Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Good Samaritan Ministry "Points Of Light"

On Tuesday, Dec. 8th, Dan was invited to have a table at Good Samaritan Network's Points of Light Celebration/Expo.

The display was advertising the work that is being done at Gadsden ReEntry, where Dan works.
They are always in need of volunteers and mentors for the guys, who have 3 years or less left on their prison sentence! And all the inmates being released from GRC will be released in the panhandle, many in our communities! We want them to come back with the tools and resources to live a successful life and even more important, that they will know the love of God!!
 It was eye opening and so encouraging to me how many ministries there are in the Tallahassee area that are focused on helping former inmates or those with addictions, to succeed!!

Dan with his table of information about GRC.

Dan was so thrilled to have two of the men who he served at Gadsden Reentry, show up! It's so rewarding to him to see guys who are being successful on the "outside"!! :)

The kids waiting for the program to start! :)

 Kenny Munds, a former drug addict, was the entertainment before the program started! :)
Click on his name for the link to read about his ministry, if you have the time!

 Glenn & Beth Burns, founders of GSN, sharing!
What a blessing they have been to so many people! I don't even know them well, but from things that were shared that night, I know that they are very selfless, giving people who love the Lord and people!!

 Glenn and some of the banquet team leaders, read off short testimonies from different vendors, and then those vendors came forward holding a flashlight. They were the "Points of Light" that were recognized for their work in the community!

The 3 young men, center right in the picture below, went to Walmart and paid for people's groceries! What a blessing they were to so many!  It may seem like a small thing, but the impact can be life changing for people who are struggling!

The man in the wheelchair on the right, beside Dan.....well, here's his story....

This is Issac, a program participant of the Good Samaritan Network.
Two weeks ago he was about to be released from prison as a partially paralyzed, 60 something
 year old ex-felon with no where to live. With no support and no hope he had saved up his meds and his plan was to take his own life as soon as he was released.
Because of the grace of God and a few caring people at the Florida Department of Corrections, our local Circuit Director of Parole and Probation and a community of people in the Tallahassee area, today Issac was one of those giving praise and testimony (and playing a pretty mean keyboard, for a man who could barely move his left hand two weeks ago) at our 1st Sunday Woodville Outreach.
"All Glory be to God"!!!!

It's just so exciting and encouraging meeting all these people, from all walks of life, who have a heart for the hurting in the Tallahassee community! 

I don't know where God is leading our family, but it looks like ministering to those who are incarcerated and those who have been released is going to continue.....and we pray that it will continue in mighty ways!! We are His vessels for His service to spread His love and Hope!! :)

As Glen Burns said "Where God guides, He provides"! We are trusting Him for that!

After the event, we stopped at Krispy Kreme for some "Hot Now" donuts! :)

The lady was so kind and piled our box with more than a dozen donuts!! :) More like a dozen and a half!! And they were GOOD!! :)

Prison Ministry and Company!

In my previous post I said we had less then 24 hours after we got home from Thanksgiving vacation to prepare for company!

So, Tuesday afternoon, our old friends from PA, Trulan and Darlene Martin and their 8 kids (and nanny, Krista) came. They came to participate in the Gospel Express Prison Crusade here in North Florida. Trulan and Darlene and their 3 oldest girls were one of the singing teams!
Normally, the people who come stay in motels in Marianna, but since Trulan's were bringing all their kids, they asked if they could stay at our house so the children would not have to be cooped up in a motel all week/weekend!
 After some searching, we found two people who let us borrow their campers so we would have sleeping space for 11 extra people!! :)

They arrived Tuesday afternoon, in time for supper. We were able to sit and visit and get caught up on the past 4 years since we last saw them! Well, I say Darlene once in that time, during a brief visit to PA! :)

The last time they were here, in 2011, Mitchell (on the left) was a baby. Since then, they had twins who are now 2, and they just had a baby in August!

Mitchell and Aubrey

Selfie with Aubrey! :)

Wednesday evening was the Crusade Orientation at our church. I took a few pics for ministry purposes.....
People came from all over the US and from Canada to participate in taking the gospel to the North FL prisons!!

After supper, they had orientation and a worship service!

The rest of my week was filled with babysitting! :)
It was very different having 5 little lively kids in our house all day for 5 whole days!! 

Mitchell (4), Laurie (8), Zachary & Aubrey (2) and Tamara :)

Krista, their nanny, did a great job of keeping the 4 older ones entertained. I got the job of caring for Gabriel, their 3 month old. He was a pleasant baby and it wasn't hard to get him down for naps! :)

Don't let the poochy lip fool you! He loved me! :) :) :)

Mitchell was a good Uno player! "Just one more game" he'd say! :)

"Let's take a picture", when he'd see my tablet. :) So we took some "selfies"! :)

In the midst of all this (On Thursday, Dec. 3) Danny had a birthday! My little boy turned 17!!

