Praise the Lord

God IS good all the time, but we are especially grateful to have discovered that the transmission doesn’t have a serious problem. Dad drove to Kansas City first thing this morning and bought a set of transmission filters and brought them back to John who installed them. It quit drooling and all seemed well. The transmission specialist at the shop never heard of such a thing being fixed by replacing the filters but we thank God for a friend who shared with us a similar situation.

YET, we discovered a badly leaking seal on the drive axle and that does require a visit to the shop. However, just when they were about to leave for the shop, a truck pulled in with replacement windshields for the defective ones that we had been shipped previously and tried to install (they were oversized). Dad, John and Jesse, were able to take care of both windshields before rushing off in the bus to the repair shop.

At the shop they discovered another seal on the same axle that needs to be replaced. That was an answer to prayer. We pray that the Lord will show us problems before we leave instead of finding them on the road. Now, we are praying that the work is done right away enabling us to have the bus back so we can continue getting it ready for the trip. They are going to work hard to fix it before Christmas (and need I say the girls will definitely make some fresh cookies for the workers)…

It is no surprise to us that issues such as these are happening, as we approach the two week mark to leaving. In fact, usually, thing after thing happens in the few weeks before we leave on a trip, some small and some large. Daddy encourages us to keep our focus on the Lord, not to let things trouble us, and to press on! We know Satan doesn’t want us to take these ministry trips, and he does everything he can to thwart as we prepare. No one enjoys a “trial,” yet the Lord uses them for His good in our lives as we learn to trust Him more.

Sarah

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Making Progress — Well, Somewhat!

As our next trip rapidly approaches, Dad and the guys have been working on the bus. Our goal was to finish out the front half of the bus, putting in the bench seats, covering the walls, and more. In order to get our old fridge (which, by the way, was actually salvaged from the tiny, old house that we tore down before this house was built) out, the windshield needed to come out. Plus, the windshield needed to be removed due to a large crack that developed on the last trip.

So, Thursday morning, it was decided to begin the process! It was supposed to be our warmest day of the week. You’ll find pictures of the process below. After all the pictures, you’ll find a special prayer request regarding the bus. We often hear from families who regularly read the blog and pray for us; we are extremely grateful!

The furniture came out first. We were using an old couch and loveseat that has been around for a number of years!
The furniture came out first. We were using an old couch and loveseat from when we had "upgraded" furniture a number of years ago!
See what I mean about an old couch? The underneath is even falling apart!
See what I mean about an old couch? The underneath is even falling apart!
Coming out!
Coming out!
Okay, guys, we need to have a plan before we start!
"Okay, guys, we need to have a plan before we start!"
Out it comes
Dead lifting up the new one!
Dead lifting up the new one!
Hopefully to stay in Uriah for many years!
Hopefully to stay in Uriah for many years!
Working on the casing around the windshield, in preparation for installing the new windshields!
Working on the casing around the windshield, in preparation for installing the new windshields!
Installing the new windshields did not go smoothly... Upon discussion with the tech support later, it appears we received mis-made ones! Hmmm....
Installing the new windshields did not go smoothly... Upon discussion with the tech support later, it appears we received mis-made ones! Hmmm....
Now to switch subjects for a few pictures, Dad and Joseph covered the walls in the front half of the bus. Here Anna is helping to measure before cutting out the nagahide!
Now to switch subjects for a few pictures, Dad and Joseph covered the walls in the front half of the bus. Here Anna is helping to measure before cutting out the naugahyde (man-made vinyl covering)!
Measuring and marking...
Measuring and marking...
Dad...
Dad...
John doing some misc work.

Prayer Request: On Saturday, John discovered that the transmission was “slobbering” (his term!). Even if a person doesn’t know a whole lot about mechanics, you generally know that a transmission can be a serious thing! After prayer and consideration, Dad has a plan. There’s the possibility we won’t have to take it into the shop if an idea another guy gave us will fix it. We would greatly appreciate prayer that this could be a minor, easy fix, if it’s the Lord’s will. When Dad talked to a transmission tech on the phone, even he was stumped as to the problem. If it’s not a fast fix, we’re grateful if happened here and can be taken care of before we depart on the next trip!

