Dear Family, Friends, and Faithful Supporters,

Happy New Year! Behold I come to make all things new!

What new things is God doing in your life today, tomorrow and in this coming year? How is He making your life and your community new? I trust we have eyes to see His work around us this year.

The idea of newness is especially pertinent to us this year as our life is full of new places, people, and situations. What a comfort and hope
to know that in each step, our Lord and Savior walks along with us.


In June of this year God led us back to the U.S. During the summer months we had opportunity to travel to most of our supporting churches
across the country sharing what God is doing in Haiti and where and how He is leading our family. In mid August we rushed to Grand Rapids, MI to get Natasha to Calvin College’s International Passport Orientation and Micah and Malieke into Grade 10 at the Potter’s House Christian School.

Taressa interned with the March of Dimes during the summer working on their major fund raising events. Ruth was able to help Taressa move her belongings from Doug and Trudi Vredeveld’s home into her Calvin apartment to begin her Junior year.

The following months continued with much change and opportunity. Ruth began working at the Christian Recreation Center as their part time
office manager. Howard searched for homes and on November 1 had the family moved into our own house. Several local family members helped us in that venture as well as Howard’s dad and step mom from Minnesota.

For Howard, November and December saw home improvement projects, a school mission fund-raising project, and learning to can applesauce and apple pie filling. Ruth investigated and signed a contract to work with the Timothy Leadership Training ministry in Haiti. If you’d like to know more about this, send us a note and we’ll tell you more. Micah joined the school’s soccer team and completed his drivers education. Malieke participated in volleyball and now basketball at the school. Natasha passed her written test and is also learning to drive the streets of Grand Rapids.

God has certainly brought us through many of these changes. And though it sounds all smooth and clear, it has not been easy. Every change, whether negative or positive, can bring about a certain amount of stress and grief and so we have had our ups and downs and adjustments. There have been tears, frustrations, and laughter at our mistakes, but in all of this, we have seen God’s hand and presence.

Thank you for your prayers and support. We are so thankful to be able to have the support of friends and family around us.

As we enter the new year, we seek God’s direction in regards to meaningful work for Howard, time and opportunities to serve God, and to
develop a sense of Christian community. We pray that you too find joy and satisfaction in your walk with the Lord and in His community.


Howard, Ruth, Taressa, Natasha, Micah and Malieke Van Dam