Christmas Letter 2022
Dear Friends and Family,
Our hearts are filled with gratitude for God’s mercies and faithfulness to us this year. Each season has brought us another step closer to Christ’s soon return!
January was a step of faith. Kristina’s Kitchen has faced some financial challenges, but God worked miracles to keep this restaurant/ministry open! We are especially thankful for Victoria & Jason and their daughter Natalia; for Sharlotte and her kids: Matthew, Joshua, Gable, Misty; for Sharlotte’s mother, Ma Sue; for Esther and Robbie; and for Gracie. They have given their all to help us keep Kristina’s Kitchen ministry going–and they help keep Kristina alive, too! We are grateful for those who’ve lent a helping hand. Every day has been a step of faith, but the rewards have been great!
Kristina downsized her staff and cut back her hours at the restaurant this year to help keep things more manageable. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Friday, with a few exceptions for holidays or special events. It has meant longer hours on the days she’s open, trying to keep up with bakery orders But it has also given her more flexibility to do things, go places, and get some rest at home.
Daniel is still pastoring four church congregations: London, Williamsburg, Stearns and Monticello. He travels many miles and is in a different church each Sabbath, plus prayer meetings and visitations during the week. Kristina is still volunteering with the chamber of commerce, teaching cooking classes, and volunteering with other local community groups. She helps with preaching, teaching Sabbath School and leading music in our Stearns and Monticello churches.
April was a step in portability. We started the camping season with a trip to Holly Bay, and then a church campout at Blue Heron. It was wonderful to get out in our teardrop camper, be in God’s creation and spend time with our church family!
May was a step of joy!! We flew to Montana for Kristina’s mother, Susan’s wedding! We welcomed a new Dad: Daniel Maier, brother: Moses (& Lindsey) Maier, and sister: Michelle (& Grant) Junghans. Now we have another Daniel in the family! They had a beautiful wedding, which Daniel got to officiate. We enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones during the weekend. And we got one day to explore the beautiful mountains! Our visit was way too short, and we hope to go back and visit again sometime.
June was a step of being apart. Daniel had two weeks of campmeeting and two weeks of school at Southern (working on his MMin degree) and a week of ministers meetings. Kristina missed him like crazy and was so thankful that our church family helped keep her going while he was gone! Justina spent a week visiting Kristina during that time, which was a huge blessing!
July was a step of surprises! It began with a surprise birthday party for Kristina, organized by Daniel and the rest of the crew! Kimberly Kodimer came for the weekend, which was the biggest surprise of all! Other surprises included being sick with COVID (thank God for mild cases), and taking a fabulous camping trip to Edisto beach in South Carolina with Sharlotte, Matthew and Joshua!
Fall was a step of endurance. Daniel had a difficult fall class, and we both took longer than we’d hoped to recover our energy after being sick during the summer. We were so busy it was hard to catch our breath! We did get a couple church camping trips in: a canoe camping trip at Laurel lake, and a campout with our Stearns and London churches at Levi Jackson Park.
This winter is a step of recovery. We enjoyed a 5-day weekend home for Thanksgiving and our churches gave us a weekend getaway in the Smokies for pastor appreciation. We’ve been trying to put our health in priority and take more time for ourselves and each other. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and forget what’s most important.
Our year has been a step of energy: filled with the blessings of adopted kids! Sharlotte’s kids, Elisabeth’s kids, Victoria’s daughter, Esther’s kids, Gracie, Logan, and the list can go on! Our kids have stayed in our home, hiked with us, joined us for church campouts, and filled our hearts with joy! We are so grateful for their love, their enthusiasm, their energy, and their desire for God. They are an encouragement and inspiration!
We pray that this New Year finds us stepping into Jesus. He is our hope and longing desire. We have lost dear friends and family members this year and it just makes us long even more for our heavenly home, where we will never have to say goodbye! Kristina especially looks forward to stepping into that home where she’ll never need a cane or wheelchair again!
We love you and pray for you often. Please come visit us if you’re ever in Kentucky or Tennessee! We’d love to have you stay with us! May God bless you!
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