We left late morning for Waynesburg last Tuesday. The drive went smoothly, and we didn’t hit any slow downs which was a blessing considering on this trip we have observed some huge slowdowns in the opposite direction. One involved an overturned cattle hauler which resulted in the interstate being closed for many hours as they cleaned it up. This is also the time of year for a lot of road repair and resurfacing. So with less time to travel and no slowdowns we were grateful.
We arrived at the church about two hours before the conference. There was really only one place we could have parked, and it was available! Our coordinators provided a delicious dinner, which we enjoyed with their family.
The Lord brought a great group of homeschoolers, and it was a delight to have the opportunity to share and get to know many new friends.
Serving Jesus, Sarah
“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Psalms 127:1
We left home about 7:15 Friday morning. Belleville (St. Louis area) was supposed to be about a five hour drive. However, we hit a major slowdown, which cost us a little time. When we arrived at the church, we found out that we actually had spoken there many years ago (at least 10+). That’s neat.
Set up went smoothly, and so did music practice. A great group showed up for the small business session. There was good dialog and ideas offered during that time, and then we transitioned to the concert and Inspire! session.
Saturday dawned sunny and cool, a gorgeous autumn day. We began promptly at 9, and our day progressed quickly. Families were very attentive to what was shared, and our hearts were full of joy to see the Lord Jesus working. We saw old friends and met new ones as well. The panel discussion was our most diversified one yet. Not only were the questions very interesting and assorted, we couldn’t even hope to get through them all in the time allotted! Answering questions on the spur of the moment, makes one think quickly ;).
A special joy to me was meeting a new little baby, Gibson, who was named after a Moody character. If you remember from an earlier blog post, one of his brothers wanted to name their baby Gibson, and sure enough, that’s his name. It was a joy to hold him!
Saturday evening, we drove to a state park in Kentucky where we’ve been since. I’ll share some pictures on that later. 😉 We look forward to Louisville this weekend!
Joyfully His, Sarah
“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” Psalms 27:8
Our hearts are overwhelmed by the blessings of the Lord this weekend in Perryton, Texas. We arrived in town around 2 p.m. and quickly checked into the hotel and then headed for the church. We had our family devotions in the bus together before going in to set up.
The conference hostess provided us a delicious dinner before our evening started. Thank you! Our music session went quite well. Nathan was able to join us, so he played lead guitar. Some elderly members of the community came to the music session, and we were blessed that they took the time to come.
Nathan and Melanie were a joy to have with us: they would look for ways they could help and fill needs. Even Baby Maxwell did so well; he/she didn’t even make any noise :-).
Each session went smoothly, and we were thrilled that families took their day to come to the conference. Most people had driven a distance to attend. One family brought lunch for us, which made it easy to be able to eat before the afternoon sessions. Thank you!
We met many families, and a highlight for us is being able to learn about their lives. A special treat for the boys this weekend was being able to chat with a father who repairs bluegrass instruments.
The Lord also graciously protected us on our drive home. We were only a little over an hour down the road, when we hit fog. It was very difficult driving for Dad, but we finally came out of the fog. We checked the weather on the Internet, and it appeared we were headed for bad weather. We hit the snow/slush in Wichita. After a quick stop (including ice cream, thanks Nathan!), around 10 p.m. we were on our way again. We weren’t too far down the interstate, and suddenly we came up to an accident. Uriah doesn’t stop too quickly, and the accident was in our lane. Dad braked as quickly as he could. We were horrified to see everyone (including children) involved in the accident standing near their cars, in a very vulnerable area. After switching lanes, Dad decided to see if they could help (no one appear injured, but Dad was going to see if they wanted to come in Uriah), so he pulled Uriah off, and John, Christopher, and Dad went to the scene. The family didn’t want to come, and some KDOT salt trucks showed up, and they were going to help.
We continued through really bad road conditions for another few hours, which slowed down our progress. Then, near Topeka, the roads cleared up, and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way.
Another wonderful conference :-)! Our next trip is only four weeks away. That trip will include several stops in Oregon, two in Canada, one in North Dakota, and the last at the MACHE convention (Minnesota).
