Snapshots of recent life

We have started the missions class that God provided for through you all!  It’s a fifteen week course, and we are nearly 1/4 of the way through. We’ve wanted to take the class for years, but were daunted by the prospect of having to do homework (with a textbook of about 800 pages, it promised lots of reading) in addition to keeping on top of normal life in our household.  And we were right – it’s a lot of homework.  So far, God has graciously given us pockets of time, and we have not yet fallen behind.  We are grateful that they offer the book in an electronic edition.  It’s particularly helpful to Chester to have his Kindle read the book to him at lightning speed while he runs the kids to and from various activities.

Chester inspects a cabin for evidence of mold at Glad Tidings Bible Camp.

We’ve made two trips up to Glad Tidings Bible camp recently.  The first was a week was a few days of vehicle repair to a Durango who had the brakes go out and rammed in to a cabin (eventually, there will probably be a project to repair the cabin…), and the second was a quick day trip for a camp board meeting with a side of cabin inspection (above), and getting various vehicles stuck and un-stuck in the mud (not pictured).  We’re grateful for the mission of this camp, and for the opportunity to serve with them.


Micah, Eva and Moriah say ‘MOOOOCHAS GRACIAS’ to God (and you) as they watch Him provide for their missions trip to Mexico in March.

God has begun to provide for the trip that Micah, Eva and Moriah would like to take to Tecate, Mexico with Sabre missions to build houses (more info here).  One generous donor has offered to match donations up to $500 for this trip.  If you’d like your donation to be doubled, make a check out to Sabre missions, and either get it to us (we’ll send in a pile all at once) or send it to them with a note (not a memo on the check!) that it’s for the Davis kids’ matching fund.  We are excited about this generous offer, and always love watching God provide for His work!  Thank you for being used by God!

A visualization of our family’s ministry activity in 2018.

Several hours in the past month were spent writing an annual report to our mission of how things are going for us as new missionaries.  In order to be transparent with you, our support network, we have posted the report here.  Please enjoy this detailed look into our thoughts about our activities of the past year.

Introducing “Barnabus”

We have, for a while now, been looking for ways to serve missionaries during these next few months that we plan to be in Nebraska, and for however long God keeps us here at home.  We have a few ideas, that as we pray about you’ll probably hear more of.   But this note is about one idea in particular: A few weeks ago, Chester mentioned that he liked the idea of keeping a fleet of cars to lend out to missionaries.  They’d have to be in good working condition (not like some vehicles we’ve lent out before….), but we could do the maintenance and repairs and such, and just have them available. ( If such a thing were to happen, he was saying, he’d like a garage in which to work on them…)

About that time, we found out that some family friends were selling their Suburban.  We passed their name on to another family, whom we knew were looking to replace their broken-down van.  When they decided to purchase something larger (a 15 passenger), we thought we may as well consider it ourselves – with this idea of a missionary fleet in mind.  The selling family responded to our inquiry by offering to give it to us (the price had been very reasonable before).  It seems that God has confirmed this direction!  (We nick-named the suburban “Barnabus”, because of this great encouragement).

In reality, it’s something we’ve already been informally doing.  For the past few months, Chester and I have had one car.  To be sure, we own more – but one is on loan to Chester’s sister’s family, and two others were on loan to a missionary family.  Another one is dead, in our back yard (it would have been taken to the junk yard by now if we hadn’t misplaced the title).  The one drivable car we have is a seven passenger Nissan Pathfinder, so it really hasn’t been an inconvenience – we all fit in it.  And when we’ve needed a second set of wheels, we’ve been able to borrow Micah’s Subaru Outback (purchased from the same family that was selling the Suburban).  At the beginning of December, the missionary family mentioned that they were no longer using either of the vehicles they had from us, and that since they’re preparing to return to the mission field, soon would be a good time for us to come get them.   (They were no longer driving them because both need work – some of it serious – and they have two other vehicles to use).

So two weeks ago, we set out to visit the missionaries in their Nebraska home about an hour and a half away.  And by the end of the day, we had gone from the ability to transport seven people to the ability to transport thirty-six people:  Seven in the original Davis Pathfinder, fifteen in “Jonah” – an old 1992 Dodge van that needs a good deal of work, but did manage to hobble home, five in “Kermit” – a Mitsubishi Mirage, and nine in  “Barnabus”!

