2003 Year in Review

 

Dear Friends,

“It was the best of times…it was the worst of times…” No…not a Dickens classic but a fairly accurate description of 2003 for this ministry and life with the Neighbors family. Yes, it is time once again for the “annual update.”

The Ministry

This fall I am beginning to see things return to “normal” for the ministry (a ministry that thrives on anything but normalcy), and by normal I refer to the after- effects of 9/11. Talk to anyone in the area of touring ministry and they will tell you that it has been a hard go since that infamous day. Now, finally, I am seeing more interest in bookings–pastors are starting to call more–that is good news indeed. It has meant I have been on the road much of the fall–perhaps too much (just ask my wife)! It has been a real privilege to watch our associates Steve Wilent and Jeremy Hoffman as they go out to churches, camps and schools to perform their one-man productions to enthusiastic audiences. Lorie, my wife, also renewed her interest in performing by developing a drama for women’s groups!

Kimberly Harris, my office assistant, began working for us in January and made quite a splash. A few months into the job she had a baby and then shortly after that was in a car accident. She is doing well now, but the recovery from the accident was a cause for much concern and prayer.

Every Friday night this past year we have been performing an Improv Comedy show at a local restaurant here in Salem. A blessing for the local performers to have a place to use their talents and a blessing for Salem to have a good, clean, family-friendly entertainment option.

It has been a busy year for me on the conference circuit as I taught and performed at a number of Worship Arts Conferences across the country and look to do even more of that in 2004! (It as a special privilege to deliver the keynote address at one of those conferences!)

One of the best things that happened to this ministry in recent years is our partnership with the relief organization, World Vision. To date we have been able to acquire over 800 child sponsors for some of the world’s poorest children. What a tremendous blessing.

Family Life

This has been a tough year for us in the Neighbors household. After a long bout with cancer Lorie’s mother, Billie Scullard, went to be with our Lord. My own parents are struggling in their senior years–my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. My mother has had back surgery, open-heart surgery, and hip surgery twice all in the same year she is still struggling to recuperate.

Our boys continue to be both a joy and a challenge…teenagers…enough said? Our oldest, Jonathan is enjoying a year of study at Capernwray Bible College on an island of the coast of British Columbia, Canada. Ryan is a junior in high school and Liam is a 7th grader. Both love their music and our home is often the rehearsal hall!

All in all, I am still in awe of what God is doing through this ministry. In our entertainment culture there has never been a better time to be communicating the Good News in creative ways. It is constantly being confirmed to us that what we do is reaching people that might not be reached in other, more traditional ways.

We thank you for standing with us in this ministry. Your prayers are appreciated. Your financial support is not taken for granted. We could not do what we do without people like you.

Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Chuck

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