Posts Tagged ‘Update’

This Update appears permanently on the “What’s up with the Guidry’s Page”

May 2016 Update

So what have the Guidry’s been up to??

This has been a year of returning to ministry!  God has blessed Allana with a relatively smooth recovery.  We are learning to work with a new “normal”.  She does get frustrated that she cannot do many of the things that she used to do, or at least at the pace and in the volume that she was used to pre-Leukemia.  Summer of 2015 Allana and Sami helped run a summer program for the children of Five Points at Calvary United Methodist church along with Pastor Elizabeth Rand.  Pastor Rand has become a wonderful partner in ministry.  We ran two more ministry sessions at Calvary for children in the YMCA daycare hosted there.  The first was a Christmas play.  It was such a blessing to watch most of children participating go from absolutely unaware of the truth of Christmas to experts on the story of the birth of the Savior of the world.  It was 10 weeks of scripture, fellowship, music and just loving on the children.  The second session was a pantomime survey of the teachings of Jesus.  Originally set in 6 vignettes of His life we doubled the number of children participating in the weekly program.  Even though many of them did not take part in the actual performance it was wonderful to expand their knowledge of Jesus Christ and repeat time after time the Gospel message right through the resurrection.  Sadly this will be our last program at Calvary United Methodist.  The church will be closing in June.  Pray for us as we pursue new partnerships to continue instilling the Gospel in the hearts and minds of the children of Toledo.

Allana’s Facebook ministry for women, True Beauty has continued to grow.  It now consists of 3 groups and 60 women.  Late in 2015 Allana led the women through a 90 day spiritual, emotional and physical challenge/devotional series.  Allana was blessed with several opportunities for face to face meetings with some of the ladies.  A new addition is a group that focuses on the greater Toledo area.  The True Beauty website launched in April and in July True Beauty is holding their first Women’s Conference, Never Alone.  It will be at the Toledo Campus of Compelled Church in Holland Ohio on McCord Rd.  We are very excited about all that God is doing in the lives of True Beauty women.

Cherry Street Mission Ministries continues to be the main focus of Sam’s time.  He moved from part-time to full-time in the summer of 2015.  His work on events has given him the opportunity to engage with people from all walks of life and all Christian faith traditions.  It has been an exciting time as Cherry Street is in a time of rapid change and development.  Keep Sam, the leadership, the staff and the guests of Cherry Street in prayer as God leads them into a new tradition of growth and discipleship.

The children are all growing like weeds.  Sami if finishing up her freshman year in high school and is the tallest in the family.  She is looking forward to a summer mission trip and to Senior High Camp.  Robert returns from Korea in August much to the relief of his fiancé and will be stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.  Chayla is our quiet one.  She is a rabid reader and enjoys time online with her horse-loving friends.  We are looking forward to being grand parents for a second time as my oldest John and his wife Julie are expecting their second child in October.

Goals for this year are to incorporate and attain non-profit status for Fan Into Flame Ministries.  Under the Fan Into Flame umbrella True Beauty, a men’s ministry (potentially called Hupomone Men) and our work with children.  The common thread in all of these is that we seek to have those we serve fulfill 2 Timothy 1:6 in their lives.

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Greetings Family and Friends,

WOW! What a year of change it has been for these Guidry’s (and our BowmanJ)…

EMILY – Emily Rose Bowman came to live with us in June 2009. Her mom was having a hard time and needed us to care for Emily. She came into our world at such a hard time (Sam lost his job, Allana miscarried baby #9, we lost our house and had to move in with Allana’s mom, which meant we lost our church family and had to start completely all over again… all within 6wks of Emily moving in with us, wow that is a lot to go through all at once as a 14 year old girl!). Though it was a whirlwind of change for all of us, Emily quickly became a blessing to us, and we found that her smile lit up our lives and she brought much needed laughter to our family!

JOB LOSS & MOVE– Sam’s restaurant closed in July 2009 and he has since then been unemployed. August 2009 we move in with Allana’s mom and brother in Adrian, MI.

