Tuesday, December 19, 2017

December 2017

OK....I, Laura, admit this Florida fall/winter weather is pretty amazing! Today is a beautiful 75deg with no humidity - the second part of that being the key; no humidity! In any case, greetings dear friends. We realized time was running short for this year and we had left you 'hanging' with news on the last update; Sooooooo... we'll begin with the awesome news first.
The story will begin with a flight to California... it was to be a surprise for a few folks, however, our oldest son, Joshua, was eager for our arrival. Orders were given; we were to 'lay low', prepare the patio area at his friend's apartment, pick up the desserts, and be ready for the signal to come through the gate. Confused? Let's follow the pictures...

  We landed on a Friday morning, got our car, found the nearest coffee house, took care of some business (waiting for lunchtime) then drove to the nearest In-n-Out for a burger and fries and met with Josh. 
Our favorite burger place in California
 Our next stop was to get the apartment and see what we could do to prepare for the main event! We rested that evening then began cleaning up and buying party supplies for Sunday. Kevin decided to add to the excitement..... he was moving a large gas grill when he cut his finger on the edge of the lid. After much persuasion, we drove to a local hospital ER to get stitches. Yep, 10 of them...
How the first nurse wrapped his finger until the doctor could have a look :)
 Of course, while we're there Josh calls to see how things are progressing and if we'll be able to meet him at the jewelers. Just as I was telling him where we were. we lost our signal and he had no idea what had happened...only that his 'pops' was bleeding and we were in the ER. After an eternity, 15 minutes, with much relief, we re-connected and let him know we would be done soon and on the way.
First look at the ring! AMAZING
 Now that we were done with all the added excitement of cut fingers, we gathered all the items and began the transformation on the patio deck.

Now the waiting began... this was only Saturday evening; the big event was almost 24 hours away!  Joshua made certain all the last details were in place (there is another long hysterical story you'll have to ask him about) and the next evening we waited with friends a block away for the signal to return...
                    She said YES!!!   We are beyond excited to introduce Jessica and have already welcomed her into our family! ... no wedding date yet, but everyone will know the minute we do!!!!!!
The entire evening and us being there was a complete surprise to Jess. 
 Whew....what a weekend! We flew back the following evening to Florida  - we quickly remembered why we dislike jetlag!
Then we had a birthday celebration - our granddaughter turned two. We seriously can't believe she is two years old already! The kids had a quiet party at her favorite park; with hotdogs, chips and cupcakes. It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time just hanging out.
New sticker books - YEA! Thanks, Mimi and Aunt B :)

Mommy made cupcakes from scratch with mini mouse ears - yummy!

We are so blessed to have them all with us at this time. Next year they'll be in Colorado :(
THANKSGIVING.... For the Wooster Gang was a quiet one but LOTS of food none the less! Our oldest son was on the road moving from California to Florida and our youngest was sleeping because he is working nights at the moment. However, the Wooster's will never go without the 'Meal' and so we prepared a turkey with all the fixings, baked pies, and casseroles, and had our 'snacks' before the meal. (Won't even go into sharing that list.)

Laura took the picture from the loft, Winona was fascinated.
READY to dig in and enjoy!!
We are extremely grateful for His provisions this year and for our family that is so close, for the first time in too many years. (We will be doubly blessed at Christmas this year as we will have everyone together!)
Now, of course, we didn't just have one Thanksgiving meal this year but two ..... we are especially blessed and have the privilege of working with a small church about 20 minutes from our home. They have a tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving together as well as inviting folks they know would not necessarily have a meal. The day was a wonderful reminder of how much the Lord blesses us and how much more blessed we are to share with those less fortunate.

We turned the sanctuary into a dining room.

Four turkeys and ALL the food to go with the meal!
Folks enjoying the outside deck; it was a beautiful fall day.

Kevin with some of the guys waiting for the line to dwindle.

Forty minutes later, this was all that was left.
Well, we are stuffed and busy preparing for the holidays. Over the years, our family has made Christmas a time for building memories and not so much on the gifts. We have been given the perfect gift already; the Son of God, Jesus! Our prayer is that your homes will be filled with family and friends and most of all the love and joy of the season - Jesus our Savior.

