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Sunday, January 03, 2016

Our Father

On Sunday mornings I usually lay eyes on Nat and the kids for the first time just as they come down the aisle for communion. Since Redeemer meets at a local high school, it takes us close to three hours to change the school into a church, so I sadly miss seeing the fam in the mornings.

Today I was leading worship and the time came for the communion liturgy. I still hadn't seen the kids or Natalie, since she was keeping the nursery. The Lord's Prayer began and at the exact moment we all began to pray "Our Father" I heard one voice above all the others in the congregation. Nat had snuck in the back of the auditorium and was holding Macy Heart. That red-headed bundle of giggles saw me at a distance and loudly called out "DAAA-DAAAA, DAAAA-DAAA." 

At the same moment I was crying out for my Heavenly Father I heard the voice of my daughter crying out for me. It was if God was saying, "Drew, do you see how big you're smiling right now when you hear your child calling out your name? Right back at ya buddy."

It made me eager to cry "da-da" way more often. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Year In Review: 2015

JANUARY
The new year began with a trip to Georgia to see old friends in Athens and Atlanta. As a late anniversary celebration, we saw “Newsies” off broadway in Charlotte and I tried to convince Nat to have another kid just so we could name him “Cowboy.” Over MLK weekend the 5 couples in our small group took a kidless trip (except we brought Macy Heart) to Knoxville to stay at the Chesney’s farm and Natalie and I finished 2nd place in the sharpshooter competition. As we thought about Honey going to Kindergarten in the fall we discovered the University-Model School model, somewhat of a hybrid between traditional school and home schooling. We began dreaming about one starting in GSO.

FEBRUARY
We surprised the kids with our 1st trip to Great Wolf Lodge indoor waterpark. They’re convinced it’s even better than Disney World, so please don’t tell them differently. Greensboro became a Winter Wonderland and we had snow much fun sledding with the neighbors. We formed a board for the school, choose a name and embarked on the whirlwind that would become The Covenant School

MARCH
It was good for my soul to have a weekend away in the mountains with some college buddies. I’m grateful for 20 year old friendships that continue to draw me closer to Jesus. Natalie also had some girl bonding on the Church of the Redeemer women’s retreat at Ocean Isle. 

APRIL
I turned 37 and celebrated with 30 days of yoga poses on Instagram. It was a treat to get to be back out in Colorado at Crooked Creek Ranch for the WyldLife Summit (Young Life for middle schoolers).

MAY
Hutch turned 3 and Honey graduated from Mt. Pisgah Preschool. She quickly transitioned to summer time, joining the swim team and taking tennis lessons at our neighborhood pool. We picked a lot of strawberries and enjoyed water skiing at High Rock Lake with the Crafts. We began holding interest meetings for The Covenant School and started the process of hiring teachers and a school director. Nat’s dad, Bill, began a steeper decline in his health due to his battle with cancer.

JUNE
Nat turned 35 and we celebrated with a new HVAC unit after being without AC for 15 days. I lost 7lbs of water weight….which I quickly gained back through nightly consumption of homemade ice cream on the Hill-Craft Ocean Isle Beach extravaganza. My brother, Blake, convinced us to take family photos on the beach dressed as Hipsters, another one of his many strikes of brilliance. Our 2nd born assumed a new identity as ‘Super-Hutch’ after we shaved his head into a Mohawk. I enjoyed my only time cooking this year as I was assigned chef duties for our Church of the Redeemer staff retreat in the mountains of Virginia. Our Senior guys Campaigners group braved the cliffs and waterfalls of Pisgah National forest on the annual Young Life ManTrip.  After an unsuccessful surgery, we had to move Bill into a nursing home.

JULY
Honey turned 6 and we went to her 1st ever concert for the Outcry Tour in the Greensboro Coliseum. Applications began to come in for TCS and we fervently prayed and frantically searched for a location for the school. I loved getting the privilege to speak to high school students for a week at Camp Impact outside of Houston, TX. Our highlight of July was launching ‘CampBooyah,’ a brand new summer mission camp for Anglican youth. We gathered teenagers from 5 churches in NC and are excited to do it again this coming summer in Kannapolis, NC.

