Here is an update from the Newmans. Both Ben and April graduated college in 2004, Ben with his Master's in 2005. We were married in June of 2005, more than 10 years ago – kind of hard to believe. After we were married, we remained in Chesterton for almost three years. Ben drove a truck, and April worked for a mortgage company. During these first years, we were part of the ministry of the inner-city church that April's dad started in Chicago. We worked on the bus, taught Jr. Church, Ben preached at times, and April played the piano for services.
In 2008, the Lord moved us to Broadview Hts. Baptist Church in Ohio, the church that Ben was a part of before college. This move was clearly God's plan for us, but one that had never even crossed our minds. We are involved in various ministries of the church. For a number of years now, Ben has been captain of a bus route which goes into inner-city Cleveland. It can be challenging at times, but there has been real fruit from this ministry. Ben is grateful for the preparation he gained with the bus ministry while in college. We have enjoyed being involved with the Teen Choir and nursing home ministry as well.
Since college, God has allowed many things in our lives that we hadn't expected, but were for our good and part of His best. One of these things was the recent diagnosis of our youngest daughter with a severe mental disability called Angelman Syndrome. This disorder is characterized by developmental delay, lack of speech, seizures, jerky movements and balance issues, but also comes with a happy demeanor and frequent laughter. Elise is a joy! April homeschools our other daughters – Grace (7), Leah (5), and Anne (3). Grace is in 2nd grade, Leah is in kindergarten, and Anne is doing preschool work. The Lord blessed us last June and put us in a nice home with plenty of room after living in a 2-bedroom condominium for 7 years. Ben drives a truck for a chemical distribution company.
We are definitely grateful for the part Fairhaven has played in both of our lives and for those who invested in us. We learned many things while in college – academically, practically, and spiritually. We also found out that there were many more lessons for us to learn after college – things like discerning God's will, surrender, personal integrity, and humility. God has taken good care of us, and continues to do so as we endeavor to live for Him.
Ben and April Newman