December 20, 1998

Dear Friends and Family,

As we write this letter, we are full of mixed emotions. We are sad because of the recent events in Washington; sad that President Clinton did not learn the lesson of history—that the cover-up is worse than the original deed. We are also sad that diplomacy has failed again in Iraq; sad for the suffering of the people of Iraq due to our bombing attack.

However, we are also glad for many reasons that far outweigh those for being sad. Our Constitution and our government are holding up under this recent strain, and we believe that will continue. We are happy for our partnership in marriage. But most of all, we are happy that 2,000 years ago God sent his son Jesus in the form of a human being, like the rest of us; we are saved by God’s grace through our faith in Jesus Christ!

All right, end of sermon … how was the year for the Madsens in Scotts Valley? It was a quiet year for us. Kent continues working in Information Technology at Sun Microsystems. Chris continues her part-time hospital work in Critical Care; she also continues her part-time teaching of LVN and RN students. Chris is making fantastic progress toward her Masters in Science Nursing degree; she can actually see that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel—one year from now. That is six months earlier than originally estimated!

In March, Chris joined a group of people from Light of Life Lutheran Church (our congregation) and St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church (Santa Cruz) on a trip to Guillermo Ungo, El Salvador (see group above). It was a great trip and a fantastic relationship-building time for all. The timing (Palm Sunday) was bad for Kent; as the only bass in the church choir, he stayed to sing. It was a tough choice! Chris also spent one week of her summer as Camp Nurse at Mr. Cross, a local Lutheran camp. We both continue with our church involvement—Chris is leaving Light of Life’s church council as Kent goes on!

In August, Kent accompanied the Anderson girls on a cruise to Alaska (i.e. Chris, her sister Susan and their Mom Dorothy). We had a great time both on the ship and on shore. We heartily recommend Princess Cruises! In fact, we are eagerly anticipating our next cruise with Dorothy to the Panama Canal in January 1999.

Our two Springer Spaniels, Moses and Bridget, continue to be both the objects of our affections and terrors of the household—especially at mealtimes and during w-a-l-k-s. One must spell, you know, otherwise be ready to go—now.

Thank you for your letters and cards, here and on the way; we enjoy reading your news. May your lights be bright, your giving satisfying and your holidays merry!

God’s richest blessings,

Kent and Chris