The Bates Family

TENT MEETING

by Kelly on August 14, 2011

IMG_0204

We were invited to sing and participate in a week of tent meetings in Camden, Michigan. We were so encouraged by the diligence exhibited by Mr. Harold Walker, who hosted and planned the entire event. As mayor of his township, he envisioned doing something that would help the community; so with much prayer and initiative he and his family went to work! The rest of us reaped the blessings of their labor and vision!

Tom Harmon preached each night. Gil closed the final meeting with a chalk talk and a special message for IMG_0248the youth.

During the week of meetings Carlin, Josie, and Katie all made decisions to follow Christ. Each had previously prayed and asked the Lord to save them, but had been having doubts about their commitment. Under Tom’s dynamic preaching, each were challenged and desired to confirm their salvation, putting to rest all former doubts!

(Photos by Faith Walker & Alyssa) 

IMG_0148

IMG_0150

_MG_0531IMG_0149_MG_0544_MG_0562IMG_0279

IMG_0289tentmeeting_340

_MG_0418

{ 113 comments… read them below or add one }

Camila August 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm

It’s so nice to see a family striving to follow Christ! You are a great example to me!
I live in Brazil, I am 13 years old, and my family is Christian. I love singing and playing the violin. I ask what songs you sang at the event and what you usually sing?

Reply

Gil August 14, 2011 at 12:47 am

Dear Camila,
We sing hymns and gospel songs. Much love, Kelly

Reply

Amanda August 13, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Your family is an inspiration to me here in Atlantic Canada. I follow your family along with the Duggar family for encouragement and because I want to support your ministry. I am getting married next month, and I know when we have children, I will remember how they are a blessing. Thank you for opening your lives to all of us : )

Reply

Selina Bruner August 13, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Praise the Lord!!!!! Isn’t it wonderful how the Lord speaks to us?! I’m so happy to hear of your children and their decision to step out and confirm their salvation and commitment to Christ. As I read this, I was in awe of how our Lord works in such a way in different places on this earth to accomplish His divine will. My husband has been holding revival in a church here in Kentucky this week and on Thursday night, the same thing happened to a young girl there. She came to the altar weeping and praying and told the church that she thought she had been saved but that while sitting in her seat the Lord let her know that she had not fully committed to Him and she said she was sure He had saved her now. Praise the Lord !!!!! Bless you and your family for being such a light in a rather dark world.

Reply

Dee August 14, 2011 at 12:23 am

Kelly,
We noticed a bandage on Carlin’s left ankle… we’re praying for healing!
dee

Reply

Gil August 14, 2011 at 12:55 am

Dear Dee,
You are observant! She was playing four square in Michigan and fell on concrete. It took the skin off so she was in pain for a few days, but is quite better now… In fact, she’s playing four square again! Love, Kelly

Reply

Amanda August 14, 2011 at 12:45 am

Dear Bates,
It looks like you had an amazing time! How is your pregnancy going? I’ve been praying for you :)

Blessings,
Amanda

Reply

Gil August 14, 2011 at 1:01 am

Dear Amanda,
In fact, we went to see Dr. Vick yesterday and heard the heartbeat again at 13 1/2 weeks! We are excited, but would still be VERY appreciative of your prayers! Love, Kelly

Reply

Kay W August 14, 2011 at 12:56 am

Michelle has worked her magic on dresses once again. The only thing prettier than the dresses are the young ladies wearing them. Glad you had such an encouraging time. I’ll bet the singing was wonderful, as well as Gil’s Chalk Talk. Blessings to all of you. Kay

Reply

tammy lynn August 14, 2011 at 1:55 am

Awww, You all are such a blessing to me. I am so glad that you have this web site going. Kelly, I am praying for your little one you are carrying, take it easy, God is with u every day and He has His hand in it. The chalk drawings that your husband does are really neat. My friend, does them too, and they turn out so neat. All your children really Love God, you can tell it with the glows they have, and it is GREAT news to hear about your 3 little ones accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.
God Bless, Tammy

Reply

Suzanne August 14, 2011 at 2:30 am

Dear Bates Family,
Your family is such an inspiration to me. May the Lord bless you!
Suzanne

Reply

Kay W August 14, 2011 at 2:48 am

Glad to hear the baby news, Kelly. That’s wonderful. Kay

Reply

Joy August 14, 2011 at 2:50 am

Dear Kelly,

Thank you for sharing your lives with us and congratulations on hearing your little ones sweet heartbeat! I was just wondering if any of your children take college classes? I just paid my first tuition dues yesterday to begin collegeplus. I first read about it on the Duggars website and wondered if any of your children are enrolled as well?

