We gave up trying to keep up with all our friends and family via a Christmas card list several years ago, so if you’ll indulge us, we use this blog to give an annual ‘report’ on the comings and goings of the Burrell clan.
2009 was our first full year back in Florida since 1999. Florida really is a paradise this time of the year and we watched with interest the reports of heavy snow in many parts of our country recently while we enjoyed temperatures in the 80’s. This has been yet another interesting year in the ministry and we continue to learn to trust in the Lord and not in man as we serve Him. Dan remains as the Executive Pastor of the New Testament Baptist Church with campuses in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and the Vice-President of Dade Christian Schools (Miami) and The Master’s Academy (Ft. Lauderdale). Due to a tough local economy, He is now find also serving as the COO and CFO for the ministries on about 50% of the pay he was making last year. In addition, he is also doing most of the preaching for our ministries as our Senior Pastor resigned in October and left in November to become the full-time president of Davis College in Binghamton, NY.
Anyone who knows how these things work realizes that at whatever point a new senior pastor is called for this ministry, I will need to move to have found another place of service as there is the potential for confusion and unclear lines of authority that can arise as the new pastor comes on board if the “interim” pastor remains. Therefore, we are currently actively searching for our next place of ministry. We are in a position where we must try to get out from under a house that has dropped by nearly 40% in value and which we can no longer afford, so pray that we can find someone who will attempt a short-sale with the bank. We are facing personal and financial challenges that we did not anticipate, but are confident that the Lord will unfold His plan for our lives in the coming months. Stayed tuned to this blog as we find out what our next assignment will be. We’ll keep you posted.
Dan is blessed with a wonderful team of pastors and department heads at the ministry where he currently serves and even though the church is in transition, it is great to see people coming together for the good of the church and the work of the ministry. He also became a full-time contracted associate professor with Liberty University (formerly he was an adjunct) and he teaches Discipleship, Leadership and Bible Teaching for Liberty University Onlines graduate program through their seminary. It adds 20-30 extra hours to his work week, but he really enjoys this and would be quite happy to land on a college campus in the future. He also continues his work with Boston Baptist College where he serves as an adjunct each January and where he also serves on the Board of Trustees. He also serves on the board of Davis College and is part of a new speaker’s bureau that features men like Marvin Olasky, Warren Smith, Alex McFarland and Eric Metatexas and specializes in apologetics and worldview. He took two trips to Cuba where he continues to work with a wonderful team of national pastors.
Julie helps Dan with his Sunday adult Bible fellowship class on Sundays and keeps the kids organized and on task at home. Katie is now continuing her education at home and Josh keeps a pretty busy schedule as an active middle schooler. She spent a week in Charlotte over Labor Day to be with our dear friend and Dan’s former administrative assistant, Cindy Smith, who had major cancer surgery. They talk frequently as Cindy continues her regimin of chemotherapy and experiences the joys of being a grandmother in the midst of her health journey. She enjoyed a couple of months in Lake Lure with some of the kids as well and we also all went to Missouri to be with Dan’s family over the 4th of July with a couple of days spent in Branson.
Nathan has been working as a system administrator for the church and school IT department for the last 18 months, but made a big announcement recently and has decided to return to Liberty University this January to complete his bachelor’s degree. He’s rarely at home for any extended time as he has an active social life and is a major gym rat with his daily workout and basketball games. Dan has really enjoyed working on the same campus with him and they have regularly grabbed lunch together a day or two each week. As the family has realized that big changes are ahead, the time seemed right for him to head back to Lynchburg and finish off that degree.
Megan graduated from Dade Christian School in May and enjoyed a wonderful senior trip with her classmates to Washington, DC and New York City. Dan was able to be a chaperone for the trip, so they had a great father/daughter time for a week. She is quite the photographer and did quite a few photo shots ranging from senior pictures to publicity photos to weddings. She has a Facebook page of her work. After working this fall as a school photographer for Lifetouch, she is also heading to Lynchburg to begin her studies at Liberty University in January. Too bad dad doesn’t get a tuition break as a professor for having his kids there, but student loans and side jobs will keep them going. She is looking forward to having a college experience with her big brother — they are very close.
Katie is working on her schooling at home these days. She hit the big thirteen this fall and will be taking her 13th birthday trip with mom before long. She enjoys cooking and texting her friends and collecting Bella Sera cards. She takes PE with a great home school group each week and has been taking some art classes as well. She loves to sing and is a member of the school choir at The Master’s Academy and has enjoyed singing at local stores, church and a nursing home.
Josh is in 7th grade at The Master’s Academy and is a constant cyclone of energy. He’s the early riser of the family and loves the trampoline and anything with a trigger. He’s recently expressed an interest in taking kick-boxing lessons and so we’re looking for the right program to offer that outlet. He and dad have a weekly breakfast “date” at a local restaurant for discipleship and hanging out time. He’ll be turning 13 this spring and is already planning his 13th birthday trip out west to do some hiking and exploring.
All of our kids are maturing physically and spiritually and in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty, having a strong family, good health and kids that are making you proud and giving you joy is a tremendous blessing and more that we could ever desire. Please drop us a line at our regular email addresses and let us know how you all are doing. Dan, Julie, Nathan and Megan are all on Facebook and we enjoy that network sight to keep us in touch with hundreds of friends.
We look forward to 2010 with a sense of anticipation and confidence and our prayer for you is the best of God’s blessings on you and yours in the year to come.
Expecting His Best!
Dan, Julie, Nathan, Megan, Katie and Josh (and Zoe the dog)