Tag Archives: Sweet Vineyard

A Motorcycle Ride, Two Garage Sales, and a Wild Goose

In preparation for Easter, the church I attend has been asking folks share stories of Jesus encounters that changed the trajectory of their life. While there has been several landmark moments in my life, the story of how my wife and I ended up in Sweet, Idaho, helping start the Sweet Vineyard Christian Fellowship was the one that stands out the most.

Having recorded the video, I have decided to share it here with you all.  =)

2014 Hopping Family Newsletter

family 2014Dear Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas from Josh, Emily, J and introducing Baby Hopping – for the first time ever we have reached the 4-month mark of a pregnancy! Just a few months after our failed adoption this summer we found out that God had answered J’s frequent prayers for another baby in an unexpected way. After only 2 pregnancies in our whole 14 years of marriage – both of which ended within the first 2 months – we had given up on producing biological children and were happily growing our family through adoption (something that we still believe in strongly and hope to get to do again at some point in the future.) Then J learned how to pray and regularly prayed for God to bring us another baby (in addition to praying blessings for Andrew and his birth-mom who decided to parent) – the faith of a 4-year-old is pretty potent!

Thank you all for your prayers as well – we have really appreciated them throughout 2014 as we have faced a lot of transitions and hard times! We spent this spring finding a new pastor for the Vineyard church in Sweet and getting our house ready to sell. God brought the perfect couple to take our place and the transition was complete and official on June 1, 2014. The house, however, has proven to be a bit tougher of a process – after only one showing since April we put it on the rent market as well as for sale, but we’ve only gotten 3 lookers total even after dropping our price several times. We’ve reconciled ourselves to being here for the winter. It would still be nice to get the move over before the baby is born in early May – being closer to Emily’s parents would make it much easier to get help from Grandma!

J has been thoroughly enjoying his time at big-kid preschool. He was sad to miss school for a week for Thanksgiving – the kids were all giving each other big hugs the week before, missing each other in advance! Every week he comes home with a new letter that he’s learned and picks them out in his bedtime books. They’ve been getting ready for a Christmas concert in a couple of weeks, so he’s been singing a lot of Christmas carols lately (especially Jingle Bells and bits of The Little Drummer Boy.) Emily has been volunteering in his library every-other-week reading books to each of the 7 preschool classes (three 3-yr-old classes and four 4-yr-old classes.)

Josh has been filling the time he used to spend writing sermons with working on the book he started writing a few years ago and has been enjoying it immensely – he’s over half way done with the initial draft and is building his editing team to take it to the next level. He is also looking forward to his first class at St. Stephen’s University next fall. It’s the same module that he started last year and none of the books have changed, so he’ll be able to skim most of the books and has some of the papers already written. Luckily his brain tends to retain such things pretty well, so the fact that it’s been 2 years since he’s read some of these books won’t slow him down much. He’s excited to finally be making some progress forward in the dream of a Master’s degree that God gave him over a decade ago. He’s still been working as a Brand Analyst though his title recently changed to Reporting Analyst – a small change, but one that will free him up to do more pioneering with some investigative reports with which he’s been having great success and a fair bit of recognition throughout the company. Prayers would be appreciated as he moves forward in all of these areas.

Our future is still up in the air as we continue to try to sell the house and pray about God’s next assignment for us. We took a week in the mountains to pray in October and God did give us some first steps – including Josh continuing to pursue his education. The other cool project that we’re going to get to start in January is a family small group with a big focus on outreach and getting the kids involved in all aspects of learning and serving. It’ll give us a good chance to try out some interactive learning styles that we may be able to apply in our next church plant as well as giving us opportunities to do family activities together with other families – J our little socialite will enjoy that! A friend recommended this place: funtopiaworld.com/glenview/, so that might be something to look into as a possible outing with the children.

We’ve been going to church at the Vineyard Boise a lot of Sundays but have also enjoyed visiting the Sweet Vineyard regularly as well – Richard and Mardie, the new pastors, have been doing a really good job keeping things going there and the loving family atmosphere is still such a blessing.

Thanks again for all your prayers and support this year! Thank you all who sent in donations to help with our adoption this summer. Some of those donations will go to cover the expenses that we incurred for the failed adoption and some of them will go to fund another Christian family’s adoption and help a child find a forever home. May the Lord bless you all richly in the year to come. We love you all!

Lots of love and blessings from,

-Josh, Emily, and J