AUGUST
Macy Heart turned 1 and we went to North Myrtle beach with Nat’s family.  I was pumped to have a ton of new small group leaders volunteering with the Redeemer Youth Ministry and we went hiking at Hanging Rock.  We hired 3 teachers for TCS and found out that my sister, Abby, and my brother-in-law, Allan, were expecting their first child in April. Nat’s daddy continued to weaken and we received the hard news that the end was near. We moved him home with hospice care.

SEPTEMBER
On the morning of September 2nd, Bill Leonard went to be with Jesus. My brother in law, Nate, gave a eulogy at the funeral that would’ve made his daddy so proud. It still doesn't seem real. At our family Christmas gatherings I’ve caught myself looking around for him.  Please continue to pray for Nat, her mom, Mary, and our family as we grieve his loss and yet rejoice in his healing. On the morning of September 8th, the doors of The Covenant School were opened for the first time.

OCTOBER
After a summer filled with camps, vacations and taking care of Bill, we finally celebrated Heart’s 1st birthday, 2 months late. We spent a weekend in Virginia Beach celebrating Natalie’s cousin, Mary Kate, getting married. I was privileged to speak at a spiritual life emphasis week at a high school in Augusta, GA and on the way home discovered that our rental house in Athens had been wrecked by our renters. It led to a nightmare of repairs that thankfully has finally wrapped up. Being children of a YL leader, our kids claim Halloween as their favorite holiday and love playing dress up so much that the largest closest in our house is completely devoted to skit clothes. My parents, Lolli and Pops, were great sports and completed our band of 7 ninjas as we terrorized the neighborhood on Oct. 31st.

NOVEMBER
We celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary and my favorite year of marriage yet. The longer I hang around Natalie Hill, the more I see Jesus. The hardest part of November was sadly saying farewell to Hutch’s Mohawk after school picture day. Those were a special six months. We miss ya Mo’. We attempted a family photo shoot to get a Christmas card picture. Thankfully it was not as miserable as it could have been thanks to my brilliant wife, tons of candy, and monetary bribery.

DECEMBER
The senior guys Campaigners group pulled off an amazing 6th annual ‘Northwest Young Life Mr. Christmas Tree pageant.’ Nat and I went to Andrew Peterson’s annual ‘Behold the Lamb Concert’ with our small group and the kids loved spending the night at Chuck E Cheese with the Crafts. Natalie made me cry like a baby when she surprised me and turned our basement guest bedroom into a prayer room and sacred space to meet with Jesus. Honey sang her first solo, “Happy Birthday Jesus,” in our children’s Christmas program. The kids were excited to discover a new trampoline in our back yard for Christmas and the summer weather in December has made it extra enjoyable. 

Young Life
In addition to my job as the associate pastor for youth and worship at Church of the Redeemer, we're continuing to raise support for my part-time job with the Young Life Communications department running YoungLifeLeaders.org

If you would like to financially support us, you can make a tax-deductible online donation hereUnder gift designation, search by staff member’s name for ‘Drew Hill.’ Choose a monthly, quarterly, or 1-time donation.

You can also mail a check to: Young Life, PO Box 70065 Prescott, AZ 86304-7065. Please make it payable to ‘Young Life' and include “1900- Drew Hill” in the memo. If you need help, feel free to call or email me. THANK YOU! 

Happy New Year,
Drew, Natalie, Honey, Hutch and Heart


Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

We're Praying About Starting A School In Greensboro

Kinda crazy, I know. But we are praying about starting a Hybrid school in Greensboro. 

Honey will start Kindergarten in the fall and we're just not ready to let her be away from us for over 8 hours everyday. We also don't feel like we can pull off homeschooling 5 days/week. A Hybrid school seems to be the best of both worlds. It's like combining traditional school with home school.

We would meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at the central campus with a traditional classroom environment. On M,W,F she would do school at home and complete her assignments from T-Th with the direction of the teachers from the central campus. 

