Sunday, May 29, 2011

Large and in Charge!


Pete and I wrapped up our Spring/Summer sessions yesterday in Johnson City, TN!
As you can see, I am well with child (36 weeks)! After I edit and send these photos on their way, I will be done with work until the time is right following baby boy's birth. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we transition into this wonderful new phase of life.
With love and anticipation,
Kassie

Pete and Some Skills!



One of Pete's latest projects.
Amazing, in my opinion, just beautiful work.
He is in the process of building his parents a chicken coop and has a couple other fixer-upper projects on the side currently. We're looking to gain some more projects, so let us know if you need anything built, fixed or beautified!

A-ville Shower




Some of our dear Asheville friends threw us a baby shower! We received such wonderful items, and were just so blessed to be surrounded by people who love and support us. And they happen to all be very good looking- aren't they? Anyways, thank you to these sweet folks. We were so grateful that both Pete's parents and my mom and sister were all able to join us. What a wonderful celebration.

ATL Shower






Thanks to Momma Allen, we were able to celebrate the anticipation of baby boy Morton with our wonderful family and friends in the Atlanta area. She, along with other very willing helpers, hosted a shower for us at our home church: Town Center Community in Marietta. We had a really great time, and it was such a blessing for us and our growing family.

Consider.

This is our latest letter to our prayer/support team. Wanted to fill you in...


To Our Dear Support Team,

Kassie usually sends out these letters in much more poetic prose than I am capable of, but this month I am taking the opportunity to write you all. I apologize if this is a little more lengthy than usual.
Three years ago, in May 2008, Kassie and I committed to the process of planting a church here in Asheville. Soon after many of you came on board with us through your prayers and finances. As you have probably inferred from some of Kassie’s last reports, we have been going through some painful, but necessary transitions. The short story is that key members of our team have had to move on from the project. We are fortunate that these transitions have been full of the grace of God and that relationships are still in tact. In conjunction with these significant transitions in our core community, we have also lost significant financial backing for our work. The end result is that Kassie and I have to create a new strategy for continuing our ministry here in Asheville.
We have three primary next steps: get healthy, maintain the relationships we have with our seeking community, and establish a more substantial bi-vocational career that will pay our salary and still give us time to minister in Asheville. Kassie and I are currently entering a season where we will take the next year to have our baby, begin a new career for Pete, rest in an established congregation, and continue to invest in the lives of our seeking friends. We will not currently be leading a church planting team, but will be building for another attempt in the future. This plan has the support of our management team and Stadia, our planting organization.
We are writing to ask for your continued prayer and financial support over this next year as we follow the Lord in reshaping our ministry path here in Asheville. Your prayers will be vital in helping us apply learnings from this experience to our continued life of ministry. Your financial support will allow us to maintain our insurance and have a very small stipend, while Pete takes on construction projects and begins night school for EMS training. Your support will help Kassie and I continue to invest in the lives of people who need Jesus here in Asheville as we work towards seeing a new church formed in this city.
We are hoping to establish a monthly minimum of $1000 to allow us to maintain our insurance and have some resources to continue to give time and energy to our community. If those of you who are currently giving monthly are willing and able to maintain your contributions, we will continue to receive approximately $900 a month. We are asking that you please consider continuing consistent giving. For those of you who have blessed us with intermittent gifts, we are so grateful, and would ask that you would consider making a small monthly commitment to help us bridge this gap to our monthly goal.
I will close by simply saying “thank you, thank you, thank you.” We could never express what you have meant to us in this journey. Not just your finances, but your prayers and words of encouragement have propelled us onward in many challenging times. We are hopeful that you will continue to provide us with the same encouragement as we move forward in the Lord’s work here in Asheville.

