Greetings from Florida. This is one of my favorite times of the year for several reasons. First, it’s the celebration of Easter—the joy that is ours in loving, obeying and serving a Risen Savior, Jesus! It is the hope that a life grounded in Him brings and the assurance of knowing that one day, we will be reunited with loved ones who followed Him. (Can’t wait to see my daddy again)! Another thing I love about this time of year is the anticipation that comes with knowing that our summer ministry is just around the corner. Soon the property will be filled with youth being trained for summer missions trips around the world!
This year Teen Missions partnered with an organization called, Teach Them Diligently. It is a homeschool convention that is held in seven locations across the States. We have a booth at all seven, but at three locations we are running the children and teen programs. I am one of the speakers for the teen program where our theme is “Identity, Who I Am In Christ”. Within the teen program, the weekend consists of three different speakers, each having four sessions, games, prizes and small group activities. Teens are so creative and I loved watching them use their gifts as we had them do Bible charades and build towers with mini marshmallows and spaghetti noodles. We have already completed the program in Rogers, AR and Waco, TX, and have one more in Denver, CO May 23-26. We had 150 teens in Rogers and 68 teens in Waco. In Waco, I had the opportunity to visit the Magnolia Silos (popular because of HGTV show, Fixer Upper) and the Dr. Pepper Museum, as well as see the beautiful blooming flowers along the roads. I have really enjoyed the privilege and opportunity to speak truth into the lives of these teens and in Waco, three teens prayed to accept Christ.
Long-time friend and supporter, Larry Aughenbaugh, made his annual trek to the Maher household April 2-10. We always have a great time with Larry and our son, Zachary, especially enjoys the long conversations they share each year. The other annual event that took place was the power washing of our home. This year Tom was trained in how to use our Genie Power Lift. It sure made getting the second story and roof done much easier and cuts down on the heart failure I experience when my husband is on a ladder.
Boot Camp begins June 15 this year. Tom will be Mr. OC, facilitating the morning run on the Obstacle Course each morning along with doing what needs to be done in Graphics, Computers and assisting with Video. I will teach classes, coordinate our volunteers and carry out any responsibilities assigned to me. As of the writing of this newsletter, we will not be leading a group of teens overseas this year, first time since 1995. We have been asked to visit five African bases, spending at least two weeks at each base. We will fly to Africa July 3 and be gone until September 15. We will visit Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Uganda. We are looking forward to this trip. It is a joy to encourage and train our incredible national staff. We are saddened that we will not be making a trip to Cameroon this year. The country remains in conflict and it is not wise nor safe for us to travel and visit our work there at this time. Please pray for Cameroon—that they will come to a peaceful solution of the issues surrounding all their conflict. We are grateful that our staff are safe and able to continue with ministry.
We are currently setting up Big Top tents, and much of the Obstacle Course in preparation for our Annual 5K Mud Run and then later for the Boot Camp. We have over 400 registered for the Mud Run and expect more before race day on May 4.
This fundraiser is a wonderful opportunity for us to interact with our community. Tom has been working in Graphics and maintaining our computers and website. There is never a dull moment for him, that is for sure.
I have settled into my new assignments and am enjoying life. I love working with our volunteers, teaching in the Bible school and working in the Personnel Department.
We are excited about the work happening overseas. At our newest Rescue Unit location in Zambia, we registered 800 orphans and that was only a 2k radius from the Unit. The needs are great and it will be wonderful to hear the testimonies that come from this work. From the reports received, God is at work in the hearts and lives of many in each of the 23 countries we are working in. What a privilege to serve!
Our joy is knowing that our children are walking in Truth! Our grandchildren are such an encouragement and healing balm to our spirits and we love each opportunity to either FaceTime or be face-to face with them. Tom and his family are doing well. Deena is finishing up a busy volleyball season and Tom is completing several video projects to be used for His glory. Elsie joined brother Jude in getting eyeglasses and both of them are doing well. Kalah is almost finished with the school year and it has been a challenge learning a new grade. She has already been told she is assigned to first grade again next year. Kalah and I enjoy our “girl times”. I go over and spend the night and then we have a “girls day out” the next day which can mean shopping, baking or watching a girl movie. I love my sweet daughter! Zachary is doing well in work and school as well as in managing his diabetes. Daniel and Kelsey have their hands full with three little ones, but are doing well. Daniel recently passed the state exams to sell insurance. Pray for him as he builds up his clientele while still working his current job. Both grandsons turned four in March and Aurora will be two in May—time flies.
We are so grateful for our prayer and support team! Thank you for sharing your resources with us and for praying! You are an incredible blessing to us. We realize that we would not be here without your support, Thank you again and may God find us faithful.
Because He lives,
1. Good health and the ability to serve the Lord.
2. The three teens that accepted Christ at the Teach Them Diligently conference.
3. Safety in work and travel.
4. Our fantastic support team!
1. Pray for each young person that participates on a TMI summer mission trip. Pray they will grow in faith and that it will be a life-changing experience for them.
2. Pray for both Tom and I for wisdom in our daily responsibilities.
3. Pray for a safe trip to Africa this summer and that we will bring encouragement to our national staff. Pray also that we will stay healthy.
4. Pray we continue to serve with perseverance, joy and thankfulness.