The Seemingly Random...
Batts Abroad - January 2022
We're now six months into our Living in Canada adventure and we're learning to embrace all things Canadian. 

For example, Allen is a "huge fan" of Spruce Beer - which is a soda similar to Root Beer that tastes like walking in the Canadian woods. Ruth has tried ice skating and hockey and seems to love them both. Clara has embraced the carefree, slow and steady lifestyle here. And Hudson is now obsessed with beards and running outside in the cold. As for me, I'm embracing regular Ping Pong tournaments... and the thrifting culture.

There's a couple of large thrift stores in our town and as a "Welcome Back to School" gift for the students, my friend Kristy and I bought the 24 most random mugs we could find and filled them with pens, highlighters, mints, and sticky notes. One mug proudly proclaimed "45th Anniversaire" in gold and floral font and another showed the ever-popular poop emoji. Some were gaudy souvenir mugs from all over the world and others boasted retro cartoon characters. One even labeled the owner as the "World's Best Grandpa" (except in French). We gave one to each student with a note that explained it as a "Random Mug for a Random Time in Life."

Because let's face it: nearly two years after all of this started, we're still living through such a weird time in history. Regulations and laws change weekly or monthly here in Canada and as a result, we're constantly looking for the newest information. We've done pretty well at adapting ministry to meet relational needs, building community at a distance, and engaging in life together, but it's taken a lot of pivoting, re-evaluating, and pre-planning. 

Over and over, though, I'm reminded that God never has to do those things. He never has to pivot. He never has to re-evaluate. He never has to pre-plan. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He sees the beginning, the end, and every seemingly random piece in the middle. He is trustworthy.

So those 24 random mugs have found new homes in apartments and dorms on campus. They are being used to drink coffee and tea, make mug cakes, and hold pens. There's a purpose for the random. And likewise, we can trust that God has a purpose for this time of seemingly randomness, too. 
Jan. 2022 Video Update
A Behind-the-Scenes Glimpse at Our Life:
  1. In August, Moose Creek Baptist Church in Alaska asked if they could adopt our family for Christmas. We said yes and didn't know what to expect. But in early December, we started receiving HUGE boxes stuffed full of generous gifts! Christmas morning, we spent hours unwrapping, playing with, and enjoying countless toys, clothes, jars of salmon, bundles of yarn, and more. It was an amazing blessing to our family and helped us feel a little less lonely. You can watch the video of it here!
  2. We spent three weeks of Christmas Break as the only students on campus, which means we were responsible for checking the mail and shoveling the sidewalks. It ended up being a nice time to reconnect as a family, without the pressure of normal life. And Allen probably walked 150 miles just shoveling, salting, and praying around campus.
  3. Since we finished our formal learning in December 2021, we're now engaged in full-time ministry on campus. We're helping teach classes, hosting French study sessions, leading Bible studies. planning community-building outreaches, and just walking alongside the students here.
  4. We ran into a couple of small issues with our Jeep this last month. It was occasionally stalling and turning off when we put it in reverse, then again when stopped at stoplights for too long. We took it into a local shop who tightened a few wires, but didn't really find anything wrong with it. It seems to be running fine now!
Batts Abroad Website
Ruth turned six in early December and has now lost six teeth! She loves playing with her doll house, but wants to go outside whenever she can. Pray for Ruth's anxiety surrounding new things and for her heart to turn to Christ for salvation.

Clara loves beautiful things: butterflies, art, and dresses. She enjoys taking her time getting things done in order to better appreciate other things. Pray for Clara to be a light to those around her and for her heart to turn to Christ for salvation

Hudson turned three in late January and we celebrated with sledding and cocoas. He wants to read every book he can and is a pro at finding Waldo. Pray for success in potty training Hudson and for his heart to turn to Christ for salvation.

Allen and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary in early January with an at-home date after kids went to bed. We're enjoying serving more on campus together and eagerly anticipating what God has in store for our family in the next year. Pray for wisdom in how to use our time well and lead our children closer to God.
Thank you for praying for our family!
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