Dear Friends and FTMs,
HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s hard to believe that another year has passed by and another is facing us. Our WORD of the year for 2017 was HOPE. We saw the Lord encourage us and give a peace of the hope of Christ in us and working through us. We had seasons of great joy and seasons of total dependence on the Lord as our hope to carry us through the situations at hand. We also had many opportunities to share our stories of hope and encourage many people along the way. God is so good! We have chosen ASSURANCE for the WORD of 2018. The verse we are using is; “Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses). Hebrews 11:1 —Amplified. This quote by Balilea Schlink really spoke to us. “In the darkest of night cling to the assurance that God loves you, that He always has advice for you, a path that you can tread and a solution to your problem–and you will experience that which you believe. God never disappoints anyone who places his trust in Him.” As you can see we are continuing the theme of resting in the Lord. We pray that 2018 will be full of opportunities to live out assurance.
In November we made a trip to IL, to spend time with my brother David, who has stage four brain cancer. It was good to reconnect with family and spend time serving my brother. We had many great conversations. Linda and I found ourselves becoming attached to David’s little dogs. Please keep David in your prayers; as of this writing the tumor is stable and he has both good and bad days. For all that he is going through he is doing well and for the most part has a positive attitude. We travelled back home with a stop at TTT Christian Youth Ministries in Evansville, IN, where we spoke in the evening rally. Linda enjoyed a “girls” night with dear friend Tami Dooms. On the 22nd, the day before Thanksgiving, Linda and I celebrated 37 years of marriage. I am thankful and grateful for my best friend, sweetheart and wife! What a blessing to have such a wonderful partner in ministry and life! Thanksgiving included Zach, Kalah, Daniel, Kelsey, Link, Aurora and us. We had a good day of food, fun, reflecting on God’s goodness and playing with those precious grandkids.
This year we stayed in Florida during our two-week Christmas break. We tackled some projects that are always on the “to do” list but never get done—cleaning out closets, yard work and organizing drawers. Kalah and Linda had several girl dates to shop; we went to the Brevard county zoo (where we ran into two FTMs); and went to see the Christmas lights at Disney Springs. Linda went with Kalah to school one day to help with Christmas crafts. We read books, put together puzzles, and had Christmas with Daniel’s family on the 23rd and then our own little Christmas with Zach and Kalah. We also video chatted with Tommy’s family and watched Elsie and Jude open their gifts from Nana and Papa. At the end of the break, Kalah had all four wisdom teeth pulled. The top ones were pulled, but the bottom two were impacted and needed to be cut out. She was hilarious when coming out of the anesthesia. It is a good thing we love her too much to video her and let it go viral. She had a rough few days, but is grateful she had the procedure because she was experiencing pain with the bottom teeth.
January was busy with intern training; we had the opportunity to work with nine young people that will be serving at TMI bases around the world. Three have already left for a year of ministry in Madagascar. We also had a three-day Spiritual Emphasis time with all our staff, students, interns and volunteers. Dr. Stephen Carter from Answers in Genesis was our speaker and we learned so much, as well as had wonderful fellowship with Dr. Carter and his wife. Linda and I cooked breakfast for the students and the Carters. It was good to meet and fellowship with each other as a staff and to evaluate the 2017 summer and plan ahead for 2018. The “geek squad” headed up a seminar on creating a TMI app and Linda headed up a seminar on writing a new teen Bible study.
I am currently pulling double duty by serving in two departments. I am still involved in computer software updates and writing programs, but am also working in the Graphics Department. Praise God I have a wonderful graphics co-worker, Mindy, who has been a blessing. I have my hands full, that is for sure. Linda’s hands are not any less empty with her responsibilities either. She is teaching this term in the BMW school (the Book of Acts), has several major writing projects, and the workload in the International Operations Office. We are so grateful for the wisdom the Lord gives us, as well as the strength and health to do the jobs assigned. We also signed up for a 10-week study in a small group at our local church. We agreed before we joined a group that we would find one that had no one we knew well. We want to get to know new people and enjoy meeting around the table sharing the Lord. We are loving it!
I got my current hearing aids in March of 2012 and they have really given me a better quality of life. I have been struggling with my hearing again for over a year, and we kept trying to adjust my hearing aids. I had a hearing test on January 22, 2018 and I have lost more hearing. I have also developed tinnitus (ringing in the ears). The doctor highly recommends a new hearing aid as the technology has changed a lot in the last six years. I tried on the samples and was blown away. My current one is 3 channels, the new ones have 24, plus a phone app to help with hearing in different environments. The cost of new hearing aids is $3800. I know, Wow. They are not covered by insurance (I know I don’t understand either). God graciously provided through one-time donations the last time I needed hearing aids as you have been willing and kind in responding to our needs. Thank you so much for wanting to help with those “extras” that pop up in our lives. I need to be able to hear to do a good job in work as well as ministry as I listen to the teens we help. It is humbling to admit you cannot hear well. Linda has become my “interpreter” in the last years, and I couldn’t love her more for it, however, with this new hearing aid I will be able to serve the Lord better. If you choose to help, Thank you, however, as in all things please pray.
We are so blessed and humbled by your outpouring of love to us this Christmas and throughout the year. We are so grateful for your prayers and financial support. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! We believe that we have the greatest support team ever! Together we are making a difference in the lives of many.
Because HE Lives,
Tom and Linda Maher
Phil. 4:13, Phil. 3: 8-10
1. Our support team
3. Health and strength to continue in missionary service
1. Wisdom in our job responsibilities.
2. Our children and their families.
3. Health of Linda’s parents, Corvin and Eleanor Seltzer.
4. David Maher.
5. Faithfulness in being witnesses for Christ.