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!

June at Home

We spent most of June at home in Ashland.  It’s no surprise, really, even though things are opening up around here, that travel is still quite minimal.  But that doesn’t mean that we’re doing nothing.  On the contrary, we’ve continued to serve at our church, host friends and family in our home, and have even done a few small local projects.  Below is a few pictures of our from-home ministry in the past few weeks. 

Wiring for and hanging ceiling fans for a family at church.
We had several “art parties”, painting and coloring art for Vital Signs Ministries to distribute in nursing homes.
Isaiah fixes a kids “jeep” for a family from church.
We may have some unconventional methods of bush removal….
Fresh landscaping for friends in ministry (note the absence of a bush…)
Isaiah running the video camera for the church service.
Hosting friends and family gathered at our home for sweet fellowship
Teaching the Battle of Jericho in Sunday School.
We are thankful for our nation, which despite it’s problems, is still a great place to live and serve God. (photo credit: Dan Gerber)

Here in July, Chester and Micah are currently serving at Glad Tidings Bible Camp for their shortened camping season.  Chester is cooking and discipling staff, while Micah is counseling campers and helping with maintenance.  Amy, Eva, Moriah and Isaiah are at home, working and preparing for the detasseling season which will start any day. Thank you for keeping all of us in your prayers!

Projects at Home

A few years ago, our pellet-fed smoker on the back deck malfunctioned. During the malfunction, the wind took off with some hot pellets, and blew them out of the smoker on to our porch. There a small fire started. Some neighbors (we never found out exactly who) were playing at the playground near our house and saw the fire. They called the fire department, then walked over to our yard, and used our hose to put the fire out before the fire department arrived. By the time we got home, the only remaining evidence of the fire was the burn hole in the deck.

The burn hole in the deck.

We covered the hole with a piece of plywood, and went on with life.

The past weekend, Chester tackled the project of removing the burnt boards and replacing them.

Several supporting boards also had to be replaced.
Replacing the supporting boards required removing a large portion of the surface deck boards.
The faithful helpers, removing charred supports.
The hero of the day is almost finished with the new deck floor section.
All put back together!

And the deck is almost as good as new! The only tiny remaining evidence of the fire (and our neighbors kindness) is that some boards are obviously new, and there’s still some melted/charred scars on the rail.

This may be my favorite thing about social isolation – so many at-home projects getting done!

Recent ministry fun

We’re staying close to home, but it doesn’t mean that we’re not busy. Church, prayer meetings, Bible studies, home school co-op classes and socialization have all adapted to online formats. Chester is making great progress on projects both related to ministry and on our home, and we’re all driving each other just a little bit crazy. So when some nearby friends called asking if we would help with a little work on their farm, we jumped at the chance.

We had a great time knocking down a building!
We took down a mostly dead blue spruce tree.
Riding the four-wheeler afterwards was a real treat!

This time at home has proven a unique time for ministry.   We’ve been praying that God would provide opportunities to share His goodness, and have been blessed with opportunities to share about Jesus’ offer of eternal life, to be a friend, and to pray with and for people.  

Please continue to pray that we would be faithful to act on the opportunities God gives us – whether or not they include riding a four-wheeler!