Sunday, December 30, 2007


I feel like the little green guy above. I'm in Colorado, Kim is in Charlotte, our stuff is in a storage unit, I'm staying at a friends, we will move into another house when Kim and Ruthie get here, then we pray we find a house to move into.
Why the Alien you ask?
There are many references in scripture about being an alien or stranger in a foreign land. I have thought about those verses especially since I don't have a physical home at this point. Not to over spiritualize everything, but God has truly reminded me of my eternal home.....and that it's somewhat natural to feel like a stranger. I love the idea that this world is not our home, we are on vacation in a sense until we are called "up yonder". But while on vacation, God has called us to be faithful and that's a full-time yet rewarding job.
any who........
Kim and I have been blessed on both sides of the country to have kind folks who have taken us in and cared for us. We have seen the face of Christ in many of these people. This is a tough time....but it's also a good time. I can't wait for my family to get here as we attempt to settle into this new place.

under construction,

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas photo shoot

(We took alot of pictures of Ruthie's first Christmas with my sisters I will have to post those later...hopefully these will tied you over.)

Grandma and Grandpa Stratman

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Brother Vick

I read Michael Vick's letter to the judge the other day and something caught me off guard. He wrote a 5 page letter asking for the judge to cut him some slack and that he is not a beast. He listed several reasons why he was a good person and the one that topped the charts was; "I bought my pastor a church" which Neil Boortz replied "Mister Vick we don't buy churches....we go to them"

Just a little randomness to brighten your day

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Farewell Party

Last night there were about 300 people gathered in our church gym to send us off to Colorado. They made a huge meal, a great video and sang some songs. It struck me on the way home that I just participated in a rare occassion.....and every aspect of that occassion gave the glory and thanks to our Lord. Kim and I received some incredible letters and gifts from our great friends here at St.Andrews-Covenant. After the meal, all the students and college kids and "real world" kids joined us in the HUB for a final time of worship and celebration. My tear ducts are dry and my back hurts from hugging.
I ran a diagnosis on my tears and It came back that they were tears of gratitude and thankfulness. This church has loved us well and we love them the same. At some point I will try and put the video up on the blog for yall to see.

God is Good

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Advent Conspiracy

The Clan Namtarts head off to Colorado Springs for Chapter 3 in the Namtart Adventure on December 21st. We have some going away parties, I turn 30 on the 20th and then we go to Charlotte for Christmas and then I head off to the Rockies with my truck full of gear and a plethora of books on tape. To get in the right frame of mind I think I will get Lonesome Dove, Louis L'Amour and some other western romance books.
If you have a second, check out Advent Conspiracy and see what you think. There is a video under the title "what is it?" that explains this initiative. Advent Conspiracy is an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by worshipping Jesus through compassion, not consumption.

PSS- Ruthie and Kim are doing well. Ruth is saying "da-da" as well as "Deuteronomy, Ipod Nano and Bob Saggett". We are so proud of her. More pics to come when our camera is repaired.

Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ruthie's 1st Thanksgiving

We are with Nate's family in Arkansas for Ruthie's first Thanksgiving.

Our little Squanto

Ruthie meets Uncle Jake (not pictured) and Aunt Julia for the first time

Ruthie has a blast with her cousin Ben

Ruthie meets her great grandparents for the first time

Great Grandma Gable bonding with Ruthie

Fun with a Balloon

We went to the grocery store and the woman at the register gave Ruth a balloon. You would have thought we took her to Disney World.


Well...The Stratman's have offically moved out of our house...we are sad, excited, and relieved all at the same time. We will be in Wilmington until Christmas and then off to Colorado at the end of December. We are so thankful for all our friends that helped us pack and watch Ruthie.

Ruthie still managed to have fun in the midst of all the boxes

The boxes were like life size blocks

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Blogging Hiatus

-We had a lil' snafu with our camera, it got smooshed
-we have to be moved out in 10 days
-we won't have internet access

if you want to watch a baby or lift a box, we would like to be your friend!!

more Ruthie pics to come! She is getting her hooves and hair did for her next photo shoot when the camera is restored.

Love, Peace and Chicken Grease!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Queen Bee

All dressed up and ready for the church fall festival! (There was one upset baby before these pictures and Ruthie was almost grounded from even going to the festival.)

Ruth realized we left her trick-or-treat bag outside.

Many hours of love put into her first Halloween costume (I am my mother's daughter.)

