Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2015 Saint Louis Homeschool Missions Fair

“Come up to our monastery- we’ve been waiting for you”, a Buddhist monk told Gladys and her escort. “We want to hear about the God that loves sinners.”
Gladys Aylward, missionary to China, had been traveling with a Chinese doctor to an unreached mountain village in a western province in China, on the border of Tibet. After eleven days in the wilderness, they had lost their way. Exhausted and afraid, they knelt to pray. Then, at Gladys’ suggestion, they began to sing. Their song was heard by some of the monks from the monastery on the hill up ahead, and so this monk had found Gladys and Dr. Huang, and was now inviting them to come up and stay a while to teach them. 
Gladys was shocked. She knew these men lived in strict seclusion, and were never allow to speak to a woman. What made them so eager that they would disregard this rule, and  how did they know that there was a God that loves sinners? The threesome ascended the hill to the monastery, and there met about 500 hundred more monks, all eager to hear of the God that loved sinners.
Later, one of them explained what had happened. 
“Many years ago”, he said, “a man came by on horse back, and gave us this.” He motioned to the wall, where was tacked a piece paper worn and cracked after so many years, which had John 3:16 written on it. “All of us have read or listened to these words many times, and have committed them to memory. This was all the man brought, but from this alone we learned there was a God that loved sinners.  
"For five years we sought to find where this God that loved sinners lived, but we found no information about this matter. Finally one of us made a vow that he would go and not return till he had learned more about this God. He with several others left travelled long through the mountains till they arrived in the small town of Len Chow. There they found a Christian evangelist, who told them as much as he could, and gave them each a copy of the Gospels. These they brought back to us, and together we read them. 
“These words”, the monk continued, “we believe to be true. But there were many things we could not understand. One text was of great importance to us. At the end of mark’s gospel, Christ commanded His disciples to 'Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature'. We were sure that one day, one of those who had been given this command would come to tell us. We only needed to wait for them to come, and to be ready to listen when they did. when we heard your singing, we knew that you were the messengers we had been waiting for, and so we sent for you."
Gladys was too moved to speak. These men had been waiting, believing that those who knew this great God Who loves sinners, those who had tasted of His love and knew His grace, would be more than eager to be obedient to Him, and “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel…”


Last February, our family helped organize the St Louis Homeschool Missions Fair at The Family Vision Library, a Christian library in St. Peters, Missouri. 

Our goal for the missions fair was to help us to remember to be praying for those who are still unreached with the Gospel and those who are trying to reach them, as well as to keep the Great Commission before us, so that we will be fulfilling our Lord’s command to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”.

How it works...

Each family participating chooses a country or people group to focus on. Then they research and learn together about that country or people group, and put together a table display with information on that country or people group (population, language, needs, religion, photos, etc. etc.).

The fair starts with an international potluck dinner, featuring foods from all the countries represented. Each family brings an authentic (or nearly authentic) dish from the country they are focusing on.

After dinner, there is opportunity for oral presentations. Presentations are optional, and run about 5 minutes each. families may base their presentations on their tables display or share additional information on their chosen country/people group.

The fair concludes with a time of prayer for missions worldwide. 

This past missions fair was not only fun and educational, it was also an encouragement and a challenge to us all to be fulfilling the great Commission ourselves. We are thankful for the opportunity to put this on, and trust it was a blessing for all who came.

If you are interested...

...and semi-local (or want to make a trip to the area :), we would like you to know that, Lord willing,

 the 2015 Homeschool Missions Fair 

 will be on 

 February 20, at 6:00 pm

at The Family Vision Library
2020 Parkway Drive
St. Peters, MO 63376

There is no fee, but registration is required, and we ask that you please sign up by January 31, 2015.

To sign up, please send:

  • Family names, children's ages
  • Contact info (phone/email)
  • Area of focus (country/people group)
  • Oral presentation (yes/no)

After sign up, we will contact you with further detail as needed.

To sign up, obtain fliers or if you have any questions, write us at daveanddebklein@yahoo.com  

Hope to see you there! God bless!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Zak and Beth's Wedding, Part 3

Since he has at least a six-pack of aspiring photographers in the family, Zak had asked his siblings to be the photographers at the wedding, and the following are the collective shots from their cameras. We were thankful to our friends Kayley and Nathan for taking photos while both families were up in front.

The morning of the wedding, a group of the girls headed to the church building at 7 to finish food preparations for the reception. The meal Zak and Beth requested was taco salad - also known as “haystacks.” Much of the food preparation had been done beforehand, but there were still 35 heads of lettuce and several dozen tomatoes to prepare. We were blessed by the young ladies and guys who came out to help with all the chopping!

Harmony (center) showed up bright and early, and was a delightful helper!

Aaron, Nate and David helping in the kitchen

Nikki and her little ones were a big blessing
with food preparation

As the morning progressed, more local friends arrived to help, and the busyness continued. We had a last minute change in the wedding program, and here are our dear friends from Saint Louis, Carrie Clough and her son Silas, helping out by affixing the new inserts into the printed programs.

Two of Nikki's children, Crystal and Jasper

Ruth covering tables

Sarah used her creative touch to sweeten thing up!

We were thrilled that Grandpa Edd flew from California
to come to the wedding!

As it drew closer to three o’ clock, we began to scurry about getting changed out of our work clothes and making ourselves presentable!

This is when Zak emerged from changing into his wedding clothes, and in a rare moment of pre-wedding confusion, told Mom :

“…I left my dress shoes in the trailer at the campground!”

Smiling, Mom assured him that his shoes would be unnoticed.

Family and helping friends milling around before hearing the call, 
"People are coming!!"

Our little friend Silas (in the green shirt) scurried about the parking lot
delivering freshly taped wedding programs :)

It was so exciting for both Kleins and Bales, to see the many friends and family who arrived to celebrate this day with us. We were having such wonderful reunions, but we quickly had to hurry in the building, as it was approaching time for the wedding to begin!

The room began to fill up, and we had just a few short minutes until it was wedding time!  

More soon!