Friday, September 28, 2007

September 2007

Dear Family, Friends & Fellow workers,

We have so much to be thankful for. This summer we were entertaining and being entertained by our two grandchildren, Lily and Jacob, Mary and Joe's children. Lily and Jake were here while their parents attended the AALC (church) conference. The zoo and museum were favorites, especially the dolphins. Joe will be attending his lastyear of seminary while Mary assists the new AALC president as bookkeeper.

Esther flew out three times: first for her sister Ruth's college graduation, then for her brother's high school graduation, and finally for the family reunion. What a treat it has been to see her. She has just returned from hiking 266 miles on the John Muir Trail and climbing to the 14,505' summit of Mt. Whitney. She is now attending her final semester at Azusa Pacific University.

Ruthie graduated from Northwestern, went on to the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks to complete a second summer at the Summer Institute of Linguistics, and spent several days at the Lutheran Bible Translators' headquarters where she had meetings and training. She will be doing support raising through December before continuing graduate studies at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics in Dallas.

John flew to California to attend the Torrey Institute Awards Banquet at Biola University, visited with his family and school buddies, then returned in time to graduate with honors from the high school he hadbeen attending here. He went again to appear for his Boy Scout's Eagle Board of Review and has now been awarded his Eagle. He is attending Bible School (Association Free Lutheran Bible School) this year and loves it so far.

Margaret took classes and a series of exams for her Minnesota teaching license. She is now working in a bookstore and is substitute teaching part time.

Seminary classes have begun. Bob is enrolled in seventeen units, including Greek—please pray for him. He also continues to enjoy working with a wonderful team at the Bible school. This summer he worked with the five summer teams, getting them scheduled, equipped and sent out for ten weeks of ministry in 100 churches and camps throughout the United States. It was a great relief to have all the teams arrive home safely after their 40,000 miles of travel through 25 states, especially as the day before we received a call from our daughter Esther, in northern California, saying, "Dad, pray! The van [of campers] in front of me just rolled three times. I helped triage the passengers and three are being taken by helicopters and four by ambulances." They were returning from a Teen Adventure camp when the accident occurred. Thankfully, all seven people survived, although two had serious injuries.

The new Bible school students arrived September 2nd to join the returning seniors, for a total of 127 students. It is a great blessing to have each student here, and especially to have our son, John, and his cousin, Cheryl, attending this year. There are 25 maternal cousins and we hope that each one will take the opportunity to study at Bible school. The first nine already have!

This summer also brought us the Ottesen family reunion, with 39 of us gathering here in the Twin Cities. It was a wonderful time! Margaret's parents, her six siblings and all their children attended, except for Ben Olson, who was working in Canada, and Mary's family,who was in California to attend her father-in-law's installation as district governor of Lion's Club.

As we do in each letter, we must thank you for your prayers and financial support! This has been the largest leap of faith we have taken in our twenty-eight years together and we are continually amazed at how God supplies for our needs. You have been part of that and weare very very grateful. What added up to impossible on paper has developed into a daily experience of amazement in how God loves to bless, supply and guide us as we take our needs, concerns and struggles before His Throne of Grace.

Please come visit us. There is always room for you and we would loveto see you. Studies may prevent a lot of visiting time during school days, but you can make this your home base during your visit to the Twin Cities. Our home overlooks a beautiful lake and you will feel like you are vacationing in a time-share apartment.

Sent with our love and greetings,

Bob & Margaret

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Holiday Surprise

There is a lot of excitement around our home this week. We can't believe how much God has blessed us in so many ways.

In the midst of finals and scheduling our Bible school gospel teams, Bob took part in the Christmas Concerts and Parents' Weekend.

Margaret fit in attending Christmas programs for niece, nephews and cousins along with the usual Christmas festivities of family, Bible school, seminary and World Mission Prayer League...all the while getting ready for Bob & Ruth's knee surgeries, Christmas shopping and teaching.

December 20th we had our first appreciable snowfall. The lake and ponds are now frozen and Minnesota really does look like a winter wonderland. We didn't have to buy icicles. They arrived all on their own.

December 22nd Margaret & John checked Bob & Ruth into the surgical center and prayed for them. The surgeries were a success and they were able to keep the pain under control this time. Bob was to have had about the same surgery as Ruthie's knee--tightening one side and loosing the other, but when they got inside they broke the bone, moved it over and held it all together with three screws. A bit more major than they had anticipated.

Ruth came home the same day and Bob followed on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day our daughter Esther surprised us by flying in from Los Angeles for a short visit. We had been disappointed that she wouldn't have time to visit us before packing and taking up her new responsibilities of assisting Susan Perlman, first assistant to the executive director of Jews for Jesus in San Francisco. Mary, Joe, Lily and Jacob would be arriving the 27th and it would have been wonderful to have all the kids together but we were happy that she was able to use the time to prepare for this huge new step. Then, there she was! We nearly fell over. Well, it was good that Bob & Ruth were lying down or they would have. So now we have the whole family together. What a blessing.

December 26th, while our neighbors were over for Waffle Night at the Lees, two of our kid's cousins from Canada (Ben and Karen Olson) popped in on their way to the Urbana Missions Conference. There is a special kinship among the cousins.

December 27th, we had Margaret's sister's family, Kathie & Jeff Dahl; and Margaret's cousin's family, Joy & Chris Broderson; and Margaret's aunt and uncle, Marilyn & Max Hellberg over for a time of sledding down the hill, drinking hot cider, and enjoying a late Christmas dinner and smorgasbord of desserts!

Thank you all for your continued prayers for our health, studies and ministry. We are so very grateful for those of you who take our family before His Throne of Grace.


Bob & Margaret