Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
It’s kind of hard to believe that 2011 is almost over! We hope that as you reflect upon this year, you are able to see the ways that God is moving in your life and shaping your story for His glory. This has been a year of great trials that have lead to great joys for our family and we are certainly able to see how the Lord is refining us to reflect Himself to the world.
It is easy to see how this year has flown by for us because we spent most of it wrapped up in the adoption of our beautiful daughter, Charis Gift. She came into our lives a few days after we arrived in Zambia and we were able to officially adopt her into our family forever on June 17th. We left for Zambia with Jeremiah and Mom-Mom (Steve’s mom) in tow at the end of April and Kim finally returned with Charis at the beginning of July. We enjoyed the time that we were able to be all together in Zambia and even made our way to one of the natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls, which lies on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. To experience the power and might of these falls was amazing…you can’t even see the entire falls most of the time because the mist is so overwhelming! While dealing with the Zambian government was rough as was the time spent apart from one another in the midst of all this change, the end game is proving to be very sweet!
When we met Charis, she was for all intents and purposes, a baby. Even though she was about 18 months old, she was developmentally about a 9 month old. She could stay in the sitting position if you put her there, but she could not crawl or roll or even support any weight on her legs and she didn’t make any sounds at all. With nourishment and love, 6 months later on her 2nd birthday (November 7th), she can now walk, run, and keep up with her brother in every way! She loves music and talks incessantly (even though we only understand about half of what she says!). Charis couldn’t be more girly…she loves jewelry, shoes, and princesses and plays dress up every chance she gets. While her relationship with “bruddah” was a little rough in the beginning as she and Jeremiah both adjusted to their place in the family, it is so beautiful to now see a sweet relationship forming between them as they grow to really love each other.
Jeremiah has had a great year as he has grown into a quite a “big boy”. He started preschool this fall at the preschool at our church and loves every minute of it. It has been such a joy to watch him develop friendships with his classmates and hear him recount, in his stunning vocabulary, everything that goes on in his world. He is really becoming such a great help around the house and is doing a great job of being a big brother!
We really are enjoying life in Sarasota and love our church family at Covenant Life. Steve has been incredibly busy this year with the transition to our new senior pastor and Kim spent much of the year leading a team to plan a retreat for the women’s ministry. While it was a huge commitment in a year when we added a child to our family, it was amazing to see women well-loved and cared for and forging new relationships. One of the great joys of this year was to study the book, Radical by David Platt with our life group and watch the Lord grow and transform all of us as we seek to live lives that radically reflect the Gospel in every way.
We are eagerly anticipating 2012 and all the new joys that it will bring. We can’t wait to travel up north to meet our first nephew and cousin as Steve’s brother and his wife are expecting in January. And, we are so excited to be moving to a new house that is a little closer to the church and will hopefully be much more functional for our family and for ministry.
May God richly bless you in 2012!
Steve, Kim, Jeremiah & Charis Jeantet