“Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3
The names below can be fitted to the main picture that we sent by email. You may be able to match these if you go to the website noted in the first paragraph. Happy providence on that effort. Other names are in the body of the letter.
Standing in back rows: Sisi, David holding Lydia Spanogle, Rachel and Greg, Heather and Jeff Spanogle, Ethan and Brian Yount, Adam Hancock; Seated adults: Junia Haas, Lorraine, Paul, DeAnn Yount; Seated children: Greg and Rachel’s five – Adrienne, Ben, Gabriele, Natalie holding Vivienne. Happy Providence on names in other pictures.
Dear Family and Friends,
The annual Christmas picture above does not include everyone. Some arrived later; so I am also sending you a web-site: https://goo.gl/photos/BgHoYZruef644qt26. This will have a variety of shots including nearly all family members for 4 generations. Our gracious Lord continues to bless our growing tribe. I will mention just a few things about each family to help you pray for us as we do for you. You have blessed us with many pictures and special greetings in your Christmas cards and we hope that our letter to you will lift you up in praise to our dear Savior.
David and Junia Haas continue their service to our Lord through their ministries in our Spring Hills Presbyterian church where Junia is Music Director and David is a Ruling elder and teaches an adult Sunday school class. David is in his 35th year of teaching math at Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis. Boarding with them to attend WCA this year is “Sisi” from mainland China and Kris (not in picture) from Korea. Junia also remains active in teaching piano to children and youth.
Charysse Alexander continues to serve as executive director in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta, Georgia where she is also active in All Souls Fellowship church, now part of the EPC. Along with her office duties in Atlanta, she frequently travels to give lectures to fellow lawyers on various aspects of the law. Runing is her key hobby these days. She has run both the New York and Boston marathons, a number of half-marathons and runs in other events that keep her challenged and in shape. Her nieces and nephews greatly enjoy her periodic visit to their home cities.
Brian and DeAnn Yount live nearby and are active in Trinity Presbyterian church with us in Union, Missouri. Brian continues his labors as an architect, though he has now completed his Master’s degree in a field that qualifies him to work in government intelligence. DeAnn teaches counselling at UMSL and does part time family and child counselling in public schools. Son Ethan just turned 16 and is enrolled with his 13 year old brother Jacob at Heritage Christian school. Jacob has been suffering from undiagnosed health problems that have kept him out of school this year. Please pray for him.
Greg and Rachel Alexander are still living in Sugarland, Texas, a suburb of Houston, where Greg is employed in the senior management of engineering firm, CDI. His job demands are enormous, demanding much more travel than he likes. Though the family was all active in a PCA church, they are now considering a move to another congregation where they see opportunities for fuller involvement. The three older girls are now enrolled in public school and Gabrielle works part time as a hostess in a nearby restaurant. The girls are all superb swimmers and I was privileged to watch them competing in events when I visited there last June.
A glimpse at David and Junia’s family: Heather (Haas) Spanogle and her husband Jeff now live in Wheaton, Illinois, where Jeff is working to get his Th.D. in Old Testament at Trinity Seminary. Heather works at ESL, teaching English to foreign nationals and helping them get citizenship. Joanna (Haas) Hancock and her husband Adam, live a few miles from us in St. Louis, where Joanna works as a nurse in a clinic. Adam was recently elected a Deacon in their small PCA congregation and has an interesting job as a “bullet salesman” (don’t ask me to explain that). Sarah Haas continues to work in films, a job that keeps her travelling to interesting places like Utah and nearby Colombia, Missouri. She is promising to publish that documentary film on my last trip to Ukraine and we are waiting with baited breath. Since his recent graduation from college, Philip Haas travelled for a year with a Sony contracted Christian music group that performed for churches, camps and conferences. He tells us that changes are coming for him and we are enjoying watching where his “percussionist” career will take him.
Lorraine and I are also busy. We stay fully engaged in the lives of our children and grandchildren who live near the Louis area. It seemed wise to me to resign as Assistant Pastor at Trinity church, though we remain fully involved in that congregation. I am now more free to write and blog and pursue a fascinating reading regimen. I frequently teach Sunday school classes and supply the pulpit both at Trinity and at other nearby churches. Lorraine’s back remains a problem but that hardly ever keeps her from participating both in church activities and family events – birthday parties, holiday dinners, school musicals etc.
The current election campaigns remind me of a great Christmas text from Isaiah 9:7: “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” This grand text is telling us that we are not limited to whatever these campaigners promise us. When Jesus came at Christmas, He came both to die for our sins, and to “increase His government and peace” throughout this sinful world. Mysterious and almost unbelievable as this seems to us in our current historical circumstances, scripture authorizes us to believe that our “wonderful counsellor (Is. 9:6)” is at this very moment “governing” this whole historical process toward His own ultimate Triumph and our ultimate Joy.
JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD HAS COME!
For the glory of the Lion/Lamb,
Paul and Lorraine Alexander