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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Day #18 – Hartford Area, Connecticut

Hello from the beautiful state of Connecticut! We need to give an update on our last two conferences.

We drove 700+ miles from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Poughkeepsie, New York on Wednesday. When we arrived in Poughkeepsie, our Mapquest directions took us to downtown Poughkeepsie, which well, wasn’t the area where we were expecting our hotel. We called the hotel and were able to successfully find our way out of downtown to the hotel.

The conference coordinator for Thursday evening’s conference had pizzas for dinner and salad. We all enjoy pizza, and the salad was a nice touch, since we miss salad on the road. It was great!

I am very grateful to all who prayed for my voice Thursday evening. I wasn’t sure if my voice was going to hold out to be able to give the workshop. I asked Anna if she would help me with the workshop, and she graciously agreed. As I started Womanhood, I felt my voice wasn’t going to make it. Then, as the time progressed, it was amazing; my voice actually got better! I can only attribute the change to prayer! By the next morning, I was feeling better overall, and I believe it was an answer to my dad’s prayer, who, unbeknownst to me, had prayed that Mary and I would feel better the next morning.

On weekend conferences, our family gives an hour of music and testimonies. Since we don’t have time for that on the single-evening conferences, we do three songs at the end of Keeping Our Children’s Hearts. The response from our listeners is very positive, and we enjoy encouraging families in this way.

Friday morning, we drove to Rhode Island. John says that you can’t nap while driving through Rhode Island, otherwise you might miss it! RI is a very pretty state. We arrived at lunchtime and unloaded our luggage at the hotel. We spent the afternoon at the church setting up music and the book tables. I included some photos of our setup and practice time below.

The Rhode Island conference coordinators and their volunteers had undertaken to provide Friday evening dinner and Saturday breakfast and lunch for attendees. All three meals were excellent, and they put forth much effort to bless those who came. We are grateful for all their work! They even sent us away with lots of food.

The conference went quite smoothly. The boys work to make sure that Dad and Mom are taken care of for each session. Anna again assisted in my session, for which I was very grateful, as I still needed her help with my cold.

We are so blessed when we meet families who have been greatly impacted by the ministry. What a joy. Dad shared with us on the drive to the hotel Friday evening, that families like that make it all worth it.

Saturday night, we drove to a family’s house in Connecticut. We enjoyed the pretty drive: sometimes seeing water inlets lined with trees. We are actually staying in this gracious family’s home! Several months ago they offered us the use of their house, and they were going to stay with a relative for these three days. After we arrived, they showed us around their house, and they had dinner waiting on the table for us. It was incredible. We are so blessed by having a day and a half to rest and be ready for the last two weeks of conferences.

We are looking forward to the conference in Connecticut this evening.

Only for Jesus,
Sarah

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Jesse, tuning Mom’s guitar.

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I was talking with two of the ladies who had helped to coordinate the conference. One of their sons (on my left), helped me with some set up.

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Anna was helping the boys with the sound system. Remember how we said the boys had done something different last week? Well, what Anna is holding is a part of that new thing :-).

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Practicing some songs.

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Day #15 – We’re in Poughkeepsie, NY

The Indianapolis conference went very well. First Korean United Methodist Church was extremely gracious to host our conference. Thank you!

Tuesday morning/afternoon was a special time as we went to the Creation Science Museum. Dad will be posting more on that later.

We were touched by a homecooked meal the conference coordinators provided for us in Cincinnati. We are grateful for the time and effort they put into it.

Please pray for our health. Mary and I came down with colds about a day apart, and my voice has started to be affected. I would be very grateful for prayer that I would be able to give my workshop this evening and Saturday morning, with a clear voice. Please pray for my parents and Christopher not to get colds with their speaking.

We are continually humbled and blessed to meet many of you on this trip! Thank you for your prayers and love. We are extremely grateful.

We’ve now done 7 of the 17 stops. Ten more to go!

Only for Jesus,
Sarah

Day #12 – We’re now in Indianapolis, Indiana

The border crossing to Canada went very smoothly. I had worked to get all the paperwork done I thought we needed to import our books into Canada. The paperwork was approved, and without an inspection of our trailer, they sent us on our way!

This weekend’s conference was such a blessing. It’s always a job to set up for our music, but Joseph, John, and Jesse had worked diligently Friday afternoon. The boys tried a new technique for setting up the sound for suppressing feedback. We felt the sound quality was the best we’ve had yet.

Saturday’s first sessions involved one for the moms, another for the dads, another for the young ladies, and another for the young men. Christopher and I are excited to be able to share with young people in each city. The group Saturday morning seemed quite attentive. One thing I enjoy at each conference is seeing the mommies with their babies. Truly children are a gift from the Lord!

We talked to several families who had driven up to five hours to come to the conference. We are so grateful to each of you who took your weekend to come to the conference. We pray the Lord blesses your family.

We woke up early yesterday morning to get on the road. Coming back into the US was very smooth. We made it 830 miles to our hotel in Indianapolis!

Thank you to everyone for your prayers. Truly, we have felt them. This past week, we had two close encounters with almost being hit by a semi-truck. In one case, the driver was talking on a cell phone, and the only place for us to have gone was a cement wall. We are grateful for the Lord’s protection.

On a side note, we did notice some differences in being in Canada versus the United States. One that was rather trivial, but stood out, was the black squirrels! YES! They are actually black. After our raising of Chippy and Chester, we have a special interest in squirrels. It was hard to imagine a squirrel could be black, and although they were cute, Chester is cuter :-).

Five stops down, twelve to go!

Only for Jesus,
Sarah

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Little boy in with his parents at one of our conferences!

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A group of some of us girls after the Canada Conference.

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Breathtaking scenery as we crossed a bridge over Thousand Islands.

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The guys loaded up all the books we left at someone’s house in New York, since we only brought a number of books we thought we’d need in Canada.

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.