!  God is at work - ministering to hearts through touching the physical ... and I'm so grateful you have chosen to be apart of it! 

Only in Him and with much gratefulness,
Ruth Wissmann



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bible Bee-Bound

www.BibleBee.org
The miles are whizzing under the bus tires as I type this update. After a few long days of wrapping up our field work, we're excited to be on the road once again. This time we're headed for Tennessee! The Shelby Kennedy Foundation has asked our family to share during the Bible Bee National Competition this year and we're excited to be a part of such a meaningful event. 

Would you keep our family in your prayers this weekend? We have many miles to travel and an amazing opportunity to share with hundreds of families. We're praying that the Lord's Spirit moves mightily; encouraging the hearts of His people. May we be willing, humble vessels before Him. Again, we covet your prayers! 


Instruments all loaded


Home Sweet Bus!


The scenery will look quite different 24 hours from now!
(Hello gorgeous Tennessee bluffs!)


Mealtime on the bus


Is anyone else headed to Sevierville this weekend?!


“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, 
but you shall meditate in it day and night,
 that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. 
For then you will make your way prosperous, 
and then you will have good success.
Joshua 1:8

Monday, November 18, 2013

Kori


Happy Birthday Kori!

                                             Created @ Tagcrowd.com

"A gracious woman retains honor."
Proverbs 11:16

Christmas Sale: Happening Now!



We have some of the kindest, most generous readers. (Yes, that would be you all!) This past summer when we released our two new albums, we were so surprised by the number of you who ordered CDs as gifts for family, friends, or ministry purposes. We're humbled that you would include our family products in your gift giving. 

Which led us to the idea to host a Christmas CD sale. 'Tis the season for giving, and we'd like to use this opportunity to say 'Thanks' in a tangible way. With Christmas just around the corner, we've transformed our online store with new prices and deals. Click on over to find a meaningful gift for someone you love! 



In addition to dropping the individual prices on the CDs, we've decided to feature a quantity discount on our new children's project, "My Heart, Your Home". We've received many emails sharing how this CD has been a blessing -- not merely to the children, but to whole families as well. Since we've had several requests for bulk rates on this project, we decided to incorporate this into our Christmas sale. Hearing from you, its been exciting to note the many ways this CD has been used: 
  • Gifts for grandchildren, cousins, or friends
  • Baby shower or birthday gifts 
  • Ministry outreach for VBS children
  • Gifts for Good News Club kids
Perhaps you have children in your life who would enjoy the sweet music and powerful Scripture on this project. Click here to visit our store. 


Also, our Branson Christmas DVD is back in stock! Your whole family will enjoy the music, costumes, lights, comedy -- and timeless message of Jesus' birth on this video project. 

**Special pricing good until December 16, 2013


Again, we're grateful to be surrounded by such dear friends and readers. Your prayer support and encouragement to our family over the years has been such a blessing. Thank you! 


"We give thanks to God always for you all."
1 Thess. 1:2

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Home Happenings


The seasons are changing here in the heartland. And with it, the flurry of activity around our home. Here's a glimpse of just a few of our activities over the past week: 
  • Shopping for new coordinating outfits
  • Practicing for our upcoming trip to the Bible Bee next week (a shout-out to Bible-Bee friends!)
  • Scheduling and preparing for our upcoming Spring tour (stay tuned)!
  • Pushing to get our fall fieldwork finished before winter arrives.
  • Traveling and ministering together on the weekends.

And here are a few pictures:



Our guys finished the last of their sandblasting and painting jobs. What a satisfying feeling to be done before the snow flies! 


And what are Saturdays for but to clean out all our work trucks and organize our supply inventory.


Cleaning out the work trucks


Time to get them all sparkling again!


Susanna, making a surprise treat.


We're so grateful for our hyper-productive garden this year. We cleared it off and have it tilled under, ready for Spring!


Most evenings we've spent with our instruments, practicing. 

And there you have it -- our week in a nutshell!

"We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near."

Ps 75:1

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Coming Soon:



We're so grateful for you -- our friends, family, blog readers; our prayer support over the years.

This is just a tiny way we hope to say, "Thank you'.


Make your Christmas lists, 
...and check back on Monday for more details!



"We give thanks to God always for you all."
1 Thess. 1:2

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Make Reservations Soon...


Happy Tuesday everyone! 

We just got a call from our cruise manager and she mentioned that the ship reservations are filling up quickly. If you are still considering joining us for this special reunion cruise [February 24 - 28, 2014], we'd urge you to make your reservations soon! 

We're already looking ahead to this reunion and very excited about our time together with many of you. The schedule is still coming together, but it looks like we'll be sharing in several different avenues on the cruise: A musical concert. An informal session filled with music and candid memories from the past 15 years of ministry. A children's session. 

If you're considering an anniversary trip or memorable family vacation, please visit our cruise page and make your reservations soon! 

We hope to see many of you in February! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You, Veteran


Today we're grateful. 

We're grateful for the sacrifice. The hardship. The bravery and heroism. 

Grateful for the freedom in this great land. 


Growing up, we heard many stories first-hand of the bravery and sacrifice of our American soldiers. Our grandpa fought during the Korean war and many times he would recount his experiences during our mealtimes. He would use our drinking glasses, pitcher, and serving dishes to show the military strategies. He would describe the food. The frequent letters he wrote to his sweetheart back home (our grandma)! The packages of cookies she would send him in return. 

