Please Pray for Nathan and Melanie’s Baby

For those who are praying, Nathan asked us to post a blog update. Melanie has been admitted to the hospital in an attempt to stop contractions. Melanie is 28 weeks at this point. Here are the specific prayer requests that Nathan had. First that the contractions would stop and that this baby would not be born for several more weeks. You could also pray for Melanie in coping with and lessening of the side effect of the medication she is on to stop the contractions. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. They continue to rest in the Lord Jesus.

Teri for Nathan and Melanie

MOTH Ministry Update

I have felt the Lord’s leading that it would be a good thing to give a status on the ministry as it seems we are at a point of significant change. First, we have never sought to build a ministry and that isn’t our desire even at this point. Our hearts desire is to be servants of Jesus Christ, and we know that begins first in the home as we serve our family. I’m delighted that is the heart of each child as well. As good as it was to return home yesterday, Jesse said he wished we could have been gone longer. We love our time out as we minister and encourage families.

I have been mostly fulltime with MOTH/Titus2 since last spring. I have had a few Communication Concepts (our family business where Nathan and Christopher work) projects come up, but mostly it has been MOTH/Titus2. What a blessing that has been, and there still is more to do than time permits.

One very big decision we have recently come to is regarding our crisis of space. We have had a small area in the basement where books were stored and shipped from. With every new book, it has become more difficult to manage. Depending on the size of the book and quantity printed, each book may represent one to five pallets of boxes. We built a shed to store books in 2005, but that is now full. In praying through what the Lord would have us to do, I now believe He would have us to build another house.

Christopher is buying our house, and we will take the equity and will build on a lot immediately behind this house. If we do most of the work ourselves, we should be able to build a larger house with a walk-out basement. The basement will still be dual use, but it would allow us the room we need for the books. Our current house has a large enough attic where we could have moved the boys bedrooms to, but it would not structurally support the weight. So the plan is to take roughly the same floor plan, reverse it, and build this new one as a story and a half giving us the extra room we need.

The new house would also have a three car garage so that tools and lawn things could go there instead of the basement and shed where they were before, again to make more useable book room.

The house decision was a long time in coming as we are very content in our current house. However, there are two new books coming, Spring with the Moodys and Just Around the Corner, Vol 2. There is another Just Around the Corner to be compiled, plus one more title on our hearts right now waiting for the Lord to direct. We know there is nowhere else to put these books on a long term basis. If the Lord is directing us to continue and add other titles something would have to be done. It would be easier if we weren’t so content where we are. With Christopher buying this house it then became clear that the Lord was directing, but it has been a very difficult decision indeed.

We know there are many who pray for us, and we are eternally grateful. We have no doubt as to the effects of your prayers. Thank you. This last trip was such an example of answered prayers. We saw how we were able to continue the trip even with the trailer axle problem. I have no explanation for that one other than prayer.

Teri’s and my colds did not prevent us in any of our sessions. Even with hours of speaking, my voice held, though it was weak. We saw how even though we didn’t require our expenses to be met by the hosting groups, God provided for our needs through the love offering basket on our table. Even with gas prices as high as they are and staying in hotels, all of our needs were met.

However, we are at another decision point and we would covet your prayers. We have a real problem with transportation. I am not going to write out all the details and things we have looked at, but summarize so those who are willing would pray (if led to). We have a diesel powered van, which I’m currently overloading with the weight of the utility trailer we pull. It has the most powerful engine available that can fit in the van. We need at least 9 seats and can use more occasionally. There are no common commercial solutions available to pull the weight we have to transport along with the number of seats we need.

The two solutions we are aware of are either a converted 45 foot bus or a converted semi-tractor. If we choose either of those solutions, the desire would be to live out of it while on the road, saving on hotel and restaurant expenses to offset the higher transportation expenses. The converted semi’s have the power but not the room so we would still end up staying at hotels, but we would have the power to pull whatever we needed to. RV’s usually don’t have the power, number of beds, nor the weight carrying capacity we need.

Converted school buses have the room of a converted semi, but they don’t have the power nor the weight carrying capacity needed. Forty-five foot converted commercial buses have both the power and the room. Very old ones are of reasonable cost but poor reliability; newer ones are very much more costly and can have manageable reliability.

I have laid this all before the Lord, also including as an option of not going on any more MOTH tours. We currently have a long trip scheduled for the fall and are beginning to schedule an even longer trip to the west coast in the 1st quarter of 08. Our out and back homeschool convention trips are not a problem because of being away less time and transporting far less weight. The primary issue before the Lord is the MOTH trips.

Many express their appreciation for us sharing on the blog. It seemed like a good time to give a status of what is going on about the house and also the crossroads we are at regarding the MOTH tours. We are very grateful for your prayers.

