Thank you for your continued prayers. Uriah has had some issues, but he’s still running. We discovered the air conditioner didn’t work, so we had several warm days (it didn’t feel like January for temperatures to be in the upper 70’s and humid!). But, we’re glad for a cool front, and the pleasant temperatures inside. Uriah also had an engine leak, but the boys were able to get it stopped. Please keep praying that Uriah will be able to keep on without any major repairs.
We drove to the Houston area yesterday afternoon, and we arrived safely late in the afternoon. For our first evening conference, the set up went smoothly! The coordinators graciously provided us a wonderful dinner. After three meals of sandwiches, we were very grateful for the home-cooked meal.
The sessions went well last night, and hearts were extremely receptive. We enjoyed our evening in the Houston area.
We arrived safely tonight in Ennis, Texas. The last few days have been very busy in preparing for this trip, so it was nice to just climb into Uriah and rest. It was a delight to start out with having church with our dear friends at the nursing home, and we left from there. Uriah handled very well today, and Christopher even took a turn driving so that Dad could take a nap. We will drive the rest of the way to the Houston area tomorrow, where we’ll be doing an evening conference.
Thank you for your prayers. Dad has said that this is a trip of many unknowns due to our new transportation. We’ll have lots of new opportunities to trust the Lord each day.
Looking forward to meeting many of you over the next few weeks!
Life is in high gear here as we prepare to leave on a three week trip from church on Sunday. Everyone has something to do, and for this trip, we have called in the reserves – Grandad and Grandma. Grandma ironed thirty items for us earlier this week, and she came over to help Sarah yesterday. Both Grandad and Grandma helped today.
We are making curtains for the bus and doing some work inside to make it so that the boys can sleep on it for this trip. The bus just came back from the shop last night so there is much we couldn’t do until it was here. We are excited to take our first long trip on Uriah, and we are praising the Lord continually for His provision.
Saturday in Leavenworth, Kansas brought about eight inches of snow throughout the day and evening. Steve was praying and looking to the Lord Jesus for direction concerning our trip to Gypsum, Kansas to play music for their Sunday evening Christmas service. This trip weighed heavy on his heart since he had no idea how well Uriah would handle in the snow. Steve was keenly aware that in the event of a problem, we wouldn’t all get out and give a push to get moving again. He also was concerned as to whether there would be sufficient heat to keep everyone comfortable.
Sunday morning Steve decided we would start out, and take it one step at a time, depending on the Lord, to enable us to take the next step. The first step was just getting Uriah out of the drive and loaded. To our joy, step-by-step, God gave grace.
Our plan was to take our instruments in to our nursing home church and play for them during our Sunday morning service and then head on to Gypsum, about four hours away. Grandad and Grandma and Nathan and Melanie were also joining us for the day with Nathan playing lead guitar for our music. Our hearts rejoiced as we watched the delight in our nursing home friends’ faces as they listened to the music, old hymns, and Christmas carols.
Not only was it Uriah’s first ministry trip, but it was the first time we have been asked to come to a church to primarily sing. Until about a month ago, we didn’t have any Christmas hymns that we could play and sing, but the children had worked diligently at arranging and practicing Christmas music by themselves and then as a family. Both Nathan and Christopher shared between songs – giving an evangelistic message with personal examples that I thought was very powerful. After the music, Steve preached for about a half an hour encouraging those listening to evaluate their personal walks with the Lord Jesus and to hunger for the Word of God.
The church welcomed us, fed us a delicious dinner, and invited us to join them for their Christmas fellowship after the service.
The bus did well on our snow-packed city streets and the slushy Interstates. It was very comfortable to ride in, except for the driver’s seat, which we hope to replace soon. The boys had furnished Uriah with an old recliner chair for Mom, an old sofa and love seat we had in the garage, plus a few dinette seats that came out of another RV. In addition, they put in a set of bunk beds and a queen bed. When pregnant Melanie needed to stretch, she could stand up and walk around. When Grandad needed to rest his back, he could go lie down. The beds were all filled when we drove home from 9:40 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., allowing some to curl up on a sofa or bench seat to sleep, while others talked the whole way home!