He talked about the difficult conditions. And of his comrades. 

And every once in awhile, his eyes would fill with tears. And suddenly we knew that freedom isn't free. 

Thank you, Grandpa. 

Thank you, dear veteran. 

We're deeply grateful.



Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD."
Ps 33:12

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Mongolia Update #1

Today marks two weeks since I landed in Mongolia! I have already experienced the Lord's working in such mighty, specific ways. I'll look forward to sharing more in the future. But for now, here is a quick glimpse of my international flight and new surroundings: 



Preparing to board my international flight. 
I even got to watch them load the luggage!


Lunch is served! 
A delicious pasta salad, chicken & pepper stir-fry, wheat roll & cheesecake, 
served with water, tea, coffee or your choice of wine. 
I was satisfied with the water & tea.  
It far exceeded my expectations for plane food!


After 14 hours of flying at 40,000 ft, it was good to see land once again! 
My view from the plane, just moments before we landed in Seoul, South Korea.
It was a short flight to Mongolia, and after a good night's sleep 
we were ready to head for "home".



Welcome to the local tire shop! 
On our way to the village we had 3 flat tires (which is not at all surprising once you see the roads!). 
It ended up being a beautiful day to travel.  We got to see miles of beautiful countryside 
scattered with winter-ready yurts, animal herds & trails. 


Sheep, goats, cattle, horses, camels & even field mice
roam the country side in herds (packs). Everyone is preparing for winter.


After 14 hours in a van... and many new Mongolian experiences...
finally... we are a street away from home!


Yes, the only source of heat in my cozy cabin! 
There is nothing like a warm fire after tramping in the cold outdoors. 
(Its currently 9 degrees f. Brrr!)


Thank you so much for all your prayers on my behalf! 
The coming weeks contain a promise of lots of interaction with the dear Mongolian people... 
meeting neighbors, having visitors, learning, laughing & growing!

Until next time...


"Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to Your children. 
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, 
and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands!" 
Psalm 90:16-17

Friday, November 08, 2013

Preparing for Winter


With the first hint of snow hitting this week, its obvious that winter is just around the corner. Time for some apple cider, fresh donuts (our family tradition), and restocking the woodpile!

The guys headed out with two pickups and in a matter of a few hours, our firewood stock was complete. Teamwork and some heavy lifting made for an invigorating afternoon! 


What are your favorite traditions during this season?

“The LORD will open to you His good treasure, 
the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, 
and to bless all the work of your hand. 
Duet 28:12

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Harvest News


Hello from the golden fields of Kansas! I wish you could join me in soaking up these delicious farm days. Harvest is just wrapping up. Gardens are dismantled until Spring. Stunningly lush fields of winter wheat shimmer with morning frost. Intense sunset colors.

Its a beautiful time of year.

Alan and I have had an eventful few months since I last posted. Life is full of activity as we live this adventure called 'life' and explore new ministry opportunities together. Here is a picture recap:


Hauling equipment to various fields has its perks: impromptu, scenic dates. 


Some of my sisters and I were able to enjoy a retreat together last month. Its always too short, but we  treasure the times we get to hang out and catch up with each other! 


And this was my view for several days over harvest. Driving big equipment has never been my strong suit, but Alan is a very patient and detailed teacher and I enjoyed getting to be in the fields with him.


Long days, short nights -- but oh, so satisfying!


And farming is rarely boring - here we cleared out a fallen tree together. 


I had so much fun decorating for fall this year. There are an abundance of 'Pinterest-worthy' items around any given farm place. So I went exploring for treasures! I wrestled this wooden frame from an old seed box and gathered hedge apples from our windbreak. Its a fun challenge to start with nothing and see what comes together!


Another new adventure for us is working with Campus Crusade students at our local community college. We've been able to meet allot of new young people and hopefully encourage them in their walk with the Lord. Alan also had the opportunity to share a chapel service recently at a nearby Christian school. He is such an amazing storyteller -- the kids were spellbound!


Children's choir is back in full swing as we're singing several songs during church services and preparing for the Christmas program. The children are always so eager to learn and we have great times together!

This has been such a fun outlet for me as Alan continually encourages me and prays with me about writing new music. It has been very good for me to be more intentional about seeking the Lord in writing this year. God is the Author of music and I'm grateful for His endless creativity and desire to put a new song in our hearts! 



Another new adventure this year has been working with our local Good News Club. We have about 40 children who join us once each week for songs, games, memory verses, a Bible lesson and missionary story. I have greatly enjoyed getting to know the children in our community and for the joy of sharing Jesus with them. Certainly a highlight of the week!




And every day is pure delight to spend with this wonderful man. I'm forever grateful for his strength, tenderness, and sincere passion for the Lord. I almost have to pinch myself to realize that I have the privilege of being his wife. God's kindness overwhelms me.


And that is a small glimpse of our lives over the past few months. Much love from our little place in Kansas to you! 

Rachel

“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, 
but to fear the LORD your God,
 to walk in all His ways and to love Him,
 to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,"
Duet 10:12


'Posed' photos by Bethany