Pulling up

Ruthie loves looking out the screen door...(yes mom it is locked)
1,2,3...UP!!! (I did steady her from falling to the side, but she did the work.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pumpkins and Mountains with Ruthie

Just a quick update...Ruthie just started crawling today and her first two teeth are coming in!!! Wow, how time flys!

Mama and her little pumpkin

Ruth was more into the straw than the pumpkins or taking a picture

Precious! (notice the straw still tightly gripped in her little hand)

The Namtarts had an incredible weekend with the Doroskos and the Artemenkos in the NC Mountains. We stayed at Allen and Jodie's new house which is incredibly decorated, I might add. A wonderful way to spend our last 2 months in NC.

The view from the front porch is Grandfather Mountain...BEAUTIFUL!!!

ROW, ROW, ROW your boat...Maggie, Will, and Ruthie playing at Pop and Lolly's (Allen & Jodie's) mountain house

The babies decided to take a rest after their hike

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Our littlt rock climber

Ruthie liked the Stalagtites better than the Stalagmites!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

2 Random thoughts

1)Today's word is GRATITUDE-
it has been made abundantly clear to me that we are good at asking God to supply us and our loved ones with health, outcomes, finances, hope etc...
Here's the RUB- God continues to work in front of my very eyes and I rarely thank Him like I should.....always off to the next thing. So here is the question for you and I...."When was the last time you took a breather and thanked your Maker for answered prayers? hmmmmm It's time for all of us to "waller" in His goodness.

2)On a lighter note- On one side of our youth building is a Methadone Clinic and on the other side is a center for middle aged, low-income folks with mental disabilities. One of my new friends from next door, Reggie has been hanging around alot. He comes to my offic to borrow a basketball so he can work on his jump shot on our goal. We share the lot with 10 other agencies and a restaraunt. Reggie (who is 50+yrs old), took it upon himself to collect landscaping blocks, cones, rocks, an empty box of Philly Blunts and other "borrowed" objects. He spread these objects all over the lot and connected them with caution tape around the goal. Some people called the cops on him and they arrested him and hauled him downtown. Later that day he came bye the youth building and I asked him about his adventures today. His response, "Man, I was just workin' on my jumpshot when they snagged me and took me downtown...sumthin' bout a summons'....well at least I got a ride downtown, I had things I had to do down there".

more drama for ya' mamma!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Miss Ruth

Our little girl has been sitting up left and right, it's very fun to watch. She loves watching her friends Maggie and Will as they are very busy moving around the house. We are now eating peas and little star thingies....and now our spit ups and diapers have entered an entire new arena. Ruthie loves to flip and turn when we are trying to clean the toxic waste off of her now we must buckle her in with a harnace on the changing table. Kim is a trooper.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Weepy Weep

In recent years I have really grown in the area of crying...I'm getting much better. With all the change going on in our lives as well as many answered prayers, the tears of thankfulness and gratitude have been flowing. My favorite place to well up is in my truck listening to music. This morning on my way to Sams (tha' club)I had yet another precipation attack in the eyeball region. Here are the words to a new David Crowder song that inspired the Weep.

And the problem is this We were bought with a kiss
But the cheek still turned Even when it wasn’t hit
And I don’t know What to do with a love like that
And I don’t know How to be a love like that
When all the love in the world Is right here among us
And hatred too And so we must choose What our hands will do
Where there is pain Let there be grace
Where there is suffering Bring serenity
For those afraid Help them be brave
Where there is misery Bring expectancy
And surely we can change Surely we can change Something
And the problem it seems Is with you and me
Not the Love who came To repair everything
Oh, the world’s about to change
The whole world’s about to change

Monday, October 08, 2007

For Sale

It's weird seeing a "for sale" sign in my yard. We are praying for God to help us in this arena because both of us are fairly clueless when it comes to realty and financial stuff. Here is our house on if you want to see it.
Kim and I have really been impressed with the way most of our students have handled us moving. Many of them have written some incredible notes!! We thank God for this incredible bunch of students, they will be real world changers.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Proverbs 3:5-6

Dear friends and Church Family,

Over the past year Kim and I have tried to pay close attention to the Lord and His plans for our family. It has been a struggle, but we have discerned that it is God’s will to accept the Senior High Director position at First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs, Colorado. We start the first week of January and will be moving the last week of December. I will also continue my master’s work at Fuller Seminary, which is down the street from the church. We are saddened at the thought of leaving this incredible church and community, but excited when we think of what God has planned for us.

