Christmas Letter 2012

My eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.  Luke 2:30-32 (ESV)

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.  James 4:8 (ESV)

Merry Christmas!

God has been good to us in 2012.  My mom made her annual journey to help celebrate Zoe turning the big ONE.  We became pregnant, visited Hawaii, and saw my sister get married (though not all at once).  We started attending Songtan Central Baptist Church, and still do a family Bible study in the afternoon.

I turned 31 this year, acquiring only gray hairs in exchange for the red/brown hair that disappears along my hairline.  (At least my beard is still red and doesn’t seem to be going bald.  Yet.)  I am still working in maintenance and logistics for an aviation intelligence unit here in Korea.  My work centers so much around soldiers that sometimes it feels like I’m still in the Army, although without the PT and uniforms.  Since my position is largely continuity (due to 70% annual turnover), the biggest challenge is finding the middle ground between doing all the work and merely supervising.  That and trying to persuade the Army from freaking out every time Lil’ Kim up north rattles his saber.

Jisu is 32 and a stay-at-home mom.  She maintains close friendship with our next-door neighbor, studying the Bible together and letting our children play together.  She’s about fourteen months pregnant, judging from the size of her belly.  She is due to give birth on January 19, the day after Zoe celebrates her second birthday, though I suspect we will meet #2 (another girl!) before that time.  And it couldn’t be better timing, since only recently have we figured out how to find free time with one child.

Zoe is twenty-three months old, and is an absolute sweetheart.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that she entered the world and changed our lives.  She is growing by leaps and bounds in just about every area.  Physically, she is tall for her age, but not in weight.  She loves people, and more importantly, loves her family.  She has a spoken vocabulary of maybe a hundred various Korean and English words (at least ones we understand), and can recognize about half of those in written form.  She can count to ten in English and five in Korean.  She loves physical activity, being swung around and flipped over, and out on the playground loves the swings, shouting “Higher!” as soon as she sits down.  She protests when we pray without including her, and demands infinite singings of Twinkle, Twinkle every night.  This month, she started going to day care (conveniently on the first floor of our apartment building), which has given Jisu some much-needed rest.

Our lives are rich because of Him who made us.  In times of plenty and in times of want, God’s grace and love abounds.  This is all too evident in the work of his Son, whose birth we celebrate this Christmas, and in the gift of the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us.  Charles Spurgeon once said, “That man is truly happy who can say of all his substances, be it little or be it much, ‘The Lord gave it to me.’”  We are made in his likeness, and that is enough for me.  May the Lord bless you and your family this Christmas season.

Love, Erich, Jisu, and Zoe Oelschlegelhawaii 2012

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