Happiness and Heat

This month has been full of youth camps, visiting family in California and a lot of heat. We had the opportunity to help run a service camp called Love Out Load with about 65 students. We were able to serve the community around us by cleaning up a local garden, repainting a local school and planting new gardens at Churches in the area. We really loved getting to know our students better and worshiping Jesus with them at the end of every day at camp.

In California we were able to celebrate a few birthdays, meet my beautiful baby niece and celebrate my nephew being cancer free! This trip was already a celebration of our 5 year wedding anniversary but we just can’t believe how much celebration we were able to cram into one little trip!  We also had a blast going to the beach, paddle boarding and learning how to play pickle ball. We are so thankful that we were able to make the trip out and felt so refreshed.

Praise Report

  • Blaire got a job as the 6th grade bible teacher at a nearby Christian School that she can’t wait to start next month
  • Chris is settling well in his new position as Student Ministries Director at our Church

Prayer Report

  • Pray that even in this crazy time of pandemic we can make deep connections with the students in our youth group
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Our First Shrimp Boil 

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 Doing some crazy weeding at Love Out Load!

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Chris feeling very confident holding new baby Hayes 

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Got to see Eric in California 

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 Building shelves at a local Church 

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Making a sign for a school

 

Favorite Quotes of the Month: 

“Apart from your grace, we are incapable of living into the fullness of who you have created us to be. This awareness brings with it the burden of shame and guilt. In our humility, we are grateful for the blood of Jesus Christ, which redeems and covers all shame and guilt, and for the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to forgive like you, to love like you, and to see others the way that you see them.”
– Prayer from Cassandra Albert in Be The Bridge by Latasha Morrison

“Holy Spirit, come down (come take)
Holy Spirit, come down (come down)
Holy Spirit, help now (way down)
Holy Spirit, help now (uh, uh)
Holy Spirit, come down
Holy Spirit, come down (ayy)
Holy Spirit, help now (come down)
Holy Spirit, help now (yeah)”
– Wash us in the Blood: Kanye West

 

Settling in Winston-Salem

As we step into this new chapter of our lives the common theme that keeps up with us is that we can do nothing without the love of Jesus. The love of Jesus has enabled us to see the drastic changes in our career, location and community as exciting opportunities rather than overwhelming hurdles. That love has become even more tangible for us in the midst of doubt and uncertainty. As we move, the relationship we have with our Lord and King Jesus keeps us grounded. We know that without that relationship we would be entirely lost. So, we lean on our cornerstone and His steadfast love.

Our life in Winston-Salem is settling well, as we pour into the youth ministry and new friendships. We have been asked many times if it is difficult to live in a different state then both of our families and the simple answer is; yes. But we have also come to the realization that we are a part of a bigger family. As Christians, we have family in every state and country of this world. We have felt called to the family of believers at Reynolda Church and are so excited for the development of those family connections.

Chris’s testimony starts with a youth leader named Kevin feeling called by God to listen, care and live out the gospel. This man was a support for Chris in some of his darkest moments. If you ask Chris, he will tell you he is the man he is today because of what Christ did through his relationship with Kevin. We want to live out the gospel for these students the way that so many people did for us. We want to reach out to these students with the life changing love of Christ even in the darkest moments. (Especially in the darkest moments.) We want them to experience Christ’s love so honestly that no other experience they have in this life will sway that belief that Jesus loves them.

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First hike in NC with PA friends!!

 

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Blaire’s garden shed 

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Chris creating his man cave 

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Exploring with Louisa 

Praise Report:

We want to welcome a new member of our family, my new sweet baby niece Hayes Grace. She is such an angel and we can’t wait to hold and kiss her soon!

Chris’s mom broke her leg and we are praising Jesus that the healing is going well!

Prayer Report:

Please keep our students in your prayers! That all of the leaders can develop deep friendships and share the love of Christ!

Our Church started gathering this Sunday for the first time since the pandemic started! Please pray for our Church family and Churches across the world!

Favorite Quotes:

“Hell is a state of mind– ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind– is , in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakeable remains.” The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

“Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land who caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.” Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

 

 

Boston in the Fall

This year will be our first fall together with changing leaves. Massachusetts is an amazing place this time of year. Blaire and I finally found time to go to downtown Boston and see part of the incredible history of our country. We walked down the Liberty Trail; “a 2.5 mile path through downtown Boston, that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States.” We got to visit businesses and homes that have been standing for hundreds of years. We feel blessed to live so close to a city with that much history, and we’re thankful for such a great experience. It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful place to study God’s word than Gordon-Conwell… But then you step outside and have to blame Adam and Eve because the temperature could not have been this cold in the Garden of Eden.