COMPELLED CHURCH – We started attending Compelled Church in September 2009.  It quickly became home for all of us, (except Chayla, it took her quite a while to let anyone be her friend, feeling it would betray her Canton friends). We all have found so many ministries to be a part of.  The first thing we did was join the Greeting Team in October 2009; it was a GREAT way for us, as new members, to meet people at the church. Sam has taught twice for Wednesday night small groups (and has been asked again for the small groups starting up this winter). Monday nights he is a youth leader at EVERFREE, and he is the leader of WITHOUT WALLS (our youth outreach team). Sam attends a Men’s Bible Study on Thursday mornings. Allana joined the worship team in May. In June she led a dance class during VBS (Vacation Bible School) for 300 kids.  Allana became the director of SHINE (Kid’s Choir) in November. She also became the Women’s Local Outreach Team Leader in early December and she attends a Women’s Bible Study on Monday mornings. Emily and Robert are both very involved with EVERFREE on Monday nights, the youth small groups on Wednesday nights, and the WITHOUT WALLS team. Emily is on the youth worship team and Robert is on the youth media team. Emily helps out once a month in the preschool class on Saturday nights and Robert helps out twice a month in the kid’s chapel on Saturday nights.  Samantha and Chayla are doing JBQ (JR Bible Quiz) this year. Both girls are a part of SHINE.

THE LEWIS HOUSE – TLH is an urban community outreach ministry in Toledo, OH. It’s about taking the troubled 14 year old boy across the street out fishing. It’s about helping a single mom with her kids. It’s about helping the widow down the street with her yard work. It’s about doing community dinners on Thursday nights, BBQ’s in the summer, a community garden, Sidewalk Sunday School, Christmas parties, and starting the only Toledo 4H group… anything to get to know neighbors and befriend them. We heard about The Lewis House and checked it out in October 2009. In June, as a family, we lived at TLH for a month long local mission trip. We quickly found that their vision was the same one that God was laying on our hearts. All 6 of us fell in love with the neighborhood and the heart of TLH. And look forward to being even more involved in the coming year!

JOHN AND JULIE’S WEDDING – April 10th, a beautiful  day in Minnesota, we were able to attend the wedding of John (Sam’s oldest) and his lovely bride, Julie. It was wonderful to officially welcome Julie into the Guidry family J  Robert was JR Groomsmen, Samantha was JR Bridesmaid and Chayla was the Flower Girl. It was such a special event!

35 DAY ROAD TRIP – We drove from Michigan to Minnesota to visit Sam’s sister, Beth & her family and John & Julie. Some highlights were lots of tubing/boating trips, going to the Zoo, seeing the Mall of America, a Guidry family outreach at “The Healing House” (a rehab for mothers and their children), not to mention the many games of badminton and Ping-Pong.  From Minnesota we drove to South Dakota to see the Badlands, Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills. From South Dakota we drove through Wyoming and onto Colorado to visit Sam’s sister, Lisa & her family. Some highlights were of course the BEAUTIFUL scenery of the Rocky Mountains, the Wiersma and the Guidry guys climbed a 14er, visiting two of Allana’s online friends (Diana and Rachel), going to Focus on the Family, seeing The Garden of the Gods, and going to Eldorado State Park. From Colorado we drove to Missouri to visit our friends, Bobby and Vanessa, we didn’t get much time with them, but it was nice to get hugs just the same.  Another highlight there was being able to visit friends, Derek and Rebecca and going to IHOP (International House of Prayer), wow was that totally awesome!!! From Missouri we drove to Tennessee and visited our dear friends, Jeff and Kim and their 3 boys. Highlights were a night of worship, going to the Zoo, and going to the Science Museum. From Tennessee we moved onto Indiana. We stayed with Pastor Bosworth and Debbie. The evenings often included Debbie whisking me away for the evening for just the two of us while Pastor and Sam hung with all the kiddos. Highlights were seeing Dan and Karen and their kids. From Indiana we came back to Michigan. It was such a wonderful time and we are SO very grateful for those who opened their home to us, without the Olson Family, the Wiersma Family, the Dronsella Family and the Bosworth Family, this trip would have been impossible and what memories we would have missed out on!! Thank you all!

Now a personal note from each of us…

CHAYLA – I am 7 years old. I am in 2nd grade. I like to play with Sami. My favorite color is purple. I love to color. I love to read. I asked God to help me read so that I could read His Word. Now I read really well. I can even read chapter books. I read the Bible a lot; I especially like reading the red letters in the Bible. My two favorite books are Winnie (a book series about a girl who likes horses and how she saves horses from being beaten), and FaithGirlz (a book series about girls living real life). I liked our big trip. And I especially love that I was a Flower Girl at John’s wedding. Now I have a sister-in-law named Julie, and I can’t wait to become an aunt (not that it will be anytime soon). I like that I am making new friends at church, even though I still miss my Canton friends. My best friends Jaida and Sarah threw me a surprise birthday party for all my Canton friends to attend, including my other best friend, Lindsay, because I was having a hard time fitting in at our new church.