Reply

Gil August 14, 2011 at 4:25 am

Dear Joy,
Yes, some of them are earning degrees using college plus. Love, Kelly

Reply

Susa August 14, 2011 at 3:15 am

Praise the Lord! It is wonderful to hear that your girls confirmed their salvation! Your family is so beautiful, and you have such a wonderful testimony. Thank you for sharing you stories with is! :)

Reply

Patti August 14, 2011 at 3:45 am

What is a “chalk talk?”

Reply

Gil August 14, 2011 at 4:22 am

Dear Patti,
A speaker draws a picture, while speaking to the audience. It helps hold attention and is a unique way to present the gospel message. Love, Kelly

Reply

JenniferL August 14, 2011 at 4:43 am

I noticed that Erin is playing the piano in that one photo. Does this mean her hand is all better? I hope so!

Reply

Gil August 15, 2011 at 1:35 am

Dear Jennifer.
She goes to the doctor Wednesday. She is playing, but is not using her pinky. Unfortunately she is still having a lot of trouble bending it. We will pray and will discuss our options with Dr. Calhoun. If anyone could solve her dilemma, we’re certain he is the BEST choice of doctors anywhere!

Reply

Emma Culverhouse (England) August 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Dear Kelly,
Hi, I hope you are feeling well today & I hope God heard my prayers for your family this morning. Previously you said you would like to hear my testimony about how God is working in my life, well today our preacher spoke to us about light & salt, and I felt God speak to me about how I can shine my light in every room I walk into. I am so excited to see where God leads me in the coming weeks & months and I look forward to receiving wisdom from your ministry.
Love Emma x

Reply

Gil August 15, 2011 at 1:32 am

Dear Emma,
Ohhhh what a good reminder for all of us!! I remember reading a very old book called “In His Steps?” that was very challenging and dealt with that same idea. Thanks for the reminder! Love, Kelly

Reply

Kay W August 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Dear Kelly, I hope this is not a stupid question, but is that an example of a chalk drawing that Gil actually drew? If so, he should be a gospel artist, I am sure that his art would sell. He could add a message to the pictures and sign them. Perhaps he already does? Love, Kay

Reply

Gil August 15, 2011 at 1:30 am

Dear Kay,
Yes, that is the actual drawing as he was presenting it in Michigan. Thank you, but he doesn’t feel very confident with his artistic skills… he just uses it as an open door to preach to certain audiences! He’s much more comfortable with just a Bible, but he is willing to try whenever asked! Love, Kelly

Reply

Sara August 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Speaking of college plus is it accredited at all? I mean lets say for example one of the kids wanting to continue to say a masters at a regular school could they? Has Zach expressed interest in wanting to live by himself before he gets married. I personally think it is important to live by yourself and make daily life decisions without the supervision of your parents before getting married. I mean a lot of great stories come from your first time living on your own. In one of my apts I joked I became the master of the plunger since the plumbing left something to be desired. Also I lived close to a Mormon church and they never once came to my door, oddly enough it was representative from the Southern Baptist church.

Reply

Gil August 15, 2011 at 1:28 am

Dear Sara,
College plus acts as a middle man to help offer counsel, direction, and educational tools to help you obtain your major. They have researched great on-line courses, on campus courses, or CLEP tests and other tests that allow you opportunity to earn college credit.The student actually chooses the college he/she wants to graduate from mo(st students do choose an accredited college). They are well known for helping students obtain degrees at a faster pace through long distance learning.
As for Zach plans, we’re certain he will seek the Lords direction for his life. He usually makes very wise decisions and is quite a thinker! But as with any choices in life, there are always pros and cons to both sides that can make a decision cloudy, so the most important goal is to find God’s will. And we trust that is Zach’s goal! But some added food for thought: it would sure be hard to beat the experience Zach is gaining for family life by hands on involvement in a family where he is constantly working on building relationships, loving children, putting others first, learning to help out in household tasks…. what better husband preparation could you ask for???( Not to mention there’s plenty of plumbing needs he sees and conquers here also). But, we are not opposed to God’s leading in any direction… In fact, is quite exciting!! Love, Kelly

Reply

Ashley McKevitt August 14, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Dear Gil and Kelly,
How exciting that God did that work in the hearts of your girls! Rejoicing with you and praying that God would strengthen your family today and every day!
Love,
Ashley

Reply

Kay W August 15, 2011 at 2:33 am

His drawing looked pretty professional to me, with the right message and his signature since he is now well known, it could prove to be a great way to spread God’s word and make some extra money, too. Not that I am arguing, I know you and Gil look to the Lord to make decisions. It’s just in my opinion Gil’s drawing looked very good. Love and God Bless you all, Kay

Reply

Gil August 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Dear Kay,
Thank you… That is sweet, but he doesn’t charge money for any preaching engagements. Some churches have graciously given us love offerings to help with travelling expenses and we have been grateful, but we want to be able to continue to share as a ministry without financial expectations (That’s why he does tree work!). Love, Kelly

Reply

Paulette August 15, 2011 at 3:12 am

I am glad for Carlin, Josie, and Katie’s experience at the tent meeting. In the photo are they singing their trio about one’s lip? I enjoyed hearing them sing it in June and it is one I need to listen to again, myself. Can you give me its name? Thanks for the updates about your wonderful family, you are in my prayers daily.

