Merry Christmas, friends!
I hope and pray this finds you all well. The time seems to pass by so quickly.
Our family has been doing well despite trading different sicknesses for about a month. First, one of us would get better, and then we would start a different round of something else.
Jacob is in his 10th-grade year. He played football earlier this year and is looking forward to basketball season starting up.
Leah is in her 7th-grade year. She played volleyball and basketball this year.
Noah is in his 3rd-grade year. He is involved in whatever is in front of him, always pursuing something new and exciting.
Many of you know that we have had a foster baby with us for almost this entire year. Baby "L" turned 1 in October. He has been a great blessing to us, and we sure have loved having him be a part of our family.
Amanda has been taking college courses in pursuit of finishing a college degree. I am not really sure how she does all that she does. I am just glad that I am on her team.
This year has had some challenging events and some of the most exciting for us here at Čhaŋkú Wašté Ranch.
We started off the year with the goals of working toward being able to see patients in the wellness center, develop healthy local partnerships, and be able to do all three lanes of ministry at the same time. To accomplish these goals would mean making the construction bunk house more functional and getting all the permits and licenses to provide dental care.
As I look back over the last year, I cannot help but smile at all that we have seen the Lord do in our midst. While we still have much to do, we have been able to accomplish all of these goals and more.
We had some amazing construction groups in the spring that helped us add a bathroom addition and finish out the bunkhouse so that we could house construction and medical volunteers while summer camp was going on. Doing this so quickly in the spring enabled us to have the construction teams work primarily on houses in our community through the summer. With the construction leadership of our friends, Tom and Pam Morris from IN, who volunteered with us for the summer, we served several families in our community through many types of home repairs. We have set a goal to build at least one house for someone in our community next year.
We could finally begin seeing dental patients in the wellness center in June. This was a huge milestone for the Čhaŋkú Wašté Ranch. That particular week we had all three lanes of ministry, Camp, Construction, and Wellness, going simultaneously for the first time. Since June, we have seen over 30 people in our community seeking dental restoration. Next year we hope to see even more people come through the wellness center.
The Lord has given us all that we need in the time we can handle it. Although I know sometimes we (I) would like to have every resource we think we need to accomplish the entire vision, I am constantly reminded that the Lord already has the resources to accomplish the vision. It is His vision; we are just following His lead and direction. I have found this to be the most exciting and stressful way to do ministry. It is only stressful when we forget who is leading who. When we forget or perhaps ignore the structure of authority, it can often make us disabled in ministry. Please pray that we remember who directs our steps, the author and provider of our vision.
We are looking ahead to next year, excited to see what the Lord is ordering for us. Thank you for all you do to encourage and support us. We are so grateful for each and every one of you.
Learning to serve the Lord in all we do,
Matt, Amanda, Jacob, Leah, Noah and (Baby L) Hadden