“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
Happy New Year! We trust each of you enjoyed the Christmas season with friends and family in celebration of love for one another and in appreciation of the gift of our Savior Jesus. We spent Christmas Day with Zach, Kalah, Daniel, Kelsey and D.J. (a family friend) and enjoyed a relaxing time of laughter and good food. We did have two weeks of vacation during this holiday season and used it to get many of those “around the house ” type of jobs done that never seem to end. Kalah, one of her friends and Linda spent a day shopping in Orlando (I stay far away from those marathon girl shopping days). We did enjoy working in our garden and taking walks around the property. Linda likes to get out a jigsaw puzzle during long breaks and the entire family usually gets involved in helping complete it; however, she is sneaky. She hides at least one piece so that she puts in the final piece, which I guess is fair since she puts in the most time to complete the puzzle.
As many of you know we have the tradition of choosing a “word” each year that will be our focus in how we pray for the year. The word for 2015 is REFUGE. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46: 1. As many tend to do, we spend the end of a year and the beginning of another one, reflecting on what has taken place and looking forward to what lies ahead. The year of 2014 was quite the whirlwind experience for us in many ways, but we can honestly say it was full of blessing as well. We finally found the solution to Linda’s health issues and eating gluten free has dramatically changed her life, and I am so grateful. I experienced some kidney stones toward the end of the year (not something I want to experience again) yet God was faithful in getting that issue resolved as well. We know we will face both challenges, heartbreak and blessings in 2015. The knowledge that God is our REFUGE gives us hope. We know that nothing will surprise God and that His grace is freely available in each and every situation we will face.
To say we stay busy is an understatement. I continue to work in our IT Department writing computer programs, fixing all the little things that pop up when working with equipment and working on the websites and Facebook pages. There never seems to be an end. I plan to take an adult team to Cameroon February 23-March 12. I appreciate your prayers for safe travel, good health, and a positive missions experience for the members of the team. I will have our staff join me so I can encourage them and then will go over finances with them before I return. Linda works in the IO Department and is mainly responsible for placing leaders, doing the bookkeeping for MSSM and AOSC, and is the in-house editor for the ministry. She is also teaching Spiritual Life 1 this term in the Bible school. She is traveling to Honduras February 14-28th to train that base for the Motorcycle Sunday School Ministry. Pat Storey, a fellow staff member, will travel with her. I am confident Pat and Linda will do a good job in training and make it a fun journey as well. Pray for us as we are apart during this time. Together we will be doing some courtship counseling this winter for a young couple here in Bible school.
Tom and Deena and Elsie are doing well in Warren, MI. Tom traveled to Nepal this past November to video a ministry the church is partnering with. It was a positive and life-changing experience for him. Elsie is two and is starting to chat like crazy. Their baby boy is due March 15.
Kalah loves teaching kindergarten. There is always some type of project in the house. She is so gifted and we love the stories she shares. Linda went to school with her one day before the Christmas break and came home so tired. How Kalah handles 17 five-year-olds all day is a mystery.
Zach has been doing good keeping his diabetes under control. The insulin pump has really changed his life. He is a student at an area seminary, plus working at a Publix grocery store.
Daniel and Kelsey are doing great. Their baby boy is due March 1. The race is on to see which son, the older or the younger, will produce the first Maher namesake. Daniel is still working at Pinch a Penny Pool Co, and is registered for the police academy. He is waiting on the state to release the date for his session to begin.
Both Kelsey and Deena have had relatively good pregnancies, and we are praying for two healthy boys and two safe deliveries.
Currently we are scheduled to lead a team to Zimbabwe this summer. The team is an eyeglass medical team that will travel to our base. After the team returns to the states we plan to remain in Zimbabwe for about three weeks to help our national staff with several things. We will also visit the South Africa base and Cameroon base before we return the end of September. We will give you more details in the next letter.
We covet your prayers for my mother, Jeannine Maher. Mom was admitted to a hospital January 10 with pneumonia and dehydration. Before she left the hospital we learned she has lung cancer which has already spread to the bone and liver. The current treatment plan is for her to begin oral chemo and radiation for the cancer that is located in her spine. Pray with us that she will not experience great pain, if not healed.
THANK YOU! We are so blessed with an incredible support team that prays for us, supports us and encourages us. Thank you. We pray God’s richest blessings on you!
1. God’s faithfulness throughout 2014
2. The health to serve
3. Our faithful supporters
1. Healthy babies and safe deliveries for Deena and Kelsey
2. Jeannine Maher
3. Safety and good health as we travel
4. We would have wisdom in our responsibilities
5. Consistent monthly supporters
Because HE Lives,
Tom and Linda Maher