Reply

Gil August 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Dear Paulette,
The name of the song is “The Pouchy Lip Disease”. It is on a Patch the Pirate CD and can be ordered from Majesty Music (www.majestymusic.com). Love, Kelly

Reply

amber landers August 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Glad to hear about our three little ones! Wish the girls and I would have been able to be there for Gil’s drawing. But we had fun at the birthday party. We havve been praying for you (kelly) and the new little one. And for Zach and all tht is coming up for him.

Reply

Amanda August 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Dear Kelly,
I am so glad to hear your pregnancy is going well! We will continue to pray. My husband and I have three kiddos. Ages 5, 2, 1. Two boys and a girl. I have always felt lead to have a large family. We have suffered a couple miscarriages and I struggle to want to get pregnant again because I am scared. Also I have hard pregnancies. I am very sick and worry because I have 3 small children to care for. My husband is in the military so we don’t live by family and friends move often. I would love more children. Do you have any advice? Thanks

Amanda

Reply

Gil August 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Dear Amanda,
Have your progesterone levels checked to see if your misscarriages are related to low levels. For morning sickness, different things work for different people… I try to eat small snacks through the day and keep peppermints handy, but my morning sickness is not severe at all. To help with the 3 little ones, begin reading as many good parenting books as possible! We loved Gary Ezzo’s “Preparation for Parenting”, “Growing Kids God’s Way”, and “Protection of Moral Innocense.” Vision Forum sells many helpful parenting books. As for family and friends, we were kind of own our own at first also, but it ended up being a blessing that knit our hearts together and made our family close. A good church family can be a strong source of encouragement! Love, Kelly

Reply

Emma Culverhouse (England) August 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Dear Kelly,
I have just downloaded ‘In His Steps’ to my Kindle. It sounds really informative & I can’t wait to get started on it. I will have plenty of time, as my little girl has gone away with my sister so I am all alone!! Do you miss your children when they are gone, even though you still have others around?
Hope you keep well,
love Emma x

Reply

Gil August 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Dear Emma,
Most definitely!!!! We miss each one and talk to them as often as possible through the day! Love, Kelly

Reply

Emma Culverhouse (England) August 15, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Dear Kelly,
it would be amazing if you could come to England to preach but I would not be able to extend my hospitality to you, we simply do not have enough room!! Would/have you considered coming across the pond?
Love Emma x

Reply

Anita August 15, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Dear Kelly: I greet you with the peace of the Lord, I’m glad that your pregnancy continues, your baby is developing well in your womb, we pray that come to fruition. These days we are expecting the arrival of our 4 grandchildren, my oldest daughter is on time, so we are very excited about the arrival of this member in the family, the word of God says that grandchildren are crowns for grandparents and we feel very blessed. I like knowing that your children took the step of faith, accepting Christ into their hearts, as the only Savior, is a very important decision in the life of every believer, because it will change the course of their lives, prepare them for what God has prepared for each of them. We also have young children and young people and they too have accepted Christ and serve Him in deceamos espitiru and truth, God has a purpose for each of their children, bring your gospel to all who are thirsty to hear the word of salvation , praise Him with singing, serving the needy, orphans etc. is our ministry., we each have gifts that he gave us beforehand, we just have to put them into practice and ask for wisdom from on high. I wish I had more time to visit other brothers in different locations to share what the Lord has done in our lives, but the work of my husband, we can not, well accept things as they are, maybe some day God will ask us to leave everything and go out to preach his word to different places, that would like my husband because he wants to preach, it does work, but he wants to go further, so I ask your prayers sister respect. I hope you can answer me soon, we wish you the richest blessings and we parted with a brotherly love in Christ Jesus.

Reply

Krysta Lee August 15, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Dear Kelly,
It looks like you had a great time in the Lord with your family during the tent meeting! I’m glad you were able to have such an awesome time spending such precious time in God’s Word with your family.
I am praying for your pregnancy and that all will go smoothly.
I’ve been wondering: How old are all of your precious children? When are all their birthdays? I know all the Duggar’s ages, and wondered how close in age y’all all are. Thank you! Love, Krysta

Reply

Nan August 15, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Dear Kelly and Gil,
Thank you for your ability to be a blessing. I am so thrilled for Zach. Is there a date set yet? Do you think you will air the wedding on 19 Kids and Counting?
Love, Nan
PS – with all this courtship excitement, it would be fun for you to post a photo of when you two were first courting!