"For unto us a child is bornunto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."   Isaiah 9:6

 Merry Christmas,  Kevin & Laura

Friday, November 3, 2017

Fall 2017

Fall in Florida is pretty boring if you're from the north or where seasons actually change. We have lived here a while(of course minus the 20 years in Siberia); Kevin moved 'down' in 1976 and Laura in 1980. For me, Laura, I have never gotten used to only two seasons - green and brown, Of course, there is greener in the summer and really brown in the winter; I just miss those brilliant splashes of color and the crisp air. In any case, we do love that it's still warm and NOT -15 degrees! Soooo... Laura has gotten better with having pictures to share; grab your coffee or tea and 'sit a spell' - we pray you are blessed!

Since we last posted an update, we have had a hurricane, a conference, and of course some time with family! We'll start with Irma - the hurricane that practically emptied the state of Florida as folks packed up and headed north. We were so blessed and fortunate that it made a major turn at the last minute dumping rain and 120mph winds east of our area. Kevin and I stayed, while our son and his family decided to go to the panhandle and hang out with friends. Their biggest concern was their daughter - we didn't disagree! We continue to pray for the areas that were hit and especially for the Florida Keys who were hit twice in a matter of weeks. Many folks lost everything with  no insurance to rebuild. 
Parking cars in front of the garage were to help keep the wind from blowing the
garage door into the house.  (It worked!!)
Out our back door. The golf course had all the water,
our yard was just VERY wet.

Because we were to get a direct hit and most of our windows are on a second floor(NOT easy to board up for a storm); we decided to ride out the storm with friends who were able to board up their house. For some reason, we didn't think about ALL of the trees that surround their property and home... they - we - were truly fortunate and blessed!!
This is Ted...this is Ted's driveway after Irma :)

This was the only tree to fall.
Thankfully it was at the end of their driveway!

Meet Ted and Wilma...dear friends for many years!!

Kevin was super anxious to get the boards off the windows.
It was only a little over 48 hours but the house did feel like a cave.
 After the cleanup, life for us returned to 'normal'. (Not really sure what that looks like) We also knew our schedules were going to get really busy so we looked for some family time together. We ALL love baseball and realized that the end of the season was here and we needed to get to a game. We love the Tampa Bay Rays and Laura grew up loving the Orioles! So, of course, we were super stoked when we saw that the Rays played the O's for their final game...off to the ballgame!

Winona's first game! LOVED IT

Friends from Calvary Chapel Venice 

Winona even had her picture taken on the field after the game!

The following week, we took off to the other coast for a mission conference. We were able to share the vision and information about GSI with many folks. It was exciting to hear from others who also have a burden to share the gospel not only here but around the world.  We are actively searching out activities and functions where we can educate people about the work of GSI in Asia. We are praying the contacts made can help us in partnering with more churches as well as connecting with those who have been “called” to “GO” to one of the 3000+ unreached peoples that remain.  

Kevin getting our table set up for the conference.
For Americans, November is a special month to not only celebrate with family and eat enormous amounts of food :), for us, it's a time to look over the year and give thanks to God for ALL He has done! We are so grateful for those of you who continue to lift our family in prayer and who continue to support the ministry. We are humbled and very blessed. Our prayer is that your Thanksgiving is filled with Jesus, family, and fun.  (Lots of food too!)  
Happy Thanksgiving,  Kevin & Laura

" O, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Thursday, September 7, 2017

September 2017

Greetings from sunny, hot, humid, rainy, more humidity, hot Florida… did we say humid?? Well, it is definitely NOT Siberia! It has been a very busy summer for the Wooster’s and we find ourselves knee deep in painting, going through boxes and packing up items to sell or give away as we settle into our home. Our youngest son, Corey had surgery on both knees and is recovering quite well with fantastic physical therapy. Our oldest son will be moving back to Florida before the end of this year, while Corey and his family will most likely be moving out to Colorado; it’s never boring in our household! Oh - our little Winona will turn two in November. We are so very blessed and very much appreciate all the prayers that are lifted for us and our family!!
Corey with Winona in Colorado.

