Summer is for Ministry

This summer – well, this whole year – isn’t very much like we imagined, but that doesn’t mean there’s no opportunities to serve.  Here’s a few of the things that have kept us busy the past few months.

  • We hosted a few work parties to finish up the Glad Tidings Bible Camp kitchen renovation, including the installation of new double doors!  We were very encouraged to have several families and individuals join us, and are pleased that the new kitchen and dishroom are very functional.
  • Later on, Chester served two weeks at Glad Tidings Bible Camp, cooking, handling maintenance emergencies and discipling staff during their limited camping season.
  • Micah also served six weeks at Glad Tidings Bible Camp, doing maintenance and groundskeeping.  He and another staff member listened to “Kingdom Man” by Tony Evans during the time, and found it really beneficial to their spiritual growth.
  • Eva, Moriah and Isaiah detasseled corn for about a month.  Isaiah broke his thumb toward the end of the season, but is mostly through the healing process.
  • Seven Wednesdays were spent with Chester and the kids hanging ceiling fans for a family from church.
  • Chester and the kids also did a couple of small landscaping projects for people who serve God here in Omaha.
  • We removed carpet from a local house so that the owner (a widow reaching out to an unreached people group in Omaha) could get new flooring.
  • We hosted “Gramma Camp” at our house – four days of up to 18 local cousins for a camp.  It was a blast (and now we’re tired).
  • Chester helped three people in ministry find suitable cars during the summer.  In one case several of you partnered with us to make the car a gift.  

The biggest highlights of the summer for us were the opportunities for local people (you) to join in the projects.  A really special thank you to those who joined in serving!

As we look to the fall, we’ll have more opportunities and “work parties” for you to join with us. Thanks for serving with us and praying for us!

Chester fixing a van door
Isaiah and Josiah cleaning up after carpet removal.
“Gramma Camp” fun with homemade boats.
The last day of detasseling for 2020!

You’ve Got Mail

You’ve got mail.

Maybe.  If we have your physical address correct, then you do!

If not, we thought perhaps you’d like to know what we wrote about anyway, so here’s an online copy.

Spoiler alert:  We have pictures of the Glad Tidings Bible Camp kitchen, newly upgraded and ready for use.  And, you’ll read on page two that we have been invited to serve with a Bible camp in France later this summer!  Please pray with us about this opportunity.

And, if you didn’t get mail from us and wish you had, let us know on the Keep in Touch page!

It affects us all

We’re sure the threat from this virus has disrupted your lives too.  Here’s how the virus is affecting us at the moment:

  •  The trip to Mexico is cancelled (or at least postponed a few months).  Your donations toward this trip are safe with Sabre missions, and will be used for whenever this trip happens, whether or not our family takes part.  Please pray for the four families that are waiting for houses we had intended to build.
  • Everything else in the short term is cancelled too, as you know.

Some Praises

We already work from home and home-school, so the extent to which our lives are altered by this virus is less than many.
Before the virus was found in our area, we already had the respiratory flu, so had already been keeping to ourselves.  We are so grateful to live in a digital age where so much is available online!  We’ve enjoyed holding our own worship services at home, with songs requested by the kids, an online sermon, and discussion.  (We even had communion with crackers and Emergen-C).
We’re grateful for the help of several others at Glad Tidings Bible Camp, at a work party to get the kitchen and dish room back to ready for use!
The kitchen now includes stainless countertops, a steam-table serving line and standardized dishes!
The dish room also include stainless countertops, a commercial dishwasher and sanitizer and a revamped workflow.

Thanks for keeping us in prayer as we do our best to support and encourage missionaries and ministries in this challenging time!

Answers to Prayer

Thank you for praying for us through February.  Here’s a few updates:

 – Chester continues to have ear problems, though there is a slight improvement after surgery.  Please pray for infections to clear up.

  – The Glad Tidings Bible Camp kitchen is very close to completion.  Chester will be spending much of the next week out there, wrapping things up.

 – The Mexico fundraising dinner was a huge success, bringing about 100 people, and providing about 30% of the needed funding!

You are vital partners in this ministry!  Thank you so much for praying!

The commercial mixer on it’s new stand (the kids helped to make it!)
The new-to-camp commercial dishwasher!