Reply

Gil August 16, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Dear Nan,
They will be praying about plans and dates. I’ll have to try to round up some old photos for a post on our pre-wedding days… We’ve sure changed!!! Love, Kelly

Reply

Kay W August 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Dear Kelly, After this I promise to drop the subject of Gil’s art talent forever, OK? In the first place I don’t see how selling Gil’s art would differ from the Duggar’s writing books, and secondly Gil could donate the profits to a worthy charity, since y’all seem reluctant to profit from his talent. How is that for an understatement? You are the absolute real deal and I have the utmost respect for you and your wonderful family. You have given me back the faith I lost many years ago and there is no greater gift than that. I’m sure my grandmothers and mother are dancing with joy in heaven! There is no way to repay you for what you have done for me, but I will continue to try. Much love, Kay

Reply

Gil August 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Dear Kay,
Thanks for your input. Books cost a great deal of money to print, whereas drawing only requires time and Gil enjoys giving them away! Much love, Kelly

Reply

Camie August 15, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Wow, didn’t realize your husband did the chalk art. We have a couple that has come to our church many times (Bro.Lynn and Mrs. Linda Potts) She does all the drawing during his preaching…as it coincides)then right before the invitation he goes over and turns on the black light..they even did this one whole week for a vacation Bible School. Very powerful tool that God has given you! Also glad to hear good news with the baby! Still praying!

Reply

Amanda August 15, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Dear Kelly,
Thanks so much for the advice. With my last pregnancy I was on progestrone as well as blood thinners. It seemed to work because we have baby number three, a 1 year old baby girl. I would appreciate prayers for any future babies. Also thanks for the names of some good books. I try to read as many good parenting books as I can :) Also do your have any reasources for keeping finances in order? WE are on a limited income and try to stay of of debt. Thanks

Amanda

Reply

Gil August 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Dear Amanda,
One of the best resources for finances is “The Financial Freedom Seminar” by Jim Sammons available through IBLP ministries ( http://store.iblp.org/categories/DVD/) . We have also heard many great reports of Ron Blue’s material on finances, but have not personally been through it (http://www.mastermoney.org/). Gil shared some testimonies 2 years ago at an ATI homeschool conference called “How to Raise a Family of 19 Without a Set Income” that is available through the website given for IBLP. It is not a “How-to” message, but instead just some encouraging stories of God’s provision. Love, Kelly

Reply

Jennifer August 16, 2011 at 2:16 am

Wow, he sure did a fantastic job with the chalk art. I have never seen a sermon presented in that way. If you ever have the opportunity to film one of his talks and link it here I would love to see it!
As an aside: If your family would be willing to pray for God to touch the life of a family member I would appreciate it.

Reply

amber landers August 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Thank you Kelly,

I was going to ask the name of that song (The Pouchy Lip Disease) so glad that someone else did and now I know where I can get it! Thank Paulette for asking!

Hope all the Bates have a great day! God Bless! Love Amber

Reply

Krysta Lee August 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm

It looks like you had such a wonderful time at the services with your friends! I was wondering, what are all your ages and birthdates? I have always wondered how close in age you’re with the Duggars! Thanks!

Reply

Gil August 16, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Dear Krysta Lee,
They range in age from 11 months to 22 years old! We have birthdays in every month except March and June. Love, Kelly

Reply

Deanna Campbell August 16, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Well how exciting to hear the news of your new baby coming!! Patricia Thebarge and I met you at the Valentine’s Banquet held at IBLP Headquarter’s in Feb of this year. We had the pleasure of speaking with Josie and Katie for quite sometime so to hear of their decision to follow Jesus is wonderful news!!! and Carlin of course. Please say hi to Josie and Katie and many blessings to you all. Love Deanna & Patricia

Reply

Rosemarie August 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm

So wonderful to hear that your children were born again.Praise God! I was wondering if you could pray for my husband Carson & I as we lead our children Cheyenne & Tristan in the ways of the Lord? Also prayer for our small independant fundamental country church, Ridge Baptist Church, Lubec Maine.The church is having a tough time as we are without a pastor and we need revival.Thank you all for your testimonies. God Bless :)

Reply

Carrie August 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Gil and Kelley,
Never heard of the chalk thing. Looks like a really cool way to present the gospel. I love seeing new ideas for that!! Congrats to your middle girls for truly commiting thier lives to Christ! God is soo good!!!
Still praying for that wee-one!!!
Blessings
Carrie