SAMANTHA – I am 10 years old, finally a preteen. I am in 5th grade. My favorite color is Lime Green. I had a lot of fun this year spending time with family and friends. I was a JR bridesmaid for John and Julies wedding. I was really nervous and excited at the same time. It was a very long day, because we had to get up early to get our hair done and dressed for pictures before the wedding. Then we had the ceremony and then more pictures after it. The reception was fun. The food was good. I liked the big trip. We went so many places. We saw family and friends, some I haven’t seen in a really long time. I liked going to all the different places we went to and it was fun meeting my cousins’ friends. It was nice to be home and see my friends again and being back involved in my church. I had an awesome Thanksgiving, eating all kinds of yummy food.

ROBERT – I am 15. I am in the 9th grade. My favorite color is red. I love to read, write and have fun outside with my friends. My favorite food is ravioli. I enjoyed our big trip. I really liked climbing the 14er that we did. The Science Museum in Tennessee was cool. The drive was really cool being able to see so many different landscapes. The Arch Way to the West was really cool to see too. This year has been a year of growing closer to God. I love my church and our youth group. I have made some really great friends, and I fit in well there. The Lewis House is great. There is this kid there named Jake that I like to hang out with. I am one of the very few people Jake will talk to. He walks in the door and rushes to me and doesn’t leave my side. He has had a really hard life and he needs someone to care about him which he hasn’t found over the years. I am glad that he trusts me enough to be his friend. This has been the best year of my life even though my dad lost his job and things should be worse, things are better than they have ever been.

EMILY – I will be 16 in March.  I am excited to turn 16, really for no other reason other than I have waited to be 16 my whole life. I have a wide verity of friends. I love to read and write. I wrote a chapter for Fine Arts Competition. It was fun; I met a bunch of people from the youth group during our trip to Grand Rapids, MI. I liked going on the big trip, even though I was dreading it at first… being stuck in the car, being away from people I knew… but it was fun meeting so many people. My favorite part was tubing on the Mississippi River. I am excited about going to FL this summer for Great Grandma Carr’s 100th birthday (Sam’s grandma) and seeing all the new friends I met on our big trip, and meeting some that I haven’t met yet, like Uncle Paul who I hear is very funny!  Our youth group did “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Christmas Play this year. I am friends with a lot of the cast members, so I was a VIP member and helped them get ready and hung out with them off stage; I also made a new best friend during the play. I am hoping to try out next year for the Christmas Play.

ALLANA – This year has been the best year ever! Though the circumstances we have gone through could have ripped our family to shreds and made our faith die, it has made us stronger. The heartache that started this new journey was very real… Sam losing his job, losing our house, losing our church, losing our friends, losing 6 years of our lives, lives that were left in devastation. This is what had to happen to make my dreams come true. Since I was 14 years old I wanted my life to be devoted to God and His work. Though through life it seemed that everywhere I turned there seemed to be road blocks that made this seem like an impossible dream. But now, now we are serving God as a family, doing ministry together as a family, living life stronger as a family than we ever have before. Our God is greater and our God is stronger and HE is ABLE to turn ALL things for HIS good when we trust Him! As you have heard of all the wonderful fun things we have done this year, I just have to take the time to say Thank You God, with tears in my eyes and sob in my throat, I am way beyond grateful for destroying us to rebuild us for YOUR WILL!

SAM – God has basically blown all of our lives up and put them back together in the way that he wants this year.  He has really put me in my place and prepared me to serve Him on His terms.  I have been unemployed for well over a year now.  It has been a humbling experience and a big lesson in relying on God.  Through a series of events and influences in early spring, God led me back to school to finish the Bible and Theology degree that I started 28 years ago.  He recently blessed me by having Central Bible College approve all of my transfer credits (they originally rejected quite a few).   This cut the time and expense to complete my degree by 1/3.  It has been such an exciting year.  The summer trip which you have heard so much about was awesome.  God brought so many interesting people into our lives, like Velcro the pastor of Biker Church in Cheyenne Wyoming.  It was really neat to have a mini prayer service at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere. It was exciting to have the opportunity to preach again after so many years, filling in for a pastor with family business to take care of on the west coast.  I am so thankful for his grace and this second chance to fulfill his call on my life.  We look forward to 2011 with anticipation of the great things that God is going to do!

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