Monday, September 29, 2008

I Have A New Sister!!!

  Today, September 29th 2008, my little brother Matthew became a husband to Stefanie Conine in an intimate beachside ceremony in Seattle Washington!!  I want to be among the first to wish them a heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS, and tell them how happy we are to see them begin their "journey of a lifetime" together!  Matthew, your family is so proud of your decision to make Stefanie your bride.  We trust that you will love and cherish her, honor her and protect her every day of your life and that you will daily depend on the Lord to lead your lives into one of faith and hope in Him.  He who finds a wife, finds a good thing!  Stefanie, welcome to the family, sister!  You are a beautiful woman inside and out and my brother is so blessed to have found in you "the one" to share his life, hopes and dreams with.  As the two of you have become one, I pray that everyday your love would grow deeper and stronger for one another.  That nothing would divide you.  That your home would be a dwelling of laughter and peace, and that you would find (second to the Lord) in Matthew strength and security, a faithful love and encouragement, and a best friend forever.
Love you both,
your sister Julie

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My brother, Derrick.

  Today, September 13th marks the 40th birthday of my brother Derrick.  This is a very special occasion for those of us who know and love Derrick.  Through the ups and downs of his life, we have "watched in wonder" as God has faithfully held him close, preserving his very life through many storms.  Derrick has a unique way of making a stranger his friend, bringing laughter into the hardest of circumstances, and retelling a story of one of his many "adventures" that will leave you in sheer amazement! 
  On this day, I want him to know how much he is loved.  How grateful I am to have a brother who has taught, protected and loved his little sister.  I couldn't imagine life without you and my prayer for you Derrick is that you would continue to walk in faith and the knowledge that you are a gift to many,  that God is not done with the "story of your life" and that as you continue to acknowledge Him, He will make your path straight.  The best is yet to come!
I love you Derrick.  Happy 40th Birthday!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Home from Kenya.

  We just returned home yesterday from what undoubtedly was the most amazing experience of my life.  I don't know that I will ever be able to fully put into words the impact this trip made on me but I am forever changed by it.  
  The majority of our time in Nairobi was spent at a school in the slums of Kibera called Soweto Academy.  We spent a week loving, caring, teaching and serving about 500 students and a handful of teachers.  Most of these kids are orphans.  They are hungry. The only clothes they have are the tattered and torn uniform that they wear everyday.  I wanted so much to be a blessing to them, but in the end the blessing was abundantly mine.  In spite of their very grim circumstances, these kids showed us the truest picture of hope and joy I have ever seen.  They love God and they trust him day to day for their most basic needs.  They are eager to learn, so kind and very respectful. And grateful.  I love them so much!  We had many fascinating experiences during our time in Africa I plan to share, but our time with these precious kids was by far the most meaningful.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Africa, here we come!!

   On Thursday, July 24,  Ritchie, Ellie and I will fly to Kenya, Africa where we will spend 10 days serving with Athletes in Action.  I cannot begin to express in words how overwhelmed I am with anticipation for what has been a life long dream of mine.  In fact,  it is an answer to prayer as I had increasingly pleaded with Ritchie that our next family "vacation" be one that consisted of something other than serving ourselves.  During the Final Four in San Antonio this spring we were asked by AIA to consider a summer trip with them.  I said "YES!" before they finished asking!  Ritchie and Ellie were both a bit reluctant at first, but I have "watched in wonder" as God has humbled each of our hearts for the opportunity ahead.  Please keep us in your prayers.  I look forward to sharing the experience upon our return.  If you are at all interested,  a blog has been set up through AIA to give info and updates on the trip.  You can log on to  .  Look under Sports Teams,  Basketball-Kenya.
Blessings,  Julie