Reply

Ali Norris August 16, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Dear Kelly,
I happened to read Nan’s comment to you, and I agree! You should put some photos of when you and Gil were courting, and pictures of your wedding! How long have you been married? I’m sure you looked so beautiful on your wedding day as you do now. Thank you so much for being such a blessing to me! What a gift it is to see someone openly sharing about Christ through their wonderful family. I love each and everyone of you, and I am so excited about the coming precious baby God is knitting together, and very excited about the *future* plans with Zach and Sarah. Love you all and I am praying for you! Love, Ali

Reply

Gil August 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Dear Ali,
Thanks! I’ll see if I can work on the photo request. Love, Kelly

Reply

Alexis August 17, 2011 at 12:20 am

Dear Mrs. Bates,

I writing to you in a true moment of crisis! Before I write the rest let me first say I am so thankful for the Our Lord and the gift He gave us through his blood, I have no doubt on this…BUT I am having so many difficulties on this road. Not only is the wedding planing going really poorly (things like who will give me at the altar reduce me to tears) but I am having so many obstacles in my life in general. There is nothing I want more than to be a good and godly wife, to raise children for our Savior, and to be a true helpmate; and I am doing my best to prepare myself for this. However I find myself in a world plagued with doubts! I am, quite unfortunately, in a place with no support system. My future husband is away for business a lot, and the devil seems to pop his ugly head everywhere. It feels as though anxiety is ready to render me useless. I feel as though Psalm 31 is my “destiny” and I am trying so hard to fulfill it but I am so very alone. I live in an unusually privileged area in New York city and have been unable to find a good church or even home-based church group so I am turning to you and your family for support. Please pray for me for strength through these difficult times!

Having said that, congratulations to your three daughters on being saved, as well as to you and your family as a testimony to the ability to raise godly children in these trying modern times. I will continue to pray for healing for Erin and for a good and healthy pregnancy for you.

May God continue to shine His light upon you.

Yours with love and respect,
Alexis

Reply

Robin August 17, 2011 at 1:54 am

If you are doing that,Please post some old baby pictures for us-You can’t have enough much baby sweetness!

Reply

Kira August 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Dear Gil and Kelly ….

Your family is precious , i love your blog ! The dresses the girls are wearing are so preatty .( Has Carlin hurt her ankle )

I was so pleased to hear that God is sending you a new blessing …how wonderful .

Reply

Gil August 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Dear Kira,
She’s better now. She had fallen on concrete and got a really bad scrape. Love, Kelly

Reply

brittani August 17, 2011 at 12:53 pm

the pictures are nice what song did your family sing

Reply

Gil August 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Dear Brittani,
They played and sang for about 30 minutes each night…. too many songs to list!! Love, Kelly

Reply

Tracy Whipple August 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I am so happy that your girl’s got the reassurance they needed! I too just went through that and I can tell anyone what a blessing that assurance is. My husband and I are going to start a family soon and I look to yours for a great example. You are all an inspiration. God bless you and yours.

Reply

Emma Culverhouse (England) August 18, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Dear Kelly,
I would love to see early photos of you all, especially your older children as babies to see if they look like their little brothers & sisters!!
Love Emma xx

Reply

Gil August 19, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Dear Emma,
I’ll try to work on the photo request. Love, Kelly

Reply

Sarah August 19, 2011 at 1:16 am

Dear Kelly,
I just got back from Mamoth Cave it was so much fun yall should go some time if you havn’t been, it is the longest cave system in the world!! I had my mouth operated on today the procedure went fine but I am in alot of pain if yall would pray for me that would mean a whole bunch to me!! Love and God Bless Sarah!!

Reply

Sara August 19, 2011 at 3:37 am

Reading this I have to wonder what I the hardest question your kids have every posed about God and faith? I mean with 18 kids and one on the way I’m sure at least one child has asked you an unusually difficult question.

Reply

aria August 19, 2011 at 4:53 am

I´m glad that you had such an inspiring time in Michigan! And, Kelly, I´m so thrilled that your pregnancy is going well. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.

Reply

Jo August 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Dear Kelly,
I am inspired by y’alls faith and dedication! Your family is a true example of what a family should be. Will y’all be speaking in Virginia in the near future? – Jo

Reply

Gil August 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Dear Jo,
Thank you for your encouragement… We don’t have any meetings in Virginia so far. Love, Kelly

Reply

brittani August 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm

can i write a letter to your family

Reply

Gil August 19, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Dear Brittani,
Feel free to write anytime… our address is PO Box 544 Lake City, TN 37769. Love, Kelly

Reply

Sarah August 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Dear Kelly,
I was just woundering how Erins apt. with the hand doctor went the other day? I have been praying for her. Love Sarah!