Blessings, Sarah for the rest of the family
We snapped this picture quickly as we drove through Greensburg, Kansas, a small town that was devastated by a tornado last year.
Nathan working on his laptop.
Two sisters :-).
The boys listening to the father who works on instruments.
We each have at least one type of bag we carry, and this is our stack of backpacks (and not everyone has one :-)).
The last week has held some challenges as we’ve settled back into normal life again. It’s not surprising because we always find before a ministry trip we experience challenges, and sometimes afterwards it can be the case as well. I’m sure each one of us experiences challenges throughout our week. What are we doing during those times – resting in Jesus or worrying? “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:33-34).
Saturday Mom spoke at a Ladies’ Retreat in Lenexa – only 40 minutes from our house. It’s a treat for Mom when speaking means she gets to sleep in her own bed the night before and not have to pack a travel bag! When we arrived, we were blessed by several people who helped us carry our book table things in and set up. Many ladies attended this one-day retreat. They were extremely responsive to what Mom shared, and it is our prayer that each mom was encouraged by her day away. We always love to see the little ones at these conferences. At this conference, though, the older children were home with Dad while it was the nursing babies who were with the moms – such cute babies, too! 🙂
(One such cute little one :-).)
Thank you to all those who are continuing to pray for Nathan and Melanie’s baby who is due June 25th. What an incredible gift from the Lord!
We continue to be grateful for the Lord’s blessing on this trip. It’s funny, because although we’ve been gone two and a half weeks, it feels like much longer :-). Eight conferences done and two left: Yuba City tonight and the East Bay area this weekend. Our plan is to drive home in 3 days (beginning Sunday), via the southern route, instead of cold temperatures and snow going home I-80.
The last two conferences, San Luis Obispo area, and Fresno, went well. It’s amazing the little blessings: people who offer to help carry things out of the church after the conference, words of encouragement from those attending, a delicious dinner of beef stew and rolls in Fresno, etc. We had two weeks without colds, and then Saturday and Sunday, two of the family came down with colds. Yet, even in that, the Lord has shown Himself faithful. The two have felt miserable, but in no way has the trip been hindered, and the two are feeling better.
Except for our smoking descent the other night, Uriah has done very well this past week. We continue to be grateful for him, and the space he has provided. One concern we had at the beginning of the trip was the unknowns of being able to park him at each hotel (the guys camp out in the bus at night while we girls and Dad and Mom are in the hotel). Every night the Lord has provided a place to park Uriah at the hotel. What a blessing!
Joyfully His, Sarah for the rest of the family
Keeping Hearts session in Fresno.
Mary, working on her school, during a session.
Christopher lets the young people pick up some tracts after the Evangelism session, and I thought this was a good picture :-)!
Christopher talking with a young man after the sessions.
It is incredible to see the Lord continue to work out details regarding Uriah. We were preparing to leave Tucson Monday morning, and John found that the transmission dipstick was dry–not a good thing! Dad found a truck place that had the fluid, so we packed out of the hotel and headed there. A mechanic came out to look at it, and he showed Dad a “secret way” to check the fluid level electronically. This indicated that the fluid was perfect, so we were very glad that we hadn’t been running on low transmission fluid. We also had had a oil leak, and Dad asked them if they would be able to fix that. The mechanic assured Dad they could, and it wouldn’t take long. We had a sweet time doing family devotions while Uriah was getting fixed. Soon, we were on our way to Fountain Hills. The conference coordinator had invited us to a picnic, and we arrived in time.
Fountain Hills has a very nice park with a beautiful fountain that goes off every hour.
We had a blessed time of fellowship with several families; thank you!
The set up continues to go smoothly for the conferences. Everyone has their own jobs, and it’s great teamwork as we prepare for the evening. Monday night went very well, and we pray lives were eternally affected. As we packed out of the conference, many people helped us carry things out to Uriah, which was a blessing!
Tuesday we headed up in the mountains for Show Low. It was a pretty drive; we went from seeing cactus to pine trees. Show Low is a mountainous community, and we were blessed by the families that came out for the conference.
(The church at Show Low.)
We’ll post later (with pictures) on our Grand Canyon visit this afternoon!