The Redden family has been enjoying a great summer and staying busy as usual. We’ve had our share of hot days, but after talking with friends and family back in the south we quickly count our blessings! As usual we haven’t stayed still for long, with a few trips to see Kate’s family at Willow Creek Ranch in Wyoming and a big trip east (Kate and the boys to North Carolina to visit her aunt and grandmother, meeting Stephen in Nashville to see his parents, and then a drive to Atlanta to visit friends) beginning this week.
Ethan wrapped up soccer season in May and rolled right into tee ball. This has been a great season for him as his coordination has really started to come together, and he has made so much progress in hitting, fielding, and throwing. He also finished his time at St. John’s Lutheran School’s early learning center program and will be starting kindergarten next month. He’s very excited to go to the “big guys school,” Steele Elementary, in our neighborhood and is as eager as ever to meet new friends. He’s still our little extrovert!
Andrew finally got his wish to get off the sidelines and into the game, playing t-ball this summer – his first organized sports team. Despite the occasional inning that he’d rather sit in mom’s lap and drink Gatorade than play, he’s done great. He’s also still attending St. John’s Lutheran School’s pre-school program two half days a week, and we’ve seen a significant drop in the number of tantrums at drop off over the last few months! Maybe he’s finally getting used to going to school! Andrew continues to grow, and we enjoy seeing his personality emerge more and more each day. He becomes more and more independent each day, but Kate is grateful that for now he’s still mama’s little boy!
This has also been a great summer to continue cultivating friendships with neighbors and friends here in Denver. Stephen bought a smoker and has been doing his best to teach our neighbors that barbecue is a noun and not a verb! We’ve hosted a couple cookouts at our house, including having most of our neighborhood and most of New Denver Church over after our worship service on July 4th. Kate has also continued developing friendships with some of the women on our block. Deep friendships take time and effort to cultivate, but we’re encouraged by the people God has planted in our lives.
Stephen learned that you should never volunteer to “co-coach” kids’ sports, because when no one else volunteers that makes you the coach! That’s the situation he found himself in this summer when he volunteered to help with both the boys’ t-ball teams, and no one else volunteered. Keeping up with practice and game schedules for two teams has been a challenge, but with two active boys that doesn’t seem to be getting any easier in the years to come!
We continue to be encouraged by the growth of the ministry of New Denver Church. Our congregation is still relatively small, but we are encouraged to see God clearly working in our midst. We continue to see a steady stream of new people every week, and we continue to add to our small community week by week. Most encouraging to us have been those we’ve befriended here in Denver who are far from God who are taking steps in their journey of faith. Starting a church is also not without its disappointments. We have seen several couples come to New Denver and leave within a few weeks or months, explaining that it just wasn’t a fit or that they hadn’t found something they were looking for. But in every case God has been faithful to bring encouragement and reminders to be faithful to the mission and vision that he called us to.
We are so grateful for all of you who read these updates and pray for our family and for everyone at New Denver Church. The work that we are doing here is bigger than we could ever have imagined, and we continue to find that in every way, God is bigger still. Thank you for all your prayers.