So, we’re making progress on the bus, and it would be nice if it didn’t have to go into the shop so we could do more on the inside before we leave.

Merry Christmas!

Sarah

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

A Lady Named Marie and Special Music

When we’re home, we’ve worked at going to one assisted living/nursing home place each month to share through music and testimony. This time we went to the V.A., which is a home for veterans. One of our friends who was in the nursing home transferred to the V.A., but his wife has faithfully continued coming to our little nursing home church, even though her husband is no longer at the home (she is very happy not to have missed a single Sunday yet!). Our afternoon has been much-looked forward to by dear, sweet Mrs. B. She and her husband were the first to greet us this afternoon with radiant faces.

Before we were to begin, I spotted three ladies in the back, which was a little unusual since this was more of a mens’ home. I went over to them, and found out they had come to the V.A. on an interesting errand. They had been told that several World War II veterans were living there. I asked Miss Marie to tell me her story, and here it is …

It was World War II, and the small island of Saipan had been invaded by the Japanese. As native islanders, eleven-year-old Marie and her family hid in a cave. Two Marines showed up and found them there. She described the Marines as having bayonets and rifles. She didn’t express fear about seeing the Marines. Of course, there was a language barrier, but somehow these kind-hearted Marines were able to make it clear that Marie’s family needed to come with them. Marie remembers being outside the cave, when she realized that she wanted to go back in to retrieve a small basket of items. They told her no, and that she needed to be quiet. There could have been Japanese near them. The Marines took them to the base camp, and there, Marie so strongly recalled the kindness shown. They had been two days without food, and the only water they drank was seawater (which was extremely salty). A Marine saw what a desperate situation they were in, and out of compassion, gave them HIS canteen of water. Another Marine gave his food rations. The look on Miss Marie’s face as she recounted this situation from almost seventy years ago was powerful. They saved my life. This gratitude led her to teach school in the U.S., because she wanted to give back to the Americans for saving her life. She wanted to come to the V.A. to express her gratitude to the Marines who had served in World War II, and who had saved her life.

That makes me think about Jesus’ sacrifice for us–He saved us from eternal death! For those of us who have accepted Him as our Savior, do we have the same kind of gratitude this dear woman had to her earthly “saviors”?!

Anna, Miss Marie, and I
Anna, Miss Marie, and I

Marie and her friends stayed for the entire time of music and testimony. Only the Lord Jesus knows if her heart was affected. Yes, she was saved from physical death, but hopefully she really considered her spiritual destiny!

This time of music was a great practice run for our six weeks on the road (and we’re now down to 3 weeks ’til we leave). Dad has a cold, so he wasn’t able to sing, but we were all blessed by being able to share Jesus!

Merry Christmas!

Sarah

How many guys does it take to tune a bass? Im thinking its two.
How many guys does it take to tune a bass? I'm thinking two.
Tuning up!
Tuning up!
Jesse has been playing the mandolin for just a few months, and this was his first event publicily playing. If you hear him, you would never guess. He sounds like hes been playing it for years. You go, Jesse! :-)
Jesse has been playing the mandolin for just a few months, and this was his first event publicily playing. If you hear him, you would never guess. He sounds like he's been playing it for years. You go, Jesse! 🙂
Near the end, Mom went to sit with Mrs. B and her husband.
Near the end, Mom went to sit with Mrs. B and her husband.

“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee” (Psalms 5:11).

True JOY

We had been looking forward to this night and were not disappointed! We started out at 6:00. The temperature was 34 degrees – nice and warm compared to last year! We were very grateful that it was not near as cold as it has been some years, and we stayed very comfortable with our cold weather layers on.

Because of the cold and snow, we took the small camera out with us.
Because of the cold and snow, we took the small camera out with us. Here we are caroling to Grandad and Grandma who weren't able to come with us, because of their health and the snow.

It was so beautiful because it snowed the whole time we were out. It was the perfect caroling night, and of all the places we stopped, I think only one or two people weren’t home! We sang Joy to The World at every house, and it was such a blessing to be able to sing about the true JOY that has come into the world.