Our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude to the Lord Jesus for His provision for our transportation needs. There is a great deal of work that has to be done, but it is our desire that Uriah serves the Lord faithfully with us for many years to come.
Trusting In Jesus, Teri
John carrying things out to Uriah Sunday morning.
Mary, Anna, and Nathan at the nursing home.
Nursing home service. (Thank you, Melanie, for taking the picture!)
And so begins a rather popular Christmas song. As I am in different businesses and hear all the “secular” songs about being so happy and what a wonderful time of year it is I realize that not everyone has those feelings. My route home often includes passing a funeral home, they had a full parking lot tonight. A friend of ours recently delivered a child with a fatal birth defect – she lived just over an hour. Melanie and I look at our approaching times of Christmas celebration and are keenly aware Susannah isn’t with us. For those grieving a loss or struggling in other areas, it doesn’t mean Christmas can’t be celebrated. Christmas isn’t about how we feel. Christmas is about remembering the plan God set in motion for us. Yes, this plan didn’t begin at Christ’s birth, but that was when it became so real to mankind. Without all the “happy” feelings and distractions, we have the chance to celebrate in a genuine, heart-felt way. We can come before God and be real, sharing both our hurting hearts and gratefulness for His love expressed. I recently read in John how the Israelites would gather in Jerusalem for the feasts; they would come together and worship. This worship probably included song and praise, but I also think it included times of quietness and reflection. Hannah’s heart-felt request for a child came during a trip to the tabernacle to worship. (1 Sam. 1:3 & 1:11)
I also wanted to update you on how Melanie and I are doing. . . . The pregnancy seems to be progressing well. We are greatly desiring and praying that we can be “normal” this time and not have to go down the “high-risk” road. We have heard the baby’s heartbeat twice – each time a huge blessing and encouragement. Melanie’s energy level seems to be up just a bit, something we were hoping for in the second trimester.
We recently returned to the hospital where Susannah was delivered and cared for. It was a good, but challenging visit. Standing outside her room in the NICU brought back so many memories. We were able to see two of the nurses that had cared for her as well as her delivery doctor. It wasn’t an easy time but it was good for us. God has faithfully cared for us this past year, we are amazed at how He will send encouragement just when we need it. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, posted a comment to encourage us, mourned and rejoiced with us.
About sixty-five cups of flour later, thirty-four loaves of whole-wheat cinnamon bread were ready for our caroling evening. It has been a yearly tradition to bake some sort of Christmas goodies, and along with a card, we carol to our neighbors. John has our master list of whom we carol to, and we’ve found that Sunday evenings are the best because people tend to be home. Last night was no exception; most of the families were home. We have been blessed with good neighbors and this is a time when we enjoy sharing Christ’s love in song and smiles. Nathan had the idea for candles, so he invented a way (no wax dripping on our gloves!) for us to carry them without them blowing out. However, we did find the cups can catch on fire if not held vertically. They added a very nice “touch” to the singing.
We are also preparing and looking forward to this Sunday evening’s Christmas service in Gypsum, Kansas. We will be sharing through music, testimonies, and a message from Dad. This will be Uriah’s first trip with the whole family.
Although this is a very joyful time for many Christians, I know there are those who are also hurting. I think of a family who lost their newborn baby girl very recently and the ache they must feel. For those of you who have gone through a difficult trial this year, may Jesus comfort your hearts as only He can.
Merry Christmas – our Savior is born!
Joyfully His, Sarah
The first batch of bread was started a little before 11:30 a.m. (after we came home from church), and by 5:30 p.m., the loaves had all been baked and were ready to go!
This is the front of the card we attached to the bread.
This is the inside.
Nathan, Melanie, and baby!
The only two who aren’t in this photo: Dad (who took it!), and Melanie had gone home a little earlier.
Anna – with two of the caroling candles!
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.