Fargo Conference

One of the joys for us of our traveling is seeing “old” friends. Two years ago, when we spoke at the Washington state convention, we met Andy Bradrick, who had come from Minnesota to help his family with the convention. Last night, there was a familiar face in the group, and it was Andy. We also had the privilege of meeting his wife and children, whom we hadn’t met previously.

(Andy Bradrick Family)


At the end of our evening conferences, we almost always sing two songs accompanied by our instruments. Last night we had a first-time occurrence with that. The group wanted an encore. Steve questioned them because we were already a few minutes over our 9:30 dismissal time, but they indicated they wanted another song.

The group that invited us to speak in Fargo, provided us with a wonderful dinner before the conference. After the sessions, when we were packed up and loading the bus, the organizers invited us to join them at a nearby Dairy Queen. We were treated to ice cream sundaes and a time of fellowship with two families.

Trusting in Jesus,

Uriah definitely needed to be washed. So, we took him to a Blue Beacon truck wash.


You know it’s windy when…




A few photos as we drive…

Today we’ve been driving from Fargo, ND, to Duluth, MN. Minnesota – the “land of ten thousand lakes” is pretty, although the winter scenery isn’t very colorful.

Spring seems to arrive a little later here in the north; many of the lakes are still frozen! Although the temperature has been a pleasant 62 degrees as we have been driving.

I took a break from my computer work and borrowed Joseph’s camera to take a few photos. At that same time we started the lunch sandwich process. Unfortunately, the new bag of bread had not been taken out of the freezer, so those that were having bread (instead of tortillas) for their sandwich had to individually defrost their pieces of bread. I put mine in the sun by the front windshield and let it defrost as I was taking pictures.

Playing with shutter speeds and motion blur while photographing vehicles that are passing us heading the opposite direction on the interstate. (too fast of a shutter speed freezes all of the motion in the picture, a slow shutter speed without panning results in everything being blurred, whereas a slow shutter speed and panning along with the passing vehicle results in a sharp vehicle and a blurred background)

Coming up to pass (yet another) semi-truck. As we passed one semi-truck driver this morning he waved at as, and Dad (and others) waved back. But the truck driver seemed to be signaling something with his hand. At first we thought he was indicating that we were too close to him and needed to move over, but truckers would usually hit their horn in such a situation. After we had passed the truck Dad inspected the bus as best he could in the mirrors and noticed one of the rear engine side compartment doors was open. When we came to a flat and straight section of the Interstate Dad pulled over and Joseph ran back (avoiding the dead raccoon that was laying in the grass) to close the compartment.

Anna working on her “laptop” computer? One of our cash registers died on this trip and we had to purchase a new one. Anna has been working on learning the new register and programming the various products into it.

Because there is no easy (read as: interstate) route from Fargo to Duluth, we’ve had to travel a fair distance on two-lane roads. We’ve seen a lot of picturesque farms and small towns.

I enjoy seeing the various streams as we travel…

And there are plenty of trees!

In Christ,

Border Crossing and Northern Montana

(Update: We are now safely in Fargo, North Dakota.)

Mountains we saw after we left Red Deer.


We are always grateful when we have a smooth, quick border crossing. Coming back into the US, there was no line at all, but the traffic into Canada was really backed up. We had to briefly pull into the inspection area while an agent came on the bus and asked a couple of questions about anything we had purchased in Canada. Then we were on our way again.


We drove through an area of the US we had never seen before when we came through northern Montana. We were especially impressed with the headwaters of the Missouri River and thought about how we often cross that same river, hundreds of miles away, as we drive from Leavenworth to Kansas City. The Interstate went through the Little Belt Mountains with the Missouri River flowing along a beautiful valley beside it.


(We saw this house on the rock edge above the Missouri River. Very scenic.)


We can tell spring is arriving even in the northern parts of the country, where it still isn’t green, but the front of the bus and windshield is now covered with splattered bugs. We not only enjoy the beauty of God’s creation as we travel but all the mama and baby animals this time of year.

(Uriah is quite bug-splattered, but he’ll get a wash very soon!)


Steve has felt a bit lonely in his driving now that he is back on US Interstates. In Canada, on the two lane highways, the truckers all waved to each other, and they waved to Steve as well. He quickly picked up the friendly greeting, not only returning waves but initiating them as well. Steve is missing those waves.

Trusting in Jesus,


We saw several semis, such as the one below, transporting wrecked train cars. We wondered if we would actually see where the wreck was, and about an hour or two down the road, we saw where it had happened.


Motoring down the Interstate in Uriah.


Red Deer, Alberta

We had a great weekend with the AHEA Convention in Red Deer, Alberta. With six of our family having come down with colds, we were in much prayer about the music session Friday night. The Lord Jesus showed Himself strong on our behalf and allowed voices to hold up through the music session plus the speaking sessions. Most are now over their colds.

