Red Deer, Alberta

We had a great weekend with the AHEA Convention in Red Deer, Alberta. With six of our family having come down with colds, we were in much prayer about the music session Friday night. The Lord Jesus showed Himself strong on our behalf and allowed voices to hold up through the music session plus the speaking sessions. Most are now over their colds.

Friday and Saturday were full of sessions, which were well attended. That says to us that those at the convention were interested in our messages. People who talked to us through out the weekend were positive, saying they were encouraged and challenged.

(Mary was straightening up the book table. After a “rush” of people come through, the tables need a bit of organizing!)


(Sarah took this photo as I was talking to a lady at the convention Saturday.)


We had more opportunity to talk with members of the AHEA board than we often have at conventions because of being included in a dinner with them on Thursday night. On Saturday evening our hostess and her family took us to a quiet restaurant where we could eat and relax after the busy weekend. The AHEA board took very good care of us during our time with them. We were blessed.

On this trip, we are making the transition to life on the road with one bathroom in which to get nine people ready for the day. When we traveled with the van and trailer, we had to have two hotel rooms which provided us with two bathrooms. Now with the boys sleeping in the bus, we only need one hotel room and that means only one bathroom. As you can imagine, we have quite a structured morning-bathroom-use schedule!

We rejoice each day that goes by without a call from Nathan and Melanie saying that Baby Max has arrived. When we started this trip 3 ½ weeks ago, with the doctors having put Melanie on bed rest and indicating the birth of Baby Max was likely to be soon, we could hardly imagine returning home with no baby’s arrival. Now having only a week left of our trip, we are hopeful that we will get home and be able to be part of the bed rest support team rather than the baby-in-the-NICU support team. Thank you, Jesus. We are grateful for your prayers for Nathan, Melanie, and baby Max.

As you pray, we would love for you to pray for the hearts of those who come to our sessions in Fargo, ND, Tuesday night and then at the Minnesota state convention this weekend and what the Lord wants to do in their lives.

Trusting in Jesus,

(These baskets were dropped off at our hotel Thursday as a gift from the AHEA board!)



I could have titled this post “no news is good news” but I’m kinda attached to the “BabyMax dot” format.  🙂  I guess my IT background sneaks in.

Melanie is still in the hospital but no baby has arrived. We are so grateful for God’s working. Back at week 26 it didn’t seem possible that we’d ever make it to 28 weeks, let alone part way through 29.

Melanie’s care has changed to more of long term ob. We’re praying that she will be released and not have to stay here till Baby comes. But, we also want what is best for this child and are seeking Gods direction.

There are a lot of inconveniences associated with this hospital stay. But they pale in comparison with the benefit we believe this child is getting from these added weeks in the womb.


  • That Baby seems to be doing well. Monitors show a great heart rate and lots of movement.
  • That Melanie continues to have a positive outlook and be accepting of her bedrest.
  • That Melanie’s family continues to be available to help with keeping her company during the day.
  • That baby’s position has changed to one that is much more conducive to birth! This is a direct answer to prayer!


  • For Baby’s health, strength, and sustaining.
  • That the contractions she has off and on will be more of the off than the on, and that they won’t progress labor.

In closing, thank you for your comments of encouragement and prayer support. We love this child and greatly desire the chance to raise and nurture him/her. We are working to give our fears to Jesus and trust Him. These days are not dark and scary, we’re content where He has us and looking to Him for daily direction.

Nathan, Melanie, and BabyMax

God’s Provision

In order to remain in our host home in Cleardale and not have to move to a big-city hotel, we needed to locate high-speed Internet. With Melanie in the hospital on bed rest for her pregnancy, Sarah has to download orders and get them to Grandma at home to ship. The conference coordinator had secured permission from the local public school for Christopher and Sarah to use the library, but that didn’t work out. The coordinator then began searching for other alternatives and finally a business about twenty minutes away was located that would allow Christopher and Sarah to use their satellite Internet connection.


(We were able to get Internet Access!)

A truck garage near to our host home allowed Steve to bring the bus into one of their inside bays to do the necessary wheel rim work. The garage was just a few minutes from where we were staying, an amazing provision so far away from larger cities. Securing the additional parts that were needed to put the new rim on required a mornings’ worth of phone calls and a four-hour round trip drive. Tuesday two brothers-in-the-Lord replaced the studs (bolts that hold the wheels on) that were discovered to be broken when the rim had been replaced on Friday.


(Replacing the studs Tuesday morning.)

The time in Cleardale allowed me to get our laundry done, do some school work, and tour the farm. John loved time with the sons in the family helping with farm chores early in the morning and in the afternoons. We were able to spend an evening with the conference coordinator’s family, whom we had met when we were in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, two years ago.

As we left Cleardale on Wednesday morning, Steve thought it would be good to have the wheels torqued.  The place where we found the needed rim was on the road we were on as we headed toward Red Deer. When we pulled in the brother who had helped find the rim, was preparing to head out for his day’s work. His boss let him torque the bus wheels and wanted no payment.


(Getting the wheel torqued on our way out Wednesday morning.)

God’s continual provision in difficult situations gives us many opportunities to look to Him and rest in His solutions rather than our own ideas.

Trusting in Jesus,

Traveling in Canada

Our hearts are overflowing after spending the last week with our brothers and sisters in the Lord in Cleardale, Alberta. This area is so remote that there isn’t even a hotel in Cleardale. We arrived there a week ago Thursday evening. We soon had a slight problem, though. Uriah’s tires were hot when we pulled in, and he settled too nicely into the snow-packed parking area at the family’s house we were staying at. So, Friday morning, we needed to move him, and the wheels were in a very icy depression, allowing free spinning of the wheels :-).

