Happy New Year!
2015 came and went in what seems the blink of an eye. We rejoice that the year brought us two precious grandsons, Jude and Link, new adventures in Honduras, Zimbabwe and Rwanda, safety during travel, good health and daily times of refreshing in God’s Word. Our word of the year for 2015 was REFUGE and God was that strong and mighty tower for us throughout the year.
The word of the year for 2016 is SERVE. The verse we are using all year is, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling, As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”(ESV) 1 Peter 4: 9, 10. I think if we took a poll, we would all have to admit that we can at times serve others with an unwilling spirit or see it as inconvenient. I chose the word SERVE for Linda and I because I want to be more proactive in my service to others this year, serving my wife, my children, my grandchildren, my co-workers, my team members, our extended family and our national staff. It seems as if we only have whispers of time and so need to be good stewards of God’s varied grace as we love and serve those in our sphere of influence.
From December 4th through December 21st we were on the road. We were so blessed to be able to share with several of our supporting churches and supporters as well as spend some brief time with family. Our first stop was a tour of The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC. We had been wanting to visit there for years and are so glad we did. The Library is a proclamation of the Gospel from beginning to end and a wonderful testimony of a man who was obedient in his service to the Lord. Our next stop was the state of Pennsylvania. We were able to share in five churches and met up with others for a meal. Unfortunately, we were not able to see everyone we wanted to; however, we do appreciate your
faithful support, letters and prayers. We made Linda’s parents home our hub because we had not seen them in two years. Linda’s father had some urgent issues with his eyes, and in fact had a second surgery while we were there. We were happy to drive them around and be with them during her father’s recovery, watching football and enjoying looking through old photo albums. Linda was happy to eat red beet eggs and stewed tomatoes, her two childhood favorites that are still gluten free.
The next stop was three days with my mother in Illinois. My mother was released from the hospital the day before we arrived so we found her a bit weak. I was so grateful for the time to be with her. It blessed me to see her laugh and enjoy our company. From Illinois we traveled to Michigan to spend four nights and three days with Tom, Deena, Elsie and Jude. I enjoyed talking “geek” with my son, playing with our grandchildren and eating Deena’s wonderful cooking. Linda and I both had a blast, and even had the opportunity to babysit for them for the first time! At the end of the day we realized why we had our children in our twenties—it was exhausting. Elsie talks so clearly now and she is so smart with a vivid imagination. Jude is the happiest little boy who loves his big sister. Linda and I also cooked Tom’s favorite Christmas candies and treats for him while there. Tom has always loved mom’s homemade egg nog and Elsie discovered she liked Nana’s special egg milk too. The last stop before home was in Evansville, IN and home of TTT Christian Ministries. I helped the ministry by fixing some computer issues while Linda visited with her best friend Tami. We came home feeling refreshed and blessed. It is always a joy to share what the Lord is doing!
We feel as if we had three Christmas celebrations this year. We opened gifts with Elsie and Jude in Michigan, then had Christmas day with Kalah and Zach, and then celebrated again with Daniel, Kelsey and Link. It was a blessed time filled with laughter, love and thankfulness. Link is also a special joy in our lives and it was fun to see him open gifts, and then be more interested in eating the wrapping paper. As is our Christmas tradition, we have stocking buddies and it’s always fun to see what is inside those stockings. Linda got two new jigsaw puzzles (which she loves) and so the kitchen table was taken over for the rest of the break. Linda, Kalah and I also got those new grownup coloring books, so there are nights you find us all sitting and coloring. I think what we all missed most when returning to work was our afternoon tea time. Each afternoon we had tea and some sort of treat.
I will lead an Adult Trip to Cameroon January 26 through February 12, and I am looking forward to seeing our national staff. I also stay busy with computer issues and programming. Linda will not join me on this trip to Africa as she is teaching this term in the Bible school and quite busy with her other responsibilities. Kalah and her have tons of “girl” plans for while I am gone, but I honestly believe I will be missed. Linda continues as In-House Editor for the ministries, placing leaders on the summer teams and doing the accounting for MSSM and AOSC.
By our next newsletter we should be settled in where our summer journey will lead us. We believe we will be in Africa; however, we are still finalizing the exact countries we will visit and how long we will stay.
Words cannot express how blessed we are by the faithfulness of our prayer and support team. THANK YOU!!! You are loved, prayed for and so important in our ministry.
We trust each of you will have a year of great blessing, much laughter and growth in Jesus!
Because He Lives,
Tom and Linda Maher
1. Praise the Lord for safety in travel and the opportunity to share what the Lord has been doing in our lives and ministry.
2. Praise the Lord for our children and grandchildren
3. Praise the Lord for faithful prayer and financial supporters.
1. Pray for the Cameroon Adult Team—for safety, good health and a time of blessing.
2. Pray for my mother and her struggle with cancer.
3. Pray for good health for Linda’s parents.
4. Pray for wisdom in our day-to-day responsibilities.
5. Pray for Link (Daniel and Kelsey’s son). We have had an ongoing issue with his left kidney since birth and the doctors thought he would outgrow it, however, there has been no change. They are doing a nuclear dye test in February to determine if surgery is necessary.
6. Pray for Kalah as she daily serves her kindergarten class.
7. Pray we SERVE in 2016 to the Glory of God.