It’s a work party!

This coming weekend, February 21-23, we’ll be out at Glad Tidings Bible Camp working on putting the final touches on their new commercial kitchen and dish room.  There’s lots to be done – from moving equipment, to painting and from sweeping floors to a bit of wiring and plumbing.

We’d love to have you join – no matter your skill level.  It’s fun to work together (and play together), and we’ll teach you what you need to know!  Kids are welcome, but should bring an adult with them.

Please let us know if and when you can come (we’ll make sure to have plenty of food), and if you need lodging (that’s also provided).  If it doesn’t work for you to come out, please pray for those working this weekend to have a great time together and get lots done!

Chester and Moriah “dancing” with the pressure washer at a previous work party.

And, in case you missed it – here’s our February prayer calendar.  Please continue to pray for us – we are so grateful that you do!

Auction Pick-up Road Trip

You’ve seen a few times now the neat things and amazing deals God has provided for Glad Tidings Bible camp’s kitchen upgrade.  This is the latest installment:

Over the next two days, Chester will be driving to pick up these counter-tops, stove hoods and a fire suppression system from an auction in Hutchinson, MN.  The fire suppression system itself is about a $7,000 item, and he got all of these, and several other things (like 115 cups) for a grand total of under $40.  Isn’t God incredible?!

Please pray with us for Chester driving this evening and tomorrow morning, removing the items from their current kitchen and transporting them home.  And if you or anyone you know is near Hutchinson, MN, he would love a helping hand in moving some of these!  Please let us know!

Thanks so much for praying!

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are posting this information here so that those who might not have heard can be informed or join the team. We are in need of prayer warriors, food makers and people to join. This is the email we just sent out to the people who have expressed interest in the project.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for expressing an interest in being involved in the Glad Tidings Bible Camp kitchen/washroom upgrade project.

This project started with many conversations about staff training, efficiency, standardizing equipment, dealing with bugs and other things. One day I was trolling auctions and found some great deals on commercial kitchen equipment. God allowed me to pick up some new dishwasher trays, desert plates and some stainless steel kitchen counters exceptionally low cost with many things donated. This kicked off a campaign to perform a much needed updating to the kitchen at Glad Tidings Bible Camp. We worked with the camp director (Gil) and other professionals including the fire marshal and health inspector to come up with a small list of improvements which will really have a significant impact on the kitchen and washroom operation. We are confident these changes will have a positive effect on the camps ability to function with excellence and both the staff and the rental groups are going to appreciate a noticeable change.
With the approval of the Glad Tidings Camp executive board we have begun this project. A couple weeks ago our volunteer team dove right in by doing the clean out, moving a door, some cabinets and re-routing some plumbing.

On the weekend of October 25-27, we are going to host the first ever work party weekend retreat. We will dive into the work but combine this with worship and instruction from God’s word. Please prayerfully consider joining the team, we are going to have a great time together.

When: October 25, 26 and 27 (Friday – Sunday)
We’ll get set up Friday morning, and plan a Kick-off supper Friday, October 25th at 6:00pm, we will continuing major work through Saturday evening. On Sunday we’ll wrap up details and clean up. You are welcome to join for any portion as your schedule allows.

SIGN UP HERE to help us plan food and lodging:

Who: Everyone, regardless of age, experience or skill
We will train you if needed and place you where you can contribute positively toward the project goals. Even if you are not able to be present we can find a way for you to be involved through prayer and meals support. Kids under 12 should bring along their family or an adult.

The plan for work will involve a good amount of general maintenance such as drywall patching, deep cleaning, painting. For the weekend builder we have shelving to build and install. For light construction we have some plumbing adjustments and electrical. Lord willing we can work with the various crews to work on coating the floor. One awesome thing is that a local establishment donated a used $11k double oven/range but it is super greasy and needs a few people who will take charge of a serious deep cleaning.
The plan for schedule and programming is to have a time of worship and instruction around meal times and some campfires and fellowship in the evenings.

