Report and Pictures

(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.

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(Help with set up :-)!)

The girls do a great job with setting up the book tables. (Below)

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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.

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(Dad speaking to the fathers and sons.)

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(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

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This is a picture Christopher took from our hotel room in Chesapeake of the packing out process.

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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 :-)!

Some Interesting Trivia About Our Trip

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!

Only for Jesus,
Sarah

Men of Vision – Creation Museum

On September 18th, we went to the Creation Museum in Cincinnati. A family invited us to go, graciously offering to provide tickets and lunch for all nine of us. In summary, it was a tremendous blessing and far beyond my wildest expectations.

I fully believe the account of creation as told in the Bible and anticipated that this would be more of an encouragement for the children. However, I was not prepared for what a blessing and encouragement it was for me and my faith. It began with being awed in the planetarium, and I was mightily blessed from there on.

The Lord Jesus Christ and God’s plan was woven throughout the presentation with what pieces of our past have been unearthed. Zoos and museums are filled with the lies of evolution. For the first time ever in an environment like this, I saw the truth of God’s Word presented in a quality way. We didn’t pay to go, but I can say that it would have been well worth saving up for. You can spend four or more hours there, and it will enhance your family’s faith.

The museum was a great blessing to me in another way. I believe our world is starved for men of God who are willing to follow the Lord even when something seems impossible. Obviously, many have come alongside of Mr. Ham in this endeavor, but I suspect it has been his vision. I pray God’s richest blessing on a man unafraid to proclaim the truth of Scripture and build something that will counter the lie of evolution. May we all be so bold and pursue the Lord’s direction for each of our lives.

For those families who are as conservative as we are, I have a few additional comments. The Planetarium was fantastic. We did not go to the Men in White or the Dragon video. We did go to the Second Adam video at the end. In this video, Jesus is clearly presented as the Perfect Sacrifice, but it was too graphic for us, and so we just closed our eyes for a little while.

In Christ Jesus,

Steve

Creation Science Museum Lobby

Maxwell Family in Museum Lobby

T-Rex Demonstrating After the Fall

Teri and I in front of the animatronics T-Rex

Noah, giving

Losing track of what day it is!

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

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I took these pictures Sunday night while we were at the ocean.

The Lord’s Provision

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.

Thank you all!

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

Day #23 – A Report from the Last Three Conferences

It’s hard to believe we’ve been on the road three weeks, and only have about a week left. We have three more Virginia stops, then Chicago, and lastly Wisconsin. It has been a joy and delight to meet many of you, and see those whom we have met on previous trips. After we finish a conference and climb into the van, we love to talk and share about the families we talked with.

We have three conferences to give a report on. We had a surprise at the Hartford, Connecticut conference. A large family, who had attended the Rhode Island weekend, showed up in Connecticut! We were excited to be able to have some more time to fellowship with the family. The coordinator for the conference had worked very hard on publicity. We were blessed by those who attended.

Dad had been praying about what route to take from Connecticut to New Jersey. He had wanted to go a longer route to avoid New York City and the traffic. I must confess that most of us children were hoping to see the more “scenic” route, but we knew the Lord would direct Dad. Tuesday morning, Dad felt led to go the direct route, so we set out on our adventure. As we drove around New York City, in the Bronx area, we saw smoke. We thought it was a fire, and as we crossed a bridge, one of the children exclaimed they saw flames! Right near the opposite side of the interstate, flames were shooting out of a top-story apartment window. The fire truck had just arrived on the scene, and we saw firemen scaling the fire-escape stairs. Christopher took some pictures as we went by, and upon looking at the pictures, we saw there was actually a lady holding a baby only one story up and two windows away. It was a sobering scene. We prayed for those involved in the fire.

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This is a zoomed in picture where you can see the lady and a baby to the left of the fire, one story up.

In New Jersey, Tuesday evening, Mom had her first experience giving her session in a tent. Actually, it wasn’t the sort of tent you might think of, and except for the ceiling and the dimmer lighting, you wouldn’t know you were in a tent, as it was air-conditioned, and looked perfectly normal inside. I talked with a sweet family (they posted a comment recently on the blog) who had been missionaries to the Bronx area.

Wednesday we drove to Harrisonburg. We enjoyed the incredible scenery of flowing streams, green hills, and just God’s Creation in general. When we filled up with diesel that evening, Dad had quite a talk with the man at the station. I know Dad has several things he’d like to post on when he has time.

Thursday we spent mainly in the hotel, doing catch up things. Our set up seemed to go smoothly last night, even after changing locations of our book tables. I think the set up is going faster, and we also had help :-). One highlight for me last night was meeting a sweet mom and her girls of whom we have known for many years via e-mail. They drove from West Virginia. We can’t tell you how incredibly blessed we are to talk to each one of you.

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Jesse is a faithful “trucker” of our books and tubs for the book table.

We are looking forward to the Christ-Led Family Conference in Norfolk tonight and tomorrow. Thank you for praying for us. Several more have come down with colds, but the colds have been very light, which is a blessing!

Twelve conferences done, five left to go!

Only for Jesus,
Sarah

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Anna offered to watch a little boy so his mother could listen to the session. Here John is with the little guy. He was very cute!

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Our family usually sings three songs after Dad and Mom’s Hearts session on single-evening conferences.

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The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.