Saturday, September 15, 2007

From Greenville to Sioux Falls

On June 26th we left 114 Pigeon Point in Greenville and on the 27th we began our journey to Sioux Falls. WHY????? This was the most asked question we heard.
Well, as many of you know Gary has always had a dream to teach and God provided that opportunity at Sioux Falls Seminary beginning July 1st. Gary is Professor of Pastoral Care and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program.
The seminary has about 200 students and a phenomenal faculty.
The seminary is affiliated with the North American Baptist Conference and will be moving in 2008 onto the Augustana College campus a few blocks away. This partnership will benefit both in many ways.
Stephanie interviewed at the Avera McKennan Heath System and when they learned what she was doing at St. Francis in Greenville they said, "That's what we need here." So, they created a position, Intake Coordinator for HomeCare, and Stephanie began on July 9th. She stands in awe of how God led her. The job has been overwhelming and fulfilling at the same time.
This move has been HUGE and we miss our family and friends so much. We are enjoying Sioux Falls with its bike trails, events, great restaurants, and oh, yes movie theatres!!! There are 3 and yes we've been to them all. As many of you know, Gary loves to go to the movies. Loder also is enjoying his new home and fenced-in back yard.
We're experiencing something we have never experienced and that's what Steph calls her Journey of Worship---worshipping at different churches each week. We've been to Lutheran, Methodist, and Baptist churches and plan to worship with many others i.e.; Catholic, Salvation Army, Presbyterian, Evangelical Free. What a blessing to partake in worship with others who love the Lord.
Now, for the children...Amy and Patrick have been in Chicago a year and continue to enjoy it there. Amy is here visiting us this weekend. Lori is in Richmond, VA starting her masters in divinity at The Baptist Theological Seminary. Jon is currently in Greenville. He is working at Furman with the Army ROTC. He is awaiting his orders to report for Chinook flight school. Oh, we could go on and on about our children.
Our parents are all in Conyers, GA and Gary's mother's health continues to decline. She is at home with Hospice care and the wonderful attention Gary's Dad, Elvin, provides. Steph's parents remain in great health and enjoy staying on the road visiting family and friends and camping.
This is the first of many updates on THE STRICKLANDS. So much more to come. As you read it, remember you have been a part of the journey in some way.
We'll add Lori and Jon's links when they create them.

Let us hear from you.

From our home to yours,
Gary and Stephanie


Connie said...

Hi Stephanie & Gary, What a blessing it is to have the technology to hear and see you both. I miss all the church family at FBC----but like where we are living as well. I just set up my own blog, took a while, but think I got it.
I can only imagine how happy you all are with your 3 children and what they are doing in their lives.

I think it is so fun to move and do lots of other thing and especially meet new people, getting used to another church, etc. I have never thought of looking at other churches, never know, that might happen some day. For now, we are happy at our church home. Continuing to praise God for our Spiritual Growth, especially Lyle's.

love and prayers, Connie
9 yrs for me Stephanie---Praise God for seeing us through that horrible time in our lives. I knew we would come through it and do what God had planned for us.

Diane said...

Hi Gary and Stephanie: How WONDERFUL to hear from you. We'd been to Greenville to a Christmas party at the Eddy's, along with Randy and Nancy Eskridge. Your card was first on our stack when we arrived home! Isn't it amazing to see how God is at work even in what seems to be 'far away places'...Guess we both represent from where the Wise Men came en route to Jesus (From A FAR!)
We hope you have a great Christmas. Please stay in touch!
Diane and Tom Barden
-from a far in Hartwell, GA :-)