The Cost:
While there is obviously a cost to Glad Tidings Bible Camp to have people in for a weekend, this is a free-will offering working retreat. Please consider a contribution to cover the operational costs, and help make this project a reality.
Some non-monetary ways to contribute:

  • Bring a food for a meal, snacks or drinks
  • Provide childcare or activities for young kids while their parents work in other ways.
  • Lead a time of worship
  • Give a short lesson or devotional after a meal
  • PRAY
    We look forward to seeing you this weekend, and seeing God do some great things!

TWO ways you can be involved this fall!

This Fall, God has lined things up for us to be involved in helping Glad Tidings Bible Camp in some fun ways!

On September 14th, come and join us for the Glad Tidings 1st Annual Craft & Vendor Fair!  They’re planning on 20+ booths for vendors, quilters, wood-workers, crafters, and more. There will be a bake sale, concession stand, carnival booths, and free activities for the kids – fun for the whole family! Our family will be participating with two booths, including Eva’s scarves, Moriah’s hair accessories, and the boy’s woodworking.  We’ll also have a special Projects4Missions spot at the boys’ table where people can design and laser engrave custom Christmas ornaments.

Moriah shows off headbands and hair ties that she’s sewn for the craft fair

The boys have been having great fun in the shop making swords and other wood items to sell.

If you’re anywhere near Crofton, NE, come out, show your support for the camp (or visit for the first time), and enjoy the fun.  Visit our booths while you’re there!

We invite you to consider joining us on October 26-27 (and/or probably on September 28-29) for a working weekend camp. Contact us ASAP to help us firm up the details.  We’ll gather for chapel, worship, meals and lots of work as we tear out and upgrade the kitchen and dish room.  Chester has been attending auctions, and have almost all the necessary pieces for a really great upgrade – now we need lots of helping hands!  There’s a job for everyone – from bringing in food for the crew to eat (since the kitchen will most likely be out of commission during much of the camp), to sweeping out corners, leading chapel or worship, to installing equipment.  Bring the whole family, work together, and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your work make a difference quickly.

Moving some equipment from an auction.

Chester goes to pick up auction items for camp.

Fun at Glad Tidings Bible Camp

One of the ministries that we love is Glad Tidings Bible Camp.  You’ve seen updates from there over the summer if you follow us on social media.  God has blessed us with many opportunities to share the gospel.  It was very encouraging to see a few of Moriah’s campers respond in faith to Jesus offer of eternal life, and to share with several others that hearing and obeying Jesus’ teaching results in stability as you go through life (see Matthew 7:24).

Volunteering at Glad Tidings seems to frequently find Chester in the kitchen.  He was lead cook for one week, and lead maintenance man (with a side of cooking) for another.  In total, he made about 600 donuts for the campers and staff, as well as many yummy meals.  The campers were definitely well fed.

French bread for 85 campers and staff at Glad Tidings Bible Camp.

We’ve thought for years that it sure would be fun to upgrade the kitchen at Glad Tidings Bible Camp.  (Really – combining kitchens with building projects – what’s not to love?!)  This summer as we volunteered, we talked through ideas for re-arranging their dish washing room to improve traffic flow and dreamed of replacing some of the cupboards and counter-tops in their kitchen.

Last week, Chester found an auction for commercial kitchen equipment and bid on a number of items with Glad Tidings Bible Camp in mind.  He had been particularly praying to find dish carts and stainless steel counter-top for them.   As is often the case, God provided over and above what we asked.  This time it was two full trailer loads and two car loads, including seven dish carts and twenty-four linear feet of stainless steel counter-top and many other useful items – plates, chairs, serving line, griddles, and so much more.  At the end of the auction, the organization even donated dozens of items to the camp!

Now that our back yard and garage are full of commercial kitchen equipment bought for and donated to camp, we think that yes, a kitchen renovation is a good plan for this coming fall or winter.  We plan to invite several families and individuals to join us over a weekend at Glad Tidings Bible Camp for a working party retreat to help with the clean out and efforts of a kitchen and dish room refurbishment.

Such a retreat would include good work, teaching, worship and fun. If you are interested in joining on such a work party retreat, contact us (there’s contact info next to our snazzy new picture below, or you can reply to this email).  Please pray for this project and consider donating time, materials, or funds toward this cause. (You can donate using the link at the top, which now includes better instructions too).