The work with GSI
(our local organization) continues to grow with another group of nine having gone through orientation in July as they prepare to ‘GO’ to the unreached of Asia. Their four days of orientation consisted of understanding the organization, how we enter into difficult areas, seminars on finance, communication, and the importance of an involved sending church, plus much more. Most of these folks will be on their fields of service by the beginning of 2018.
Kevin and Don sharing about the development office at orientation...

We were excited to be a part of the orientation and again were impressed with the caliber of people preparing to serve Him far from their homes and families!

Celebrating God’s provision... During the orientation we also held an open house/barbecue for GSI’s office. (Another God story) We helped organize, set up and pull this off in the middle of Summer.(It was so hot!)  
Part of the "CREW" that helped make Open House possible
We had over 100 people come out in July to help celebrate with us God’s provision for our new office.
Pastor Carl from Calvary Chapel Sarasota 

The office was transformed to show the steps that people go through in order to “GO” to the field.  Step one... showed the need; that there are over 3000 people groups with NO Christian witness and no ability to even hear about Jesus.  Step Two...had a desk set up to give an idea of what someone that has answered the call to “GO” does in order to work full time overseas from language learning, Bible training, partnership development and then saying good bye as they then head to Step Three...once on the field, there is language learning. Spending as many as 40 hours a week in a classroom setting to then going into the community to ‘use’ what has been learned.

Step four...they begin to work on their access to their country. Many of you will remember when you helped us as we established the WOW project (Windows of Warmth); this was crucial for the work in the village. For those heading overseas, many will need to find a long term solution in order to have access to the country in order to reach the long term goal which is Step 5...Discipleship and church planting. This comes along as they are working through the preceding steps. Many of you have partnered with us over the years as we have seen the final step realized in three churches in the region of North Asia where we served! THANK YOU!

We're certain you noticed we have less pictures these days; new 'season', new work. However, we will strive to keep you informed and find new things to photograph. (Like the hurricane that is heading our direction as of this writing.) Please keep the state of Florida in your prayers and we prepare to ride out the storm as this point unless asked to leave. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support! We love ya'll :)
Serving Together, Kevin & Laura

Thursday, June 8, 2017

June 2017

May and June in Florida are definitely warmer than in Siberia; we are just a bit 'homesick' for Russia these days. It is very hard to believe that it has been almost a year since we left the village to return to America! Where has the time gone? SO much has happened and we often found it difficult to sit down and put things into words; thank you for your patience. We will do our best to keep this short, but you know how that goes :)  
After much prayer, we returned last June to help care for Kevin's Mom who had been battling cancer for many years. We thought we would have many months, maybe even a year with her, however, in August she went 'home' to be with her Savior. We are grateful for the time we were given and even more grateful she was able to stay at home where everything was familiar. It's been a roller coaster kind of year as we have gone through many adjustments in our lives; a new season if you will. HE has been our comfort, strength and peace - we have seen HIS grace and abundant blessings!
We filled our days as best we could and before we knew it, the holidays were upon us! We  took a trip to PA to visit Laura's parents, our granddaughter turned one in November, then we spent Thanksgiving with Joshua and his girlfriend and Corey and his family. For Christmas, we drove to PA with the 'kids' for a visit with Laura's family and returned before the New Year! Whew - we do not recommend driving 19 hours and back in a week with an infant, although she was a tremendous little traveler!

Our last family photograph with Mom, grandchildren and great granddaughter.

Our little princess turned one :)
Laura's parents in PA.

Thanksgiving in Florida - even though it looks like Christmas.

Laura's folks with all of their great grandchildren at Christmas.

We began the New Year
 feeling a bit more settled into a routine and getting more adjusted to American life. Even today we find ourselves still 'aliens in a foreign land' but knowing it is definitely where the Lord has us for a season. 

The first month of this year were a blur as our home office worked tirelessly to host a week of orientation for new workers heading to new places around the globe. We were quite impressed with the caliber of young men and women that have taken the scripture that commands some to GO into all the nations and are leaving jobs, friends, and family to do just that - to GO! Some couples have already left with a few others in their last stages of support raising and waiting on the appropriate documents needed to enter their new 'home' countries. Please remember these folks as they begin their new journeys in serving areas not yet reached for HIM! 