Reply

Gil August 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Dear Sarah,
He told Erin to give herself 6 more weeks recovery time! Love, Kelly

Reply

Anna August 20, 2011 at 12:20 am

Dear Kelly,
Were you or Gil a part of a big family? I just love y’all’s family! I noticed that your daughters, Katie and Addallee, as well as your son, Warden, have all the same middle names of my siblings’ first names! (Grace, Hope, and Justice)Isn’t that interesting?
Anyways, we’re praying for you and the coming baby! Love, Anna

Reply

Gil August 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Dear Anna,
I am the baby of 4 children. Later in life, my mother remarried and 3 step brothers were added to the family. After I was married and gone, mom adopted 2 beautiful baby girls which added 2 more sisters. I grew up, however, from 4th grade on as an only child due to my parents divorce. So, my heart goes out to those from broken homes where Dad and Mom are in separate places… I had wonderful, loving parents, but there’s nothing like the stability of a strong Christian home where harmony and love abound. Gil is the oldest of 3 children. Love, Kelly

Reply

Tina August 20, 2011 at 8:05 am

Dear Bates Family,
I would like to say what an inspiration your family is to me. I believe that children are a gift from God and it makes me so happy to see families like yours and the Duggars who cherish these gifts and gently guide them down God’s path. I always wanted a house full of children and prayed it was in God’s plan for me. I went through many years of infertility treatments to be blessed to hear that I was pregnant with a baby girl. Unfortunately, I was hit by a drunk driver and lost my precious little one before I ever held her in my arms. With that loss, I also lost the ability to ever conceive again. After recovering from this devastating loss and surviving years of being in an abusive relationship(that left me with many health problems), God gave me the courage to get out. He led me to the love of my life, who retired last year after 20 years in the military (but still works full-time on the base). My wonderful husband just happens to have 3 beautiful girls that I love as if they’re my own! Daily life is a struggle for me with my existing health problems. I just spent a week in ICU with 4 blood clots in my lungs and leg. I am facing a long recovery time but look forward to visiting your website (along with the Duggar’s) to see how God has been working in your lives. Thank you for sharing your uplifting testimony! I’m praying for this precious gift you are carrying, as well as for the rest of your amazing family.
God Bless,
Tina
PS: It is a dream of mine to be able to go to one of your speaking engagements. I absolutely love Mr. Bates’ chalk talk pictures. He is truly talented and one of his pictures would be something I would proudly hang on my wall!

Reply

brittani August 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm

i wish your family can come back up to michigan agian so i can your family that be cool because i met one large family its the duggars i didnt meet your family

Reply

Kira August 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Im glad to hear she is doing better .

Reply

Kay W August 20, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Dear Kelly, as a former Army Brat and Navy wife may I offer Amanda some advice? Right now taking care of 3 young children as primarily a single parent is enough of a task for you to do and do well. You have plenty ‘on your plate’ at this time taking care of the children you already have. Can I guess that your husband is not making a great deal of money currently,is not home for long periods of time, and each time you have to move it takes about a year to catch up financially? If you feel you still want a large family, wait until your husband is no longer in the military. Yes, children are a blessing, but why not wait until you can appreciate what a blessing they are, when you are a two parent family once again. Please at least consider this advice, God will surely forgive you for wanting to be the best parent you can be, primarily alone, and want to defer the rest of your blessing for a better time. God Bless you, Amanda. Kay

Reply

Gil August 22, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Dear Kay (In response to your note to Amanda),
Often in life we want to avoid hardships, but sometimes those hardships are the very things that help us become better people, closer family members, and more committed Christians. If I had chosen to hold off on having children just because it was difficult, I guess I’d be without any children at present. Looking back, I wouldn’t change one thing and I’m so thankful for the memories I have of God giving grace and strength and direction during dark or lonely hours. My faith was increased as a result and my love for others grew. May God bless, Kelly

Reply

Paulette August 20, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Good to hear that the doctor said more recovery time will help Erin. I hope that doesn’t mean a lot of rest for the whole hand. Most piano people I know find it frustrating when doctors say to give it a rest because their music is often comfort during difficulties.

Reply

Gil August 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Dear Paulette,
No, she hasn’t slowed down playing at all! Thanks! Love, Kelly

Reply

Rosemarie August 20, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Hello, I was wondering if you had any devotional helps you can recommend to my teenagers? We are praying for you all :)

Reply

Gil August 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Dear Rosemarie,
I asked Erin which devotional books she has personally used and enjoyed. She named the following: My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, Amazing Grace by Kenneth Osbeck, Streams in the Desert, and Extreme Devotion by Voice of the Martyrs. Love, Kelly

Reply

lyn August 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Just curiouse and I know you and Gil feel famous enough. But, has Gil ever video recorded one of his sermons that he has done and would you guys think about putting it up on the site, just so people can hear him preach Gods Word. Just wondering, it would be nice to hear someone different,LOL! Thank you!

