The guys have been working to prepare the driveway for the cement pours. Autumn is quickly falling upon our town, and it’s important the concrete is done before it gets too cold. Plus, we can’t move into the house unless we have a driveway!
Anna captured this one: we’re not sure exactly what the boys were doing, except Anna saw Joseph hand John first a tape measure, and then a pencil.
Washin’ off those cement boots!
Hmmm. What are they doing in the picture above? Here’s the dilemma – a screeding rebar “pin” was sticking up, and it needed to be pounded down. The first idea for getting it pounded in: stretch a ladder across the entire driveway and send Jesse out with a hammer. Alas, the ladder wasn’t long enough to stretch all the way across.
The next idea was to use the same ladder and have it free-hanging over the middle, anchored and heavily weighted on one side. Unfortunately, it was 14 feet out to the middle. It took quite a bit of work to get the ladder in position and weighted down. Pulling off his boots, Jesse made ready for the job. He carefully crept out toward the end of the ladder. Dad told him to first touch the area where the pin was (to feel exactly where it was), and then he could pound it down with a hammer.
Congratulations, Jesse! You did it!
Two of the guys that were sitting on the end of the ladder.
Joseph and John made a great “finishing” cement team. They worked on grooving the cement, and even did a “broom” finish.
Jesse had all the come alongs lined up so that he could clean them off.
John, yesterday afternoon, as he took a small break from moving gravel.
It was a perfect fall day. Today we were able to pour a cantilevered retaining wall that Joseph and John formed out and then the sidewalk to the house. Hopefully, on Thursday, we will begin pouring the driveway.
“Hit the ground, boys!” 🙂 We thought of that caption after seeing this photo. In reality, the boys were working, and Dad had been directing the cement truck driver.
After the cement truck driver arrived, he asked John if he was the boss. John smiled, and said he was, and pointed over at Joseph saying, “And he’s the foreman,” and then over at Dad, “And he’s the owner.” Clever, John.
On Saturday we went to the homeless shelter in Kansas City. It is always good, but a sobering time. Nathan led the singing, the Maxwell men brought instruments and sang “At the Cross” and Christopher preached about Jonah and heeding spiritual warnings.
The chapel was packed with 129 men as it was raining hard and men wanted to get out of the rain. If most people who thought they had problems were to visit to mission or a nursing home, they should be cured. Many men were soaking wet from being out in the rain and came to the mission so they would have something to eat.
After chapel we speak to the men and share Jesus with them one-on-one. It is a tough time but a good time. One of the men’s stories I heard was similar to a few I have heard prior. He was happily married, attending church, successful in business, life was going well, and then his wife died of cancer. He like three others I’ve talked too, when tragedy happened, they turned to alcohol and drugs instead of the Lord Jesus. Their lives then went from the deep, dark waters of a tragedy, to the depth of despair and loss of everything as Satan became their “master.” The lives of those men reflect how cruel of a master he is.
What is our relationship with the Savior like? Do we delight to spend time every morning with Him first in reading the Bible and then in blessed fellowship as we pray? Is He the One Who holds all of our expectations? Is Jesus the One Who directs our lives? Is He our everything?
If He is, then when tragedy strikes, it is just that, a tragedy, but not the end of our “life”, so to speak. Life can have some terribly dark moments, but all of them compared to the preciousness of Jesus, become fully bearable in Him. Does our anchor go very, very, deep down to the Rock which can hold us safe when the violent storms of life strike?
(I wrote the below paragraphs on the final leg of our trip Sunday afternoon.)
A friendly wave from a passing vehicle prompted me to begin this blog post. Dad observes many people reading the verse on the side of our trailer. We have received numerous positive honks and waves from people throughout this trip. The only “thumbs down” that was given to us was promptly followed by a “thumbs up” in the next vehicle! It is such a blessing to be boldly identified with Jesus.
I wanted to quickly update on our last two stops. Our hosts in Chicago were very gracious, and they even had a scrumptious dinner for us. After almost every conference, people will offer to help us pack up and carry things out to the van. It’s a blessing, as packing out isn’t a quick job! We arrived in Wausau a little after three Friday afternoon. Even though it was our latest arrival at a weekend conference for set up, the boys were able to get everything done in time, plus have some time to practice. Our hosts blessed us by bringing a taco dinner to the hotel. Yumm.
(Help with set up :-)!)
The girls do a great job with setting up the book tables. (Below)
The Wausau conference was a little different than our others in that it was held at a conference center attached to a hotel. We are immensely grateful to the anonymous family who paid for the rental of the conference center. You blessed many families with this weekend. May fruit abound to your account (Philippians 4:17). Anna, Mary, and Joseph sang a new song during our music hour, and it went well. Quite a few families drove distances to come to this conference, and with the hotel being right there, many families stayed at the hotel. Hearts were very receptive to the message shared.
(Dad speaking to the fathers and sons.)
(Mom speaking to the moms and daughters.)
As this trip is wrapped up, our hearts are full of gratefulness to the Lord. This month was not spent in vain. We were blessed over and over by so many people. We pray that the Lord will bring forth eternal fruit from this trip. One father shared with my dad recently that his son, after listening to Christopher’s Success or Failure session, excitedly told his dad, “We have a lot of changes we need to make when we get home!”
Only for Jesus, Sarah
This is a picture Christopher took from our hotel room in Chesapeake of the packing out process.
