Sunday, November 29, 2015

Barnett Year in Review ~ 2015

Merry Christmas!
It has been a few years since I have typed a letter about our year, but we have had such a great year, I couldn’t let this one pass!  So here we go…

January 2015 had lots of excitement.  Kevin went on his first mission trip to Panama, January 8-16th.  He had a great experience.  He does not like coffee, but he tried it in Panama, just to be polite…didn’t like it there either.  I don’t know what’s wrong with him—I am like my Mom and my Papaw Gillis, I really like coffee.  During January our boys won lots of basketball and Matthew turned 16 on January 20th!  At the end of the month I enjoyed a little weekend get-away at Camp Paron for the Ministers Wives Retreat.  Then on January 25th, our bonus son, Dustin, joined our church as a member!  He has lived with us for a year now. 

February had lots of excitement.  I am the Regional Prayer Coordinator and Kevin is the Collection Center Coordinator for NEA Operation Christmas Child.  We had a Global Day of Prayer and Fasting in February.  In the middle of the month, we had junior high and senior high district basketball tournaments.  Our boys won!!!!  Bay Yellowjackets were advancing to Regionals!

In March the basketball team advanced to 1A State Tournament and won!  Dustin and Matthew both played and Michael was the Team Manager, so all three of them got State Championship Rings…ask them to show you the next time you see us!  On March 8th Kevin turned 42.  Can he really be that old?!?  We took a short Spring Break trip to Branson and Lake Norfork.  We had a blast, except for Dustin, who doesn’t like roller coasters.  We all enjoyed skiing and fishing at the lake.

April brought on more basketball for the boys, as they played AAU Basketball.  They boys also ran the March for Missions 5K in Walnut Ridge and won their age groups!  On April 4th, I done something I have wanted to do for a long time…I started a Blog called “As For Me And My House”.  I spend lots of time blogging about Operation Christmas Child and my family, but those are the things I’m very passionate about.

In May I got to go to a Mother-Daughter Banquet at Corners Chapel with my Mom and Leiandrea; it was very nice.  School ended in May with the boys being exempt from their Semester Exams!  Summer didn’t start for Dustin and Matthew because we made them take Driver’s Education.  They both passed which means an insurance discount!

June brought on summer jobs.  Matthew and Dustin spent most of their weekends working at the baseball park.  Michael worked around the house.  They spent their weekdays at basketball camp for school.  Then on June 8th Kevin, Matthew, Dustin and some more friends went to Camp Beaverfork.  This is where our summer turned REALLY GREAT!!!!  At camp Matthew surrendered to ministry.  He feels like he is being called in to Children’s Ministry or Youth Ministry.  On June 14th we had our 6 year anniversary at First Free Will Baptist Church.  We ended June with Vacation Bible School and the boys helping with the classes.

On July 8th Matthew arrived at Welch College for his 2nd summer as part of the Truth and Peace Leadership Conference.  He really liked Welch and decided that is where he wants to attend college.  He wants a degree in Ministry.  July 19-23rd we had our National Convention of Free Will Baptist in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It was beautiful there.   On July 29th Michael turned 13!  It feels a little like a dream watching our sons grow and mature so quickly.   

August 6th Kevin and I had our 21st wedding anniversary; I can’t believe it has been 21 years already.  School started back way to soon, summer is never long enough.  The boys went to a Youth Retreat at Camp Beaverfork August 28-29th.  On August 30th I had my first speaking engagement for Operation Christmas Child at the church I grew up at.  The church was so excited to take part that they ended up packing 92 shoeboxes!  Matthew also had some of his 1st preaching engagements, but he liked to call them “devotions”.  Now he preaches every 3 weeks in our Youth Services and Michael runs the projector every Youth Service. 

September brought on the D6 Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.  It was a great conference, as always.  We need to always be intentional about discipling the next generation.  Michael, Matthew and Dustin faithfully read scripture in front of the church, serve as ushers, sound and PowerPoint technicians.  We are so thankful to see them serving the Lord.  In September Matthew applied to E-TEAM, a summer mission trip experience.  In October we found out he got accepted to E-TEAM CUBA!  Also in October, deer hunting and putting up Christmas trees began! 

November has been great.  November 1-4th Kevin was in Revival at Victory General Baptist and they let Matthew preach the 2nd night; both of them done a wonderful job speaking.  We had our Operation Christmas Child Packing Party at FFWBC with a total of 184 Gospel Opportunity Shoeboxes!  On November 20th I turned 40!  We were almost too busy to celebrate because it happened right in the middle of National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child.  November 23rd, our 3 boys and the rest of our youth group cooked and served dinner at the Salvation Army and really enjoyed it.  Now it is Thanksgiving weekend and I’m reflecting on how very blessed we have been in 2015.  Just today, we found out that Matthew got accepted to Truth and Peace 2016.  God is blessing our family and working in our lives so much.  I have been invited to go to Lima, Peru on a Medical Mission Trip during June of 2016 for a week.  If my health will stay leveled out and my lungs healthy hopefully I will be able to go.  Matthew will be traveling for 6 weeks during June and July 2016.  Hopefully Michael and Dustin will decide to apply for Truth and Peace next year and step out of their comfort zones. 

During December our bonus son, Dustin, will turn 17.  We will soon be celebrating the Haag Christmas on December 12th, the Gillis Christmas on December 24th, and the birth of our Lord and Savior on December 25th.  Another year will have passed and I hope each of you can say 2015 was a year to be thankful for also.  Psalm 136:1 says “Give thanks unto the Lord, for HE is good”.  I am thankful for all of you being in our lives and I am so thankful for what God is doing in our lives!  I can’t wait to see what all we will go and do in 2016.  Pray for us on this adventure we call life!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Jennifer, Kevin, Matthew, Michael & Dustin

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