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January 6, 2002

Greetings, dear Shannon!

The Lord has blessed me with great joy as I begin my series of Sunday epistles to my dear daughter. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily, and I would like to write to you daily prayers and letters, but weekly notes will have to suffice for now. I can't write master- pieces of doctrine as Paul did, but like Paul, the Holy Spirit has inspired me to reach out through letters to loved ones. I write daily letters of prayer and Scripture to Jason, Ryan, and Ana and my adopted children Tedd, Hon, and Matthias. You are always in these prayers. For now though, my letters to you are just to express my love for you and to let you know how your mother and brothers have made Christ the focus of all we think, say, and do so you can see how the Lord is working in the lives of your family.

Ryan, Jason, Jason's wife Ana, and I all live in our family home on Third Street, NE in "extended family" style. In addition to Jason, Ana, Ryan, and me, three boarders live in the house, but our real "extended family" is the 300-member congregation of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, which is modeled after the early churches described in the New Testament. In love, we have practiced church discipline and have excluded from membership those who persist in un-confessed and un-repentant sin, such as adulterers and homosexuals. Although we all assemble together on Sunday mornings for worship, we all have individual and family devotions and small group Bible studies in our homes.

Our homes and all we own are dedicated to serving and glorifying the Lord. Shannon, please consider the possibility of you and members of your new family living on the farm in Lockhart and using this as a center for your ministries. No one has lived in Uncle Gilbert's house since he died, and Claudia has offered it to you. We would help support you if you feel called to establish a ministry there. Please pray about this possibility.

In the meantime, please consider stopping by to visit us on Capitol Hill if ever you are in the Washington, DC area. Our home is always open to you and the other sisters and brothers, and we respect your missionary calling. Most of all: we love you!!!

We are active in many ministries and would love to support you and your work for the Lord and His people. You always reminded me of a Mother Theresa who has so much to love to pour out on the lost and needy. Your extraordinary gift of music (including song writing) can be used in such a powerful way. I am more of an academic type, but the Lord has used even me to support His missionaries who spread the Word through their witness and work on the streets of the world and wherever they find people in need of love and the Good News. My work with international students provides wonderful opportunities for reaching out to unbelievers. I always wear a cross necklace, and this instantly leads to conversations about Christ.


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