December has already been busy, but we are now slowing down as Christmas comes close. We are so grateful how we are able to get to spend time with family and rest during the holidays.
Mike: is still involved with the church (Thomas Road Baptist) serving in the ministry to Young Professionals. Last weekend they closed out their calendar year with a Christmas Party. We had several new people, as well as our current Life groups come celebrate with us. It has been a true blessing to serve as Life Group Coach and encourage these great leaders
Along with that, Mike is also still working a part time job and we are so thankful for the healthy work environment that allows for steady schedule/income. Also, pray for Mike this week as on Sunday he had an important meeting that may allow him another opportunity to serve in another capacity that will also help us in our church planting endeavors. More details will come in our January update.
Beth Ann: is in the 2nd month of her new job babysitting 2 days a week for a family in our church. This opportunity has been a huge help and the family has been an incredible blessing to us. Beth Ann, as usual, is plugged in with the worship ministry. Two weeks ago our church had their annual Christmas extravaganza and Beth Ann served in various capacities. The following Sunday, despite the busyness of the event, she was given the opportunity to serve as one of the vocalist for worship. She has been enjoying her time here worshipping with and learning from this incredible worship team. She is so grateful that they have given her the opportunity to watch, listen, and participate as she continues to learn.
Liam and Levi: Well to start…Levi is in the throws of potty training. yeah! Sort of…As Levi attempts a new frontier he is torn between earning an M&M and the desire to stop playing.
Liam on the other hand is becoming more vocal and more mobile. He has started crawling and climbing all over the house. We will not be shocked if the boy is walking before he turns 1!
They are both healthy growing boys that have tremendous amounts of energy.
Church planting future endeavors: At the end of last month we met with an elder board from a local church in the Richmond area. During that conversation we shared our story and shared our hope for the future. The meeting went very well and we were very encouraged by this group of men. For now, we are waiting for next steps as they are navigating through some questions of how they want to, and can, move forward. Mike spoke with the Pastor this week and he was very positive. Due to some of the specifics being still thought through, we are not able to share any details until a later date. However, I will say that the things they are considering are exactly what we have been praying for as a family.
Finally and as usual thank you for your prayers and support. Here are a few things you can continue to pray for us.
1. $16,000 for us to be able to continue focusing on preparation of the church
plant. We are looking for some more supporters to step on monthly and ask that
you would not only pray but consider giving. We have Info below for our donation website.
Within that prayer we do want to celebrate that God has been good and $6,155 has already come in.
2. Car - Our transmission needs some work and we are driving on borrowed time.
Pray for extra funds to fix it or God will just fix the problem Himself! We also
want to celebrate that a church up in Baltimore has helped financially to
start repairs on our car. This will cover a majority of the cost leaving us
with just a few other repairs to make in the future.
3. Marriage - We will continue to strengthen our communication. We want to make
sure we are strong in Christ in our marriage before we go on the field so Satan
doesn’t have any cracks to sneak in.
4. God will clarify and began to burden our hearts for a specific area in Richmond.
5. Please pray, Mike's computer is dying and he needs to get repairs or be
6. Thank you for your prayer for our meeting with the elders in Richmond, please
continue to pray for them as they are making decisions and working through the
details. Last Months Prayer: Pray for the elder meeting we have on November
29th that God would confirm his will and clarify for both us and the church what
direction we should go.
7. Please also pray that we would continue to find Partnering Churches. Our
target is 13-15 partner churches for this endeavor. We currently are in talks with
a few already, but continue to seek out the support of many others. Our desire
with our ministry in Richmond is simply to expose people to the gospel by loving
God, loving others, and making disciples.
Mike, Beth Ann, Levi, and Liam
If you would like to donate to help support us during our apprenticeship you can send checks to and write them out to...
Thomas Road Baptist Church
Attn: Amy Smissen
One Mountain View Road
Lynchburg VA. 24502
Just make sure to put "Bard" in the memo line or put a note in your envelope designating it to "Bard Fund".
or you can go to our donation page which is listed below, just click on the link and click on the donate button. If you would like to know where we are in our support click on this link and you can see the current status at the top right corner.