Monday, November 20, 2006

Four Baptisms!

Life is great isn't it? Sometimes things are really challenging, but once you make it through the difficult times, the victories can be so sweet.

Yesterday was an amazing day at the Gainesville Christian Church. We had our annual "I thank God for you" service. It was a great service from beginning to end. After the sermon we were able to see four people get baptized! Kay and I were able to participate by baptizing our good friends Tony and Caroline Sofarelli. We actually met Tony and Caroline back in about February through Nick Molino. We got to know them through the spring semester and studied the Bible with them a few times. Then, they left for the summer. When they returned for the Fall semester, they shared that they really wanted to have us over for dinner. It took a while but we finally found time on September 8th. They cooked us Halibut from Alaska and it was great. As the evening ended, Kay began to feel some pains that ended up being the beginnings of labor. So, Tony and Caroline have a special place in our lives as the last dinner before Maya arrived.
God really changed their hearts as they studied His word. They have truly become great discples who desire to help many others come to know God.

Also Maya has continued to grow. She is getting happier every day. And we continue to take pictures of her. She was able to meet her great Aunt Kay and great Aunt Judy (my mom's sisters) for the first time yesterday also. Of course they loved her!

God is really great in the way he blesses us and takes care of us. Its hard to imagine all that he wants to do through us and with us. We look forward to the finale of 2006 and a very exciting 2007!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

October 06

October 2006, what a month! I thought that September was crazy, but October has only been more crazy. But maybe that's just an "in the moment" perspective. But, now that its over, October was a great month.

First, things with Uruguay got firmed up. There were some moments of reconsideration. There were some suggestions that made us think about Brazil, but after many talks and much prayer, we're still going to Uruguay. We never questioned our decision to go to South America, but it was just a question of where the best place to go would be. Now that those things are sorted out, we are fired up at the opportunity to go to Montevideo and help the church there. I'm looking forwar to January because I'll probably be able to travel down to MV, scout out the city and meet the disciples there. Now, we're just working on raising the money and recruiting some people to go with us. I know that God is going to provide all that we need.

Maya has continued to grow. As of the 31st, she was almos 10 lbs. Its amazing to watch her grow each week. Recently her eyebrows and eyelashes have gotten a lot longer. We created a google slideshow of Maya pictures. You can see it by clicking here.

Kay is doing great as a mother. I'm so greatful to have an incredibly dedicated and hardworking wife to parent Maya. I'm amazed a how much work it is to take care of Maya and I am grateful to be able to share the responsibilty with Kay.

Also in October, I celebrated my 26th birthday. Kay surprised me and took me to SilverSprings in Ocala for my birthday. We had a great time seeing giraffes, bears, panthers, alligators and other amazing animals. God has blessed me in incredible ways that I'll never be worthy of.

Finally, we had a retreat with the Campus ministry. At the retreat a good friend of mine, Mitchell got baptized in the ocean. A week later another good friend, Handley got baptized. Both of these guys have been studying the Bible for a while and have really grown in amazing ways. I'm proud of both of them for taking the step of faith to get baptized. You can see Handley at the center of the picture.

Hopefully November will be a little slower of a month. But who knows? We certainly have life to the FULL!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

How Quickly Things Change

Wow, its October 2nd. I can't believe how quickly this past three weeks has gone by. Maya arrived on September 9th and things have been a blur since then. My parents came up to Gainesville to hang out with us and help us get adjusted. Mom was able to stay a few extra days. Then on Sept 18th Dan & Mary came into town from Afghanistan. They were a terriffic help as we tried to figure out our life with a newborn.

For the first few days, Maya slept in our room with us. But she started making a lot of noise at night so we decided to put her in her own room. Since then we've been sleeping (a little bit) better. She is quickly getting used to sleeping in her own bed.

Our time with Dan and Mary was great. We spent most of it hanging out at home and watching the baby. Its amazing how long you can stare at a little baby. Maya has a really cute wake up routine that we watched every day. We also got to go to a movie and hang out at the mall with her. Yesterday, Oct. 1 was her (and Kay's) first Sunday at church. Even though she was only 3 weeks old we decided to take her because Dan was preaching. Its not too often that Kay gets to hear her Dad preach. He did an amazing job talking about pouring our lives out for God. Dan and Mary are definitely examples of that as the live in Afghanistan. Their work with HOPE Worldwide is growing week by week. There working on initiating some new projects all overAfghanistan. If you want to check out their blog you can see it at
He challenged us all to be willing to face our fears, fight against worldliness and dream great dreams for God.

