Traveling in Canada

Our hearts are overflowing after spending the last week with our brothers and sisters in the Lord in Cleardale, Alberta. This area is so remote that there isn’t even a hotel in Cleardale. We arrived there a week ago Thursday evening. We soon had a slight problem, though. Uriah’s tires were hot when we pulled in, and he settled too nicely into the snow-packed parking area at the family’s house we were staying at. So, Friday morning, we needed to move him, and the wheels were in a very icy depression, allowing free spinning of the wheels :-).

There were discussions about how to get Uriah out, including maybe using a powerful tractor. Dad decided to give it a little try first before using other options. After it was obvious Uriah wasn’t going any where, the mom of the family showed up on the porch with a bucketful of week-old ashes from the wood stove and suggested putting a few of these against the wheels. Hmmm. This was a new idea (we Kansas hicks have had no experience with using ashes to get a vehicle unstuck). Dad tried it, and Uriah was free! As we were about to leave for the conference to begin set up, a father in the fellowship had showed up. We had been hearing a slight strange noise ever since we’d been in Colorado. As Dad backed up, he asked the father to see if he could figure out what it was. He found that we had a large crack in one of the wheel rims! We decided to go to Hines Creek, where the conference would be held, and go directly to a place that was likely to have that rim. We’ll make a long story short, but even in a small town where we were at, the Lord provided the exact rim we needed. We are so grateful!!!


(Working on changing out the rim Friday afternoon.)

We’ve never spoken at a conference where hearts were so hungry for the message. The large hall was packed. We were shocked at the size of the group considering the remoteness of the area. Just one week before the conference, the school that had been contracted with to use their facilities, cancelled. The coordinator found a location which was only available that one weekend. Praise the Lord for HIS provision. As registrations continued coming in at the last moment, it became apparent we never would have fit in the school. Our hearts were awed by what Jesus was doing during the weekend! Quite a few families drove up to five and six hours to come to the conference.


(A view from a walkway on Friday evening.)

Sunday we had an incredible day of fellowship with other believers. The singing, preaching, and testimonies were a time of refreshment.

Over and over again, these precious people ministered to us this week. We stayed at one family’s home who graciously provided many meals for us and gave up a portion of their home and even let us use their vehicle as we needed. May Jesus repay you all for your kindness to our family. As we drove away from Cleardale, our route took us near the coordinator’s family’s house. Imagine our surprise at what we saw below in the picture :-).

A family's sign

We are down to about a week and a half left of the trip. We are grateful for your prayers for our traveling and the conferences we’re doing. Please continue to lift up Nathan, Melanie, and Baby Max.

Serving Jesus,
Sarah for the rest

Below are some pictures taken last week as we drove up to Cleardale.


Mini-exercise time!


Beautiful mountain range we saw last Thursday driving up to Cleardale.


We stopped at a rest area, and I took this picture of Uriah.

Three Boys

Jesse, John, and Joseph are standing on about a 4 foot bank of snow!


Wow! We had never been on a 10% grade before :-).


The last blog post was delayed due to my family’s travels. Not much has changed. We continue to seek to discern God’s will for the many decisions. Melanie is permanently in the hospital, until the situation changes or baby comes. We’re praying for some of the pre-term labor to reverse itself. We’re also praying that Baby’s position will change so that if labor does ensue, a natural child-birth will be allowed. And lastly, if labor does kick in, based on Baby’s current position, we’re at a very high risk for some cord issues/complications.

I know all this sounds complicated and it is. We have committed this child to the Lord and are crying out for Baby’s protection and sustenance. There are no signs that baby is in any way struggling, for that we are grateful. It’s just the parents that get a little weary.
We do sense God’s blessing and directing in a number of areas. A small example… for some reason, Melanie prayed on Sunday that I wouldn’t have to buy dinner. I’d not complained about purchasing dinner, in fact a few days before I had commented to her about how reasonable the hospital cafeteria was. As I was leaving the room to head down to the cafeteria the nurse met me in the hallway with an extra tray of food. Melanie was thrilled to see me walk back in, followed by the nurse with the tray of food. She also enjoyed the fact that we both had the same salad, and since I had just encouraged her to eat hers, she got to suggest I not skip mine. 🙂 I didn’t even know she had prayed.

The Lord also blessed the nursing home service Sunday. There have been a number of things we have experienced with this pro-longed hospital stay that allowed me to relate to the residents better. I desire to share from my heart with them when I preach and common/shared experiences help that.

