We want to begin this prayer letter by saying, THANK YOU for your faithful prayers! As many of you know, we spent the summer on different continents and we both faced times of loneliness, tears and anxiety, however, we both saw the Lord enable and help us. We were both able to do more than survive the summer but thrive in it and give God glory. Tom and I will each write our own adventure story to share with you.
TOM’S AFRICAN ADVENTURE
After a busy Teen Missions Boot Camp, I and a group of 20 teens and three assistant leaders headed to Cameroon on July 8. The team had their hands in multiple projects that made them a blessing to not only our national staff, but to hundreds of orphans and to the community surrounding our base. The first challenge was to assist with the national Boot Camp. The team divided into groups and taught phonics, music, drama, puppets, and judged the morning Obstacle Course. At the evening rallies they performed nightly as the MTCs (Missionaries To Cameroon). The team was incredibly talented and everyone loved hearing them sing.
We were also able to visit two AIDS Orphans Rescue Units and wash the feet and give shoes to 400 orphans. Some children came with horrible leg wounds and sores that we also treated. The team had a few days of work time and painted the outside of one of the buildings which really improves the look of the base from the road below.
I enjoyed the team—it was a fun group of teens to work with and minister with. I really missed having Linda with me, but the lady leaders did a good job in the kitchen and fed the team well. After the team left, I spent time at the Rescue Units, working with the MSSM facilitators, meeting with the staff and working on the base finances. I was blessed to attend the national Debrief and hear the reports from the field. The teams were effective and 1, 500 accepted Christ as Savior.
I also enjoyed having my “grandpa or papa time” with our staff children. One of our staff boys is a month younger than our granddaughter and it was fun to play with little Jirah. I am impressed with the job our national staff are doing and look forward to hearing how the Lord is using our base in Cameroon as a light of the Gospel. I am grateful that I was healthy my entire time in Africa and that the Lord gave me wisdom and boldness as needed, I also can honestly say I love Linda so much more after being apart so long. The sad thing that happened to me this summer was that I lost my wedding ring at Boot Camp—the day that Linda left, which seemed to make it harder on me, and although we looked everywhere, it was never found. Sometime before the end of the year, we plan to do a little ring shopping together.
LINDA’S INDIANA/ASIAN ADVENTURE
My first adventure was in Indiana. I left July 4th and headed to TTT Christian Youth Ministries in Evansville, IN. I was there to do tours of our life-size replica of the Old Testament Tabernacle as well as assist the ministry. In the course of my month there, I gave tours to 153 people and two accepted Christ as Savior. Tami Dooms, who is on staff at TTT, is a long time friend and each evening we would visit the area county fairs where we had groups doing evangelism. Booths were set up at three fairs each week where we offered cold water and did surveys with questions that would lead to a conversation regarding Jesus. It was exciting to see the joy on the face of a teenager who had just prayed with someone to accept Jesus. I also helped with office work and mowing the lawns with the riding mowers. It really was a wonderful blessing to be in Indiana.
On August 2nd I flew back to Florida and had a day to repack and prepare for a flight to Jakarta, Indonesia via Hong Kong and Los Angeles on August 4th. The Director of TMI Bob Bland, and I traveled together and had two weeks in Indonesia and one week in Cambodia. Our first week was spent in meetings with the coordinators of our seven Bible schools, the national board members of the country and attending the graduation of 146 students. It was a busy week but our hearts were so encouraged by the work of the Lord happening in this area of the world. The young people that are graduating from these seven schools are really sharp with a passion for Christ.
The second week we took an in-country flight from Java to Borneo, which was two hours, to run a training program for Motorcycle Sunday School Mission (MSSM). We had eight young men attend the MSSM training and had a great time there. We were able to visit four of the villages where the Sunday school ministry will be located and saw that the need is great.
We then traveled to Malaysia (it was the first time in my missionary career that I walked through a land border) for a flight to Cambodia. In Cambodia we visited both of our properties and met with staff and board members. It was encouraging to see how the Lord is blessing at these bases. The spiritual needs are great and MSSM will be effective there when we are ready to begin the program. I ate lots of rice—in fact, three times a day for three weeks which I did not mind at all. It was hot both in Indiana and in Indonesia and Cambodia. I missed Tom like crazy and at times was discouraged, but God taught me many lessons about His steadfast love and faithfulness. I was grateful that I was healthy all summer and now have a greater appreciation for Tom and all he is to me. It was heart wrenching to see so many this summer, both in the States and in Asia, who have no idea who Jesus is, and a challenge to be more faithful in my witness.
Tom and Deena and little Elsie (who turned one September 16) are doing good in Michigan. We are grateful that we are able to video chat with them often—in fact, we were able to be a part of Elsie’s first birthday party along with her other grandparents—what a joy!
Kalah got hired in at an area school as a Kindergarten teacher!! We are so grateful the Lord heard and answered our prayers. She is LOVING teaching!
Zachary changed jobs over the summer and is now working with a man from his church who owns a window washing company. His hours are 4 AM to 1 PM. He plans to go to school in January and is doing well with his diabetes.
Daniel is still working with the pool company and is also doing well. He has met a girl and is in a courtship with Kelsey Wilson. Daniel is planning to attend the police academy in January. He has passed his exams and is set to go.
This was the year of appendicitis for our children. Kalah lost her appendix on May 18 and Tommy on August 2nd. I don’t know why, but am grateful that both were caught in time and that both recovered well. Now, any tummy pain in our family is taken seriously.
REMAINDER OF THE YEAR
We both had a difficult time recovering from jet lag this year. The kids love it when I go through this because I am up with them all in the morning and fixed breakfast for them and packed their lunches. (not my normal routine during the year, especially for Zach).
Tom and I are attending a conference with Youth Evangelism Association in Indiana in October and then will take down the Tabernacle. We remain in our current departments and are managing to stay busy. Tom has various projects on his list as well as a ton of items to do around the house. I am handling multiple writing projects, teaching in the Bible school and running a department.
We do have a need and we would appreciate your prayers. Our 1999 van has 200,000 miles and is not roadworthy out of the state. We would like to buy a second-hand vehicle with low miles and in good condition that is also more fuel efficient. Pray with us that the Lord will meet this need.
1. Safety and good health for the summer.
2. Effective ministry.
3. That each of the four children have jobs and are growing spiritually.
4. The blessing of the first year as Papa and Nana.
5. Our faithful supporters.
1. Wisdom in our departments.
2. A vehicle.
3. Health and safety.
4. Consistent financial support.
Because He Lives,
Tom and Linda Maher