Friday, 25 January 2013

Destination Japan

From Kyrie

Dance is a huge part of my life. I use it for so many different things. It's a hobby, it's a sport, something I do for fun and to show others what I can do. I can express feelings and the written word with it. I use dance as a way of telling stories and to me, most importantly, I use it to glorify God and use the talent he has given me to praise Him. Excelsior School of Dance has taught me proper dance technique and strength and they have also planted in me a seed of expression and passion that is used to give all I am to God.
All the training and hard work I go through comes down to the one moment when I am on stage and just praying that God will use me and my dancing to move the audience. I think every dancer that is part of Excelsior’s missionary group shows an enormous amount of love for God. Their purpose for dancing on a stage in front of so many people is not so much for the audience to admire the beautiful choreography or the strength of the dancers, but to show Christ and Bible stories through them. I think that's fantastic: using something that you love to do so much, and finding that God is using that to reach out to others.
The Excelsior company are planning to travel to Japan this year. They will be traveling to many cities and areas of Japan, dancing the story of Praise of the Nations, an original piece created by Excelsior. There will be a dancing crew and a backstage crew, including costume, lighting, and sound system helpers. I have been asked to serve as part of the backstage crew this year. I will also be going to Japan to see what it is like to travel with a ballet company.
I am so excited that I have this amazing opportunity to travel with Excelsior and see what they do in the foreign countries that they travel to! However, this trip will be expensive; I am hoping to raise $1,700 to cover a portion of the cost. I would love for you to partner with me in this adventure, through your prayers as well as your financial support. If you are willing to pray for me and Ballet Excelsior, especially when we're in Japan ( June 23rd through July 6th ) please send me an e-mail at To make a donation, please send a check made out to Ballet Excelsior of Houston with a separate note indicating it is for me. If you send me an email, I will send you the address to mail it to. I want to be where God wants me to be. I am very nervous as well as excited to have the opportunity to go with Excelsior. I trust in God that He will do His will though this, and that He will provide what is needed. Thank you for your prayerful support.

-Kyrie Collier

Sunday, 13 January 2013

2012 Christmas Letter - just a little late

Psalm 61:4
"I long to dwell in your tent forever
  and take refuge in the shelter of your wings."

This is the Christmas letter we've not looked forward to writing. 

Every year at midnight on January 1st, I always wonder what the next year will hold and 2012 was no different. I couldn't have known- and, of course, we never do, but it was the year that brought us the worst pain ever. Most of you know, and if you do not, I'm sorry for the shock. On January 2nd, our beloved daughter, Aimee, was struck by a car and went home to Jesus. She had just turned three. The first few months of the year were mostly a blur and everything has been shadowed by that event. There has been a lot of tears and a lot of talking to God. 

We are all healing and every day brings us closer to Home. Aimee is not behind us, but ahead. We are very thankful for all the prayers for us and for those who continue to pray for us.

There have been joyful happenings. Alex (now presenting himself to the world as Tartan) turned eighteen and graduated from our home school. He is attending HBU (Houston Baptist University) in the Honors College. So far it seems to be a terrific experience for him. He lives on campus (no car) and only makes the occasional trip home. We went out to see him in September for Family Weekend and he came home in early November in order to vote and he was home for Thanksgiving.

Kyrie, Abigail and Kayleigh all performed in Excelsior's production of Creation and Saviour. It was a beautiful production (they always are) and the girls all performed wonderfully. We even had family from out of town come to see it, so that was a terrific blessing. Kyrie has moved into level 7 and was also invited to join the Ballet Excelsior Trainee program (BET). Ballet Excelsior is the professional group attached to the school. She danced in an outdoor Christmas performance and will be participating in Project Dance Houston in March as well as Project Dance New York in April. She is taking classes in ballet, pointe, modern, tap and hip hop. Next summer she will be traveling with Ballet Excelsior on their mission trip to Japan. She does not have the experience level to dance but will be a backstage hand and gofer. She will be sending out a letter soon asking for prayers and, if anyone feels so moved, financial support. She is really looking forward to this trip and is looking ahead to a day when she'll hopefully be able to dance with Excelsior on another trip. 

Aidan became a first class scout this year. He has gone on many campouts, with and without his dad. He really enjoyed summer camp at El Rancho Cima, where among other things he earned a merit badge in Horsemanship. He continues to study Chinese, both on the computer and in a class. He also takes an online taekwondo class. I'm hoping to get him into an "in person" class sometime. Perhaps in the summer. He is not taking drama, but helped out the class by playing the part of Joseph for the Christmas play. 

Abigail is in level 5, after taking exams for both grade 3 and grade 4 in the spring. She has started to dance on pointe as well, though slowly and carefully since she's still quite young. She danced in Dessert with a Purpose, the dance benefit for Ballet Excelsior, for the first time this year. She takes classes in ballet, pointe, modern, hip hop, and drama. For the drama class Christmas production she played the role of Mary. The dance school just announced that the ballet levels can participate in Project Dance Houston in March and so she is busily selling duct tape hair bows and bookmarks to try and raise the $200 registration fee. Thus far, she has raised a $100.

Kayleigh has blossomed this year. Physically she has moved *up* to the 25% in height and 10% in weight. Those are actually big gains for her. Her reading ability starting from near the end of last school year to now has taken a big leap forward. She is on her final reader for the school year. I'll have to improvise in the spring. At the dance school, she has joined hip hop, started grade 1 ballet, and continued with tap, which is her favorite. She's already asking about joining drama next year. 

We did not get out a letter before Christmas, partly because it was a hard thing to do and partly because we went on a family California Adventure over Christmas break. We pulled the camper behind us and logged 4,500 miles to California and back again. We visited Austin (family!), San Diego (zoo!), Claremont (The Hobbit movie!) and then drove through Santa Barbara (Psych!), San Jose, San Francisco (Golden Gate bridge!) to Winters, California (family!), Las Vegas (the Strip at night!), stopped briefly at Hoover Dam, continuing on through Flagstaff, Albuquerque (no wrong turns!), Amarillo, Wichita Falls and onward to home.

May 2013 be a year that finds you closer to God, trusting in Him whatever your circumstances. 

Psalm 62:7-8
"My salvation and my honor depend on God;
  he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
 Trust in him at all times, O people;
  pour out your hearts to him,
  for God is our refuge."

The Colliers