after a long silence..

thinking about how it's been just about three months since our last update, i'm not sure if it's harder to believe because the time has flown by so quickly or because it seems like  f o r e v e r  since we left florida. either way, the months have raced by, full & sweet.

we were all ready to settle back into our home & life here, as painful as it always is to leave family & friends in the states. our "german family" was happy to have us back too (thank goodness), & we quickly got back into the swing of things. our friends here have reached out so much, to help carry the burden that this last year has been on me (us), & i really cannot express enough how deeply each caring inquiry about my mother or myself touched me.

shortly after we returned, there was a baptism scheduled. what's special about our baptisms is that we have them in the neckar river, which runs through heidelberg. there's normally a time of worship, a short input from pastor chriss, testimonies from those being baptized, and then a potluck at the park after the baptism.

michael has been working a lot with the media and graphic art at the church, along with some design in the actual building. it is so sweet to see him using his artistic gifts and learning new outlets for them. the backdrop for the stage in the picture of pastor chriss below was made by michael. see what i mean? :)

michael has also been leading worship for most of the services, with one of our worship leaders moving over the summer and another needed in other ministries. the ministry itself continues to grow & change, with students always coming & going. it is a good reflection of the church itself. it continues to grow steadily with 'heidelbergers', with a fluctuating percentage of students between semesters & breaks. there are always projects being done around the building to try to maximize our space.. especially for the growing population of children in our church (growing families are a sign a proper calvary chapel!).

the home fellowship that we began at the beginning of the year is doing well, & we are having so much fun getting to know each person better, as we really FILL our little living room. vera loves it, & i have a sneaking suspicion that she believes that everyone gathers at our home every other friday for her :)

vera turned one year old on october 17th. it is still hard to believe, mostly because i feel like i am still trying to get my act together as a mother! but i am finally finding my footing & getting back involved in some of the ministries i was in before, as well as some new ones. i've been really blessed to be able to attend mops (mothers of preschoolers) here in heidelberg with a bunch of friends from cchd. along with getting together with other women and moms from our church, my weeks are mostly filled with the homey life that is mommyhood & am so very thankful that i am able to stay home with vera.

coming up soon is our church family retreat, which is always a really sweet time of fellowship. we missed the last two years (being in florida & then its being days before vera's due date), so we are especially looking forward to going this year. we stay at a cozy little retreat center together & have lots of time for fellowship, worship & prayer together.

so for some prayer requests...
- the church retreat at the end of november
- provision for some upcoming expenses
- the approaching need to renew michael's passport
- wisdom as parents & grace for one another as a family

- the glorification of Christ in our church & ministry

thank you all for your prayers & caring hearts. may the Lord bless you & keep you, be gracious to you & cause His face to shine upon you. i will leave you with a few more pictures from this autumn...


sweet memories

hi friends,

marah here :) i posted an update of sorts on my personal blog... 

thank you so much for all of your love and prayers, especially in this very hard moment of time. the Lord is blessing us and show us His love so deeply in the midst of the pain. 

for anyone that would like to view my dad's service, it is online - just comment here with your email address & i can provide you with the link. 


Week #2

Hello friends and family,

Greetings from sunny Florida! This last week has been full but blessed. We were blessed to have visits from our brother Ray, his wife Julie and nephew Cole. Pictured below are a few shots from some family worship time we had. It was a great time praising the Lord together.

This has also been a hard week for us all. The pain that Marah's dad is feeling has been increasing. This last weekend we met with Hospice, and this week we will get to know the nurse(s) who will be stopping by the house to check in and look after him. You can pray for him with these pains as they get stronger. He is able to take medication for it, but it does not always bring relief.

This week we also recorded a song that I (Michael) wrote for Ron and the family during this time. When we get the recording, I will post more about that. Below is a picture of one of my best friends, Nathan Kohler, who played percussion on the track.

We thank you all so much for your prayers and support. This time is not easy and often difficult for each of us, especially for Marah's parents. But God, who is rich in mercy and love, continues to encourage our hearts and lift our eyes to focus on Him. It is so sweet to recieve encouraging notes from so many of you. We love you and are proud to call you family!

Love in Christ,
The McCalebbs


Week #1

Praise and thanks be to God, for He is good and His love endures forever.

We already miss our church family back in Calvary chapel Heidelberg. But we are so thankful to have this time with family and friends. We are doing well and are all adjusting great to Florida. We have really been blessed with great weather, as the summer has not fully kicked in yet. (It is coming and will surely be hot and humid) It is wonderful to have a bit of some transition weather having left sunny Heidelberg.

Our first week has been a busy one meeting and seeing friends and family. Some from out of town, others from out of the country! Last Sunday we got to spend time with the honeymooning Klamms. It was great to see Michael and Gabi. We went to church together, had lunch and went for a walk along the water. It was a blessed time with good friends.

Vera has been so sweet and she loves playing with her Nana and Papa (marahs parents). It is now over a month that Marah's dad has been off of the chemo. Some of his tastebuds are coming back, and other side effects of the double-edged sword called chemotherapy are slowly diminishing. We are thankful for that. He is still physically not close to where he used to be and a lot has changed. He has recently been feeling pain and discomfort in his back and the area of his liver.
What has not changed but only deepened is his love for the Lord. He is a great encourager and is very blessed to get so much time with his kids and grandkids.

We thank each of you who are praying for our family in this whole situation. Even in this week  we have seen so many small blessings that are too many to recount. The Lord is so gracious with us and we are blessed to have caring friends and family like you all.

In the loving grace of Christ,
Michael, Marah and Vera


Home in Florida

After almost 16+ hours of travel we landed in Orlando FL. We are so thankful for all of you who prayed. Vera did a great job and only had one meltdown that last 20-25 min. And for such a long travel with a six and a half month old. We are thanking our Father in heaven for a great trip. Even with the extra two hours waiting in the plane at Orlando due to the immigration computers crashing. Vera was a trooper.

We are so thankful for this time to be here with family during this difficult season. The Lord remains faithful.

We love you all and will be much better with the updates!
Michael, Marah and Vera