The conference in Ontario, Oregon went well Tuesday night. Whereas, it is often a bit difficult getting back into the conference setup routine, this one was very smooth. The Lord orchestrated circumstances so that we are able to remain with the family who has been hosting our family earlier this week until Friday. This will allow Steve to accomplish some bus work. It is also easier on our family when get a break from the frequent moving that is characteristic of our road trips. We are enjoying the fellowship, activities, views, and hospitality of our country stay. Grandma is doing a great job of shipping, and Melanie is staying down while her family comes in during the day to stay with her when Nathan is at work.
Trusting in Jesus, Teri
Joseph doing a repair project.
The boys helped a fence project.
Mary — feeding an animal cracker to an animal :-).
Life is in high gear here as we prepare to leave on a three week trip from church on Sunday. Everyone has something to do, and for this trip, we have called in the reserves – Grandad and Grandma. Grandma ironed thirty items for us earlier this week, and she came over to help Sarah yesterday. Both Grandad and Grandma helped today.
We are making curtains for the bus and doing some work inside to make it so that the boys can sleep on it for this trip. The bus just came back from the shop last night so there is much we couldn’t do until it was here. We are excited to take our first long trip on Uriah, and we are praising the Lord continually for His provision.
Saturday in Leavenworth, Kansas brought about eight inches of snow throughout the day and evening. Steve was praying and looking to the Lord Jesus for direction concerning our trip to Gypsum, Kansas to play music for their Sunday evening Christmas service. This trip weighed heavy on his heart since he had no idea how well Uriah would handle in the snow. Steve was keenly aware that in the event of a problem, we wouldn’t all get out and give a push to get moving again. He also was concerned as to whether there would be sufficient heat to keep everyone comfortable.
Sunday morning Steve decided we would start out, and take it one step at a time, depending on the Lord, to enable us to take the next step. The first step was just getting Uriah out of the drive and loaded. To our joy, step-by-step, God gave grace.
Our plan was to take our instruments in to our nursing home church and play for them during our Sunday morning service and then head on to Gypsum, about four hours away. Grandad and Grandma and Nathan and Melanie were also joining us for the day with Nathan playing lead guitar for our music. Our hearts rejoiced as we watched the delight in our nursing home friends’ faces as they listened to the music, old hymns, and Christmas carols.
Not only was it Uriah’s first ministry trip, but it was the first time we have been asked to come to a church to primarily sing. Until about a month ago, we didn’t have any Christmas hymns that we could play and sing, but the children had worked diligently at arranging and practicing Christmas music by themselves and then as a family. Both Nathan and Christopher shared between songs – giving an evangelistic message with personal examples that I thought was very powerful. After the music, Steve preached for about a half an hour encouraging those listening to evaluate their personal walks with the Lord Jesus and to hunger for the Word of God.
The church welcomed us, fed us a delicious dinner, and invited us to join them for their Christmas fellowship after the service.
The bus did well on our snow-packed city streets and the slushy Interstates. It was very comfortable to ride in, except for the driver’s seat, which we hope to replace soon. The boys had furnished Uriah with an old recliner chair for Mom, an old sofa and love seat we had in the garage, plus a few dinette seats that came out of another RV. In addition, they put in a set of bunk beds and a queen bed. When pregnant Melanie needed to stretch, she could stand up and walk around. When Grandad needed to rest his back, he could go lie down. The beds were all filled when we drove home from 9:40 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., allowing some to curl up on a sofa or bench seat to sleep, while others talked the whole way home!
Our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude to the Lord Jesus for His provision for our transportation needs. There is a great deal of work that has to be done, but it is our desire that Uriah serves the Lord faithfully with us for many years to come.
Trusting In Jesus, Teri
John carrying things out to Uriah Sunday morning.
Mary, Anna, and Nathan at the nursing home.
Nursing home service. (Thank you, Melanie, for taking the picture!)
We are very grateful to many families who have blessed us with food on this trip. We started out the trip with plenty of sandwich food. We have had many sandwich meals, and the children were so good not to complain about them.
We have been taken out to eat twice and that was very special. Several of our evening conference hosts provided dinner for us, and every weekend conference abundantly supplied us with food. Rhode Island sent us away with much leftover food, and we are still eating some of it. Along the way, some families have given us different food items such as delicious homemade bread, coffee cake, cookies, etc. Steve has loved the apples and granola, which have been his daily breakfast.
It has been incredible to see the way the Lord has provided for us. Yesterday for lunch, a family, who owns a Chick-Fil-A restaurant, brought us lunch! (Yea! “EAT MOR CHIKIN”) Most of us had never eaten Chick-Fil-A, and after starting in on the lunch, the family declared it to be the best chicken they have had. I’m allergic to chicken/turkey products, so the family had provided an alternative for me.
Another family brought dinner for us last night, and we had enough leftovers to supply us today. As we were packing up the book tables yesterday, a mom brought a bag of food in, and she said she wanted us to experience food from her native country (the Philippines). We were delighted to try the food, and it too was very good! Another mom asked us last night if we like homemade bread/rolls, and, of course, we said we did. She brought fresh rolls to us today at the hotel. (They were great.) We are overwhelmed by all the love and support so many have shown to us.
(This is a summary of Watertown, New York, which was last Thursday. Sarah will be posting on Canada soon.)
Our MapQuest directions to the church from our hotel told us to go north on a road that runs east and west. We pulled into a parking lot, saw an employee walking out to the mailboxes, and asked her directions. She paused a long time, and finally said, “I’m heading that way in a couple of minutes, if you’d like to follow me.” After she led us through a maze of construction and roads, we realized why she paused trying to figure out how to tell us to get there. God provided just what we needed to help us just when we needed it.
Although Watertown, New York, is a relatively small town compared to some cities in which we speak, the coordinator did a great job of publicity, because we had a very good-sized group. We were also privileged to meet some friends whom we have known long-distance for several years in addition to new friends as well.
Our conferences in Toledo, Ohio and Erie, PA went very well. The ladies at the Erie conference had prepared a dinner for us, which was quite enjoyable after quite a few meals of sandwiches in the van.
We are excited as we see the way the Lord is working. Many tell us that what we are sharing encourages them in the direction the Lord has been taking their family. Others say that what we say challenges them and given them new hope for their families.
Wednesday we were able to take care of a week’s worth of laundry, iron lots of boys’ white shirts, run some errands, catch up on e-mail, and take a family walk on the beach at Presque State Park. The children have also been working hard to complete as much school work on the road as they can so that they will be more available to help with the house.
We are currently in Canada; we’ll comment on that later!
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.