Love,
Pete, Kassie, and Baby

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

31


At our baby shower in Asheville! As of right now, we are at 31 weeks and counting!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Whistler






Here he is. Whistler. The name originally came to mind because he sort of whistles when he whimpers, and it stuck because of our fondness for mountains! Whistler showed up in our yard after following our neighbors home for a block or so. He only had a metal choke collar on- no tags. We quickly took him to our vet to see if he had a microchip in hopes to reunite him with his owner. No such luck. The vet guessed he is between 2 and 3 years old and is some sort of hound mix. (That can be said of most stray dogs in western North Carolina!) I just love his curly, hound tail.

We've had Whistler for a couple of weeks now. No, we are not keeping him, but have been trying to decide how to find this regal, athletic canine a home. After taking him to the shelter to fill out a "found dog" report and putting him up on two other "lost animal" websites, his owner has yet to find/claim him. We are, however, happy to have registered him with Brother Wolf Animal Rescue here in Asheville. In fact, it is located just a few roads away from us. It is an amazing non-profit organization committed to creating a no-kill community. Brother Wolf adopted out almost 2,000 animals last year- more than the Buncombe county's animal shelter. That is amazing, and we respect them so much for their work.

If their adoption rate holds, Whistler will only be in our home for another week or so. Then a space will open up for him to join the pack at the shelter until he is found by his "forever" home.

Just wanted to share his sweet face with you.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Love on the Wild Side


Searching for a wild and unexpected Valentine's gift? Please consider "adopting" a red fox for your foxy lady... or perhaps a cougar for your, well, you get the point. The WNC Nature Center provides for the rehabilitation and continued care towards many important creatures of our area.
Among the many animals you can "adopt":
Grey Wolf, Red Wold, White tailed deer, Coyote, Bobcat, River Otter, Great Horned Owl, and the list goes on!

Nothing says "I love you" like supporting the survival of Turkey Vultures! And no, this is not a joke.

http://www.wildwnc.org/friends/adopt/adopt-an-animal-program

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Frankie

Hello all,

Kassie here.
I have had the privilege of volunteering at a local crisis ministry for the past 10 months. I help in the soup kitchen that helps feed 90 or so individuals in need, per day, in our area. Several of us began volunteering around the same time, and we quickly became the infamous "Wednesday Crew". We all just had a great connection, though we were an unlikely group of folks to be together. Among the crew was my buddy Frankie Palmer. We worked side-by-side assembling sandwiches, gathering groceries and stirring soup. Many days we would spend our time talking about the Lord- how good He is to us, and how much He has transformed us. Our crew worked hard, laughed hard and served one another gladly.

Frankie was a convicted felon. He was still in prison, but worked every day at the ministry through a prison work program as he was nearing the end of his 20-year sentence. I hate telling that to people. I know it is a huge part of his life, but I don't want to define him solely through the mistakes he has made. Ultimately, he is a soul sought out and redeemed by our good Lord. He wouldn't say he was a pastor, but he exercised many pastoral gifts in and out of jail. You couldn't be around him without hearing about the grace he has received from our Heavenly Father. You would also hear him humming old hymns, and almost always updating us on his beautiful fiancée whom he was giddy over and planned to marry within a few weeks of being released.

Every day after work, he would say, "Be good now." And I would chuckle at the irony, shake my head and respond, "I will. I will. See you next week." Last week, I received a phone call telling me that Frankie had suffered from a heart attack and died in his sleep. He had been out of prison for just over two weeks.

I have dealt with a lot of mixed emotions: Grief, of course, as I miss him and his humor... sadness of the timing of it all, and pain that his loving fiancée is left to a life on earth without him. And then there is incommunicable joy that Frankie has finally been released from the sin of this world and has been brought into ultimate freedom.

I have included a short video clip produced by Biltmore Baptist, the local church community that accepted, loved and mentored Frankie. Through it, you will meet Frankie and hear a bit of his testimony. It is my hope in sharing this that you will hear peace, gratitude and wisdom in his voice. It is also my hope that you will be encouraged by how far the Lord goes to reach the seemingly "unreachable" people in this world. Frankie has helped me change my perception of convicted criminals, but mainly, he has helped me see an even greater, more graceful God than I have understood.

Frankie's Story:
http://vimeo.com/groups/churchmediahub/videos/18759395