Cruising on into Fall

The past two weeks

Thanks for praying for the Glad Tidings Bible Camp craft fair two weeks ago.  We (especially the kids) had spent time preparing crafts to sell, and were a little disappointed by sluggish sales, but we still had a really fun weekend!

Last weekend, we were glad to be able to help a long time friend and missions co-worker in the Omaha area by stripping and preparing her house for painting. We are very thankful that God provided perfect weather over two days and just the right amount of people and material at exactly the right times. It was awesome to spray the last square foot just as we ran out of paint. We’re especially thankful for several people who stopped by to help scrape and prime.

A seven-year-old helper asked her “Why do you want your house spotted?”
Even little ones got in on the fun of scraping and priming
Isaiah took the trophy for “largest paint peel”
The leftover paint from last time her house was painted ended up to be exactly enough to put a base coat of paint over the primer.

Looking ahead

Several weeks ago, our mission (GlobalGrace Fellowship) introduced us to another missionary family. Francis Kamau (he goes by ‘Kamau’) grew up in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya, became a Christian as a teenager, served as a missionary to Zambia, then returned as a missionary to the very place he grew up in. He and his wife Kim have been serving kids in this slum for several years now, and have a dream of starting a camp that will get kids away from the destitution and filth and into the beauty of God’s creation, and at the same time teaching them about Jesus.  Nine acres to build the camp was donated last year, and they have asked us to help design the camp before they start construction.

We’re excited about this project and God is blessing our involvement with it.  Right now, we’re preparing for Chester to visit Kamau and the camp grounds in November.  He will be accompanied by Rich Burton, and architect who has offered to take off work to join on this survey trip.  We hope to develop a camp design, and if God would allow it, we’d also like to return as a family to also help with the construction of the camp sometime in the future (possibly in 2021).

For now, please pray with us for the details of the November trip. There remain many details to work out, but of particular concern are renewal of passports in time, getting time off work for Rich, and potential travel restrictions. We anticipate the survey trip cost to be around $3000. In the next few weeks, we’ll tell you more and introduce you to the Kamau’s ministry “Hope Anew”.

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).

Answers to Specific Prayers

Our first few trips of the summer have left us encouraged and grateful!  You heard about our whirlwind month of trips to Colorado, Texas and a bit about Wyoming in the last update.  This time we want to share a little more about the project at Haven on the Rock in Wyoming, some special praises, and what’s coming up.


Local crew installing trusses at Haven on the Rock.  The siding is painted to look rustic western.

Last fall we left Haven on the Rock after their camping season, and we were discouraged.  The work on the bath house had been fraught with burnout and many other challenges.  This year is starting on an encouraging note – before we even arrived in the spring, work crews had come to help.  Over the few weeks of work before starting their summer camp programs, walls were erected, sheathed and sided, a top plate put on the walls and roof rafters lifted into place, fastened and sheathed.  There’s still lots of work to do, but we’re very thankful to see God’s provision through local work crews and churches stepping up their involvement.   Work there is currently on hold for safety during their camping season, but they have a standing structure that is partially sided. (An additional praise was that the internet service was better than usual!)


God sent encouragement in many forms: local help with the work on the bath house, gifts to cover the expenses of ministry, and even the desert blooming!

Thank you for your gifts!  Through your special gifts these past few months, we made two trips to Haven on the Rock this spring.  Your gifts primarily provide our travel expenses, which allows us to serve this project at Haven on the Rock, and through this work, further their ministry.  

Additionally, we’re grateful for the several regular supporters of our ministry.  Through your regular monthly gifts, we can maintain tools and replace the small consumables used on projects.  As you saw last time, we replaced the trailer that broke on our last trip with one that we expect to serve us very well.  We’re currently replacing headlights on our vehicle after a fender-bender on this trip, as well as a handful of smaller tools that break under this sort of use.  Your gifts allow us not only to travel to serve, but also to keep the tools necessary to serve well.  Thank you!

Micah and Moriah have spent an effective few weeks serving with Glad Tidings Bible Camp.  Three little girls in Moriah’s cabin accepted Jesus’ gift of Eternal Life a few weeks ago!  This week, we’re looking forward to our whole family serving together at Glad Tidings Bible Camp.  (Chester is cooking for the Middle School camp, Micah, Eva will be on staff, the other kids campers or “helpers”, and Amy will be working from a town nearby with an internet connection).  


Ongoing work at the building in France we visited and helped with early in 2018.

We are now beginning to consider this coming fall.  Would you pray with us for God to direct our steps?  If God chooses to provide for it, we’d like to return to France to help more with the Van der Veers renovation project (the same building we worked on last time)  as well as help another missionary family as they work to make their newly-purchased house safe and serviceable.

We also hope to continue to be involved with the bath house project at Haven on the Rock as God provides for those trips.