Thanksgiving and Christmas 2013

Glens Falls, December 18th. 18 months post Transplant.

‘Sing to The Lord for he has done glorious things, let it be known to all the World’ — Isaiah 12:5

‘Today , a Savior has been born, He is Christ The Lord’ — Luke 2:11

Life has been busy for us this past couple of months… And no news from us is actually good news… We have traveled to Ottawa, Canada and to Birmingham, Alabama (see notes on this from Noel later in this post ). We have been busy with grandparent duties with the girls and trying to exercise more as life returns almost to normal. It is now 18 months since Noel had his stem cell transplant and life was put on hold. Praise the Lord that He has brought us through the difficult times.

Noel’s appointment last month was moved from our regular Wednesday to Monday so we could be home for Thanksgiving with the family and enjoy our traditional meal together.

The appointment was actually many appointments that kept us at the Dana Farber Cancer Clinic for almost 12 hours… A long day.. It was because Noel had to have a lot of different but routine make sure his progress is good.. which it is… Dr S is pleased… although there has been little change in his blood counts. He decided not to change any thing so Noel’s drug regime stays the same. He feels good. Has times when he needs to rest. But I think we all need that! So at Thanksgiving as everyday we had so much to give thanks for. We know we are blessed. Noel’s next appointment is on Monday December 30th, so this year, unlike last year, we are at home for Christmas.

We have been busy carrying out ministry activities with ACCTS, By His Wounds (BHW) and with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) since our last update.

We had a lovely weekend in Ottawa, Canada in early November. We became members of their Military Christian Fellowship (MCF) when we lived at CFB Suffield, Alberta, from 1987-89 when Noel was the senior infantry officer at a high intensity British Army war training unit. We had been to several annual MCF meetings before so it was very nice to see several old friends and make some new ones. Although the meeting was short on numbers, the prayer and planning for the coming year and strategic planning for the future was extremely important. Thank God for a successful meeting and safe driving, especially a snowy 4 hour drive home.

The following weekend, we flew to Birmingham, Alabama to attend an ACNA Lay Chaplain Academy. We felt very strongly led to go. It was an intensive but excellent weekend, culminating in Noel being commissioned by the ACNA Bishop to the (US) Armed Forces, a good friend and colleague in ministry, along with three or four others. So, now he can be addressed as “Chaplain” and has a special ‘brothers collar’ to go with it! Please pray for discernment about when to wear the collar and use the title, so it enhances and gives added value to the ongoing ministry with ACCTS and BHW. Holding this commission should enhance the credibility of the ministry to Chaplains and combat (mostly) Veterans nationally and internationally.

Unfortunately the 15th Welcome Home Initiative, the next day after leaving Alabama, had to be cancelled. Several Veterans withdrew their registrations in the three days preceding the retreat, leaving too small a group. Nevertheless, we were present at the conference center in case anyone came for the public ‘Welcome Home’ service. A young National Guardsman not long back from Afghanistan did come. He is on full time active duty and we had a good chat with him and prayed over him. Pray this young Soldier will gather a few of his friends together and ask us to start a weekly group using the WHI DVDs and the Combat Trauma Healing Manual.

Other ministry activities carry on, especially one-to-one fellowship, mainly through social media email and phone calls. Activities included Noel and another WHI team member having a display table at a Veteran’s peer-to-peer gathering at a local college. We pray some seeds of healing were sown and, watered by the Holy Spirit, will produce abundant fruit (healed and changed lives) in the future. Noel was also involved in regular Board meetings of two ministries near and dear to his heart – By His Wounds and the Olive Branch International – both of which were successful.

We are very blessed and grateful to be able to minister the love and healing power of Jesus to Chaplains and Veterans and would value your prayers for its solid and successful growth.

Traditionally at Christmas people send out news letters. And we all catch up on the comings and goings of everyone’s lives and families, and marvel at how fast the years seems to pass. I think we have kept everyone well updated this year… at least we have tried, through our updates online. So will not repeat old news…

December 20, 1970

Dec 20, 1970 — Meryl and Noel Wedding Day

One news worthy item is, amazingly Noel and I celebrate our 43rd Wedding anniversary on Friday 20th December. Life has been an adventure. We are so glad we have had each other to travel it’s ups and downs together.

We hope you all have a very blessed and happy Christmas. And remember Jesus is the reason for the season. He is our greatest gift.

Thank you all again for your love, support and prayers, all your messages of encouragement, phone calls and visits… God has so greatly blessed us through you all. We give Him thanks and praise. Please continue to keep in touch with us. I will continue to update this page about every 6 weeks after Noel’s appointments.

God bless you!