We are happily driving “Kermit” all over the place again.  “Jonah” needs some work before it can be trusted.   “Barnabus” is already in service, lent to a family for a few weeks, and the other day towed a giant military vehicle that had broken down nearby.  Our insurance isn’t crazy about this idea of intending to keep loaner vehicles, so they notified us that after 22 years with them, our policy will be cancelled next March.  So we’d love it if you pray that we find an insurance company that’s a great fit for our family (and fleet), and that God would continue to direct us in  serving missionaries and ministries.

We are grateful for these opportunities to serve, and grateful to you for holding us up in prayer!

Reflections on Habakkuk (pt 2)

I’m continuing to mull over Habakkuk.

Habakkuk 1:5 says:
Look among the nations and watch – 
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe though it were told you.

All of my life (I think – maybe just all of my adult life), I’ve avoided keeping up with the news.  It’s sensational, it’s skewed, it’s depressing.  I’d rather not know.   This verse convicted me of preferring to keep my head buried in the sand rather than opening my eyes to see what God is doing and be astounded.  Interestingly, Habakkuk complains in the first section about what he sees, and God continues with that theme – telling Habakkuk to look and see even more.  

God’s not pretending that what will astound Habakkuk is pleasant or beautiful.  He’s not glossing over the evilness of the Chaldean nation.  But He’s showing that He’s in control, and using even evil nations for His purposes. 

In my conviction to be willing to look and see what God is doing, I installed the BBC world news app on my phone.  I haven’t read it much yet – two or three times.  But I do look at the “breaking news” flashes they send.  I like the idea of being astounded by what God is doing, but not of seeing that types of things that Habakkuk got to see.  The nations today are just as evil as they were back then (nothing new under the sun).  But God is also just as good, and just as in control.  And I can be astounded both at his using evil nations as pawns and at His masterful plan.  I can allow myself to be burdened, then be astounded, and instead of wallowing in dismay at what I see, I can turn and look to God, like Habakkuk does.

Thanksgiving Praise Update


Home again with much thanksgiving. 



Merlin and Peggy share special time at the family Thanksgiving feast. Thank you God for allowing both Mom and Dad to join after a difficult couple weeks.  

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I pray that your time has been well spent and enjoyed. 

The beautiful fall weather, the anticipation of snow and Christmas not far down the road, it is both invigorating and relaxing to me. I often find Thanksgiving less stressful than Christmas, perhaps because I am not bombarded with remixed songs and jingles non-stop 24 hours a day. Regardless, Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.

This year we have an extra thing to be thankful for. My Dad returned home to His care home in Wahoo, NE. When he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago, the whole family struggled with different aspects of this terrible sickness. It has been difficult for me to realize that I will not have his willing ear to listen or much of his wise council, but I think it has been most difficult for my Mom who until recently has hardly ever spent a night without his conversation, reading God’s word and prayer together. This all came much closer to our hearts about two weeks ago, when after escalating difficulties with agitation and aggressive behavior, the care center where he’s been living, in Wahoo, had to send Dad up to a hospital nearly two hours away for special evaluation and study to find the best treatment options. While Dad was out there social contact was extremely limited.  Mom visited for short periods of time – visitation was only during certain hours.  We know this was to help them develop a treatment plan, but we found the time very frustrating.  After talking with the caretakers in Wahoo, we were pretty concerned that he may not be allowed to return if a satisfactory treatment plan could not be found. This was a big concern as we are simply not sure another feasible care taking option exists anywhere close by. 

After much prayer and conversations, we finally got the good news early this week that Dad was going to be able to come back to Wahoo. The news came in frustratingly slow bits and pieces with a lot of ‘maybe’ thrown in. But after a long week of ‘maybe’ it finally happened. It was a huge blessing for Dad to be released back to Wahoo and an answer to prayer that Mom and Dad were able to join the family for a short time as we celebrated Thanksgiving together on Friday.

I told Amy that I was not going to write long but I’m not doing a great job of that. Here is what I want to share with you from the depths of my heart.

Time is short. 
We can we not count our own days nor those of our family and friends. We do not know what will happen in ours or others lives. Each day God has given is a blessing and opportunity. Your life has great value and it would be such a shame to waste that time God has given. But have you ever considered outside yourself to see that you could be the person who changes another’s life? God through the pen of James in chapter 5 writes to believers and about believers “confess your faults one to another and pray for one another that you may be healed” and later ” he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins”. Further, the author of Hebrews exhorts “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works”. You see God wants us careful thought to how we can best encourage other believers to strong faith and lives of faithfulness. Do you have a few people you can pray with and for regularly? Is there something you can do today to extend God’s love to someone, especially those you know could use encouragement? 