As soon as the orientation was over, plans began for the organization's main fund raiser. It was a  privilege to host a banquet and silent auction to help raise funds for the coming year.  Our speaker, Dr. Justin Holcomb, reminded us of the huge responsibility to GO and seek the lost. Sharing from the book of Acts, his powerful message of reading the Word then applying the Word into our lives will be the only way we will reach the most remote places with the gospel. Following Dr. Holcomb, we were extremely blessed to hear the testimony of a young lady who was one of the first believers in an unreached people group. By the way, this is the work that you have partnered with for 20 years as you helped us take the gospel to the “ends of the earth” - commonly referred to as Siberia.  :) A side note, many of you may remember praying for this young lady when she was diagnosed with TB in 1998. God healed her and she is still serving him today. She shared an incredible story of how our team had come specifically to share the hope of Christ to her people and the impact it made not only in her life but many of those around her. She shared from Romans 10:14-15 applying the verses specifically to her situation.  
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” 
Hearing her story was truly humbling because we answered the call, you “sent” us, we preached, and she believed! How amazing is our God?
Banquet for our organization.

So, why a banquet and auction?...
One of our goals when we send out 'workers' is to keep their admin fees low. Most organizations charge 10-12% off the support that workers receive; we charge 3%! With over 188 guests in attendance, we were able to raise enough funds to cover a large portion of the administrative costs for the next year. We give HIM all the glory!

Tired of reading? We're going to end here for now, there is more... much more and we can not wait to share what the Lord is doing around the world and in our lives as well. Again, we are so grateful for your patience and pray this has been at least a small blessing for you. There is news from our friends in Russia so join us in a few weeks for an update from there as well! 
Serving Together,  Kevin & Laura

Monday, May 22, 2017

News From the Wooster’s                                               April  2017

We pray you had an incredible Easter rejoicing in the knowledge that although he was crucified for our sins, He is Risen and LIVES!

We are so very blessed to be serving so close to home so that we can enjoy this time with our family; most of all this time with our granddaughter J! Laura is doing well as we are still waiting on the final results of the radioactive therapy. We covet your continued prayers, as she should know in June if there is need for more treatment.

First quarter update as GSI… we were extremely honored to watch twelve new workers coming through the GSI orientation program. The caliber of people we met was quite impressive! They reminded us of that fresh excitement of heading out for the first time to begin new works among some of the unreached of the world. What was even more exciting to learn was that most of this group came from a training program in Mexico for outgoing ‘workers’ called Radius International (more about that next month) A good portion of these folks have already raised their support levels and have begun language learning in their fields of service.  Others will be heading out later this year. Please keep them in prayer as they embark on this life-changing journey!

Glory of the Impossible… Many of you know that Kevin has been tasked with working in the development department.  One of the reasons this is so important is that GSI wants to keep their administrative fees for their ‘workers’ to a minimum. Most organizations charge upwards of 12%; GSI
is currently at 3%.  As you can see, that is a big difference. On May 5th GSI will be holding a banquet called “Glory of the Impossible” with the hopes of meeting many new people that are interested in knowing more about what we do and how we do it.  The funds raised will go to what is called the Global Ministry Fund. The monies raised will help recruit, train and sustain our over 125 workers on the field.   

 The banquet title “Glory of the impossible” is a quote from Samuel Zwemer, who was a “missionary to the Muslims”.  He said, “The greater the difficulties, the greater is the glory in overcoming them”.  We at GSI work to see churches planted in some of the most difficult regions of the world where the Gospel message has never gone.  The difficulties are enormous, but God is mightier than any that we will come across. Please remember our workers, as they truly are in areas that are opposed to the gospel as well as facing daily challenges we take for granted. Remember our workers as they travel great distances into areas with limited communications and leave their lives and families here for the first time; we speak from experience when we say your prayers will carry them through those days when overwhelmed with the task set before them.


Serving Together around the globe for HIS glory, 
Kevin & Laura