Feb Baby Maxwell Update

I would be remiss if I didn’t begin by thanking so many of you for your faithful prayers on our behalf. Melanie and I have been encouraged and challenged by your faithfulness. Encouraged that we are so graciously remembered before our Father’s throne; challenged as we seek to be faithful in lifting up others we know of with needs.

The biggest news we have on Baby Maxwell’s progress is related to a recent Dr’s appointment. Due to the challenges with Susannah, we were encouraged to have a Level 2 ultra-sound at 18-20 weeks. This happened about a week ago. Let me digress briefly into some information on a Level 2 in case readers aren’t familiar with this. We had a number of Level 2 ultra-sounds (L2 US) with Susannah. An L2 US uses regular US equipment, but the technician spends more time measuring different aspects of the baby, looking at organs, and checking things on the child you didn’t know needed to be checked. A L2 US is also differentiated from a standard one in that a specialist, in our case, a peri-natalogist, reviews the scan pictures and will even operate the US machine himself/herself to check things. A L2 US, last pregnancy, is what found the stomach issue in Susannah. What is grieving to us, is that though they are looking at all things related to the baby, it would be safe to rename the L2 US a “Down Syndrome Screen” as many of the measurements and things they look for are then correlated to Downs markers. These markers are of uncertain accuracy – many children with them don’t have Downs and vice versa. I can only image how many children are matched up against Down’s markers, possibly followed with more testing, and then their lives taken (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_syndrome#Ethical_Issues). We are committed to loving, raising, and caring for any child God gives us, being special to us regardless of whether others apply the same label.

We would have liked to avoid the entire scan. But not knowing whether this child would need special care later on, we felt it was in his/her best interest to have it done. That would allow us to arrange the care he/she needed ahead of time instead of being in reactionary mode. We were prepared to have all kinds of bad news given to us.

Back to the appointment, we praise the Lord that neither the US technician nor the doctor were able to find anything that concerned them regarding what they saw. Everything looked great they said. This was a huge relief to Melanie and I. We couldn’t believe that they found nothing of concern. This obviously doesn’t mean there will not be challenges later on, but it does allow us to stay out of the “high-risk” category and select our doctor/hospital – something we’re now praying about.

The other big news is that Melanie is feeling baby move.

Thank you for your continued prayers for us as we journey through this pregnancy. We’re excited to be approaching the half-way point.
Nathan

Yuba City and the East Bay Conference Report

Last Thursday was a rainy, cool day in Yuba City. We had a quiet day at the hotel, catching up on computer things, and the children worked on school. That evening, as we girls were setting up the book tables, a young boy offered to help. He had a sweet spirit, and he told me about a business he has selling candy bars. We were amazed to hear about his diligence and industry, but then what impressed us was when we heard what he did with the money he earned: he gives it to the poor! A lady provided a dinner for us: complete with tri-tip marinated meat. This was only the second time we’ve had this meat, and it’s the most unbelievable tender, juicy meat. Thank you for this special treat :-).

Friday morning we drove through stiff winds, but we made it to Livermore safely. Cornerstone Fellowship graciously let us use their facilities, and the rooms they gave us worked out extremely well. Meals were provided Friday night and Saturday—we are grateful for the wonderful food!

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Many families we talked to had driven several hours to be able to come. We are grateful for their extra investment of time. Friday night’s music session for the most part went smoothly, although we had a few minor things, like the dobro being knocked off it’s stand. It wasn’t even noticed by the person starting the next song, so things continued :-).

Since there are so many of us, we have chances to talk to quite a few of the families throughout the weekend. After the conference, we love to sit around and share about the different people we talked to and what they told us regarding their lives and what the Lord Jesus is doing. One very special highlight was meeting a family who started a nursing home church last year. We were thrilled to chat with them, as brief as it was, and to meet another family who had started such a ministry.

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(Mom giving the Loving Your Husband session Saturday afternoon.)

We will be posting some more thoughts on the trip later, but we wanted to give you a weekend report!

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The little ones that come to the conference are such a delight. Here’s a cute little girl playing on the floor near her mom.

Only for Jesus,
Sarah for the rest of the family

A Look Back at the Fair Week

This might seem odd to post now. Why a post on last year’s County fair in January? I was about to delete this post that was written last year when I had second thoughts about it. We had discussed it and decided not to post it because we didn’t want the focus to be us. That still is our heart’s desire, but as I reread this now, I feel, it might be a needed encouragement for families to be busy about God’s leading. So please as you read this, it isn’t about us, but about the Lord Jesus Who wants us to be busy telling others about the reality of Heaven and Hell, and Jesus, Who is the ONLY Savior of our souls and way to the Father.

Steve

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(Update previously written by Sarah)

Thank you all for your prayers during the fair week. We were so grateful. It was an amazing thing to be able to hand out tracts, make balloons, and share Jesus. One girl I spoke with, when I asked where she was going to spend eternity, looked a bit puzzled, and asked me, “What’s that?” I remember another woman said she was going to face it when she got there. Sadly, it would be too late. May we all be faithful to share Christ!

Usually I’m the one taking pictures in the family, but during fair week, Dad took quite a few pictures. He even went to the grandstands to get a different perspective of our booth. We hope you are blessed by a pictorial view into the fair week.

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I have a feeling Christopher was sharing Jesus while he made the balloon! 🙂

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A perspective on the booth from the grandstands (directly across from us!)…

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A family who had just been by our booth–the dad and daughter had balloon hats!

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Christopher was going over one of the tracts with these girls.

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Christopher had quite a group of guys, and I think most of them wanted “crazy hats!”

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I thought this was a cute picture, a cowboy Grandpa with his cowboy grandsons!

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“What would you like: a flower or a crazy hat?” was the sort of question we would frequently ask. It was easy when they just wanted a dog :-).

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My daddy sharing Jesus!

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Crazy hat and it’s designer.

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Someone graciously took our group picture. Left to right: Nathan, Melanie, John, Anna, Joseph, Dad, me, and Christopher

Cold Temperatures, Wind, and Snow

We are so grateful to be home today. The front we caught up to (near Flagstaff) and then stayed ahead of yesterday has now reached Kansas, and we have cold temperatures, strong wind, and snow. If we hadn’t been able to get ahead of the storm, we would have been stuck somewhere for a day or two.

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Thank you, Jesus, for bringing us home!

Sarah for the rest

32 Hours and 1900 miles Later

We are HOME! It was an incredible 32 hours, but we are safely home, and Uriah is unpacked, and after dinner and devotions, we’re ready to get some rest. Thank you to everyone for praying.

We’ll comment more about the trip later. 🙂

Only for Jesus,
Sarah for the rest of the family

Anna getting off the bus

Anna getting off the bus when we arrived home!

Ladies’ Retreat in Lenexa, KS this Saturday

We wanted to post and let ladies know that Mom will be speaking at a Ladies’ Retreat in the Kansas City area this Saturday, February 2nd, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The registration deadline is the 30th, so if you are interested, we’ve included the link here.

We’re still motoring along, heading closer to home! 🙂

Sarah for the rest