May 18, 2019

April 2019 "It...it's just too late."

Friends and Family,
let me start by apologizing for not sending out a March update. Life got busy and it fell by the wayside! Here is what is up with us:

New& Exciting
 We were blessed this year to have the spring breaks of my Seminary, Amber's school, and the youth's school schedule on the same week, so we took a trip down to Florida with some good (and generous friends), Neal and Layne, to their family beach house. We got tan, enjoyed the beach, walked a park, hung a hammie, played a board game (Catan, multiple times!), and generally just had a great time getting away. Also, I caught up on my Hebrew homework (to the -rightful- chagrin of Amber.)


Funny 
As usual, Amber comes home with the best stories of kids saying silly things.

Recently, Amber went on a field trip to a park and kids were pushing boundaries by playing in a creek. One older boy crossed the creek on a stick that was not sturdy. This inspired a smaller and younger boy, only 8, to head towards the stick. Amber hollers over "Don't cross the creek there; it's not safe!" He pauses, looks at Amber with his adventurous spirit, and says steadily with his small voice: "It...it's just too late" and then crosses the stick. Amber could not laugh in the moment, but afterwards with the teachers she had a good laugh. I, Bronson, did too when she retold it. I wish you could see Amber's impersonation!


Amber took me back to this park and showed me the crime scene (creek) and also, there were fearless deer. In this video it shows how close they let us get. Scroll to 30 seconds.


Prayer
Please pray for us as Amber finishes up her school year, I begin my summer class (Monday, 5/20), and we both head into a different pace and routine of Church summer events (Camp, VBS, Community Days, and more!)

Please pray this summer would be a time of refreshing during the slower weeks!

Recommended book
I am forced to read more books than I care to leisurely during finals season, but one that I have been reading for leisure is Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. It was written in the 80's and has been republished a couple times because it is still so "prophetic" and applicable in its critique of how media affects us, our culture, and education. This is not full endorsement, but many chapters I finished and thought "Wow, that's insightful."

Here's a favorite part of mine (paraphrased):
"TV gives us a sea of information, almost none of which we can use. 
There is water everywhere, without a drop to drink." (Chap 5)

We hope your summers are starting well!
-Bronson & Amber

Mar 16, 2019

February 2019


New/Exciting
February was full of guests after church and friends staying overnight while coming through town. Our good friend Patrick stopped in on his way to Virginia. He came along with us to a service project and movie time with the youth. Afterward, John Adams came over to visit and it was a sweet reminder of a friend group from time past!


We hosted other wonderful guests on a Sunday afternoons including Cade, Fedner, and the Skeens family!

For Church, I scouted out our March retreat with some youth. We met Bjorn, a monstrous, fluffy, and  friendly pupper at the campgrounds.

Bjorn and Jeremy
Funny

As a teacher of young children, Amber comes home with the best quotes. Some of them become inside jokes for us around the house. One we often laugh at is "I didn't have an accident!...I...I just got a little pee in my underwear." I'm pretty sure this is a good sermon illustration, I just haven't figured out exactly how.

Prayer

Please pray for Amber's Parent-teacher meetings. They are finishing up only days after I write this, but they have a lasting impact on students and teachers!

Please pray for Bronson's Hebrew studies. It is a labor of love (emphasis on labor).

Recommended book:  

I don't have time for a proper book review, but this was a noteworthy book. It was written by a Christian Senator from Nebraska, Ben Sasse. He shows a couple key areas our society is fragmenting and aching because of rapid social and technological shifts. Afterwards, Sasse proposes how we can strengthen both our families and communities. His solutions challenge readers to strategically love one's family and neighbor in the face of these new social shifts. Don't get me wrong, this is a political book. His solutions are from the ground-up though, planning a stronger future for America with a country of people loving their neighbors. My review doesn't do it justice. It will challenge you to be a better Christian (presumably), spouse, parent, neighbor, and citizen. Check it out.

Feb 11, 2019

Haiti update 5: VBS

Haiti Partners,

This is Sarah teaching a lesson about
how we are children our King.
They made crowns to illustrate!

Yesterday, we started out at 8am setting up for vbs. At 9am we welcomed the kids in the church with music and blowing bubbles! Amber and I (plus translator Shnyder) led 5 small groups in a lesson from 2 Corinthians 5:4-7 about how we are like jars of clay who God can use to keep his treasure, namely, himself. We decorated some small jars with funny faces for the craft.













Afterward the team played games with the kids. During games I prepared with some of the  translators to share the gospel. I used the “three circles” gospel presentation that starts at creation, then describes sin, brokenness, the gospel, our response, and finally handed the mic off to the local pastor. I was asked to do this because kids will often tell missionaries what they want to hear. Instead, we are having the pastor do the closing so he can reiterate the gospel clearly and elicit more sincere commitments to Christ. The pastor ended up not giving an "altar call" because he thought the kids were very young. Instead, he walked through the 3 circles again and challenged them to believe in Jesus. Here is a video of the gospel presentation.







Today, we had a similar schedule, but at the end of VBS, the ministry we are partnered with purchased rice and beans for all the families of VBS kids (about 100 total). We assembled the bags before vbs (click here for the time lapse). Later, we gave out the bags to the kids. Here is a time lapse of that, and also some pictures of kids from that afternoon.





This was published far past our return but please continue to pray for the the gospel seeds to take root and grow in the fertile soil of Haitian hearts.

Thank you for your partnership!

Bronson Simmons