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May 2014 Vol 9, Issue 4




In This Issue
Memorial Day Camping Trip
Save the Dates!
Where in the world . . .
From the Friesen Kitchen
Keeping Up with Paul and Virginia
Join our Mailing List!
And forward this to a friend!
Time to register for the annual H.I.M. Memorial Day Camping Trip

Memorial Day Camping Trip   

Friday, May 23 - Monday, May 26, 2014
Quechee State Park, Hartford, VT  

It's not too late to join the other families already signed up, but don't delay: reserve your site now for the annual H.I.M. Memorial Day camping trip at beautiful Quechee State Park in Vermont. As usual, the program will be relaxed.  Families are on their own for both breakfast and lunch.  A common evening meal is served with each family helping in preparation or clean-up once during the weekend. Arrival is Friday afternoon, with a Monday departure. 

The cost for the weekend is $70 for the camp site, plus $20 per adult and each child ages 12 years old and older, and $10 per child ages 2 - 11.  There is no per person charge for children under 2 years old.  Fees include campsite, dinner each evening, and snacks at the campfire each evening.  There are four sites available with lean-to's, on a first-come, first-served basis, for an additional charge of $20.  If you are interested in one of these sites, please mention this when you register.

For more information, see the details and registration information here.  Campsites are limited, so don't delay.  It's a wonderful weekend, and we hope to see you there! 

Save the Dates
The dates for next year's H.I.M. events are ready to be added to your calendars:

     Nov. 15         Marriage Conference, Lynnfield, MA 
     Nov. 22-23    Engagement Matters #1

     March 6-8       Marriage Retreat, Hyatt Hotel, Newport, RI 
     March 28-29   Engagement Matters #2
     April 11           Worth It (purity conference), Calvary Christian Church, Lynnfield, MA

Where in the World Are Paul and Virginia?  (May through summer)

Here are the speaking events on Paul and Virginia's calendar for the next couple of months.  They'd love to see you and your family on these dates!  (H.I.M.-sponsored events are in bold.) 

    May 7           Community Night, Bethel Christian Church, San Francisco, CA   (details
   May 9           Couples Evening, Andover Free Christian Church, Andover, MA   (details
   May 10         Marriage Seminar, Cambridge Comm. Fellowship Church, Cambridge, MA (details
   May 16-18   Marriage Conference, TTUM, Trinidad, West Indies   (details
   May 20         Couples' Evening, Evangelical Covenant Church, Springfield, MA   (details
   May 23-26    H.I.M. Memorial Day Camping Trip, Quechee Gorge, VT   (details
   May 28-30    Staff Retreat, Valley Community Church, Avon, CT   (private)
   June 22-28    Family Camp, Inter-Varsity/Campus by the Sea, Catalina Island, CA   (details)
   July               Family Camp, Inter-Varsity/Campus by the Sea, Catalina Island, CA   (details)
   Aug. 3-9       H.I.M./Berea Family Camp, Camp Berea, Hebron, NH   (details)
   Aug. 9-15     H.I.M./Berea Family Camp, Camp Berea, Hebron, NH   (details)

From the Friesen Kitchen
Cabbage Salad

    2 Tbsp sesame seeds
    1/2 cup slivered almonds
    1 pkg. Japanese ramen noodles (chicken) 

Toast under broiler and use to taste as topping.

    12 cups chopped green cabbage
     2 green onions (chopped)

    1/2 seasoning from noodle package
    1 Tbsp sugar
    1/2 cup oil
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    3 Tbsp vinegar

Add dressing to cabbage just before serving. Toss. Sprinkle toasted topping over salad.  Serves 6-8.
Keeping Up with Paul and Virginia
Paul and Virginia have kept up their schedule of constant travel, speaking, and counseling - (I was going to write "tireless", but truthfully, they DO get tired!).  After spending two weeks speaking on the west coast during the latter half of February, they spoke at an Amish scrapbooking convention (Virginia), a funeral (Paul), at a convention for professional athletes, and then for a gathering of the Salvation Army officers in Sharon, MA.  Talk about being able to communicate to all kinds of people!  Thanks to your prayers and support and God's bottomless strength and grace, they do it, and do it well.  THANK YOU!

March brought two H.I.M. events: the spring edition of Engagement Matters and the annual H.I.M. weekend marriage retreat, quickly followed by the "Worth It" purity conference in early April.  These large undertakings keep Paul and Virginia and their staff (and many volunteers!) quite busy.  We're so grateful for the local team that surrounds the Friesens each time they put on an event here in New England. (If you're interested in being a part of that next year, please drop a line to Sue Martis!)
Paul and Virginia speak at the H.I.M. Marriage Retreat

This year's marriage retreat was themed "Memories and Dreams: how it was . . . how it can be" and we had a sold-out event, with a few couples needing to stay in nearby hotels.  We were blessed to have Paul and Virginia as our speakers this year.  They ended the opening Friday evening session with a tender slide show of weddings photos from each of the attendees, reminding us of the joy we each entered marriage with and that God intends us to have throughout marriage. The rest of the weekend, Paul and Virginia walked us through God's design and encouraged us to embrace it once again.  The workshop offerings were varied, helpful, and inspiring.  (Incidentally, you probably noticed the photo from Paul and Virginia's wedding shown in that slideshow at the beginning of this issue of the Family Flyer.  Did you recognize them?)

Lisa Friesen speaks to the Worth It attendees, flanked by all of the workshop leaders.
The registration numbers for Worth It, by contrast, were discouraging a few weeks out from the event, but when the day arrived, we had an enthusiastic group of over 400 teens and parents in attendance.  Praise God!  

Why do we do "Worth It"?  Virginia writes
"Because God's Word hasn't changed. His heart for His children hasn't changed. His design hasn't changed. So we try to build a very convincing case for purity in 2014.  We want to give hope.  We want to be prophetic. We want to challenge youth to trust the goodness of God's design and the power we have in Him to live it out."

Once again, the workshop speakers were top notch: from Jess Bousa (stirring) to Christopher and Dorothy Greco (compelling), to Kirsten Watson (passionate) to Lisa Friesen (full of purpose) to Kate Wylie (vulnerable) to  Danny and Annette Woodhead (encouraging) Nate Parks (hope giving)--who wrapped up the day with a final call to plant seeds of love for God, His Word, and His ways--all were mightily used by God.  The comments and emails that came in afterwards all bore testimony to the power of the day.  We are full of gratitude.

We pray that you, too, will find joy in being used by God. Surely He has used you to encourage us!  Thanks for caring and supporting the work of Home Improvement Ministries.


Barbara Steele
Home Improvement Ministries
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