We were not able to properly celebrate his day since Dan was gone ALL day and Danny ended up hanging out with friends in the evening. He wasn't even home to eat his birthday {jello} cake!!
 (He got some later)

We got him a tool set and a creeper (not pictured) for working on cars!
Mechanics is his passion and he can hardly wait to start at Chipola next year! :) 

Friday night, we invited another couple over for the evening, Jason & Kary Martin, who were part of Good News when Dan sang with them. They also lived in PA, but have since moved to OH.
They also brought some friends along. We had about 30 people here for a campfire and of course they broke out the instruments! At one point, our porch was packed FULL of people pickin' and singing!! :) Glad the porch held them all! :)

The ladies did some visiting inside! :)

Saturday evening we all went to the Blountstown Christmas parade....

Danny Ryals Christmas Bus!!
The parade wouldn't be the same without it! :)

From there, we took 3 of the older girls with us to the Pioneer Settlement Christmas event!

Found Brooklyn & Courtney Falb warming themselves by the fire in the Yon House! :)

My friend, June Clemmons, was giving tours of the Yon House!

Our church sings Christmas carols on the porch of the Yon House every year.
We were waiting for others to show up....

Laurie, Tamara, Sarah and Callie

We ate some of Ms. Lawanna's cracklin bread and stew and I had to get a picture with her to send to our friend Jill Smith, who moved to IN. We both miss her!!

The girls listened to a story read by Ms. Amy! :) She is an enthusiastic reader, by the way! :)

Sunday morning snack time. I stayed home from church with Krista and the 5 youngest children while Trulan's shared in the last prison program for the weekend!

Trulan's spent the afternoon and early evening at the beach. 

These two! Cute, nixy, and intense, in all they do! :) :)

Playing with a birthday or Christmas gift we gave Danny when he was 1!! 16 years ago..... :O

Mitchell had a long day and couldn't make it to the bed! :)

Our company left Monday morning!
I so enjoyed visiting with them, but was equally ready to get back to our normal routine and quiet house after being with people almost 2 weeks straight!! :)

So thankful for good friends and memories made!!

Thanksgiving Vacation 2015

November 25th, we left for the first family vacation we've had in over 3 years!! I have been to PA a few times without Dan and he and I went to TN this summer with my family, but without our kids. It's been awhile since we ALL took a vacation together!

We traveled to SC and spent the Thanksgiving weekend with Dan's family! His brother and family flew down from IN and both his sisters and parents live in SC. 

We had a lovely day, on Wednesday, to travel! Beautiful skies and pleasant temperatures!

We were all together for brunch and an early supper on Thanksgiving Day!

Grandma bought a disposable tablecloth that the kids could color....or adults, too! :)

Esther helps Sophia hold the newest member of  the family, Miriam's little Lily!

It was so nice out, so we set up a table and chairs and played games outside all afternoon!

Since we won't be together for Christmas, we exchanged a few gifts Thanksgiving evening.

4 redhead cousins.....Tamara, Kenan, Sophia and Mara! :)

Sophia and Mara 

Friday morning Tim took Danny out hunting.
 The rest of us spent the day at Dan's parents, working on projects outside!

Raking leaves was a big part of the project!

The granddaughters had fun playing in the piles and getting rides on Grandpa's trailer! :)

Feeding the chickens....

There was time for wagon rides....

and even rides while we worked! :)

Saturday, Tim cooked a pig and invited our family, his family, and some of their good friends!

While the pig was cooking, our kids were target shooting. This was Tamara's first time and she actually liked it and was a very good aim!! :)

At supper time, the back yard was full of family and friends! Lots of good food and games. 


The evening ended with watching football! :D

Sunday was our last full day to be together and we spent a good part of it at Grandpa's house!
Mara and Jayde were watching short video clips with me. Kept them entertained for awhile! :)

We left for home Monday morning and traveled to Hephzibah to see Dan's brother Jon and wish him a Happy Birthday.
 Then, because we were driving by, we stopped in at the farm Dan worked at when he was a teenager! This farm was also neighbors to the house he grew up in, and he went to church with this family!
We stayed and visited for about an hour!

We had a good trip but were ready to get back home. After we got home, we had less than 24 hours till we were getting company!!
I'll add a second blog post about that! :) :)

While we were in SC, we had family pics taken! These aren't real clear because they were saved off Jennifer's FB page! I'm hoping my CD will come in the mail today!! :) :)

The Henry clan (minus Jon)

Grandpa and Grandma with all their Grandchildren

Danny, Kenan holding Sean, Sophia, Grandpa, Grandma holding Lily, Mara and Jayde in front of Tamara.