We praise the Lord for His wonderful guidance in our lives. The year 2008 was a year of miracles. Our God who is so powerful and mighty always takes care of His children. Even though the circumstances may not the way we would have choses, we know that our God is running our lives; molding and shaping us for His use.
In September of 2007, God provided Michael a job outside of the church to help support our family as well as be the Shepherd of Lighthouse Baptist Church. One Sunday morning in October of 2007, God miraculously led a Christian young couple who we did not know to one of our church services during their vacation. During the service, another visiting unsaved man walked the isle to be saved. This Christian man was able to lead this visiting man to the Lord. After having the Christian young couple in our home for lunch, we both realized that God had formed an unusual bond. Michael continued to work. Daily we prayed for wisdom for what God would want us to do. One particular evening, my husband came home with some good news; the company that had hired him had raised his pay to $3.00 more an hour. Thirty minutes after we talked, the phone rang. On the phone was the Pastor of this young Christian family who had visited our church with news we could have never thought possible. This young couple’s church as well as two other churches would support us financially for the entire year of 2008 enabling my husband to quit his secular job and be the full time shepherd again. Never would we have been able to orchestrate such an event on our own.
One day in the fall we were enjoying a relaxing afternoon. The children were playing outside on the trampoline and the tire swing. Michael and I were sitting in the living room reading. The wind was blowing, but we did not think anything of it. All of the sudden, my husband yelled, leaped out of his chair, and ran out the door in a panic. I glanced out the window; the trampoline was no longer in the yard. Not knowing what had happened, my heart pounding, I ran out right behind him. Autumn ran screaming into my husband’s arms followed by the rest of the children.
Just minutes before, the children had gotten off the trampoline. Autumn had been sitting on the ground just in front of the trampoline; the others were on the swing. A large gust of wind came and picked up the trampoline and headed right towards Autumn’s head. The rubber on the netting of the trampoline grazed her head by millimeters. It flew over the yard, hit the house, and landed behind the house upside down. Again, God protected us.
In October, I was driving south 83 in our 15 passenger van with my 8 children, when I got off the road and hit a utility pole, a culvert and flipped our van. Autumn and I were injured the most. She lost two fingers of her right hand and part of her hand; and I broke my nose, separated a shoulder, and broke some ribs. The rest of the children received bruises, black eyes, and small abrasions. We are grateful that God in his mercy miraculously spared us.
I am homeschooling 5 of our children. I truly enjoy the opportunity this has afforded me to get to know each of my children on a more intimate basis as we seek to teach a deep love for Christ as well as the academics.
Joshua is 13 and in the 8th grade. He loves to play his violin in the church orchestra. He is very good at designing on the computer and putting PowerPoint presentations together. He is becoming a real asset to our ministry.
Autumn is 12 and is in the 6th grade. She plays the violin and enjoys playing the piano as well. She is truly a wonderful help with all my daily tasks. She is developing a love for the Lord and is learning what it means to have a complete trust in the Lord.
Melody is 10 and in the 5th grade. Since the accident, she has become a special helper with Mercy. Changing, feeding, and dressing her, Melody does all this with joy. She loves to draw and is very creative.
Carissa is 9 and in the 4th and 5th grade. She is always laughing or giggling about something. She is learning the piano. Writing comes easy to her, which is probably why she loves keeping diaries.
Timothy is 7 and in the 2nd grade. Running playing, jumping moving is what he is constantly doing. It is a joy to raise another boy to serve the Lord. He can be very serious minded and loves to sing loudly. He seems to be exceptionally good at math.
Stephen is five. He loves his trains. He seems to be very creative in drawing loves building things with his block and Joshua’s erector sets. He loves his baby sister. Stephen is always coming up with something funny to say to keep us laughing,
Serenity is 3 and loves to keep up with everything the rest of the children are doing. She and Stephen are best friends!
Mercy is 16 months. She talks…in her own language! Walking around with a doll under one arm is not unusual to see. Everyone wants to hold her or play with her. She is definably not lonely.
We had a good year serving the Lord in our church and in community. Revival, bible conference, the war, bible school, ladies retreat, teen outreach, picnics, fireman’s festival parade, Easter, Christmas Eve, our annual Hot dog roast and many more activates kept us busy. One of the highlights this summer was being able to run an evening Bible school and war with the help of a church in Illinois. The Lord was good to us that week giving us many teen and children. One lady, who received our Bible school flyer, is still coming faithfully and is currently being discipled.
We are looking forward to the year 2009. Already, last Sunday the Lord brought 5 new families to our service. We do not know what the future holds for the De Leon family, but we do know our God is good and ready to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever ask or think!
God reached down in love and rescued Cassandra from her sin at the age of 21: changing her life, purpose, and focus forever.