Schoenleber Family Update
[8-11-17] Many of you know that the last two years have been extremely trying for the Schoenleber family. Over the last two years, Stephnie and I have been apart more than we have been together due to family health issues, conferences, buying and selling a house, job displacement, and new ministry callings. It has given us a new perspective on the ordeals and sacrifices that military and missionary families endure on a regular basis.
Yesterday, one of those chapters came to a close with the home-going of Stephnie’s mom. Steph left last Sunday to return to West Virginia and care for her mom who has been in hospice for the better part of the last two months. It has been a difficult time but one that had the most peaceful of endings and Stephnie was able to be there and hold her mother’s hand as she passed into the presence of Christ.
This past week I was talking to Thelma Hubbard, one of the precious older saints at Manchester Creek. I wish all of you knew both she and her husband Kent, who at 98 and 96 respectively, are some of the sharpest minds in the church. Anyway, we were talking and Thelma shared with me that when her mother was in Hospice she started praying that God, in his mercy, would allow her to be holding her mother’s hand when she passed. And God answered her prayer.
I thanked Thelma for her story and sensed that God was calling me to pray the same thing for Stephnie. My prayers were answered and Steph told me that her mom’s last breath was “Absolutely the most peaceful home going” she could imagine.
Isn’t God marvelous to shower us with mercies like these?
But we and the family will need new mercies going forward. So today, I stopped the mail, arranged for someone else to preach on Sunday, packed my bags, scheduled a flight, found a friend to take me to the airport, and worked on the funeral service. Later this afternoon, two hours from now, I will head to the airport, for what should take two hours of flying time but on such short notice, will include a detour, a layover and have me arrive at 11:30 PM to the exhausted arms of my wife and another 1.5 hour drive to mom’s house.
Would you pray for our children who are traveling together from Chicago for the funeral and for dear Anna, our son’s wonderful wife, who will take care of the two grandchildren of our oldest daughter, Meredith? Pray for Stephnie and her sister and brother as well as Deloris’ sister who is also grieving/rejoicing in a life well-lived. And know that I am truly thankful for friends like you who read and pray for these periodic updates.
Well, our house has sold in Watseka and we are moved into our new house in Rock Hill, SC, though there are still a whole lot of boxes to unpack. Our new address will be:
418 Tysons Forest Drive
Rock Hill, SC 29732
Making the new house our home has been hampered somewhat by some family illnesses. Stephnie’s mom is not doing well and she is in West Virginia as I write (June 17th). We have been able to meet our neighbors and have started a home-group on Thursday nights. Yesterday I was out weeding in the front of the house when two delightful neighbors stopped to welcome us to the block. I look forward to getting to know Bill and Jenena in the weeks to come.
And we look forward to your visit, any of you who read this. God is doing great things in the church. My goal was to see 7-8 men trained in One-to-One Discipleship before the end of the year. Already, four men are trained and 8 others are in process! Lives are being changed. Mere men are becoming men of God. We have a headstart on the women but I know that Stephnie will soon catch up. Please keep praying for her as she loves on her mom and eases her mom’s home-going to Jesus.
God has also given me the privilege of mentoring an African-American Church Planter and a couple of good leads to pursue with regard to teaching at the seminary.
Other News: My BLOG at Chosenrebel.me is going to go through some revisions and updating over the next month. I have noticed that the ads that wordpress.com sometimes places at the bottom have included a cult! That is unacceptable so starting today I have upgraded my account to be advertising free.
June 4 Matthew 6:1-6
June 11 Matthew 6:7-15
June 18 Matthew 6:16-24
June 25 Matthew 6:25-34 Lord’s Supper
July 2 Matthew 7:1-14
July 9 Matthew 7:15-29
July 16 Matthew 5-7
July 23 Psalm 15:1-5 Postcards from God — Becoming a Worshiper of God
August 13 Psalm 70:1-5 The Worshiper of God in their Desperation
August 20 Psalm 131:1-3 Worshiping God with a Child-Like Faith
August 27 Psalm 133:1-5 The Relational Longing of the Worshiper
Sometime in the Next Twelve Months Traveling to India to train church planters.
Speaking at a Discipleship Conference in Kankakee, IL (3 messages)
Please pray for four things:
- That my bride would be comforted as she watches her mother journey to Jesus.
- That I would never lose my first love for Christ.
- That my travels will be safe.
- That Jesus would be exalted and the kingdom of God expanded as a result of our move to South Carolina.
More 2017 Dates coming soon
Available to preach and teach for retreats, conferences, and seminars after approval from my new board of elders.
Lord Willing —Family Reunions on these dates
July 4, 2018