Happy New Year everyone from the white and snow covered land of Northern Minnesota!! Dad called the folks who lived on the farm the “frozen chosen” and this time of year, it really fits!
It’s hard to believe that Summer and Fall went so quickly, and before we knew it, Thanksgiving and Christmas were here, and now the New Year.
What is that latest? If you read the entry from August, you saw that we had a massive ” to do” list. Much of it was accomplished, but there is much still to get done. Keith, along with help from a family that came from Florida and our nephew Cody, was able to get the plumbing done in the former home for Mama Pearl Rose and the main farm house. He also did electrical work on several of the homes as well as replacing heaters, softeners and other appliances. Added to that, was a new roof to one of the mobile homes.
This might not seem much to some, but you need to understand that Keith is not trained in any of this…he is a Pastor! So, getting these tasks done were “miraculous” in many ways, as the Lord guided him and directed him, and provided him with people around him who could answer questions. It’s amazing what you can Google or look up on YouTube!
I started a new position in September, as the Interim Executive Director at Northwoods Pregnancy Care Care Center in Bemidji. Added to that, I do all the shipping of book orders, office work and one of my favorites, is mowing acre after acre of grass (really, I do love it!) on our mower and I have the joy of watching the baby boy of one our church leaders when his Mama does her shifts at the ICU. Our days were long, busy and went very fast.
With Winter here, we are hoping to catch our breath and catch up on what needs to get done. My father’s office and library are in need of many, many, many hours of labor to organize and sort the boxes and files that have sat here since he passed. I have a dear friend who agreed to help, so hopefully we can start digging away at this project before Spring gets here!
We appreciate those of you that pray for us on a consistent basis! Your prayers mean so much to us. I do try to answer every email and the support given to us is greatly appreciated! We continue to oversee and steward the property, believing that God will keep us on track and focused on what He wants us to accomplish.
We are blessed to be able to provide housing to two students and their families from Mokahum Bible College in Cass Lake. Also living here, is Pastor Rick Weinert and his wife, Billie Jean. Billie Jean has taken over most of the Winter hospitality duties. She makes sure the farm house is clean and ready for any Winter visitors. Its a huge help and blessing! Rick has agreed to be a member of our Board of Directors. He has a heart for ministry and really is able to see a future for what the Lord has in store for us here. Right now…it’s getting the property physically back up and running! Completing our family on the farm is our nephew and niece, Cody and Jessica. Cody is “Uncle B’s” right hand and he keeps every motor literally running…. the shop has become a “man cave” and he is at work on something that needs to be fixed!
With that being said, we are sending out a request for physical help if the Lord should lead your heart to do so. There are so many things that need to get done, and quite honestly, we do no have the man power and resources to accomplish. On the list from August, was getting the lodge prepped for use by churches and fellowships this upcoming Spring and Summer. Without help, it won’t get done and the building won’t get used. We need volunteers with carpentry and building maintenance skills. We also need a couple (if and when the lodge is able to be used again), to live at the lodge, oversee the building, help coordinate the calendar of events, and be there on site for when assistance is needed. We have groups that want to use it! There are doors to replace, windows, carpeting and hundreds of ceiling tiles on the lower level that need to be replaced…the list goes on.
On the farm? The barn, garage and house all need to be painted. The garage needs a new roof. There is work inside the main house and on the property…so willing and skilled hands are always a blessing. Please pray if you could come as a team or as an individual with this skill mix to help! If you knew my Mama, you knew she could cook and she passed that on to me! We will make sure you have a roof over your heads and full stomachs! Send an email if you are able to help with these projects! We would need teams or individual from early Spring and on in to the Summer months.
As stated before, we appreciate your support and encouragement and know that many of you think of this place from years gone by with fond memories and love. We also know that there are many that remember the vision Dad and others had for this property and have been standing in prayer alongside us, waiting for God’s time and revelation as we seek Him. We know we are not alone in this and are truly grateful for the years of friendship that have been established.
May the Lord bless you and keep you in 2017…
Keith and Sissie(Katz) Pennel
Ben Israel Fellowship
Art Katz Ministries