We haven’t had a Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania, at my parents house, in four years. Blaire and I have been living and serving in sunny Mexico (thanks to the generosity and love of our entire support family.) During our time across the border we were privileged to spend the holidays with the fantastic Peviani crew, which includes the loving company of the Davis’, Bisant’s, McGuirks, Hillier’s, Holly’s, and so many more deeply kind families! I have missed having a holiday surrounded by childhood memories, but these past few years God has blessed me with a new selfless and caring family. After our delicious turkey dinner in PA my family took out some old home movies (on VHS) of when we were growing up and causing trouble. As we sat in the same house we saw in the old videos, we laughed and we cried. I am so thankful for all the incredible memories we’ve shared as a family and it felt significant to be able to share them with Blaire for the first time. It seems cliché but I was honored to be thankful on Thanksgiving. Thankful for love, support, Blaire, my family, my friends, and for where God has guided us. Thank you to everyone who has helped us make this possible, and know that we’re praying for you.

Favorite quotes right now…

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything.”  ― Timothy J. Keller, The Meaning of Marriage

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.
― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

“I’m Shipping Up To Boston”

Grand Canyon Together

I fell into the habit of tracking the miles of every trip we take. In a way, measuring the experience against the ones we’ve had before it. The hipster would say it’s the miles you put on your soul that really count. Then they’d get back to taking black and white pictures of coffee. We did feel this though. We felt it when we looked out at the Grand Canyon for the first time. We felt it when we stayed with family we haven’t seen in a long time.

The View

In a lot of ways our trip from California to Boston was the end of a journey better counted in years then miles. Of course it’s the beginning of an all new adventure but we’re not there yet. I think tracking my miles has caused me to jump from experience to experience without reflection. I’ve been forgetting to stop every once and awhile to see the view. Ferris Bueller would be so disappointed. I lived in Mexico for over 4 years. I made an eternal commitment to my best friend there. We’ve grown and changed in so many ways. I wonder of the 19 year old kid I was when I left would even recognize me. I wonder if he’d be proud. I think he would. I know he wouldn’t believe that Blaire is actually my wife!

Lobsta!

From Mexico to Massachusetts with all our worldly possessions stuffed in a 4×8 trailer. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks to Blaire’s parents, Alan and Patti, we we’re able to thrive in this transition. I can’t thank them enough! I’m also proud to report my “backflip in every state” has extended to 35, with only my left knee being completely destroyed! Please pray for it 🙂

Backflip State #34

Favorite quotes right now…

“A river without banks is a large puddle.” – Mike Dunlap & Ken Blanchard

“Sometimes the teacher is silent during the test.” – Church sign in Jenners, PA

 

 

The Road Ahead

Looking back! Blaire and I come to the end of a season with great memories to look back on and new adventures to look forward to. We’ve spent over four years living in Mexico. I am reminded of the man I was when I first showed up. I was single, beardless, and searching for God’s purpose for my life. Four years can change a lot. I’m proud to say my seventeenth beard hair came in last week! Even more importantly, I successfully convinced the highest quality woman on planet earth, to marry me. I can still remember pretending I let her win when she smoked me at ping pong. Little did I know, God would speak His plan for me through this woman. We talked long distance on the phone while I worked as a camp counselor in Pennsylvania. One night she told me about an amazing opportunity to partner our bible school experience with a seminary in Boston. Throughout this time Blaire and I would pray for my brother Eric. It’s interesting to look back on how all the pieces fit together. We’re leaving for Boston and now He’s leaving for outreach but before then we were able build my last house in Mexico together. 

Looking up and out! We’ve learned that things look up when we do. God will always be faithful. He has continually surrounded us with such loving friends and family. Only with the prayer and support of our partners have we been able to work with so many ministries. Together we were able to help build around 35 homes for the poor with the Homes of Hope ministry. We have seen 30 students from 9 different countries graduate from the School of Biblical Studies. We have been able to teach the bible in churches all across Mexico with the Titus Project ministry. In just four years we’ve been able to serve in worship, the preschool, with the youth, the local prisons and hospitals, and we’ve had so many other humbling opportunities. We cannot say thank you enough for every single person praying for us and partnering with us. It has drastically changed our lives and we hope that we were able to change lives in Mexico as well.

Looking forward! We have never been so excited to take the next step in ministry! We feel God calling us to train for something big. I have been selected to partner and grow at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. We have a vision to impact the local and global community with God’s word. Our time of getting equipt at Gordon-Conwell will prepare us for the most exciting opportunities to work and serve. We’ll need the prayer and support of so many but really we want to thank everyone for showing us God’s faithfulness every step of the way!

 

Favorite quotes right now…

And now you’re my whole life; Now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you, girl
We’ll look back someday, at this moment that we’re in
And I’ll look at you and say
And I thought I loved you then; And I thought I loved you then

– Brad Paisley

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8b

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10,730 Miles and Counting

We’ve gone 5,970 miles on the ground (that’s 109 hours in the car) and 4,760 miles in the air. We’ve stayed in 14 different housings in 7 different states (and 2 countries)… in just 52 days. Thank you every single person who lifts us up in prayer, support, and friendship! We couldn’t move without you.

