The Blessings of the Lord

It’s a quiet day, and the sun is trying to peek through the clouds. I can hear the rushing of a nearby creek, and the family is scattered around the house and surrounding areas. A house? Yes, a family graciously loaned us the use of their house for three nights here in Georgia. It was wonderful to sit around a table together last night and spread out in the living room for family Bible time.

We’ve had quite a few rainy days over the last week. Monday was no exception, with rain lightly falling throughout much of the day. A large crowd showed up for that night’s conference, and we’re grateful to Holly for all the work she did in publicity.

The coordinator provided a dinner of eastern North Carolina BBQ for us, and we enjoyed the different style of BBQ from the Kansas City style. Eastern BBQ has a slight vinegar taste, and Kansas City BBQ is sweet n’ tangy.

Hearts again seemed open to the message that was shared, and we pray the Lord Jesus will bring lasting fruit in the generations to come.

Dad and Mom sharing during the Hearts session.
Dad and Mom sharing during the Hearts session.
Well often do a few songs after the last session, and here are the five youngest waiting to go up front.
We'll often do a few songs after the last session, and here are the five youngest waiting to go up front.
Listening...
Listening to the music... (the children and young people come in to the back of the session from the Evangelism session for the music)
Two young ladies who enjoy the Moody books, and their mom is also a blog reader!
Two young ladies who enjoy the Moody books, and their mom is also a blog reader!
Maxwell Girls with our Conference Coordinator
Maxwell Girls with our Conference Coordinator

We’re now in an unofficial countdown until we start the journey home. Tonight, we’ll be doing a gospel bluegrass concert here in Carrollton, Georgia, and tomorrow night, we’ll be doing our normal, evening homeschool conference at the same church. Then, our last weekend conference will be in Columbus, Georgia. We plan to drive several hours Saturday night to get a head-start on Sunday’s long drive home.

Thank you for all your prayers! —- Sarah

“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established” (Proverbs 16:3).

Reflection

You can probably tell from the photos: I really enjoy the rivers, streams, and lakes as we drive! Our conference last night went really well, and I'm sure there will be a report before too much longer. Today is a gray, but pleasant, travel day as we head to Carrollton, Georgia, to share Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

You can probably tell from the photos: I really enjoy the rivers, streams, and lakes as we drive! Our conference last night went really well, and I’m sure there will be a report before too much longer. Today is a gray, but pleasant, travel day as we head to Carrollton, Georgia to share Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

“As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.” (Proverbs 27:19)

Teamwork!

Each day on the road involves a lot of team work! Below you will find a glimpse into the jobs that each person has as we set up/arrive at the conference. There are also many things that also go unmentioned, like the countless things that Mom does to keep the bus tidy!

Joseph
Joseph packing up!

Joseph’s job is to set up the audio! He works through each room (during the first time block there is four sessions going on at once) and figures out if they need speakers, how to hook into the church’s sound system. He then sets up the needed equipment and makes sure that they are working okay.

Christopher taking one of the "half" bus photos.
Christopher taking one of the half "bus" photos

Christopher is kind of the all-around-guy! He helps make sure all the rooms are set up with the proper amount of chairs in them and that they are facing the correct direction.

Mom packing up her notes after the session!
Mom packing up her notes after the session!

Mom is very sweet to help with the pack up of her things! Her back bothers her a lot, and so it makes it difficult for her to help us, because she saves her back energy for the sessions that she gives most evenings! After the sessions, she talks with different ladies who have counseling questions.

Mary setting up the book tables.
Mary setting up the book tables.

Mary helps with the “top” table setup. She always works very hard to get the books in their proper order and right sequence. She also is available to people if they have question regarding different products at the book tables!

Jesse packing up the PowerPoint.
Jesse packing up the PowerPoint.

Jesse is head of “trucking” – as in the hand truck! He brings all of the books in and then back out. He sets up the visual part of the evening, and that involves setting up the power point, figuring out what to project on, and then tearing it down again. Jesse is also cash register “certified”!

Here Jesse is unloading!
Here Jesse is unloading!
Anna helping during setup.
Anna helping during setup.

Anna is “head” of the book tables. She was given that job so that Sarah would be able to focus on other things and not have to worry about the book tables on top of it. Her “job” involves helping with the set up, tear down, making decisions as to where they are placed, and making sure everything is set up and running properly. She also is lead cashier.

Dad helping with unloading!
Dad helping with unloading!

Dad is our main bus driver!! He does a great job at getting into parking lots and places that were really not meant for the bus. He, of course, is the main “person” making decisions during the setup. He is always busy with his many responsibilities as he gets ready for his sessions.

Sarah with the cash register.
Sarah with the cash register.

Sarah is the backbone for a lot of the conferences! She works hard to help the coordinators with their publicity and then all of the correspondence that is involved with the ministry. She applies for sales tax licenses and files the forms after a conference. She works hard also to keep the blog updated!! She also helps with the set up and tear down – not to mention she runs the cash register when needed.

John unloading.
John unloading.

John is our crew-chief! He helps with parking the bus, keeping it running, and all of the other issues that go on with those kind of logistics. He also unloads and then carefully repacks the bus each conference, which is a big job getting it all to fit in and not be damaged while we drive. John usually has some little helpers from families that attend the conference that chatter as they put things where he tells them.