There were discussions about how to get Uriah out, including maybe using a powerful tractor. Dad decided to give it a little try first before using other options. After it was obvious Uriah wasn’t going any where, the mom of the family showed up on the porch with a bucketful of week-old ashes from the wood stove and suggested putting a few of these against the wheels. Hmmm. This was a new idea (we Kansas hicks have had no experience with using ashes to get a vehicle unstuck). Dad tried it, and Uriah was free! As we were about to leave for the conference to begin set up, a father in the fellowship had showed up. We had been hearing a slight strange noise ever since we’d been in Colorado. As Dad backed up, he asked the father to see if he could figure out what it was. He found that we had a large crack in one of the wheel rims! We decided to go to Hines Creek, where the conference would be held, and go directly to a place that was likely to have that rim. We’ll make a long story short, but even in a small town where we were at, the Lord provided the exact rim we needed. We are so grateful!!!


(Working on changing out the rim Friday afternoon.)

We’ve never spoken at a conference where hearts were so hungry for the message. The large hall was packed. We were shocked at the size of the group considering the remoteness of the area. Just one week before the conference, the school that had been contracted with to use their facilities, cancelled. The coordinator found a location which was only available that one weekend. Praise the Lord for HIS provision. As registrations continued coming in at the last moment, it became apparent we never would have fit in the school. Our hearts were awed by what Jesus was doing during the weekend! Quite a few families drove up to five and six hours to come to the conference.


(A view from a walkway on Friday evening.)

Sunday we had an incredible day of fellowship with other believers. The singing, preaching, and testimonies were a time of refreshment.

Over and over again, these precious people ministered to us this week. We stayed at one family’s home who graciously provided many meals for us and gave up a portion of their home and even let us use their vehicle as we needed. May Jesus repay you all for your kindness to our family. As we drove away from Cleardale, our route took us near the coordinator’s family’s house. Imagine our surprise at what we saw below in the picture :-).

A family's sign

We are down to about a week and a half left of the trip. We are grateful for your prayers for our traveling and the conferences we’re doing. Please continue to lift up Nathan, Melanie, and Baby Max.

Serving Jesus,
Sarah for the rest

Below are some pictures taken last week as we drove up to Cleardale.


Mini-exercise time!


Beautiful mountain range we saw last Thursday driving up to Cleardale.


We stopped at a rest area, and I took this picture of Uriah.

Three Boys

Jesse, John, and Joseph are standing on about a 4 foot bank of snow!


Wow! We had never been on a 10% grade before :-).


The last blog post was delayed due to my family’s travels. Not much has changed. We continue to seek to discern God’s will for the many decisions. Melanie is permanently in the hospital, until the situation changes or baby comes. We’re praying for some of the pre-term labor to reverse itself. We’re also praying that Baby’s position will change so that if labor does ensue, a natural child-birth will be allowed. And lastly, if labor does kick in, based on Baby’s current position, we’re at a very high risk for some cord issues/complications.

I know all this sounds complicated and it is. We have committed this child to the Lord and are crying out for Baby’s protection and sustenance. There are no signs that baby is in any way struggling, for that we are grateful. It’s just the parents that get a little weary.
We do sense God’s blessing and directing in a number of areas. A small example… for some reason, Melanie prayed on Sunday that I wouldn’t have to buy dinner. I’d not complained about purchasing dinner, in fact a few days before I had commented to her about how reasonable the hospital cafeteria was. As I was leaving the room to head down to the cafeteria the nurse met me in the hallway with an extra tray of food. Melanie was thrilled to see me walk back in, followed by the nurse with the tray of food. She also enjoyed the fact that we both had the same salad, and since I had just encouraged her to eat hers, she got to suggest I not skip mine. 🙂 I didn’t even know she had prayed.

The Lord also blessed the nursing home service Sunday. There have been a number of things we have experienced with this pro-longed hospital stay that allowed me to relate to the residents better. I desire to share from my heart with them when I preach and common/shared experiences help that.

God continues to bless in allowing Melanie’s spirits to remain up. Despite the uncertainty over the future, she remains cheerful. And, she’s enjoying the time with Baby Max, who tends to be an active little guy/gal. Her family is providing great support, even allowing me to keep up with my work.
We continue to be grateful for your prayer support. God is in control always, but situations like this make that fact very clear.

Baby Max.05

Another quick update. Writing from a cell phone keeps me from being too long winded!

I wish we had good news to report. But, due to increased dilation and some other risk factors Melanie is staying on “inpatient” status for the time being. I would desperately love to have her anywhere but here, but it seems to us that God’s will is for her to be right here.


  • The dr’s didn’t see a need to suggest magnesium! Those that have been on mag know just how much of a gracious gift of Him that is.
  • Melanie is in good spirits. I’m thrilled her spirits have stayed up. I’m the one that’s been up and down.
  • No baby yet, each day that goes by is a blessing.


  • That baby is born in God’s perfect timing. We believe this to be a number of weeks past now, but want His best.
  • Wisdom in all the decisions. This is not the “smarts” to make good choices but rather seeking to know God’s will for each thing that comes up.
  • That Melanie and I will trust Him. Playing what if games in our minds, especially in light of our experience with Susannah, gets overwhelming quickly. We are seeking to trust and take one day at a time.

Nathan, for Melanie and Baby Max

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