Russo Reminiscent 2014

M & DWe always look forward to hearing from you catching a glimpse of your lives,
The ups, the downs, twists and the turns at lightning speed passing by.

Unpredictable, uncertain are all of our days yet one simple truth remains:
EMMANUEL has come and is WITH us and is HERE forever to stay
Close by us, comforting, a listening ear with wisdom and mercy lingering near.
His presence is felt in the warmth of a hug, a gentle smile or a tear.
May we open our hearts to this Christ child to face 2015 without fear.
Our update is simple, and may you find joy knowing we think of you all the time.

Jessica & Joey had a busy year as they are on staff with Grace Church. Jess loves being the Worship J & J SpainArts director for the high school ministry mentoring young musicians and pouring into their lives spiritually. Joey is busy running all the tech stuff and mentoring guys.

 In January they traveled to Spain to lead worship for a conference of college students who are interning with Cru overseas. It was a special trip and a rich time of ministry. Later in the spring Joey led a group of young professionals to work alongside a street ministry in New York City. An eye-opening trip for all. I love their hearts for God and for others.

 They are new homeowners! We are thrilled they are only 7 minutes away. And they added to their family rescuing a mischievous stray kitten they affectionately named Reggie.

December 21st Chris graduated from Purdue University! We are so proud of him and love watching him grow and mature right before our very eyes! He has really enjoyed student teaching high school math and is excited about teaching algebra and pre-calc starting January 5th.

Chris Grad from PurdueHe had a fantastic summer climbing mountains in CO and working with his Uncle Bob & cousins at their Chick-fil-A in Little Rock, AR. He has great roommates who all love the Lord and want to grow deeper in their faith and how they live it out on a daily basis.

Michael has completed 3 semesters of 7 in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In January he will begin seeing clients for his practicum. He is currently lining up internships for the summer and fall terms. This is quite a journey for an ‘old guy’ (his words), but he is learning a ton and producing amazing grades. Dana loves that he processes verbally because she gleans from his classes, which helps her in counseling women.

Michael and Dana were privileged to assist the leaders at a Spark of Life retreat in April. Spark of Life is a grief recovery weekend that addresses intense symptoms and challenges for those who have experienced loss. Over and over we heard, “It’s just good to know I’m not the only one. I’m not crazy. I’m just grieving.” The sessions progressively provide hope and a game plan for how to live forward from the circumstances that have shaken their world. For more info: sparkoflife.org

Dana tackled 2014 choosing to “go for it”:

  • She picked up her guitar (after 35 years) and practiced hard to be able to lead Dana Tch Bulgariaworship for retreats and at our church.
  • She rewrote the Communication Training to present it in a business setting allowing countries to use it as an outreach training tool.
  • She traveled with a co-worker to Bulgaria in July and taught the Story curriculum, trained new communication coaches, and poured into student’s lives there.
  • She auditioned for Les Miserables and thoroughly enjoyed being in the 100-voice cast/chorus.
  • She spoke at numerous women’s retreats challenging women to connect with and care for their hearts.
  • She works full time with Cru using her varied talents of music, creativity, writing, brainstorming, coaching, etc. In her 38th year now with Cru she feels her best years are before her as she focuses on sharing God’s truths with millennials.

May 2015 be a year full of wonder-filled surprises and deep joy.  God has much in store for each of us.