Harder Family

Harder Family

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The End of a Season

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 "For everything these is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 
a time to be born, and a time to die; 
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 
a time to kill, and a time to heal; 
a time to break down, and a time to build up; 
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; 
a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; 
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
a time to seek, and a time to lose; 
a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
a time to tear, and a time to sew; 
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
a time to love, and a time to hate; 
a time for war, and a time for peace."

We are quickly approaching the end of a season in our lives...our season in Chicago. The past few weeks have been super crazy between finishing up school, packing, visiting friends and making memories, and just living in the present. There have also been a lot of emotions: sadness and tears over friends and leaving our church family, excitement over the future, anticipation of what God has in store for our lives, apprehension of so many new things, and more. Please pray for our family as we transition to our new lives and have to start all over. Here are some of the fun things we have been doing over the past few weeks!

Easter 2019

Micaela and Joella with their best friends. Micaela has cried many tears over leaving her best friends. It just breaks our heart!

Abigail, Naomi and Grace all dressed up for their Spring Soiree. They spent a month learning etiquette and how to dance. I cannot believe how quickly they are growing up!

Our church family threw us a "See You Later" party on Sunday evening. St Paul's Bible Church is an example of a church like you find in the book of Acts. I have never felt as close, as loved, and vulnerable/open with another group of believers. We truly did life together including meals, praying for one another, sharing our struggles and successes, and just being the body of Christ. We will miss our St. Paul's family so much! (There will be more photos coming up in a week).

Micaela and her friend working hard on one of their last tests for school.

This girl right here, Sammy, is a ray of sunshine! The girls were able to spend a whole day celebrating her recent birthday. They stayed at a hotel for the night and just had fun with their girlfriends. These friendships will last a lifetime! 

Abigail and Grace had their Classical Conversations protocol event a few weeks ago. We will miss our CC group as well! The girls have such good friends in the group and the moms are amazing!

In the midst of all the crazy, I got away for two nights with some of the women I do life with (aka school). We have a homeschool group on Thursdays and I couldn't do school without them. I'm going to miss all these amazing ladies!

We took a field trip to the Pilsen Neighborhood where we ate some amazing Mexican cuisine and visited the National Museum of Mexican Art.

The kids helped us make a list of all the places they wanted to visit one more time. We visited Cantigny Park and the Museum of Science and Industry. On Thursday we will have a field trip to the Peggy Notebart Museum and the Lincoln Park Zoo. 

A few of our kids got to be the volunteers for the science experiments!

Thank you to everyone that continues to lift our family up in prayer! We are so thankful for all of you!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Shan Chen Harder Baptism

Matthew 28:19-20 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

A few years ago, Wayne and I thought that God might be calling us to the mission field. Instead of calling us to overseas missions, God decided to use our home as our mission field. Raising our children to love the Lord was our first mission field, then Wayne's brain cancer became an opportunity to share with others what God had done in our lives, and finally, the adoption of our two sons brought the foreign mission field right to our door. Shan Chen has told us that before we hosted him in America, he had never heard the name Jesus. He wasn't sure who this Jesus was that we kept telling him about, but we would sing Jesus Loves Me every night to him. Later when we returned to America with him as our forever son, we also watched the Jesus Film in Mandarin. Shan Chen looked at me and said, "Oh, that is Jesus! I didn't know who you talked about when I came last year. Now I know! Let's watch it again."

Over the last two years, we have seen Shan Chen not only increase in his knowledge of English and watched him grow scholastically, we have also seen his understanding of Jesus and the Bible grow. A few weeks ago I shared that Shan Chen had come to know Jesus as his Savior. He has been pondering the thought of getting baptized. He decided he wanted to take that step to show others that he loved Jesus and that Jesus had transformed his life. He called our pastor and asked if he could be baptized. So, yesterday at church, Shan Chen was baptized. It was a very emotional morning. It was beautiful to hear his testimony and realize that our obedience to God in adopting Shan Chen, made it possible for him to learn about Jesus, right at home! 

All of us are called to be missionaries right where we are at in life. That may be at the baseball field at your child's sports games, in your home with your children and grandchildren, in your neighborhood, at work, etc. Be faithful to be obedient to God right where you are at...because you never know how God will use it to bring someone to the saving knowledge of Him!