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Bruce and Nancy Muskrat - Musicians on Mission

Musicians on Mission
Bruce and Nancy Muskrat

Fort Worth, Texas
December 23, 2009

Benjamin Price MuskratChristmas is a season for giving and receiving gifts because it is the celebration of the greatest Gift that God gave to us in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. We are so grateful to the Lord for His many gifts to us this year, especially for the new additions to our family. Luke and Claire meet their little brother Ben for the first time Benjamin Price Muskrat was born on December 16 to Daniel and Sara, weighing 7 lbs. 12 oz., and measuring 19 inches long. Big brother Luke and big sister Claire are so delighted with their new baby brother. Bruce and Nancy were able to be in Mt. Pleasant for Ben’s birth, as well as enjoy Daniel’s solo in the Christmas concert at First Baptist Church Mt. Pleasant and the grandkids’ Christmas play. Sara and Ben are doing so well that the whole family will be coming to Fort Worth for Christmas. Sara is taking a leave of absence from her job as a speech therapist at Titus County Regional Hospital, but will continue to work from home for a therapy services company. Daniel continues to enjoy his work as information technology officer at Guaranty Bond Bank where he was promoted to senior vice president this year. He is also active in the Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant.
Amy and Danny Ray BihlAt Another joyous occasion this year was Amy & Danny Ray’s announcement that they are expecting for February 2010. Amy and Danny moved into their first home in August. They have been busy doing their own remodeling and getting the nursery ready for Caleb Aaron who is due February 14. Amy is still at Providence Hospital as a social worker in the Sub-Acute Care Unit. In addition, she does contract work for Great Wall of China Adoptions, an international agency. Danny continues with the Harker Heights Fire Department where he was promoted to Driver/Operator. On his days off from the fire department, Danny works as a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty in Waco. 
Andy and Heather at homeAndy and Heather keep busy schedules with their music and church activities. Andy has completed over two years as minister of music at Highpointe Baptist Church in Cedar Hill, TX. He continues to work on his master’s degree in church music at B. H. Carroll Theological Institute. He enjoys singing with the Singing Men of North Central Texas and plans to go with the group on a mission trip to the Ukraine next year. As a part of the fundraising efforts for the mission trip, Andy recorded a CD entitled “Amazing Grace” that includes his own arrangements of selected hymns and an original composition dedicated to his twin sister Amy. The CD can be purchased online at:  Heather’s home piano studio keeps growing with new students being added regularly. She is also an instructor at “Music and Movement of Arlington,” the “Future Grace School of Music,” and “Southlake Music Academy.”
Bruce looking out on Oxford from the Tower of St. Mary's Church
View of Oxford from St. Mary's tower
Last March, Bruce and Nancy had the opportunity to travel back to the United Kingdom as part of B. H. Carroll Theological Institute’s Oxford Study Program. This year’s tour included a 4-day trip to Scotland. The two-week study tour based out of Regent’s Park College in Oxford. The Muskrats accompanied twelve Ph.D. students, in addition to other faculty and guests. The tour included the Cotswolds, the Bunyan Meeting House, Cambridge University, the American Cemetery, the home and church of C. S. Lewis, William Carey’s church in Moulton, John Newton’s church in Olney, Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle, the Abbey and Baptist chapel in Tewkesbury, London, the Lake District (home of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter), and Edinburgh and Stirling Castle (site of Braveheart’s William Wallace) in Scotland. 
Edinburgh, Scotland
Nancy, a "bonnie lass" enjoying Scotland
60th Anniversary Celebration for Quentin & Wilma WoodsNancy’s parents, Wilma and Quentin Woods, celebrated milestones this year. Nancy and Bruce traveled to Missouri in February to celebrate Quentin’s 90th birthday, then again in April to celebrate Wilma’s 80th. In August, the Muskrats traveled to Joplin once again to help Nancy’s parents celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Nancy’s sister, Judy, and her family traveled from Anaheim, California for the big occasion, as did Daniel, Sara, and their children. Nancy & Judy surprised their parents with a small reception for family and friends in the home of Jim Muskrat, Bruce’s father, and an excursion with dinner and a show on the Branson Belle showboat in Branson, MO. Wilma and Quentin enjoyed the festivities so much that they decided they would like to do it again for their 70th anniversary!
The Muskrats completed their third year with B. H. Carroll Theological Institute in August. The Institute continues to grow with 195 Master’s students (including 60 students enrolled in master’s level courses in Cuba), 22 Diploma students, 30 Ph.D. students, 4 D.Min. students, 9 Bruce & Nancy pose after playing Nancy's 2-piano arrangement of the "Gloria" from the "Misa Criolla" Pre-doctoral students, and 408 Readers or auditors in the various Teaching Churches. That totals to 668 students involved in study through BHCTI, which represents a 92% increase in enrollment since Carroll Institute classes began in 2004. The Institute commemorated the 400th anniversary of Baptist life with a special celebration during the summer colloquy. In addition to their work at BHCTI, Bruce and Nancy are active in the music ministry at Agape Baptist Church. Bruce also serves as chairman of the finance committee. The Muskrats have kept the two grand pianos busy, not only at church but with concerts of sacred and classical music throughout the year. In June, Bruce and Nancy returned to the International Mission Board’s Learning/Orientation Center located near Richmond, VA to lead the worship sessions and serve as facilitators for the 2009 Emeritus Recognition Conference. This was their third time to participate in the activities for retirees, so evidently they still haven’t learned how to retire! They still enjoy sharing about missions and their work in Argentina and welcome any opportunity to don their Argentine ponchos.

Our prayer for you this Christmas season and for the New Year is that the "Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way."
2 Thessalonians 3:16

Bruce and Nancy Muskrat are at B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, where Bruce serves as as Professor of Church Music and Missions and is also Director of Business Affairs. Now "emeritus" missionaries to Argentina, the Muskrats served 29 years under appointment of the International Mission Board, SBC. Appointed in 1977 as seminary music teachers, the Muskrats taught courses in church music and worship in the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Buenos Aires (1979-2000), and ministered through music evangelism and participation in church planting through the mission's Pro-Meta team. Bruce served as Administrative Support Leader for the Argentine Baptist Mission, the organization of  Southern Baptist missionaries in that country. 


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      rev. 22-Jun-2013