In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In him was life, and that life was the LIGHT of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The true LIGHT that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.      John 1:1, 4, 5, 9, 14

Merry Christmas!!!

It is hard to believe 2019 is drawing to a close and a new decade is upon us. In this advent season I’m more aware of how many of us are in waiting. Perhaps you are waiting for change that has not yet come. Or waiting for good news after hard news, for a glimmer of hope in the midst of gray or dark times, for a simple ray of hope somehow.

It seems much of life is w a i t i n g. We are prone to look to the future for the next big mile marker, e.g. graduation, promotions, marriage, children, house, vacation, holidays, etc. There is something built within us that looks to the future and we all long for HOPE that does not disappoint.

As we bring whatever morsel of faith we have to this time of waiting, may the Prince of Peace, the LIGHT that has come into the world grant you His peace. We wait for the One who was “in the beginning” and will be at our end and forevermore. As the carol reminds us, “Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings.”

Jess & Joey continue to invest in the lives of high school students. Joey is the Youth Pastor at Grace Church in Fishers, IN. Jessica works with the Youth Mentoring Initiative as liaison between schools and YMI, providing mentors for kids who need additional positive and consistent role models. Jess & Joey both continue to use their music to lead in worship and do outreaches. We are also beyond thrilled they are bringing new life into the world due April 13. Can’t wait to meet this little guy! Super excited to enter grandparenthood!

Chris & Amy have enjoyed their first year together. Dec 29th they will celebrate their first anniversary. They, too, are investing in the next generation as they teach at Valor Christian High School in Colorado. Amy runs a freshman girls academic/discipleship program full of great life skills training. Chris is a math tutor and helps with administrative challenges. They love Colorado, getting out in nature, connecting with God, and time with good friends. Will be so fun to have them here for Christmas!

Michael completed his 3,000 post-grad counseling hours and in June passed his monster exam for licensure in Clinical Mental Health. He is busy building his private practice, https://www.hope-rises.com/counseling. Early July he enjoyed a cross country train ride from Indianapolis to Seattle, WA, to visit a dear friend. Another highlight was our family vacation in Colorado with the kids! What a wonderful time! We cherish time with them so much!

I, Dana, continue to serve part-time with the Innovation Lab of Cru, and additionally meet with individuals for grief care as well as spiritual direction, https://www.hope-rises.com/dana-russo.  I finished up a second certification in grief care last Spring. I was also honored to share some ministry stories for the Cru Legacy Project (see https://www.youtube.com/user/LegacyCCC/featured).

With the intensity of the type  of work Michael and I provide and the stories we hear, we would love your prayers for: wisdom for each appointment and life balance for our own mental/spiritual health. May you have a Merry Christmas and a blessed 2020!!!