As I give thanks that Dad was able to come back to the Wahoo care center and also join the big family for Thanksgiving supper, I want to make every count every moment count. I’ve got much to learn and so I am thankful for a God who will never will leave me and never forsake me. Heb 13

Thank you all so much for your continued prayer with Dad’s care. Your kind words are a great encouragement to us and the family. 

Reflections on Habakkuk

A couple of weeks ago, a friend mentioned Habakkuk as one of her favorite books.  It piqued my interest.  Sure I’d read it, but I had no idea what it was actually about. I’d never really paid attention to it.  Then last week I was asked to consider leading a little study (just once – for about an hour), and one of the possible topics was Habakkuk.  So I took the chance to read it more closely. These are my notes.

Habakkuk 1:1-1:4  Habakkuk had a burden for Israel and the trouble they were in: violence, plundering, strife contention, bad judgements, wickedness was winning.  It seems to me this burden was from God.  Has God given me a burden?  Do I diligently pray and eagerly look for God’s response like Habakkuk did?  Why do I ignore the trouble around me and in my own nation, and try not to see?  Am I avoiding being burdened?

Habakuk 1:5-1:11  When we look, we will be astounded at God’s work.  Instead of avoiding looking at the trouble around me, I should look to notice what God is doing around me.  It’ll astound me.

The Chaldeans are described as bitter, hasty, greedily conquering nations, “Their judgement and their dignity proceed from themselves”, They have fast horses and are more fierce than wolves, they love violence and hate authority.  Their greed is what stands out to me – always wanting more and never satisfied.  Do I do this too?  Not content with what I have now, but wanting more even though it’s just for sport?  

Habakkuk 1:12-2:1 God is everlasting, Holy, and a Rock.  He’s appointed Israel for judgement, but by a country that God is too pure to behold (because they’re evil).  I’m inspired by this prayer to know and God’s attributes and pray them back to Him.

Habakkuk’s further comments on the Chaldeans also touches on their insatiable greed and their prosperity through harming others.  They take captives like a fisherman filling his nets with fish.  They praise their  nets as gods because they see them as the source of their prosperity.  What do I see as the source of my prosperity?

Habakkuk determines to watch for God’s answer, and expects to be corrected.  This is Habakkuk’s second prayer, and we already see a different attitude from the first prayer.  He went from “Why aren’t you hearing me?!” to “I’ll watch for an answer and expect to be corrected”.  Every section so far has commented on what Habakkuk is seeing.  In 1:1-4 he sees the violence around him.  In 1:5-11 God tells him to look and be astounded.  In 1:12-2:1 he purposes to watch.

Habakkuk 2:2-5 God answers Habakkuk a second time, this time telling him to write the vision he sees (another reference to what Habakkuk is looking at).  But the emphasis here, I think, is on time.  The vision is not for now, but it will still be true (because truth is timeless), and Habakkuk should wait for it.  God’s timing isn’t our timing.  He’s timeless too.

He contrasts the proud with the just who walks by faith.  I think this section is the whole point of the book.  God knows what he’s doing, and we can live by faith because of that, and wait for Him, because He know.

Home Again

This weekend finishes up our construction season at Haven on the Rock!  

Our family returned a bit over a week ago from an intense push to get as much done as possible before winter.  We worked hard, and by God’s grace, got the concrete stub walls around the perimeter of the bath house prepped and poured – even in the snow.

This weekend, Chester and his sister’s family are driving some more building supplies out to Haven on the Rock from Omaha (where we purchased them at an auction for a much reduced cost).  

Here’s some pictures of our work.

We all got to practice using survey equipment (made by the company Amy works for!)
Snow on the day we poured cement threatened to cancel the pour, but it had to be done before winter, so we proceeded.
The girls smoothing the cement into the wall forms.
Leveling the floor above the basement.
Chester and Josiah putting a radius on the corners of the wall.

Unless God surprises us, we plan to be home for the next several months.  We’ll be helping out with smaller, more local projects as He allows, and taking a missions course – Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. 

Watch for more from us as we look back on the year (what a year it’s been!), and add more ways to communicate with you (instagram, anyone?).  

Thank you for praying for us!