(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.
Trusting in Jesus,
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!
Thank you so much for your prayers. This weekend’s conference was such a blessing. We are grateful to all the families who took the time to come. The conference coordinator put much time into the conference and she even blessed us with meals. Thank you :-). We pray for lasting fruit in the lives of those who attended.
Today we drove to Toledo, Ohio. After devotions and dinner, Dad agreed to “make memories” by driving to the coastline of Lake Erie. We went to a state park and walked out to the water. Christopher decided to go out on some rocks, and he quickly came back from the brush, talking about all these bugs. I thought I’d be brave and go out on the rocks, and as I hurried through the brush, I was very surprised by swarms of some sort of insect. Can you believe they were HUGE mosquitos??? Maybe these mosquitos aren’t biters, as only one person received a bite. We had a nice quiet evening enjoying God’s Creation.
We look forward to the evening conference in Toledo tomorrow night!
Out on the rocks after going through the mosquito “territory”! (Joseph and Dad were taking pictures.)
Dad and Mom walking.
A mosquito on the other side of the van window!
We have made it safely to New Albany (outside of Louisville). The Lord blessed all the trip preparations, as there was much to do, but we made it off after 9 a.m. this morning. We drove through some heavy rain and St. Louis traffic but other than that, the drive was pretty uneventful.
The Lord provided a place for us to stay near the conference church, and we invited a sweet, elderly lady to join us for devotions. We had a delightful time of fellowship with her.
We are in prayer for the conference this weekend. We will continue to keep you posted as the trip progresses!
Part of the trip preparation is a focus on preparing our hearts. We know that lasting fruit is only accomplished by the working of the Holy Spirit in hearts. To hear Him speak clearly to and through each of us we ask the Lord to examine our hearts even more than normal.
We know that many of you pray for us. We don’t ask this selfishly, but I would be ever so grateful if God does prompt you, that you would pray:
1. That our hearts would be right before the Lord and we would go in a spirit of humility.
2. That God would speak to the hearts of those attending and His will would be accomplished in their lives and homes.
3. That the Lord would guard us as we travel as there seems to be something different about this trip compared to others.
We will look forward to sharing things as the Lord gives opportunity over the next four weeks.
In Christ Jesus,
We are excited as Thursday approaches and we leave for a long trip out east. Thank you to those who have been praying. We anticipate God working mightily on this trip as the number and severity of pre-trip difficulties would indicate a major moving of our Lord in the hearts of His people. We have found that beginning roughly one month prior to a ministry trip that we are bombarded with problems. It seems that this time it has even been worse than others. It is a very good reminder of the spiritual battle we are in. I don’t often mention it as I don’t want to give glory to Satan. Our Lord Jesus is the One that gets all the glory for working out things that sometime seem impossible and there have been several such things this time.
We love our time on the road ministering and meeting families. (Last year after four weeks on the road, when we returned home after a terrible bout of the stomach flue, the children still wished the trip was longer.) Usually, those who come to our conferences are hungry to be challenged in their roles as parents and their walk with the Lord. We have been praying for months for those whom God will lead to come. We won’t be telling funny stories and entertaining them. Our message is simple, lift up the Lord Jesus Christ in everything as we exhort, challenge and equip families for the task at hand. Our world needs families who are committed to the Lord Jesus and living for Him and discipling their children according to God’s Word.
We look forward to meeting many of you on this trip. Please introduce yourself to us.
In Christ Jesus, Steve
A Few Pictures From This Week (From Sarah)
It was important to get the yard planted early this past week, due to our upcoming trip. John worked “overtime” with “Bob” (aka the Bobcat) as he diligently worked to even out the front yard and move dirt around. This was a night shot.
Joseph found this little frog (or toad?) when he was working Monday evening. He carefully took him to a safer place.
The next day, Tuesday, work continued on the yard. Some spent quite awhile picking up rocks from the yard. By late afternoon, it was time to seed! After Dad seeded, the rest of us spread straw. It was a hot job, but it was great working together.
Those aren’t just normal stilts–they are actually designed to help a person sheetrock! It’s quite interesting to watch the person walk with the stilts. Joseph is getting good at it. The guys were excited to screw up their first piece of sheetrock yesterday evening. ~Sarah