We are continuing to pray for next year and for the small church in Montevideo. If you want to learn about the country of Uruguay you should check out this blog:
. It has some great info about Uruguay.

Another great thing that has been going on is a Colossians class I've been teaching for the Campus Ministry. Each Thursday night we have our midweek service for the Gainesville Christian Church and the whole campus ministry has been working our way through Colossians. I love the way that Christ is Supreme and held up high above any other "gods." This upcoming Thursday we'll be studying Colossians 3 and talking about how to "put to death" whatever is worldly and "put on" Christ. We've had discussion after every class and I think people have really been enjoying it.

Well, its time to go hang out with Maya. We'll put some more pictures up soon.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Maya is Here!!

She's here!!

On Saturday, September 9th at 11:41 am Maya Cheyenne Hoyt came into the world. It was a most amazing time. I'm so proud of Kay. She did an amazing job giving birth to our awesome daughter.

Maya is beautiful in every way. Just today, we came home from the hospital. Its really hard to believe that from now on Maya will be with us. The Hoyt family has just added another member. Here's a few pictures.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Approaching the big day...

Thirty six weeks, six days and only a very little while longer until our daughter Maya arrives. I can't believe that its approaching this soon.

Yesterday, we got the crib and the bassinet for Maya. As we moved them into the baby room in our house, it only got more real. Soon, we'll not just have a baby room but a baby!!

God is really good in how he takes care of us. Even though we've been through a lot this year, God has been with us every step through our families, our brothers and sisters in Christ and especially His word. Today I read in Genesis 19 about God's compassion on Lot as the angels of the Lord were about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. In vs 16 it says "But he [Lot] hesitated, so because of the Lord's compassion for him, the men grabbed his hand, his wife's hand and the hands of his two daughters. And they brought him out and left him outside the city." Just like Lot, so many times I've hesitated at God's leading. Yet, he still decides to take me by the hand and guide me to where I need to go. God is so compassionate!!

So, we'll keep praying and preparing as we look forward to the day that Maya arrives.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Our Adventure to Uruguay

On Sunday, July 23rd, it was announced at the Florida Discipleship Conference that in the Summer of 2007 we would be going to Montevideo, Uruguay with a mission team to help the small group of Christians there. In this post, I want to share the story of how we've made this huge decision for our lives.

From the beginnings of our friendship in Mexico City in 1997, Kay and I have both wanted to do great things for God. Part of her childhood included three years spent in India with her parents as missionaries there. I have always had a fascination with Latin America.

When we got married we talked about possibly one day being missionaries. At that point we were just starting out with our marriage and our career in the ministry. In 2004 we were able to take a small group of teenagers from our ministry in South Florida to visit our sister church in Santiago, Chile. We had an incredible time there and began to fall in love with the church there. We were able to return again with a different group in 2005. Both times our friendships with the brothers and sisters there grew deeper and our hearts grew more for South America.

In May of this year we were planning for our third trip to Santiago, this time with a group of campus students and some married disciples from Gainesville. To help us prepare for our trip, Martin Bentley who is the Missions Evangelist for the Florida Missions Council came to Gainesville. After our midweek church service on May 18, Martin asked if we could spend some time together.

After a few minutes of chatting, he expressed that there was something he wanted to talk about. At that point he began to explain that there was a small group of hurting Christians in the capital city of Uruguay. He asked if we would like to go there with a group of disciples and begin leading that church and helping those brothers and sisters.

To make a long story short, we began praying alot. Kay and I discussed all the various aspects of us going from her health to the baby to whether it was really the right time in our lives.

After about two months of praying, some fasting and getting much advice, we decided that this is what we wanted to do. We feel very humbled that we would even be considered for such an opportunity. Though it will mean a lot of sacrifice, we believe that God will work in amazing ways and we pray that he will use us to help the small group already in Montevideo and many, many more who do not yet know about the Gospel.

Though we are young, we feel that God has prepared us in many ways for this task. I speak some Spanish and Kay is learning quickly. We've both been to South America a few times now and feel a special love in our heart for the people there.

We are most likely going to leave in the Summer next year. Please be praying for us.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A New Day

Hey, this is the first post to this blog. I wanted to start a blog so that we (John, Kay and Maya) can update our friends and family about our adventures in life. Hopefully this blog can be an inspiration to anyone who reads it.

I've called the Blog - Philippians 1:21 because that is the scripture I have tatooed on my left shoulder. It says "For to me, to live is Christ. To die is gain." I want to use every day living as Christ would have lived. I hope that this blog can share those thoughts and convictions with you.