We hope this letter finds you celebrating this joyous Christmas season. 2010 has been another year of excitement, learning, and growth for us and we want to bring you an update on a little of what has taken place in our lives during this past year.
Cheri was ordained this past year as a recognized Minister of the Gospel. Her ministry has been strong as she has led Children’s ministry here at our church in the south suburbs of Chicago. She has also ministered faithfully in Bogota and Medellin, Colombia as well as in Bethlehem, Israel this past year. Through her teaching and leadership, her area of ministries in the church is growing stronger on a consistent basis. Keeping our ever growing family connected and encouraged and motivated is one of Cheri’s greatest passions.
As we reported last year, we are now Pastors of Family Ministries at Christian Life Center in Tinley Park, IL. After Amber & Ed graciously opened their home to us for the first 7 months we lived here, God opened an awesome door for us to purchase a home in Mokena, IL (which we absolutely love.) God continues to teach us new things as we faithfully minister for Him.
Crystal, David, and Isaac continue to live in Maumee, OH. Crystal is teaching English at Monclova Christian School in Monclova, OH where she enjoys teaching and ministering to her students. Isaac continues to be a “Papa’s Boy” for sure. David has again been promoted at his job with Brush Wellman in Elmore, OH, and Isaac just continues to grow in stature, and in every other way. He is such a delight to the entire family with his little clownishness and loving spirit.
Amber, Ed, Aubrianna, Annaliese, Lillianna, and Eddie continue to live in Bolingbrook, IL. Amber is a neo-natal nurse at Edwards Hospital in Naperville, and Eddie is the Media Director at Christian Life Church in Tinley Park, IL. Aubrianna, our big five year old continues to be in love with swimming and dancing. She is also an excellent big sister. Annaliese continues to make her place in this world. She, too, loves to swim and dance and be a great, big sister. Lillianna continues to grow … and climb … and crawl into the shower/tub fully clothed; she is a delight to all of us. And finally, little Eddie arrived on Thanksgiving morning (2010) weighing in at 8 lbs. 15 ounces and once again, evening out the boy girl ratio of grandchildren at 4 boys and 4 girls.
Jamie, Crystal, Christian, Carson, and Chloe live in Ashland, OH where Jamie works with a consulting company and where he continues to participate on the worship team at his church. Their family is not so little anymore and our big six year old Christian leads the way with his loving, gentle, and inquisitive spirit. And he is doing great in Kindergarten by the way, Carson follows suit with a heartwarming smile and a tenderness, yet mischievousness that cannot be beat. Chloe continues to simply light up a room with her gorgeous smile. The younger two are also doing great in their local pre-school. Crystal is a stay-at-home mom raising her babies for Christ.
Jim continues to stay (too) busy in ministry. Serving as Pastor of Family Ministries at Christian Life Center in Tinley Park, IL, he is delighted to work alongside Cheri in ministry every day. He is also teaching Foundation of Bible Study (Hermeneutics) at Ashland Theological Seminary-Detroit as an Adjunct Professor. Both Jim’s & Cheri’s hearts’ calling is to teach pastors, and youth and children’s pastors/leaders in a seminary, university, and/or church level and in doing so, to impart knowledge, vision, and passion to reach this generation. They have been able to do that broadly this past year in Bogota, Medellin, Israel, and in the Chicago and Detroit areas.
Highlights this year were three great family vacations: one to Honolulu, Hawaii, one to the Outer Banks of NC (with Crystal and Isaac), and the other to San Juan, Puerto Rico. A highlight of all of these was waking up on our first day in Hawaii to the unfamiliar sounds of Tsunami warnings. And yes, we survived the Hawaiian Tsunami of 2010. We love to travel … and doing so together makes it even more special.
Our family has done well this year. We have gloried, and we have struggled, but God has brought us through all of these things with the intent of growing us in Him … to complete us. We are ever thankful that He who began a good work in us will complete it! It is our desire for you and your family to know His hand and grace and mercy in your life as He truly brings you through things … with the intent of growing you … and completing you so that you become everything He created you to be and you will live in the fullness of His destiny and purpose for you!
May God richly bless you this Christmas Season and in 2011! It promises to be a year of God’s destiny and purpose for us!
Jim & Cheri Garrett