God bless.
Steve and Teri
 

Baby Update

Last Sunday I preached from 2 Tim 1:1, where it starts, “Paul, an apostle (messenger) of Jesus Christ by the will of God…” The congregation was a group of residents from a local nursing home. I was sharing with them that God has a plan/will for their lives – even where they are at right now. John 6:40 clarifies that God’s will, big picture, is that everyone believe on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. But even beyond that, He has a will, a day to day desire for each of those dear people that were listening to me.
John 6:40, “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life…”

I was struck that our little one, still being formed in the womb, is under God’s care and that He already has a plan for that little life – a plan that at this point even we as his/her parents don’t know. Salvation is His primary desire for Baby Maxwell, after that?? Eph 3:20 gives us a clue though, we are told that it is beyond our ability to ask or imagine. This has greatly encouraged Melanie and I.
Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…”

Baby Maxwell continues to grow and get stronger. At a recent ultra-sound, the tech pointed out a little calf muscle, indicative of an active baby. We enjoy seeing the baby’s profile and also watching the cute little hands, arms and feet appear on screen. The child still has a stomach issue that will require surgery immediately after birth. What other special needs the baby may or may not have, only time will tell.

Our biggest prayer request right now is that Baby stays in the womb as long as possible. His/her stomach issue means there is excess amniotic fluid surrounding the baby, which can cause labor to come sooner. We are also praying the Lord will direct us to the correct (maybe even Christian?) perinatalogist, hospital, neonatalogist, pediatric surgeon, and whomever else gets involved.

Nathan

Change of Plans

After we got up this morning, we discovered the storm system that was supposed to go through the Midwest today is coming a day later. Dad felt it was best that we head home a day early because of the ice/snow that is predicted for tomorrow. We thought of Proverbs 16:9: “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” We make plans, but the Lord directs our steps. We were all disappointed, but we know this is for the best, and we’re grateful for the fellowship we had last night. I truly am grateful for such a wise father who listens so closely to Jesus.

Serving Jesus,
Sarah

Trip News

Last night wrapped up the sixth and final conference for this trip. Our hearts are full of gratitude to the Lord Jesus Christ for His work during the last two weeks. As you know, we started off with thinking we had a bent axle on the trailer. Dad and John secured replacement tires for the trailer when we got to the Orlando area. The tire on that axle is doing well, and we attribute it to prayer and the Lord’s protection. Last Friday, Mary and I came down with colds. One “remedy” our family uses are the Ziacam tablets. If you feel you’re getting sick, you take a tablet, and if you’re sick, you also take them. For this last week, it has been a regular occurrence for someone to ask for the Ziacam to be passed :-). Wednesday evening, at a hotel, we had a “garlic party”. Yes, we actually cut up raw garlic cloves and swallowed them, in hopes that the garlic would help the cold symptoms. 🙂

Mom and Dad both came down with colds, although Mom’s hit her pretty hard. Friday morning, when we were preparing to head to Jackson, Mississippi for a weekend conference, we found there was freezing rain and ice. Thursday night at the Memphis conference, a father offered to give back road directions to get to Jackson. We can tell that Jesus clearly prompted him to offer us directions, because with those directions, we were able to take other roads for awhile instead of the interstate which was stopped at the time we were leaving the hotel due to many accidents. The roads were great for us, and we praised the Lord for allowing us to make it safely to Jackson.

Every conference we felt the Lord’s blessing. Hearts were receptive and open, and families were incredibly gracious to us. We were overwhelmed by the generosity each city showed to our family.

Sunday and Monday evenings we had our first Christ-Led Family Conference. Then, this weekend, we had our first full weekend of the Christ-Led Family. We weren’t even sure with colds and Dad’s voice if we’d be able to do our music session Friday evening, but Dad decided to go ahead with it. Dad’s voice held out, and our only bit of excitement was the bass bridge popping off near the end of the session. It did rattle some of us, and we stopped abruptly in the middle of our song. But, we soon started the song again, this time without the bass. For those who are wondering, even though from the picture (at the end of the post) you’d think the bass would need a major repair, it’s not hard to set the bridge back up. Throughout the weekend, hearts were open and receptive to the message. A few families had even driven several hours to come to the conference. We were blessed by the generosity of several ladies from the church who provided lunch for the attendees.

Thank you to every one who has been praying for our family and those attending the conferences. We are headed to Texas today for a brief visit with some friends of the family. We will be driving home Tuesday, missing the winter storm that will be going through several states :-).

Only for Jesus,
Sarah
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This church was where the full Christ-Led Family conference was held this weekend. 

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Christopher, with the bass, after the music session.

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Dad, whose absolute joy and delight is being able to share from God’s Word!

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.