… from December 2011
As I (Steve) sit in my father’s cozy Minnesota apartment, surrounded by mementos and memories of lives well lived, I give thanks. What a blessed heritage is ours!
- To know the love and support of family
- To share the warmth of enduring friendship
- To be a pilgrim in God’s world and a citizen of Christ’s kingdom
This is a year of home assignment/sabbatical for us. Barbara and I are enjoying visits with family and friends, supporting congregations and new mission contacts. Although our mailing address is Chicago, we have already put over 8,000 miles on our borrowed 1994 Honda Accord station wagon.
This past weekend we experienced the Lucia Breakfast at Bethlehem Covenant Church, where 45 years ago I ran around dressed in red tights singing Swedish. It was a warm and cozy homecoming (gezellig for you Flemish speakers). Many things have changed including myself, but there is a deep sense that it is good! God has been with us on the journey and He continues to lead us into more life! We will be “stateside” until June 2012, when we plan to return to Antwerp, Belgium. We look forward to the chapters that are still yet to be written! Thanks for being a part of our lives!
From Barbara – The stamp of the wise men and the Bethlehem Star included in this Christmas greeting is labeled “traveling far” ~ which is a very accurate summary of our 2011 year. As we traveled to several corners in Belgium and around Europe, for missions conferences and checking in on friends in the early part of the year, we then switched gears to fly “home” to Chicago in July to begin a year’s worth of study and travel, to be with family and friends and supporters who care about ministries among immigrants and refugees in Belgium.
As you remember the journey that you have been on in 2011, take care to remember our faithful God and how He orchestrated so many details of that journey. We look in anticipation of the travels ahead in 2012, with supporters whom we have not seen in many years, with our families as we try to intersect in their lives during some important events, and with our eventual return to Belgium. Go in confidence on the journey that awaits you in 2012, knowing that God goes with you wherever you may go!
Steven and Barbara Swanson