Reply

Gil August 22, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Dear Lyn,
I’m afraid I don’t know enough computer technology to do that yet, but there is a homeschool conference that has 2 of his talks available. I’m not sure what their price is, but all of the cost goes toward their production of the DVD and toward their ministry. (IBLP online book store). Love, Kelly

Reply

Sarah August 23, 2011 at 12:14 am

You are 100% correct Kelly!! You grow closer to God threw the hardships that are in your life and I think that is axactly why those hardships happen to draw you closer to Him and family!! Corecct me if im wrong Kelly. Love Sarah!!

Reply

Kay W August 23, 2011 at 2:49 am

Dear Kelly, Do you realize that Amanda might possibly have her husband far away, as well as in harm’s way, as she has her next child? She mentioned difficult pregnancies, frequently having to move and not living near relatives. Besides the children, to care for in the best possible way, She has her home to care for singlehandedly, not to mention regular housework, the yard work is hers to do, as is the car maintenance. I know this Kelly, because I lived it as a Navy wife. I am not a person who ‘avoids handships’ but I am very realistic. As a Navy wife, I had 6 children, I wouldn’t give even one of them back, I love them all, but I would never in good conscience advise any other young woman to try it. I forgot to mention that I also worked full time and attended college 3 nights a week so I could get a better job, since my husband’s Navy pay was not enough to support 6 children. I believe we will have to agree to disagree on this one, my friend. Love and God Bless, Kay

Reply

Gil August 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Dear Kay,
I don’t believe God calls everyone to have a large family… My advice to couples is to find God’s will for them…. All I can personally do at best is offer opinions or encouragement here or there… But God, on the otherhand, can offer direction, instruction, hope, strength, provision, protection, purpose, and so much more!!! That is why each person needs to learn to walk close to Him and to hear Him!
But concerning difficulties, the old saying rings true: “No pain no gain”… It isoften through difficulties that joys are seen and appreciated! What missionary couldn’t list a long report of sacrifices and hardships, but he rejoices over the fruit of his labor! That is the encouragement I’d like to offer to you and others… The message of not growing weary in well doing! Susannah Wesley had a tremendously hard time raising her family without her husbands help, but we’ve all benefited from the ministry and lives of her sons John and Charles Wesley. I’m sure others are thankful for your endurance in raising your children also, as your children have now had opportunity to impact others. And I’m sure your children are all the more grateful for your labor of love… they must be very proud to you! I wrote this poem in honor of your life of sacrifice. Love, Kelly
Poem (8-23-11)
I worked the rows of corn alone;
I toiled from dawn til dusk.
I worked my fingers to the bone,
Removing the dirt- stained husks.

I wondered if the work would end.
My body ached; dispair set in.
But then I met a precious friend,
The Lord, who gave me hope within.

He changed my troubled view of life
By showing others starving in need.
Thus giving purpose for my strife,
He showed how many my corn could feed.

Sometimes we think we labor in vain.
Sometimes we focus on “poor old me.”
But when we look beyond our pain,
We can see the fruits in eternity!

Reply

Emma Culverhouse (England) August 24, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Dear Kelly,
What a talented woman you are!! A fantastic poem, which gives this single Mum inspiration to carry on. Thank you,
Love Emma xx

Reply

Kay W August 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm

First of all I thank God for giving me the energy to do what I needed to do. To quote Shakespeare, “All’s well that ends well” because by the grace of God my children turned out well and for the past 10 years my life has been wonderful. Not everyone gets that fortunate. One thing for sure, when you find yourself in a position to have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you certainly appreciate and are thankful to God for his blessings. I just leaned that we are expecting our 4th great grandchild near the time when your little one is due. Yet, another blessing! Love and God Bless, Kay

Reply

Krysta Lee August 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm

When are the times you usually get to respond to people when they comment?

Reply

Gil August 26, 2011 at 3:21 am

Dear Krysta Lee,
Usually a few nights a week I use about 15 minutes at a time to read e-mails. Love, Kelly

Reply

Rosemarie August 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Thank you for posting up about the devotionals. It is great that you take time to answer your emails.Thanks again from the Matthews family Downeast Maine :)

Reply

Hayley August 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Dear Mrs. Kelly,
I was wondering from watching the show, do you really feel that it is necessary to make your older children help your two little boys who are 6 and 8, also to make them help Josie and Katie get dressed,etc? I mean, I understand with helping Addy, Ellie, Callie and Judson, but shouldn’t the rest learn how to do it themselves?
Just wondering…

Reply

Gil August 26, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Dear Hayley,
Actually, no one helps Josie, Katie, Jackson, Warden, or Isaiah except to ask if they took a shower and brushed their teeth. They’ve been getting ready by themselves for quite a while. Even Addee and Ellie get themselves dressed. We just check behind them about shoes, hair, and little things. We think its important for them to learn skills early. In fact, that’s what the whole idea of a chore system and partners is for… to help learn responsibility. Love, Kelly

Reply

Amie August 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm

So how is Zach and Sarah?
Is he planning on asking her to marry him soon?

