I don't have everyone's email addresses, so I decided to post our Christmas "letter" on the blog! Here it is :-).
Dear Family and Friends,
The last two nights at youth group, we've had our annual Gingerbread House Making Contests and talked about the 300 plus Old Testament prophecies that Jesus fulfilled when He came to earth to be our Savior. The probability of one man fulfilling only 8 prophecies by luck or by effort is staggering (10 to the 17th power!), and Jesus fulfilling over 300 is definitive proof of His Lordship! We are so grateful to serve a risen Savior and have been overwhelmingly blessed by His work in our lives and those around us in 2008!
We began the year with more work on the youth center at church. We were able to knock down a wall (with the help of several wonderful church members) to enlarge the main room, allowing up to 55 high schoolers to squeeze in there for youth group! (With that many kids, we are thankful that Oregon doesn't have too many warm evenings, or it begins to smell like a locker room after game time!) Shortly after the new year, Dave put together a high school mission team to spend a week in Ensenada, Mexico. We held training meetings each month leading up to the trip, as well as putting on two major fundraisers--a dinner talent show and an all-church garage sale! Through generous donations, the team raised enough to cover travel costs and had an additional amount to bless the church we were partnering with in Ensenada!
The summer was, of course, a busy time. We did some home improvement projects, adding a deck to the back of our house and carpeting Dave's "man cave" (also known as the laundry room) downstairs. It has been so nice to have those things done, especially for enjoying barbeques outside! We spent 10 days traveling to, working in, and traveling home from Ensenada the end of June--a challenging but very rewarding time! In July, Dave became "Dr. Wienerschnitzel" for our church's VBS--complete with spiky white hair to give that mad scientist impression! Immediately following VBS, Dave once again had the opportunity to speak at Hartland Christian Camp in California, along with his dad. His mom and I got to go along, and I was able to speak to the girls one of the nights when Dave spoke to the boys. We also enjoyed playing in the church softball league, taking the youth groups rafting on the Deschutes, and I led a Bible study during the month of August for the girls.
I continued to work in real estate this past year, but with the current economy, I have decided to get out of it for a while and pursue other things. I keep very busy with youth group activities, and I have been co-teaching the J-high Sunday School class with one of the dads. Dave and I have enjoyed lots of wonderful family time this year. Our niece, Sophie is now 16 months old and is a joy to be around as she discovers and delights in the things around her! We are also experiencing the toddler stage with Dave's parents' puppy, Blue! Dave has had the opportunity to preach in church service several times this year.
We are so grateful for each one of you and pray this Christmas season finds you drawing ever closer to our Savior!
Dave and Amy Bertolini
Day trip to the Oregon Coast
2 hours ago