Saturday, February 27, 2016

200 Proof Gospel - The Podcast, Episode 1

200 Proof Gospel - The Podcast, Episode 1: What is 200 Proof Gospel?   Listen to Pr. Mark Sell and Pr. Craig Donofrio discuss the 200 Proof, radical nature of the Gospel and get to know the hosts.  ...

The Extra Box of China

When I casually walked down the sales rack at Bed Bath and Beyond, I saw them immediately. They were exactly right! They were what I pictured in my young adult mind when I thought about a wedding or a future with someone. I had been married about six months already, but because we were in our forties, the wedding registry and gifts had been much more practical in nature. Neither of us was as excited about a Royal Daulton place setting than we were about new cookware. But there they were. Two boxes of Royal Daulton China. The kind I loved...plain white with a thin silver band. They were perfect, and they were on the sale rack at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I called my mom immediately and asked her advice. She told me to get both boxes. She would pay me back, and it would be my birthday present. Both boxes? Really? What would I do with 16 place settings of china? I was nervous enough just thinking about entertaining eight people!She told me it's always good to have more settings on hand because you just never know when you might need them. I took her up on her offer and, fortunately, had my 20 percent coupons with me for an even deeper discount. My aunt had given me all of her Fostoria Crystal when I got married. They were her wedding gifts when she married in Chicago years ago and were all from Marshall Field's so with the china I was well on my way to being someone who owned "pretty things".  It felt wonderfully grown up! My new husband knew his way around the kitchen (much more than I did) and was always up for entertaining guests(again, much more so than I was).

I opened one of the boxes of china immediately and soon bought a beautiful cabinet to house all of my "pretty things".   We entertained and had friends over frequently. My cooking skills improved a little, and as I gradually became less of a perfectionist, I became more willing to embrace frequent company in our home and just life in general. I hardly ever used the china and crystal that I received, though. That extra box of china followed us everywhere we went. It's been in storage, the garage, the basement and other odd places. It's very heavy, takes up a lot of room and a real pain to move anywhere. I thought about getting rid of it many times.

Craig and I have been married almost nine years now. His warmth, generosity, and hospitality have been a tremendous influence on me. When we moved from California to Missouri three years ago, it was the first time I had ever lived outside of Orange County. Saying goodbye to friends, family and leaving a 23-year position was challenging even though we had so much ahead of us.  Both my mother and my Aunt have since gone on to their heavenly home, but my china and crystal are sitting in the cabinet here in Missouri. It is a legacy of their thoughtfulness and generosity. We have met so many wonderful people and have made lasting friends here. We entertain just as much here as we did in California! Our guest bedroom has welcomed many a traveler who happened to land in St Louis. AND yes! The crystal and china have made an appearance several times.

A couple of weeks ago we had some of our dearest friends in Missouri over for a homemade Italian dinner. As the guest list grew a little bigger, I realized that I WOULD need to dig into that extra box of china for the first time. Of course, my mom knew best! I smiled as I remembered that day she told me to get both of the boxes. It also reminded me that God does indeed daily and richly provide me with all that I need and not only that, he pours out more grace, love, and mercy than I would ever dream of or think that I deserve. As I look at this picture of our friends, I think of how much we would have missed out on if we had not followed his call and come out here. In less than three years this diverse and somewhat nutty group have become our family. As we prepare to follow God's call to missions I look at the things, I will leave behind as well as the things ahead of me. I look forward to forging new friendships and creating a new family in Prague. The unknown is less scary to me with the support and encouragement of our friends in California and now in Missouri. I may have to dig into that extra box once again!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Donofrios in Jefferson City

This past weekend, we were blessed to share the Gospel and our mission work with the wonderful saints at Trinity Lutheran Church in Jefferson City, Mo.

The worship was beautiful, the music was fantastic and their warmth was truly touching.  Thank you so very much for sharing in the work of the Gospel with us!
rinity Jefferson City