Reply

Gil August 26, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Dear Amie,
Zach has some responsibilities to finish first. He’s working on his degree and saving money, but they’ll be praying for direction. Love, Kelly

Reply

Hayley August 26, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Oh, sorry for the misunderstanding!

Reply

Gil August 27, 2011 at 5:55 am

Dear Hayley,
Oh, no apology needed… I wasn’t at all offended. I’m thankful for the questions. We’ve received a lot of help from questions that make us think…. and we certainly don’t have all the answers! We love challenges and suggestions… Much love, Kelly

Reply

Austrianmomof7 August 27, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Dear Kelly!

You are so encouraging to me!I will soon have my 7th child which is in Austria really strange.
The overage family has 1 or 2.
So it is difficult for me to find role models.
I love to watch your family and the Duggar Family.
You are so lucky in the US that you have so much support with homeschooling(conferences,..)
Here you have to take a test about all the books they use in the school , although they will not finish it in school.
But they test the homeschooler about all what is in the book.
So homeschooling is somehow more pressure than school:-)here!
Kelly-God bless you and I keep on praying for you.
Love from Europe!
Susi :-)

Reply

Natasha August 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Kelly,
My family and I really enjoyed watching the special on your family the other night. Your family such an encouragement and I pray that you have a very safe and healthy pregnancy. Your girls are beautiful and I see that Alyssa is becoming quite the fashionista! Do you and Gil have a particular age when your daughters can start wearing make up and doing their hair? Or do you not allow your daughters to wear make up? My husband and I were fine with our daughters doing their own hair at the age of 14 but were not allowed to wear make up until 17. With or without make up, your daughters look absolutely gorgeous!

Reply

Penny August 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Been following your family with the Duggars. You are an inspiration. I especialy like our Prime time Life special…. and “Daddy’s time every night” with the kids. Everyone should learn from that. god bless you and your family.

Reply

Samantha August 28, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Kelly, I wish you and Gil would write a book about raising a large family! You are so imspiring and young mothers and fathers such as my husband and myself could learn so much! I love how you keep to your true values and stay so grounded and positive! God bless!

Reply

Kathryn August 29, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Hello,Bates
I am happy to hear about Carlin,Josie and Katie chossing to follow God.But,don’t they follow God and get chsitened at a young age?
How is Baby #19 doing so far and how many weeks along is him/her?
How old are Carlin,Josie and Katie? How old are the girls,when they can wear makeup and wear their hair fancy? Do you know about the Duggar girls?
Thank you very much,
Kathryn
God bless you all.

Reply

Gil August 30, 2011 at 1:16 am

Dear Kathryn,
The baby is 16 weeks gestational age now and is doing well. The girls all fix their own hair (except for Addee, Ellie, and Callie). Makeup useage for us is based more on maturity, interest, goals, etc.rather than on a certain age. Love, Kelly

Reply

Kathryn August 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm

How are Zach and Sarah doing and are they staying completly pure until marrige?

Reply

Gil August 30, 2011 at 1:12 am

Dear Kathryn,
They are doing great. Yes, they have established certain protections and guidelines for themselves so that they can keep Christ at the center of their relationship. Love, Kelly

Reply

Amie August 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Samantha; if you want to read a book about raising a large family, read the Duggars book.

Reply

c.s. September 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Love Gil’s chalk talks! Beautiful and what an incredible way to keep the youth focused and engaged!

Reply

Bayley September 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Dear Kelly,
Can you put the children’s birthdays and year they were born on the website? Also, can you put your’s and Gil’s birthdays and years you were born on your website. It would be nice if you could have games for each of your children. Like what their favorite game is.

Reply

Gil September 18, 2011 at 3:59 am

Dear Bayley,
They all love Rook, four square, basket ball, football, volleyball, jumping on the trampoline, biking, hiking, water sports, Uno, jailhouse, horseback riding, ping pong, and roller blading. Love, Kelly

Reply

Autum F. September 23, 2011 at 11:47 pm

i just love the dresses the girls get to wear, i wish there was a place near me that sold them

Reply

Ashley October 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Mrs. Bates,

Just found this site. Hope all is well with you and the family since you visited Camden. We had a great time meeting ya’ll and hearing God’s word being presented to everyone. In Christ.

(The “Green Pepper People”–Thought that would be a funny reminder of us) :)

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: