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Family Ministry I am the oldest of seven children. When I was nine, we started traveling on deputation as a family. I remember when we started the church and all the homes we visited! Over the years as the church has grown, the Lord has taught me much on forgiveness and trust and dependence on Him. I remember when we prayed for a church building and saw the Lord provide. It has been a growing time for our whole family, and I would not trade the hard times for anything! We have seen the Lord provide in so many ways. I am thankful my parents took the time to point out the different areas where God had provided. We knew no one when we moved into town, so we really drew close as a family. That was the best thing that could have happened. We have had people come and show interest. We have poured time and emotional energy into them. Many times we saw spiritual growth but were saddened to see them leave. My parents were quick to encourage us by saying that “When a builder builds a structure, he uses scaffolding to build it to a point, but once the project is finished, the scaffolding has to be taken down.” The same is true for people. Sometimes the Lord will bring them into our lives to help them and us reach new levels, and then He will move them on to other places. We learned that in order for the Lord to use us in the greatest capacity, we must be willing to let God lead them in the way He wants them to go. One of the things the Lord has always done is send another family to encourage us in those hard times. He seems to send blessings most of the time in the shape of a friendly face or smile. For example, we have been blessed with the opportunity to serve together in our local veterans’ home by bringing a church service to those who are not able to attend their own churches. It is always refreshing to see their smiling faces, to hear the stories of what they have gone through for our freedom, and to see their joy and love for Christ. I have enjoyed working and serving alongside my parents, and the Lord has used difficult times when it was just our family to develop a desire to serve Him. Seeing the good times and bad has given me a look at life from a broader perspective. I have seen that we will have hard times and rather than focusing on the bad, we choose to look back on the good times and then forward to what the Lord has in store for the future. — Kendra Caldwell