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Our time in Pennsylvania was filled with the best friends and family we could’ve ever asked for. We even got to celebrate our 1st year of marriage in a beautiful place away from home but home together!

   Montana was unbelievable! The TWO DAY van ride (one way) was… fun, but the amazing relationships and teachings were even better. It was an honor to help represent our base at the North American Hub of Biblical Studies.

Finally our trip to Bend, Oregon! What an amazing place to see both a friend’s family and a friend who feels like family.  If we learned anything from our near 11,000 miles on the road this summer it’s that relationship is the main point! It’s what God wants FROM us and it’s what he wants FOR us.

14117682_10154306369605638_5322733539260388208_nIMG_0102Favorite quotes right now…

“You can’t go on explaining away forever: If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To ‘see through’ all things is the same as not to see.” – C.S. Lewis

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. – Romans 12:9-10

Another Year Closer to Death

This year my birthday was particularly… growing. A couple people asked me if I felt any older and I think for the first time in my life I really do. Married at 22 with an apartment in Mexico and an income made up entirely of support. This undoubtedly grows my faith but as my faith grows my responsibility grows with it.

How do I provide for my family? How do I glorify God in everything? How do I live?

Blaire and I were teaching in Ensenada, Mexico on my birthday. We didn’t have very much money but we still felt God wanted us to celebrate. So we went and even agreed to pay for my friend who has the same birthday as I do. As we walked to the car I looked at the ground and saw something buried in the dirt. I bent down and picked up a dusty 500 peso bill (about 30$). At that moment I felt like God was speaking to me. He reminded me that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and the assurance of things unseen” Heb 1:1. It’s about trust. He also reminded me that He was our provider, even if He had to pull it out of the dust! The money covered every expense we had to the penny! HE IS GOOD!

So here’s the way I see this christian life thing.

The older I get the more responsibility God gives me. But it’s a responsibility to trust Him. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Prov 3:5. To be obedient to His sovereign voice no matter what. So we learn to die to ourselves, and Christ lives in us. John says “He must increase but I must decrease.” John 3:30. Even as Paul is chained in a jail cell he says that “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Phil 1:21. We die to ourselves and have eternal life in Christ. This, in my opinion, is our only hope of true peace. Jesus knew the world would reject him and those that followed after him. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. This is the good news of the gospel, and the only hope we have.

…And this is us praying over the city of Ensenada and camping with friends!

 

 

From This Day Forward

From this day forward is a serious thing to say. A commitment like that requires a little more than trust and affection for another person. It requires faith. I’ve never met anyone like Blaire who completely amazes me and amazingly completes me all at the same time. She is hands down my bestfriend, beyond beautiful, and my better judgment but the glue that hold our hearts together is so much stronger than anything this world has to offer. Jesus is the third strand that makes tying the knot effortless and eternal. We got married young and quite literally penniless but because our hope is in Him, the road ahead will always bright and better together.

The road ahead

 Just in case you missed the big day let me just tell you the Peviani’s sure know how to throw a party in style. By God’s grace and the work of my new and amazing in-laws, the wedding was provided for and planned to perfection! Shout out to the maid-of-honor (Brittany McGuirk) for making everything so stunning, the Best man (Tony Colangelo) for an… unforgettable speech, and my family for driving all the way from Pennsylvania!Full wedding photo

The honeymoon was breathtaking! Costa Rican jungle overlooking the ocean! But as usual its the glory of God that triumphs over everything! As divine as Costa Rica was eventually we had to leave. Unfortunately I booked our flights out of San Jose California (not San Jose Costa Rica)…! We had no money or cell phone service! So we prayed and sent an email to Blaire’s mom. She contacted the airline and even prayed with the woman on the phone from the airline (a believer too). I originally payed 250$ for both flights when the flights should have been 1400$ all together. When we all was said and done they changed our flight for nothing but taxes (90$) the total came to 350$ for 1400$ tickets!!! Glory to God!

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Pennsylvania! And to the ends of the earth!

Blaire and I have had a busy and exciting past couple months!

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We were able to fly out and visit my family in Pennsylvania.

The weather outside was…  weather!

And Blaire got to build her first snowman!… luckily for the frostbitten residents of Pennsylvania he melted shortly after.

R.I.P.

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We also got to do some exploring!

But you know what… this picture might be from last year…?

Either way it was fun times in Pennsylvania!

Acts

 When we returned to the base in Mexico we were blessed to teach in the Bible school we staff at.

Blaire taught the gospel of Luke and I taught the book of Acts (as seen above)!

…now that I think about it, that picture was from last year.

Blessings

A Holiday of Lights

The lights of Christmas

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Santa

 

 

 

Blarie even got to meet Santa Claus!

Unfortunately he came as soon as I stepped outside:)…

maybe i’ll meet him next year!

 

 

 

 

 

We got to see the lights of Disneyland for Blaire’s Birthday!

…and most importantly I offered something shiny to the one who brightens up my life…

Lights Proposaland she said yes!!!