Friday and Saturday were full of sessions, which were well attended. That says to us that those at the convention were interested in our messages. People who talked to us through out the weekend were positive, saying they were encouraged and challenged.

(Mary was straightening up the book table. After a “rush” of people come through, the tables need a bit of organizing!)


(Sarah took this photo as I was talking to a lady at the convention Saturday.)


We had more opportunity to talk with members of the AHEA board than we often have at conventions because of being included in a dinner with them on Thursday night. On Saturday evening our hostess and her family took us to a quiet restaurant where we could eat and relax after the busy weekend. The AHEA board took very good care of us during our time with them. We were blessed.

On this trip, we are making the transition to life on the road with one bathroom in which to get nine people ready for the day. When we traveled with the van and trailer, we had to have two hotel rooms which provided us with two bathrooms. Now with the boys sleeping in the bus, we only need one hotel room and that means only one bathroom. As you can imagine, we have quite a structured morning-bathroom-use schedule!

We rejoice each day that goes by without a call from Nathan and Melanie saying that Baby Max has arrived. When we started this trip 3 ½ weeks ago, with the doctors having put Melanie on bed rest and indicating the birth of Baby Max was likely to be soon, we could hardly imagine returning home with no baby’s arrival. Now having only a week left of our trip, we are hopeful that we will get home and be able to be part of the bed rest support team rather than the baby-in-the-NICU support team. Thank you, Jesus. We are grateful for your prayers for Nathan, Melanie, and baby Max.

As you pray, we would love for you to pray for the hearts of those who come to our sessions in Fargo, ND, Tuesday night and then at the Minnesota state convention this weekend and what the Lord wants to do in their lives.

Trusting in Jesus,

(These baskets were dropped off at our hotel Thursday as a gift from the AHEA board!)



I could have titled this post “no news is good news” but I’m kinda attached to the “BabyMax dot” format.  🙂  I guess my IT background sneaks in.

Melanie is still in the hospital but no baby has arrived. We are so grateful for God’s working. Back at week 26 it didn’t seem possible that we’d ever make it to 28 weeks, let alone part way through 29.

Melanie’s care has changed to more of long term ob. We’re praying that she will be released and not have to stay here till Baby comes. But, we also want what is best for this child and are seeking Gods direction.

There are a lot of inconveniences associated with this hospital stay. But they pale in comparison with the benefit we believe this child is getting from these added weeks in the womb.


  • That Baby seems to be doing well. Monitors show a great heart rate and lots of movement.
  • That Melanie continues to have a positive outlook and be accepting of her bedrest.
  • That Melanie’s family continues to be available to help with keeping her company during the day.
  • That baby’s position has changed to one that is much more conducive to birth! This is a direct answer to prayer!


  • For Baby’s health, strength, and sustaining.
  • That the contractions she has off and on will be more of the off than the on, and that they won’t progress labor.

In closing, thank you for your comments of encouragement and prayer support. We love this child and greatly desire the chance to raise and nurture him/her. We are working to give our fears to Jesus and trust Him. These days are not dark and scary, we’re content where He has us and looking to Him for daily direction.

Nathan, Melanie, and BabyMax

God’s Provision

In order to remain in our host home in Cleardale and not have to move to a big-city hotel, we needed to locate high-speed Internet. With Melanie in the hospital on bed rest for her pregnancy, Sarah has to download orders and get them to Grandma at home to ship. The conference coordinator had secured permission from the local public school for Christopher and Sarah to use the library, but that didn’t work out. The coordinator then began searching for other alternatives and finally a business about twenty minutes away was located that would allow Christopher and Sarah to use their satellite Internet connection.


(We were able to get Internet Access!)

A truck garage near to our host home allowed Steve to bring the bus into one of their inside bays to do the necessary wheel rim work. The garage was just a few minutes from where we were staying, an amazing provision so far away from larger cities. Securing the additional parts that were needed to put the new rim on required a mornings’ worth of phone calls and a four-hour round trip drive. Tuesday two brothers-in-the-Lord replaced the studs (bolts that hold the wheels on) that were discovered to be broken when the rim had been replaced on Friday.


(Replacing the studs Tuesday morning.)

The time in Cleardale allowed me to get our laundry done, do some school work, and tour the farm. John loved time with the sons in the family helping with farm chores early in the morning and in the afternoons. We were able to spend an evening with the conference coordinator’s family, whom we had met when we were in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, two years ago.

As we left Cleardale on Wednesday morning, Steve thought it would be good to have the wheels torqued.  The place where we found the needed rim was on the road we were on as we headed toward Red Deer. When we pulled in the brother who had helped find the rim, was preparing to head out for his day’s work. His boss let him torque the bus wheels and wanted no payment.


(Getting the wheel torqued on our way out Wednesday morning.)

God’s continual provision in difficult situations gives us many opportunities to look to Him and rest in His solutions rather than our own ideas.

Trusting in Jesus,