Remember right before the trip we planted grass and put straw down? We were very excited to see a beautiful, green lawn upon our arrival home. Praise the Lord for a lawn :-)!
We arrived safely home last night! Thank you for your prayers. We’ll update on the last two conferences in a later post. For now, here’s some trivia about this last month.
We added four new states to our list of states we’ve been to.
We also added one new province (Ontario).
It takes up to three hotel cart loads (plus many hand loads of miscellaneous things that don’t go on the cart) to pack into and out of a hotel.
Approximately ninety cartloads of our luggage brought in and out of hotels.
An unnamed person’s luggage was dreaded because of its weight. It actually had to be repacked part way through the trip to relieve the weight.
You can tell you’re not from the south (just hicks from Kansas), when, upon talking to the hotel clerk, she tells you about the “Cornin Company” being in the area. I told her I’d never heard of that company, and I wondered what they do. Her response was something like: “I’m not really sure, but they do dishes and such.” Oh, she meant CorningWare. Now I get it.
You are in and out of so many different hotel rooms, that, upon going to the front desk to get more towels, and the clerk inquires as to what room you are in, and you can’t remember, you’re suspected of being a “towel thief.”
When the hotel manager saw how many of us there were, he changed one of the rooms we were going to be in, and gave us a very large room. It was great as we had plenty of rooms for the two that were in sleeping bags.
The towels in our hotel rooms aren’t enough for nine of us, so inevitably, someone has to go and get more. One of the boys decided to use his Spanish skills, and he asked the Spanish-speaking maid for “quince towellas”. She looked at him quizzically and contemplated her cart. She took the boys back to the laundry room (and they were wondering why there wasn’t enough on her cart, but maybe she needed them for the next room she was cleaning, they thought) and grabbed a huge pile of towels and placed them in their arms. At that point, both the maid and the boys realized they had a misunderstanding. They had meant to say “cinco” (5), instead of “quince.” (15)
We only ate at three fast food restaurants.
Only one rest area was stopped at in over 4000 miles.
At least one hundred and seventy hand-truck loads of books and tubs brought in and out for the conferences.
We stayed in fifteen different places.
We spent the month of September and the first week of October in the North (even going into Canada), and except for a few slight exceptions, the temperatures stayed in the 70’s and 80’s. Deodorant and laundry soap were necessary items.
We began and ended the trip driving through heavy rain.
When we had our Canadian experience at the famous Tim Horton’s, a lady working there commented after serving up our chili that she had never dished up so much chili before!
Over two hundred capsules of Zicam cold remedy were consumed on this trip.
An incredible testimony to God’s grace is the fact that Dad and Mom never came down with a cold!!! What a blessing!
We have only two more stops left on this trip. As Mom shared in a recent post, we are so grateful to many people who have generously shared with us.
Our conference in Norfolk was a true blessing. After our first song, Dad introduced the family and encouraged everyone to relax and let the children enjoy the music. After a few songs, a group of little girls (2-3 year olds) gathered down front to our right, and in sheer delight and enthusiasm, skipped and bounced around in a circle, holding hands.
We gave The Christ-Led Family Conference last weekend, which is a somewhat deeper message than our normal ones. We were grateful for all the families that took the time out of their weekend to attend. We even saw a few familiar faces from previous conferences in years past.
Every conference Christopher has been giving his Evangelism session for the young people. After his session, he lets the young people take home several tracts. When he gave it Saturday, he didn’t have his box of tracts with him, and so after the business workshop we did together, Christopher told the young people that they could come up front and get the tracts. At that moment I wished I would have had my camera with me. It was such an incredible sight to see forty or more young people crowding together to pick out some tracts.
Saturday evening, a family had blessed us with dinner that we took back to our hotel. It was a wonderful time unwinding after the conference. Sunday morning, we “joined” our church back at home. Nathan called us on his cell phone, and we put the hotel phone on speaker. It was special to be a part of the service, even from such a long distance. We spent the afternoon resting. That evening, Dad took us down to the ocean, and we spent about an hour walking along the sandy beach as the sun set. It reminded us of the time we had spent in South Carolina in 2001 where a family had graciously given us two nights to stay at their beach house in January. We finished the evening with our family time in God’s Word back at the hotel.
Our conference in Abingdon last night went well. After we arrived and worked on our different areas of set up, the conference coordinator and two other ladies had dinner ready. These ladies had prepared a wonderful dinner of salad, lasagna, bread, and cookies. The table was creatively decorated, and they had even made it so we could eat together. We, again, felt very blessed.
Many people showed up for the conference early to browse the book tables. I think the cutest scene I saw last night was a little boy, maybe three years of age, saying good-bye to Mary, and he had the sweetest smile on his face as he stood there. He continued to stand there, with the cutest expression, until his daddy came for him.
We’ve seen several babies on this trip that are the same age Susannah Joy would have been. Thank you for those who continue to pray for Nathan and Melanie. It means so much to them and us to know that people remember and are praying!
We’ll be doing a conference in the Chicago area tomorrow night (Thursday), and then on to Wausau, Wisconsin for our final weekend conference for the year!
We continue to covet your prayers as the trip winds down. I can’t tell you how much we have been blessed to meet so many of you!
Only for Jesus, Sarah
I took these pictures Sunday night while we were at the ocean.
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.