Kim and I would love to sit down with each of you to talk about all of these changes, but we know this is not possible. Telling you this information by letter does not excite me because it seems distant and formal. Our prayer is that we will have time to spend with many of you to say our “good-byes” before we leave in January.

To be honest with each of you, it makes no human sense for us to move. We love the church, the students and the incredible friends we have made over the years. For this reason we know God must be at work. We trust that He will lead us into the next chapter of our life. In the same way we trust God to continue to guide St. Andrews-Covenant and especially the youth ministry with what lies ahead for you as well.

We believe that St. Andrews-Covenant has loved us and cared for us like children. When I came here over 7 years ago I loved the Lord and working with students, but that was about all I knew. Over the years Steve Hein, the staff and my dear friends who have worked along side me in the student ministry have nurtured and encouraged me as a young leader. I am also deeply thankful for the way you welcomed Kim into the church family when we got married and Ruthie when she was born in March.

God has been working through this church family way before I arrived, He is working now and He will continue to work way after each of us is gone. I know that He works in seasons and this has been the most life-changing season of my life. Kim and I are grateful that God allowed this season to happen. Please pray for our family to continue to seek Him in the midst of selling and buying a house, making new friends and working at a new church. In the same way we will praise God every time with think of you.

God is Good,
Nate, Kim and Ruthie Stratman

”Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, September 27, 2007


On the 2 day trek home, my heart was hurting to see my 2 ladies. In africa I met so many parents who loved their children with wreckless abandon. They literally risked their lives to provide for their kids. Some parents were known to walk day and night to get medical attention for their babies. There was such a humility amongst the Ethiopian people that they came across as very shy. When I sat in their homes and asked them about their children, the shyness went away and they spoke in a firm and confident voice. Being a rookie father myself, I could feel the pain in the voices of these fathers. These men wanted more for their children and just couldn't seem to provide some of their needs. I sat with moms and dads who had to watch their children suffer, and yet they were quick to sing praises of God's goodness.

The pictures above are as follows; 1) you can tell this little girl was absolutely filthy, but her smile melted my heart. She was a little girl who hung around the church/compassion project, but was not in the program. While compassion has teamed with the local church to reach children in the name of Christ, hundreds wait outside the wall because there is no room for them.(I'll address this in a second)
2) Here is my Maasai Tribesman friend Peter who is also a follower of Christ. When I told him my daughter's name was Ruth, he began to recite the entire book of Ruth from scripture. 3) This is another Maasai named Tony. He had HUGE holes in his ears and he let me stick 4 fingers through the hole. (Kim grossed out when I told her this....but my thought is "when in Ethiopia, do as the Ethiopians do") Both Tony and Peter are missing a tooth in the bottom front of their mouths. They told me that Maasais do this to their children so they can still put water and medicine in their mouths when they are sick. I challenged both of them to a jumping contest.....I got crushed. (in case you didn't know...the Maasai are famous for their leaping ability, I saw this on the History being the Alpha male I am, I had to challenge these guys.) 4) I found these boys in the middle of nowhere tending after the cattle. Each of them are shepherds who watch the family cows. They begin at age 7 and spend all day with the herd...we laughed when we thought of what we did at age 7 here in the states. These boys give you a good idea of what King David the shepherd boy may have looked like.

This is why my heart is heavy with conviction:
I was exposed to so many African Christians who are devoting their entire lives to caring for the poor and sick in their homeland. We heard story after story of orphan children rescued from the streets who are now healthy, educated and giving back to their villages. Without a doubt I saw so much Hope in what I thought was a hopeless situation.
But here is the rub;
In Matthew 26 Jesus tells the disciples that the "poor will always be with us". I have always struggled with understanding this verse....I honestly wish Jesus didn't say it...but He did. As followers of Christ we must never have the mindset that we have arrived until we meet him face to face. I am reminded even in our own culture that the Harvest is plenty and the workers are few. Praise God for the children who have been reached by the global church. To those of us in the United States, we must "KEEP FOCUSED" because we have been given so much and now are required by God to act. Look at the first picture, this girl longs for the day when she can get the same attention the other children are getting. Due to a lack of resources, she might never get in along with millions of other children.
What can we do?
If you are interested in sponsoring a child from these projects, please let me know. Kim and I realized that one meal in a restaruant per month comes close to $32. This is a small amount of money now that I have seen how it is put to work.

God is Good,