John - our crew chief!!
John - our crew chief!!
There are many other
The boys are quick to jump out of the bus and make sure that there are no branches in the way or for example here Joseph is watching to make sure the bus does not high center on the railroad tracks!

“And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Eccl 4:1)

Welcome Aboard!

Come on in — be a little careful, though, on the steps, because it is a tall step up. First, you see Dad’s driver’s seat right in front of you, where he spends many hours each trip (for this 7,000+ mile trip it means 115+ hours). Often, someone will sit in the jump seat right above the stairs to keep him company.

Dads spot
Dad's spot

This is where we spend most of our time. The recliner chair on the left (with the pillow) is Mom’s spot. Right behind her, Mary sits on the love-seat, and sometimes John will sit there too. Christopher’s area is the recliner right behind them. Parallel to Mom, I sit in a side-ways facing small chair, that was given to us when we purchased the bus. Anna sits to my right, on the couch, with Jesse, sitting in the middle, and Joseph on his right.

Here’s Mom’s kitchen, which she carefully designed, and Joseph built! The storage space in the cabinets has been wonderful. To the left of the sink, the tall cabinet houses the pantry.

As you pass the kitchen, you are entering the bunk area. The first set of bunks is the girls’. The next set is the boys’, with one more boy on the right, underneath the clothes area.

Oh wait, before you go further, don’t forget to check in this room, directly to your right. It’s the shower room, and it also doubles as a changing room. We also have a small, toilet room on board.

We’re glad to have the bus functional, even though it’s just roughed in.

As you continue down the small hall (watch for anyone wanting to pass, you’ll probably need to step aside to allow the person to squeeze through), you’ll see our clothes storage right above the bunk on the right. You might want to watch for someone de-bunking from the top bunk (thankfully, there’s normally a warning before they come down).

You’ve come to the end of the bus. This back room, Dad and Mom’s room, is a cozy little room, just big enough for their bed. Joseph built the cabinets under their bed, and it makes great storage.

Thanks for stopping by our “home away from home.”

Sarah for the rest

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? . . .” (Romans 10:1)

Four out of Five

Our hearts are again full of gratefulness to the Lord Jesus for the work He did through this weekend’s conference outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. We arrived around lunchtime, and we had the afternoon to set up, practice music, and have family Bible time.

The Lord so blessed the conference. Many parents shared with Dad and Mom struggles with rebellious children and tough family situations: we pray the Lord will use what was shared this weekend to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the children to their fathers.

Our conference coordinator did dinner for us.
Our conference coordinator made dinner for us Friday evening, and also they provided lunch Saturday.
Dad and Mom listening to the children do a song.
Dad and Mom listening, Friday night, while the children sing a song together.
Little children are cute to watch at each conference.
Little children are cute to watch at each conference.
Parents of 10 with their newest little one
Parents of 10 with their newest little one
Several girls with Mary. This family had come to our Memphis conference last fall, and they were able to come Friday evening!
Several girls with Mary. This family had come to our Memphis conference last fall, and they were able to come Friday evening!
I had my camera as I was coming up from a session, and I grabbed a few pictures as families worked to get to the next session. (Dad is off to the left, talking with another dad as he walked.)
Saturday morning, I had my camera as I was coming up from a session, and I grabbed a few pictures as families walked to the next session. (Dad is off to the left, talking with another dad as he walked.)
Im sure they are wearing shirts with their initials, but it tickled us that it spells me when they stand next to each other.
I'm sure they are wearing shirts with their initials, but it tickled us that it spells "Me" when they stand next to each other.
Rachel
Rachel
Christopher with a little boy.
Christopher with his new friend, Jed.
A mom browsing at the book table.
A mom browsing at the book table.
Mom and daughter
Mom and daughter
The children enjoyed a video chat with Nathan, Melanie, and Abigail during one of the sessions.
The children enjoyed a video chat with Nathan, Melanie, and Abigail during one of the sessions (they were out near the book tables). We're all missing little Abby! (of course, Nathan, Melanie, and G&G too!)
Anna with Tabitha
Anna with Tabitha
Maxwell Girls with a little girl named Sarah (who also happens to watch the blog!)
Maxwell Girls with a little girl named Sarah (who also happens to watch the blog!)
This dad was a test dad for Redeeming the Time, and we met the parents in Somerset, Kentucky.
This dad was a "test" dad for Redeeming the Time, and we met the parents in Somerset, Kentucky.

Sarah for all the rest

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

Gadsden, Alabama

Gadsden was a small, cute town, nestled among the hills of Alabama. We had a scenic (and twisty!) drive from the Huntsville area to Gadsden Thursday afternoon. I didn’t realize Alabama could be so pretty!

The coordinator and several other ladies made dinner for us before the conference. One of the ladies’ father made quite a few pies for dessert; he owns a bakery. It was a delicious taste of hometown Alabama!

The Lord brought a nice-sized group of people to the conference. My group of girls was on the younger side, but the Lord always gives ways to tailor each’s night talk to that specific group. Christopher also had a younger group.

We also met a family who plays gospel bluegrass, and several family members enjoyed chatting with them.

Sarah

Several of the ladies, with a daughter, who made dinner (and thanks to the others who helped).
Several of the ladies, with a daughter, who made dinner (and thanks to the others who helped).
Dad and Mom
Dad and Mom
Daddy and another dad talking.
Daddy and another dad talking.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him” (Psalms 28:7).