Emmanuel, God With Us…

The Wedding of Kyle & Tiffany Scheller

It is in the Christmas season that we are reminded once again that God is with us. He has not abandoned us and left us to our own devices. He is with us even now, ever present. One of the things to remember is that God is often found in the midst of or in the work of His people. There have been several reminders of this in our lives over the past few weeks.

The first reminder was at Kyle & Tiffany Scheller’s wedding in Reno on December 17th. They are great friends of ours and it was a honor to perform their wedding. Unfortunately I was still in school at the time so the trip had to be brief, but it was an awesome experience. What a blessing to see a young couple honor God with their relationship and through their wedding. It was evident by the ceremony, the reception, and all of the toasts that this is a remarkable couple and God is living in them.

Another reminder was that a local church, not even the church that we are attending, decided to “adopt” all of the students at SMAT who are married and have children. I simply came to school one day and I was told that a church would like to bless my family over the Christmas holiday. So, the pastor’s wife stopped by last week and dropped off a few presents for Adelina, some holiday decorations, and a few items to fill our pantry. It was such an unexpected blessing. They said, “We appreciate what you are doing and how you are preparing for the mission field, and we just want to be a blessing to you while you are still here in the U.S.”

The last thing has been the fellowship that we have experienced with friends and family. We spent some meaningful time with Jessica’s mom and step-dad. We had some great conversations and they got a lot of time with Adelina. Some of Jessica’s close friends in Reno threw her a surprise baby-shower and it was a tremendous blessing. Jessica was able to stop by Summit over the weekend as well as during the week to see some of our friends in the office. And, I had a great flight out to Reno and I just so happened to be on the same flight as Josh Ortiz.

It is amazing to see how God weaves all our lives together and He uses each of us as vessels of His love and grace. It is our prayer that you would experience Emmanuel, God with you, during this holiday season and spend time with friends and family.

My beautiful wife and I

4 thoughts on “Emmanuel, God With Us…

  1. I love how our Father in heaven goes out of His way to show us how much He loves us and cares for us. I can get so wrapped up in my own little world, that I forget that I belong to His family, one that spans the globe. That’s why I love hearing from you guys. You guys are a vivid reminder of the lengths He will go to send His message of love. You will actually be traveling across the globe to in effort to reach out to those whom God is calling to himself. To those whom He is calling to be part of His growing family.

    I just finished reading the book “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. God has used it to stir up all kinds of things in me but as I was reading it Chan spoke about a pilot named Nate, who was part of Mission Aviation Fellowship. He lost his life when he and four other missionaries were attacked by the Waorani people. Nate’s sister, Rachel, eventually went to live with the Waorani people, staying with them for twenty years, translating the bible into their language, and ultimately watched God transform thier hearts. They became her family. As I read about this story, my thoughts were drawn to you and Jessica and your family and the great call God put on your lives to be part of this ministry. I pray God will use your family to glorify His kingdom and be a beacon of love to the lost. Merry Christmas to you all and again, thank you for sharing your journey with us.


    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement Michelle. If you want to know more about Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, and the other three men who gave their lives in Equador I would recommend reading “Through Gates of Splendor” and “The Savage My Kinsman” by Elizabeth Elliot. They are great books and it is amazing to see how God always works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. God Bless!

  2. Wishing you all a blessed Christmas. You are such a special family and knowing you has been a blessing to all here. You are always in our prayers……..
    Love, Jack and Kathy

  3. So awesome!! Sad that I missed you, Phil, at the wedding [I had to be at work], but it was great to see Jess & Baby Lina!! Sometimes, reading your blog gives me the encouragement I need to keep pressing forward with God’s plan, even when I’m unsure of where it’ll take me. But I starting to learn that that is the direct definition of faith: choosing to following a path even when the destination is uncertain. =)
    Hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas!!!


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