Caroling to Nathan and Abigail. Abigail was getting over a cold, so Nathan stayed home with her. We were happy that Melanie could join us for part of the time!
Caroling to Nathan and Abigail. Abigail was getting over a cold, so Nathan stayed home with her. We were happy that Melanie could join us for part of the time!
It was gorgeous walking in the snow. This picture doesn't quite justify the beauty of that night!
It was gorgeous walking in the snow. This picture doesn't justify the beauty of that night, but it gives you an idea of what it was like - so dark, but yet so picturesque with the snowflakes falling.
It's hard to take pictures at night in the snow, because the flash reflects off the snow! Nathan took this picture when he and Abigail came to pick up Melanie.
It is hard to take flash photos in the snow, because the flash reflects off the snow. Nathan took this picture for us when he and Abigail came to pick Melanie up.Â

We then piled into our two small cars (since we no longer have a van because we traded it in when we bought the bus two years ago)! It was a bit of a chore getting nine bundled-up people to fit into the ten available seats! We wanted to carol to three more houses before the night was over. We always return home after our caroling evening feeling so blessed and with our hearts overflowing. We are ever grateful for the opportunity to show Jesus’ love to those around us!

In Christ,
Anna

“Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.” (Psalms 43:4)

Cinnamon Bread Day

Tuesday morning we woke up, and there was about four inches of snow covering everything. Our weather here in Kansas is quite unusual, and we never know when we will get snow. Our first thought was – this would be a great day to go caroling! When there is snow, people around here don’t go out much, and that would make it a perfect caroling night. Normally, we carol on the second Sunday before Christmas, but this year we decided to try something different.

After discussing plans with Dad, our preparations went into full swing. With 45 loaves of cinnamon bread to be made, we would have to get a move on! We started the first batch of bread, and since Sarah was busy getting the Dad’s and Mom’s Corners sent out, I had to do some guessing as how the bread was to be made. Jesse was a great help and became excellent at preparing the filling. Mary and Mom worked on mixing up some cookies that our family could have for a snack that evening after caroling. Everyone pitched in where needed, and there always seemed to be a stack of dishes to be washed!

Rolling!
Rolling into loaves.
Jesse mixing the filling.
Jesse mixing the filling.

Lunch time rolled by, and we were so busy that we forgot to fix anything. Mom decided that we would eat a larger/late lunch then we wouldn’t have to take time for supper. After Sarah sent out the Corners, she came up and helped! The afternoon went pretty smoothly as we kept the batches of bread moving through the oven. We then put cream cheese frosting on the top and tied ribbons with the card around the bread.

Sarah preparing to roll out the next batch of dough.
Sarah preparing to roll out the next batch of dough.
Rising bread
Rising bread
The timing on the different batches of bread is very difficult. We wrote notes for the different timing on the batches so that next year we would have that for a point of reference.
The timing on the different batches of bread is very difficult. We wrote notes about how long the bread took so that next year we would have that for a point of reference.
Mom was a wonderful help!
Mom was a wonderful help!
Mary putting the printed text into the cards.
Mary putting the printed note into the cards.
Finishing up the last loaves of bread.
Finishing up the last loaves of bread.

It was a busy day, but we enjoyed the time together. We were just barely ready when 6:00 arrived!

In Christ,
Anna

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

What Does Welding Inside a Garage Do?

Causes the entire house’s smoke alarms to go off!

Oh well. Someone had just made a comment recently that we ought to test them. They work, let me tell you! Very well. It’s been bitterly cold here in Kansas, so it’s way too cold to weld outside. Bus work is underfoot (less then 4 weeks until the next trip)–more on that later (thus the welding). Oh, and watch for a caroling report. We had a beautiful winter snow on Tuesday, so we sprang into baking action to prepare to carol that evening! It was PERFECT, and almost every, single person was home 🙂 …

Sarah

PS – Thanks to Joseph for the picture! He took almost all of the A Taste At Home pictures too.

“Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north” (Job 37:9).