After experiencing the coldest winter we have had in years, we are so grateful that spring has finally sprung and once again Florida weather is here. We trust warmer days are soon to be on the way for you as well.
TOM’S TRIP TO AFRICA
Tom led a group of eight adults (seven ladies and one other gentlemen, also named Tom) on an African adventure to Cameroon that began on February 7th. The first leg of the adventure began at the airport where they learned they would not make the flight to Washington, D.C., for the connecting flight to Paris because the airport and basically the northeast was snowed in. Tom was able to reach our travel agent who arranged alternate plans and the team hopped into a van (thanks to the flexibility of our staff) and headed to Miami for a flight straight to Paris with the connecting flight to Cameroon. After a day to repack, purchase supplies, and spend time with our national staff, the team prepared for their trip into the bush. The first stop was a four-hour trip over rough roads to the Telling The Truth AIDS Orphans & Street Children Rescue Unit in Benakuma. This Unit is our newest and we are finding that the people in this area are in great need. The days were spent washing the feet of orphans, treating medical needs, playing games, performing puppet shows, teaching phonics, bringing smiles to the faces of so many and most importantly proclaiming the Gospel. In Benakuma they were able to
give out 180 pairs of shoes, attended National Youth Day and also met with the DO (District Officer) in the area, who is a Muslim, yet very impressed with the program being carried out at the Rescue Unit. For the second adventurous journey into the bush, Tom was able to take the team to visit the Lynn Harnage Unit in Mbambe. It was a special trip for three of the team members because they had helped build that Unit as members of our first Adult Mission Team in 2008. The final leg of the journey was a visit with a former police chief from the capital and a dinner in his home. This turned out to be a God encounter that will help our base in years to come. This team was a huge blessing! They had enthusiasm, a spirit of unity, were encouragers to our national staff, students and facilitators, were such good sports during the long days of travel and most of all impacted lives for eternity. Tom was so encouraged by all they accomplished. It is always a joy for him to share his beloved Cameroon with others. After the team returned home, Tom remained in Cameroon for two weeks attending to the business of the base. He admits it was a bit lonely, yet he was able to accomplish everything he had to do.
LINDA’S FLORIDA ADVENTURE
While Tom jaunted off to Africa, I (Linda) had the great Floridian adventure. Florida was experiencing the coldest winter in years with temperatures reaching into the 30s. At times it was difficult to be joyful when I remembered Tom was in dry, hot weather and I was shivering wrapped in blankets. My time was divided between office work, schooling Daniel and helping Zachary get his diabetes under control. Thank you so much for your prayers for Zachary, he is doing better. It has taken us weeks to find the correct insulin for his metabolism. He has the highs under control and is now experiencing the low drops. The long-term plan is to get an insulin pump which would be attached to his stomach. Pray with us that we will find a manufacturing company willing to help us with that. We have been blessed with a great Endocrinologist and now it’s a matter of living life with this disease. The entire family has come to terms with diabetes and all of us have put Zach into the Lord’s hands. In between doctor visits I worked in the office, taught three days a week in the BIBLE, MISSIONARY & WORK Training Center and worked with Daniel in his schooling. It made for some long days and I really missed Tom during the month-long separation. I did learn a lot about putting faith into action and am grateful for the opportunity to draw closer to the Lord. A highlight for me was meeting up with a gal I went to high school with, for a long chat. I drove an hour north and spent the night with Roxy catching up on the ole days. The way my children reacted you would have thought we had a bit of role reversal going on. I had to call when I arrived, I had to call when I left, I was told how fast to drive, etc…it was too funny.
We almost hesitate to tell you of our summer ministry plans because this year they are a bit uncertain. Currently, we are scheduled to be in the home office until August. I will be the cook and Tom will do whatever is needed. We are the ones on the launch pad, so to speak, ready to jump in as leaders anywhere in the world if needed. Tom and I will fly together to Cameroon in August and spend six weeks doing various things which include running the national Debrief, going over finances, meeting with our national board and the government officials, holding refreshers and then starting up the new Bible school year. One of the unavoidable highlights of this coming summer is my (Linda) 50th birthday. I can hardly believe that on August 5th I will be half a century old—wow, that sounds so scary!
We recently heard a message preached on Acts 20:24 (ESV), “ But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” This passage has encouraged us to live life in a way that we are dead to ourselves, finishing strong and always testifying to the Grace of God. We desire to leave a legacy that will glorify God.
TO OUR SUPPORT TEAM
You amaze and continue to bless us as you partner with us to serve the Lord. We have been encouraged by your recent emails and letters of concern for our family. Thank you! Bless You!
• Thank the Lord that we are gaining ground in controlling Zach’s diabetes
• Safety for Tom’s team and the wonderful impact they had
• God’s provisions for our family these past months
• The daily mercy and grace we receive as God’s children
• Provision of an insulin pump for Zach
• Daniel’s schooling
• Our summer ministry will honor and glorify the Lord
• Health, strength and wisdom to continue in ministry
Because He Lives,
Tom and Linda Maher