God continues to bless in allowing Melanie’s spirits to remain up. Despite the uncertainty over the future, she remains cheerful. And, she’s enjoying the time with Baby Max, who tends to be an active little guy/gal. Her family is providing great support, even allowing me to keep up with my work.
We continue to be grateful for your prayer support. God is in control always, but situations like this make that fact very clear.

Baby Max.05

Another quick update. Writing from a cell phone keeps me from being too long winded!

I wish we had good news to report. But, due to increased dilation and some other risk factors Melanie is staying on “inpatient” status for the time being. I would desperately love to have her anywhere but here, but it seems to us that God’s will is for her to be right here.


  • The dr’s didn’t see a need to suggest magnesium! Those that have been on mag know just how much of a gracious gift of Him that is.
  • Melanie is in good spirits. I’m thrilled her spirits have stayed up. I’m the one that’s been up and down.
  • No baby yet, each day that goes by is a blessing.


  • That baby is born in God’s perfect timing. We believe this to be a number of weeks past now, but want His best.
  • Wisdom in all the decisions. This is not the “smarts” to make good choices but rather seeking to know God’s will for each thing that comes up.
  • That Melanie and I will trust Him. Playing what if games in our minds, especially in light of our experience with Susannah, gets overwhelming quickly. We are seeking to trust and take one day at a time.

Nathan, for Melanie and Baby Max

BabyMax.04 — Quick Update

Melanie’s preterm labor has progressed so we’ve spent another night in the hospital for observation. She will either spend a number of more days as an inpatient or be released to a nearby hotel. Doctors aren’t comfortable with us being 45-60 minutes from the hospital when baby could come very quickly.

We continue to covet prayer support for wisdom in decision making, protection for Baby, and minimal contractions.

In Christ,
Nathan, Melanie, and BabyMax

Border Crossing, Paperwork, Scenery, and Eating Hazards

We are now in the province of British Columbia. Our drive up through Washington was uneventful, except for some portions of heavy traffic. We arrived at the border at 2:45 p.m.


Uriah barely squeezed in between the cement barriers as we pulled up to the immigrations station. It didn’t take too long for our family to be cleared, but the next step was to take the paperwork in (for the products) and get it processed.


Dad and I went into a large building, where we worked through the paperwork. It was nice having the background of crossing the border twice before and knowing what paperwork we needed to have ready. The paperwork went smoothly, and we were grateful for a fellow importer who graciously helped us with several questions as I did a form on the computer, and he even checked up on us at the end. The crossing only took 45 minutes from the time we pulled up to the time we pulled away. We are very grateful to the Lord Jesus for a smooth crossing.

We’ve had such beautiful scenery today. The snow-capped mountains, lush green valleys, cascading waterfalls, jagged rock mountain edges, bright-yellow daffodils, flowering cherry trees, and snow-frosted pine trees have been such an incredible sampling of God’s Creation. We enjoyed our view of spring, but we’re now leaving that for a taste of winter.


There are some hazards to eating in Uriah. Today, after Mom had made lunch for everyone, she contentedly munched on her sandwich. Part way through, an exclamation was heard. Much to her amusement, she discovered that she had eaten half of the cheese paper. Cheese paper (a term I just created!) is the paper that separates each piece of cheese. She had thought her sandwich was a little chewier than usual, and it was only after she had eaten half, did she discover she was eating the cheese paper. Sorry, Mom!


Thank you for continuing to pray for our trip. We’ll be in Canada until April 13th. This weekend we’ll be doing a small weekend conference in northern Alberta. Then, the next weekend, we’ll be at the AHEA Convention in Red Deer.

Joyfully His,
Sarah for the rest

Conferences Report and On To Canada

Our evening conference in Bend, Oregon, was a good one. The attendance was higher than we expected, and the hearts were receptive. In Sarah’s girls’ and young ladies session, she said she had one of the most attentive groups yet. Some were even taking notes.

We were delighted to have a clear day to enjoy the beautiful drive from Redmond, Oregon, to McMinnville through the mountains. There was over a hundred and twenty inches of snow on the ground at the pass.



The conference in McMinnville was another one that exceeded our expectations concerning the number who came and open hearts to our message. The church provided us with dinner before the conference. We were happily surprised when the brother of friends of ours – retired school teachers – from Leavenworth, drove forty-five minutes to say hello.


With great joy, Steve was able to say in the Keeping Our Children’s Hearts session that the conservative church that was sponsoring the conference and in which it was being held, had no youth group. Seldom do we speak in a church with no youth group, and many families are looking for a church like that.

Today we move into Canada for weekend conferences the next two weekends. We are praying for a smooth border crossing both ways. Because of the books and materials we bring with us, there is a great amount of detailed paperwork that needs to be accurately completed.

Trusting in Jesus,