Happy New Year! We hope this letter finds you all in good health and growing in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. I cannot believe how quickly time flies. When I was a boy, the year 2013 sounded like a time so far away I would never live to see it. I imaged flying cars, moving sidewalks and the ability to jetpack from place to place. Obviously that did not happen, but as a “techie” I have noticed many technological changes. At this point in my life I am truly grateful for video chat. It amazes me that I can, with the touch of a button, video conference with my son, his wife and our precious granddaughter, Elsie, even though they are over 1,000 miles away. I enjoy watching Elsie smile and coo and the “techie” conversations with my son. What a joy and blessing!
As is our tradition we have chosen a word of the year. Our word for 2013 is STEADFAST. We are using this verse in Psalms as our theme. Psalm 103:17 “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children.” We are both grateful for the steadfast love of God and we look forward to a year of time with Him to come to a new understanding of that love. No matter what goes on around us and in our fallen world, we can be assured of God’s steadfast love. Steadfast means firmly fixed and immovable and it is such a comfort to know that God never changes. Now that I am a new grandfather, “Papa”, I am concerned that I am always a representation of God’s love to Elsie.
We were blessed to have the opportunity to visit our friends, supporters and families during the month of November (it had been three years since we had made a trip north). Linda, Kalah and I climbed into Kalah’s car, “Lola the Corolla,” and headed first to Pennsylvania. We were a bit disappointed that hurricane Sandy prevented us from visiting with Linda’s brother, Corvin, and the good people of Palisades Bible Church, as they were without power and recovering from the effects of the storm. We did have opportunity to share in three other churches, as well as meet and talk with many others during our time in Pennsylvania. We also had the opportunity to visit family. We are grateful that Linda’s parents are doing well and are currently enjoying good health. We then headed to Illinois. Kalah had not visited the Maher side of the family in over 13 years. She had never met some of her cousins. We had a wonderful time with Nana Maher and Kalah really enjoyed all the cousins, and they had a sleepover while she was there. The four Maher siblings, Jim, David, Diane and myself had not been all together for nine years. It was a great blessing to be together for Thanksgiving in Downers Grove, Illinois. We also had opportunity to meet with supporters and share our ministry. After Thanksgiving we headed to Warren, Michigan to meet our first granddaughter, Elsie. I have to admit both Linda and I were crying as we held her for the first time. We had a wonderful three days with Tom, Deena and Elsie. I enjoyed seeing where my son worked. He is a video tech for a large church, and he has opportunity to use some cool equipment. I am very proud of the man he has become. He is a wonderful husband, father and Godly man.
We had two weeks at home in Florida to rest, fellowship with our kids and do a few of those odd projects around the house. Linda and I took many walks, had a fierce ping pong competition and spent time with our children. Linda read a ton of books (I lost count after 10) and I did some needed home repairs. A friend of our daughter’s called her and said their family would love to bless us by giving us four free tickets to Disney World. Linda, Kalah, Daniel and I had a fun day. It was crowded and cold as the high that day was 45, but we had a great time together and laughed much. Our oldest son Tom turned 30 on December 27 and the youngest Daniel 21 on December 15—How did that happen? All four of our children are now officially adults.
I will head to Cameroon on February 6 as the leader of an adult team. Linda will remain in Florida. Currently there are eight on the team. We will visit two of the Rescue Units to wash the feet of orphans and provide them with needed shoes, assist medically, and run an eyeglass clinic to fit people with reading glasses. It will be difficult to be away from Linda, my best friend and sweetheart, on Valentine’s day, and for that matter the entire three weeks, but we are confident the Lord is leading. I am excited to meet the new baby boy born to national staff members Vitalis and Elizabeth. He was born the end of September and his name is Jireh. We appreciate your prayers for the team to be effective in ministry and testimony, as well as safe and healthy.
I am currently working as always with the geek squad and taking care of all those issues that computers have. Linda is teaching the books of Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges and Ruth this term in our Bible school . She really enjoys teaching. Her office is busy and she is excited about what the Lord in doing through Motorcycle Sunday School Mission and AIDS Orphans. We have had several new people join the staff of Teen Missions recently and they are such an added blessing to the ministry. Linda is particularly happy about the additions to her department, as she feels they are getting organized and laying great foundations to train future workers.
2012 was a difficult year in many ways, yet there were blessings as well. The biggest blessing is YOU, our ministry partners. We are so grateful for the notes of encouragement, prayer and financial support. We are humbled to be your hands and feet in the sharing of the Gospel around the world. THANK YOU!
1. Time spent with family
2. Good health and safety in our travels
3. Faithful supporters
1. The Cameroon Adult Team
2. Wisdom in our daily tasks
3. That Kalah who is working at a short-term teaching job will secure
a full-time position
4. Zachary has a part-time job and is looking for a second
5. Consistent financial support
Tom and Linda Maher