We had a meeting last week at our home with 17 different families who are interested. We know there are a ton of other folks who have expressed interest so we're having our first 'Public Interest Meeting' on Thurs, Feb 12th at 8pm at Rental Works downtown.  If you know anyone in the Triad (HP, W-S, Greensboro, and surrounding areas) who might be interested, please help us spread the word. 

Find out more info at GreensboroHybridSchool.com.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Drew's Latest Sermons

You can listen to my last two sermons below. 
(Mainly posted for my mama!)

When God Appears: Mark 1:14-20
Preached on January 25, 2015

The Waiting: 2 Peter 3:3-15 
Preached on December 21, 2014

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Honey's Turn Being Star Student

Each week in Mrs. Sharkey's class one of the pre-K kids gets to be a Star Student of Week. They get to share 5 show & tell items and take home the class pet for the weekend. They record all of their adventures with Moochie the stuffed dog and share the pics of what they did together. They get to be 'the star' for the last 30 minutes of class on Fridays. I adore Honey, so naturally I've already watched this 27 minute video a couple times. I'm mainly posting it on here to share with family and for posterity's sake. Enjoy!

Honey Hill: Star Student

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Would You Consider Financially Supporting Us This Year?

Friends & Family,

It’s impossible to cram the experience of being a Young Life leader into this short letter. I wish I could take you with me into the halls of Northwest Guilford High School. I wish you could’ve smelled our bus after the 36-hour drive to Colorado this summer. I wish you could have sat with us on the floor of the cabin on night 3 of camp as a circle of teenage boys poured out their hearts. I asked them, “Fellas, being as honest as you can, what words would you use to describe the real you?” After a brief silence, they answered one by one. I tried to hide my tears as I took notes on their answers in my little red notebook.  “Stressed out.”  “Liar.”  “Confused and Weak.”  “Ungrateful.”  “Pressured and Two-faced.”  “Afraid.”  “Frustrated.”  “Jealous.”  “Ashamed.”  “Distant.”  “A disappointment.”   “Fake.”  “A Loser.”  “Irrelevant.”

For the Christmas season Natalie decorated a chalkboard that hangs on the wall in our kitchen. On it she wrote the words from Isaiah 9:2, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.”  That week at camp I had the incredible privilege of watching several of my high school friends encounter the “great light” of Jesus.” It never gets old. But I also came home with other kids who continue to walk in darkness, shame, fear, and confusion. Being a Young Life leader is hard on the heart. It often feels like I have a front row seat at a boxing match where the kids I love are repeatedly pummeled by the world. Yet…“we take heart, for He has overcome the world (John 16:33).”

This is my 16th year being a YL leader. I know from experience that it’s hard and often lonely, so four years ago I had an idea to create a space online where leaders could connect, be encouraged, and easily find helpful resources. In December of 2010 I started ‘The Young Life Leader Blog.’ It started small but has grown to become the primary resource for Young Life leaders worldwide. It’s now called YoungLifeLeaders.org and is regularly used by more than 15,000 leaders. The site has close to 2 million pageviews and over 22,000 social media followers.

As the volume of users has increased so has the demand on my time. Last December Young Life asked me to go on part-time staff and start raising financial support. Now, in addition to my role as an associate pastor at Redeemer, I work 15 hours/week for the YL Communications department. My job is to provide current resources for the 40,000 volunteer Young Life leaders around the world. In September I hired Stacey Greene to work with me as an administrative assistant for the site (5-10 hours/week). Stacey is in the Greensboro Fellows program and has been a huge blessing.

In order for me and Stacey to both be funded through 2015 I need to raise $15,000. Last year I had 11 different folks donate one-time gifts. I also had 6 folks support me on a monthly basis totaling $280/month ($3,360/year). If that monthly support continues in 2015 it leaves $11,640 left to raise. Would you consider supporting us monthly or with a one-time gift? I get so pumped thinking about how this one little website can encourage and resource THOUSANDS of leaders, who will in turn reach MILLIONS of teenagers. Thank you in advance for your investment in me & this ministry.

Gratefully yours,
Drew, Nat, Honey, Hutch, & Heart
                             
HOW TO GIVE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION

MAIL A CHECK

Mail to: Young Life 420 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, C0. 80903. Make payable to ‘Young Life.’ Include “1900- Drew Hill” in the memo.

