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Reservation for Two

On Navajo Nation

August 2012

The Main Dish

Fall is, finally, here and not a moment too soon. After the busy
summer schedule and the longest support trip we’ve ever taken, I’m awfully tempted to go Rip Van Winkle on you for about a month. The schedule ahead of us is just as daunting as the one in the rearview mirror now. That’s a good thing, a sign that the work here is busy and growing. If you haven’t heard yet, Heidi and I are expecting our first child in February. We’re obviously thrilled and overwhelmed and anxious about a new addition to the family. We had an ultrasound this week and they told us it is 75-80% certain we are having a girl. She is due February 9th, three days before I was born. I know people probably want to hear more about all this and I would be willing to tell you more if I knew what I was talking about. Unfortunately, I don’t. I have a LOT to learn about babies. We appreciate your prayers for this news though. Considering the news about the baby, our trip back East was especially great. Heidi and I had found out weeks before we left but decided to keep it a secret until we could tell our families in person. We started our trip in Virginia Beach, where we spent a few days with my brother’s family. Then we drove up to Greensburg, PA to visit with Heidi’s side of the family. Then we travelled on to Columbus to visit my family and a lot of our friends. Finally, we drove down South to visit supporters and to attend the Polishing the Pulpit Lectureship. It was a long trip for us, but really a trip we needed to make. It had been a while since we got to see some of our family and to relax a little bit and get a break from the work. While there was certainly some relaxing and visiting, this trip was business and pleasure. We visited with 6 different congregations and supporters. I had a few occasions to preach and to teach and share a power point presentation about the work. There is a second side to being a missionary and it involves much of what we were trying to accomplish on this trip. We have to be able to raise and keep support, better ourselves through some personal and spiritual development, network with other Christians, and get a break to keep ourselves fresh and renewed and energized. Everybody has heard about the statistics that show that Youth ministers have a tendency to be burned out rather quickly. I’d be willing to bet you could do some research and find that missionaries get burned out just as quickly and maybe worse. There is a reason that it is described as a mission. Some days it feels like mission impossible.

Nick & Heidi Rice PO BOX 4536 Kayenta, AZ 86033 Phone: 928-697-3096
Any donations or financial support to the work can and should be sent to our sponsoring congregation:

Northeast Church of Christ
11000 Paseo Del Norte NE Albuquerque, NM 87122

Coming Right Up
Bible Study on the Reservation: September 14th- 15th Kayenta church of Christ Speaker: Chris Macy Topic: The Book of Acts Gallup c of C Family Retreat September 14th-15th Speaker: Nick Rice Topic: Bear Valley Lectureship September 20th-23rd Denver, CO Gospel Meeting Speaker: Jerry Groves September 29th – October 3rd God’s Divine Design: The Family 2nd Reservation Ladies Day Kayenta church of Christ October 9th Speakers: Divine Austin, Heidi Rice and Susan Austin

(Continued on Back)

Reservation for Two
On Navajo Nation Getting a chance to attend Polishing the Pulpit is truly invaluable for us. It’s great to have a chance to go and hear so many talented speakers. Unlike so many other lectureships out there, many of the sessions are focused on practical ministry and not just on textual study. Obviously I have no problems with textual study, and I make a point to develop myself as minister by attending a few retreats with that focus throughout the year. There are a lot of challenges to mission work though, and challenges that we often don’t have good answers for. There are a lot of talented men in the brotherhood and men willing to speak about very difficult things. In the past two years this lectureship has been very rewarding for us and our works here in Kayenta. I have started back to school. I’m taking online courses through Amridge University. The first semester back was eye opening. It was nice to be back in school, but a hectic time to go back to school. This Fall I have already started classes and am taking my first Greek class. So far so good, but we’ve just barely begun.

August 2012

Fishinger & Kenny Roads church of Christ 6th & Washington church of Christ University church of Christ Watterson Trail church of Christ Hendersonville church of Christ Highland Heights church of Christ

On the Back Burner
There are a lot of excellent things that we learn at Polishing the Pulpit every year, practical things that we can work into the church here in Kayenta. There is a segment called “It Worked for Us” that is about ministers who are doing things differently and how it turned out. It highlights men who rearranged their worship services, changed their outreach, tried evangelism in a different way, engaged their youth, etc. The bottom line is, when we see problems and ineffective ministries we have to DO something. I got inspired this year to do something. I’ve talked about how mission work is often a rollercoaster. We’ve been starting to fall again after the highs of a busy summer and a lot of activity. Our attendance, especially for Bible studies, was falling and our service was feeling flat and stale. We decided to shake some things up a bit. We’ve moved our Sunday night Bible study to Sunday morning after the worship service. This past Sunday we had the largest class we’ve ever had. Then on Sunday nights we started focusing on our fellowship and spending time together. This past week we had a bonfire behind the church building and there were more people than we’ve had on a Sunday night in a long long time. We even had 6 visitors and 5 kids who don’t attend services. It’s a start, hopefully of something big!

…as well as many generous individuals