Archive for June, 2008

Klamath Falls

June 30, 2008

Little Joe update: the doctors still do not know when Little Joe Fletcher will be out of the woods. The bottom line –as it is in everything– is that we need to pray fervently. God wants to hear our hearts cry out to Him.

We are in Klamath Falls. To our great delight, some friends sent a care package to greet us at the UPS mail store here, and then let us know that it would be waiting for us. There was something for everyone, and we feel tremendously encouraged! Though we are close to the home state line, we know we are still many hours and many appointments away — the children behind this box-sending-project have made us feel close indeed. Thank-you K family!

We’ve seen strong families all across the states, yet “glorifying God and enjoying Him forever” as a purpose in life seems increasingly hard to practically define without straying into legalism. The mainstream is a magnet that is getting harder to risk, and in large families, the magnet seems to have the greatest pull with the middle and younger children. Families who make principled decisions (and who teach their children to make decisions based on intentional and consistent application of biblical principles) are best able to stay on track. It’s time consuming to operationally define the principles that guide family life and it’s time consuming to write them down, but the hardest part of living a principle-based life is applying those principles to everyday decisions!

George Mueller Report: we’re committed to God leading, and not moving ahead without our bills being paid. We want His way, not our way, and we are reminded that God never said it would be easy to follow Him.

Thank-you for all your love and prayers.

Urgent Prayer Request

June 27, 2008

We are still in Oregon, and we’ve some catching up to do since we last wrote…but there has come to our attention a prayer request with a situation far more urgent than anything we have ever experienced, and which makes our own little problems trifling at best. We are asking that you would fervently pray for a darling 7 week old boy who lies in hospital as I write, with a serious condition that is giving him difficulty breathing, that is wreaking havoc with his internal organs, and that is baffling the doctors as they try to diagnose his condition. He was brought in to ICU yesterday when his mother saw all the colour drained from his body, straining to breath. This is the 8th child of our very dear friends. The little boy’s name is Joe.

I will keep you posted.

Sunday in Steilacoom

June 22, 2008

We are in Steilacoom, Washington and will be heading to a church gathering in about an hour. Everyone is well and excited to be heading south towards California. The boys will write more this afternoon, and perhaps put in a photo or two.

Heading West Again

June 18, 2008

We’ve a great George Mueller report today: all bills paid, and money for gas in the tank. Mail came yesterday, and we are on our way west through Idaho. Two appointments this afternoon. Please pray for safety as we travel.

Kalispell, Montana

June 17, 2008

Waiting for mail in Montana before we can go on…we’re expecting a mail packet tomorrow. Please pray that it would definitely arrive, as there are appointments ahead all week. Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps” (a man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps).

As for the George Mueller report, there are bills to pay before moving on, and we remain under His sheltering hand.

People of the colonies

June 17, 2008

We don’t often post photos of visits in our emails and blogs, but here is an exception:

Isolated, living in colonies of 600 or more, without cameras or computers, this Hutterite family consented this time to their photo being taken.

Hutterites on porch

Father’s Day

June 17, 2008

A couple of snippets from Father’s Day cards:

…and when I consider the man I want to be at some spot far in the future –a man who, like you, loves family, life, and the Lord who gave him wisdom for each step of the journey– I’m proud that you’re my Papa.

…I really appreciate the strength, and faith I have seen in you as a role model for what a good father should be like, and I am sure I will be seeking your wisdom and advice on many important issues still, as I continue to grow older….

For all our gaps, and despite all the areas we know we need to work more on, it is good for parents’ hearts to see the ripening of good fruit that –by God’s grace– is already there.

Hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day together.

Glacier National Park

June 13, 2008

It was evening yesterday when we pulled into our campsite at West Glacier. We were looking forward to a holiday weekend of strenuous hiking for Father’s Day, perhaps hiking one of the larger peaks on the east side of the Rockies, but the road through Logan Pass was closed as park staff plows through five feet of fresh snow. Todd left with the two middle boys (the oldest is still hobbling around on a tender ankle, and will use this down time to study prior to July exams); they are bushwhacking up one of the mountains behind the campsite and expect to be back around dusk. Tomorrow we’ll celebrate the holiday like “real campers” with a barbeque and campfire, a little music and a lot of stories.

The night before last we spent at a rural campsite in Havre. We parked in the pouring rain, and listened with interest to the sound of hymns being sung in the main house. The campsite host had invited missionaries to dinner. Sure was a sweet sound.

In the morning, we counted up the last of our bank dollars and left with enough money in the bank to pay for the day’s gas, enough to take care of the day’s bills, and much thanksgiving in my heart for how God has led us thus far. There won’t be a mail drop until about Wednesday of next week, yet I felt great peace that God would continue to lead us in His own way and in His own timing.

Under the vast Montana sky, with its cover of billowing clouds and its moments of drenching rain, we held hands and prayed for road safety as we left the campsite. And despite many hours of driving ahead, and an increasing focus on studies/exams/curriculum planning, we took the time to talk through the weekend financial outlook. Our third son said, God can provide the money to keep going no matter where we are (in part, a reason to stay long enough in the park to take that big hike he had been planning, and in part, a solid faith in God).

Not much farther down the road, when most of us had settled into road-quiet, Todd stopped for gas and checked his email: I smile to remember the look on his face as he read to us that a gift of $200 had just been sent by some dear friends, “probably sent just about the time we were talking about the money situation”.

Hardly were we back into the car, tootling along the highway (a loaded sub with a heavy trailer does not “hurtle down the highway”, regardless of the desire to get to our destination quickly), when the most brilliant rainbow dawned in the sky, touching wet earth, rainclouds, to wet earth — an arc of God’s promise to His people everywhere that He will take care of us.

And a few hours later, a second email and a third: a hundred dollars and then thirty — friends old and new sending needed funds, as vehicles of God’s amazing grace.

We had lunch with a Hutterite family in their tiny colony home, a contact that began years ago when one of our daughters began to write to their girl. It was a longish visit, long enough for the grandparents to come over, uncles, an aunt, the local school superintendent, friends and a couple of neighbours.

It’s noon and Todd and the boys just called from the mountain: “this is serious bushwhacking”, he said, and they are one third up and doing fine, with only a small sign of bears in the area.

Williston, North Dakota

June 11, 2008

We’re on our way to Montana. It’ll be a super long drive today. If we make it across Montana to the Glacier National Park, there is a snow warning. Please pray for safety as we travel. There is a curious knocking noise in the engine that has the mother-of-the-trip nervous.

For those of you who are following us on the map, we’re currently traveling on Highway 2. And it’s pouring rain.

Crutches and Air Conditioning

June 9, 2008

God has answered our prayers for a set of crutches. Todd is on his way home with them, after spending most of the morning at the GM dealer getting the air conditioning fixed. This is another answer to prayer: there was a small malfunctioning electronic part that the first air conditioning service people (in New York) missed, and the Fargo, North Dakota team caught. We should be traveling in comfort this afternoon! Please pray for safety as we drive.

As for the George Mueller Report, we have money for gas and money for bills today. Praise God!