GIVE ONLINE



The links above will direct you to the YL giving site, with my Communications dept number ‘1900’ already entered in. Leave the 'special designation' area blank but please write my name in the ‘sponsoring’ box. If you need help, feel free to call or email me

THANK YOU! 


The Hill Highlights: 2014 Edition

January

Honey and Hutch enjoyed playing in the snow with our neighbors. Drew took the Northwest Young Life Guys on a Snowboarding Trip to Beech Mtn. And…we finally sent out our 2013 Christmas cards.

February

Natalie counseled at the IOH retreat in Orlando for families with a terminally ill parent. InheritanceofHope.org. Hutch fell in love with being a fireman at Nate Whitworth's b-day party at the fire station.  We took our annual trip to Morehead City to visit Uncle Nate, Aunt Su, Pierce, Creed, and Selwyn.

March

We found out ‘it’s a girl’ and enjoyed knowing the gender ahead of time, as Honey and Hutch were both surprises. As spring arrived we made frequent trips to the Greensboro Science Center & Aquarium. Airbound Trampoline Park also was a hit with our family, youth group, and YL club.

April

Drew turned 36.  Honey 'played soccer' for the Mighty Ducks, meaning that a bunch of kids surrounded a soccer ball and sometimes kicked it. Our church started meeting at Western High School. We enjoyed pushing the double stroller from our house to the Bog Garden.  

May

Hutch turned 2 and enjoyed some Krispy Kreme. Nat counseled at another IOH retreat. We joined Green Valley Pool and loved being able to walk to the pool from our house. Honey swam with the Grinnin’ Gators junior swim team. Thankfully she has her mama's athletic genes.


June

Nat turned 34.  Drew placed 3rd in the men’s big splash competition at GVP. We ate homemade ice cream every night during the Hill/Craft/Kessler annual beach trip to Ocean Isle. Drew took guys to Crooked Creek Ranch Young Life Camp in Colorado.

July

Honey turned 5 and celebrated with a tea party at the O’Henry hotel, followed by a pool party starring Pop’s cotton candy machine.  All the cousins became superheroes at the Leonard/Ludwig beach trip. Drew took the Redeemer youth on a mission trip to Western, NC with Carolina Cross Connection.

August

Macy Heart Hill was born on Aug.4th.  I call her ‘Heart,’ Nat calls her ‘Macy Heart,’ you can call her either.  Nat was a champ in labor and had another beautiful water birth. Drew officiated his cousin Kinsley’s wedding who lived with us this past year.

September

We survived 17 kids (all under age 7) in the same house during our small group beach trip. Hutch started preschool one day a week and Honey started Pre-K. Daddy and Honey started reading The Chronicles of Narnia. We made many new friends at Redeemer who recently moved to the US as Rwandan refugees. Drew hired one of the Greensboro Fellows, Stacey Greene to help him manage YoungLifeLeaders.org.

October

Nat’s dad’s lung cancer sadly moved to his brain. Bill recently completed radiation and is awaiting results. We enjoyed our 1st ever daddy-daughter campout, picking apples with our neighbors, the McCloys, and a YL weekend at Windy Gap. For Halloween, Nat and Honey were butterflies, Heart was a raincloud, and Hutch and I were Fire Marshall Puppy and Ryder from his favorite TV show, Paw Patrol.

November

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a marriage retreat for pastors at Ocean Isle Beach. Heart was baptized. We indulged in many casseroles over Thanksgiving.

December

We saw Nat’s dad sing in his 23rd ‘Living Christmas Tree’ at 1st Baptist in Salisbury. Honey was mesmerized by ‘Frozen on Ice.’ The annual tradition continued of seeing Andrew Peterson’s ‘Behold the Lamb.’ Drew’s Campaigner group of senior guys competed in the YL Mr. Christmas Tree pageant. Drew was ordained a deacon in the Anglican church.



JANUARY
FEBRUARY
MARCH
APRIL
MAY

JUNE
JULY

AUGUST
SEPTEMBER





OCTOBER
NOVEMBER


DECEMBER