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2016 Christmas Photo

2016 Christmas Letter

2016 Christmas PhotoIt feels a little bit like we have been living in the Field of Dreams movie the last couple of years, “If you build it, they will come.”

The dust, and we mean thick construction dust, is finally settling from years of on and off construction for Front Porch Ministry’s build-out. God’s timing can be different than our own, but this is surely a season of being thankful for all that the Lord has done in our little corner of the world.

There has been no pause button on our life or ministry, which has been especially hard for me (Michele). We have lived lots of moments in messy, loud, very dusty spaces and life and ministry haven’t missed a beat. It has left us wondering at times, “Will this ever be done?” and “Can we finish all of this before the neighborhood changes even further and more of our beloved neighbors are forced to move out by gentrification?”

But now it is finished with just a few tiny details remaining. We have dreamed of having walls knocked out to make room for the many children and families that do life with us in and around the table.

We have that now.

In order to have more room we had to knock out some walls on our first floor and build-out our attic to convert it to be a living space for our children.

That has happened now.

We have dreamed of a beautiful long farm table with many seats around it, made from 105 year-old wood from this very house.

The beautiful table has been built now.

God is so good. He is so faithful and He plants the desires of our hearts in our hearts for such a time as this. We can’t take credit for the vision or growth of Front Porch Ministry over the past 11 years, or the “dreams” of what’s to come. God is the one who plants, waters, and grows those visions and dreams. But, we have also learned that He grows in just the right season.

It is almost winter now, the leaves are falling in the crisp air and the raw branches prepare themselves for the cold. Everywhere we look, there are families experiencing hardship, going through hard transitions, and who are just trying to prepare enough to survive the coming season. We have the privilege of walking in relationship with many of them, but it can be overwhelming to be in the midst of this and not know how all of these needs are going to be met when they come up. We have to trust that God has a perfect plan for us and for them.

It is in times like these, when our hearts are both grateful and overwhelmed, that discernment is so important. It’s time for pulling close, laying the groundwork given to us and preparing for what’s to come in the next year.

We truly are thankful to God for what he’s entrusted to us and for each of you that have partnered or supported our family and Front Porch Ministry in any way.

We especially give thanks this time of year as we prepare and anticipate the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. We wait with great anticipation on the One who is in the midst of it all.

In Him,

(Thom) & Michele Hazelip

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