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Tom & Linda Maher Newsletter (Fall 2021)

Tom & Linda Maher Newsletter (Fall 2021)

Dear Friends,

We are entering into what has always been our favorite time of the year—the fall.  We both have fond memories of growing up in areas where the smell of apple cider and all things pumpkin were in the air, the cool crisp evenings at area football games and the bringing in of the area harvest. We remember raking and jumping into the leaves as children and the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas which were not too far away.  In many respects our Fall Newsletter is the report of both planting and harvesting, and although we are not experiencing the cool evenings just yet here in Florida, we do have the hope of many good things ahead.  

SUMMER 2021

As a ministry it was an incredible blessing to have a summer mission trip program.  In the midst of our changing world and pandemic situation the Lord allowed us to minister to over 200 young people who in turn shared with others in Africa and Central and South America.  Many seeds of the Gospel message were planted, watered and even some harvested!  We served here as home office staff for the summer. Tom did multiple bus runs to the airport and even got to enjoy the perks of being the driver for sightseeing as he was able to join the team members on air boat and go-cart rides, and a few rounds of miniature golf.  In the office he kept up with our IT needs and pitched in wherever needed, which is what our summers are all about.  I checked emails daily from our teams on the field and had the privilege of talking with many leaders and parents.  The pervading conversation with parents was that they were praying hard for all our team members on the field to test negative on their COVID PCR tests and return with their respective team.  God answered those prayers!!! I also kept up with my responsibilities in the Finance Department and taught a Debrief class.  All in all it was a summer that although not a “normal” one by any stretch of the imagination, was one where we knew that God was with us.  Our Asian bases are still experiencing lock downs and we would appreciate your prayers that ministry opportunities open again soon.  

BUMPS IN THE ROAD

I read a book once that was titled, ‘The Bumps are What You Climb On’.  The premise of the book is that when challenging and hard things come and we go through what seems like an endless series of ups and downs, we can stand on the “bumps” in the road. The “bumps” are the positive assurances and promises we have in God Himself.  God does not always remove the hard things or make the pathway straight; however, if we exercise our faith in who He is, we can see His hand at work even when we are standing on the “bumps”. This summer two of our precious staff ladies went to be with the Lord.  Betty Lane and Gayle Will both had incredible impact in our lives and spiritual growth as missionaries.  Betty and her husband Bob were Tom’s very first team leaders and he even lived with them in his bachelor years.  Betty was my first Department Head and she loved me, shared her wisdom in being a wife and mother and taught me so many practical things.  Gayle Will (one of the four founders) also poured into our lives. She was an encourager, a prayer warrior and just plain fun to be around.  Tom and I co-lead two Debriefs with her that will long be in our memories.  We also had another friend pass this summer as well. It’s difficult for all of us to see those we love move on to heaven.  It has been a reminder that we live daily on the edge of eternity. Even though we are grieving, we are standing on the “bump” of the hope to see them again someday.  

On August 20th Tom went in for a pre-scheduled outpatient surgery with a urologist, that ended up being a little more than we expected in terms of recovery.  He stayed at home dealing with after effects for over a week and we have been told, total recovery is three months.  We are thankful for the technology that is out there that gives help when our bodies experience the need for a jump start so to speak, and we are grateful that Tom is having positive results.  Please pray for a total recovery.  This experience put me over the edge a bit.  I do not handle medical things very well and caring for Tom although such a privilege, was a challenge for me.  I spent a lot of time asking the Lord for His help and peace.  There is a situation we are both facing and living right now that feels at times like a raging storm.  We are dealing with a family issue that we never saw coming or dreamed we would deal with.  We have had many sleepless nights, many tears; we are weary, but we KNOW God is leading and guiding us. We prefer not to go into great detail in this newsletter, but we do covet your prayers for us to experience God’s peace, wisdom and joy.  “More of Him” is the cry of our hearts and the ability to keep standing on the “bumps”.   Feel free to email or private message us if you wish to pray more specifically. 

  

NOW NOW

Tom continues to work both with computer programming and in Graphics.  He just received a new student to train and has one of the interns for a year as well.  His major fall Graphic projects to oversee are the 2022 Summer Trip Brochure, promotional materials, and the items for summer fundraising.   In the computer end of things he is still working out the bugs from his major project last year and keeping up with the website.  I also received a new student in the Finance Department which will be a help.  The major project ahead for me is our fiscal year end accounting and then preparation for our external audit. I am also training both the new guy and a fellow staffer in the things they can assist with in our department.  The Mail Room is also included in my department and we have several mailings ahead before the end of the year, which gives many opportunities for fellow staff to train our student as well.  I agreed to teach this term in the Bible school.  Tom and I really prayed about this because of my heavy workload, but teaching gives me so much joy, and it is a class I have taught seven times, so there was not as much work to do because the syllabus was already written.  I love the fact that my husband encourages me to do what gives me joy; in fact let me just say that he has been a rock this past year.  I do love my time with the students during the week and I learn so much as I study.  I am also learning to be disciplined and intentional with my time—something I should probably have learned a long time ago.  

THE OFFSPRING

Zachary and Alyssa have just told us that we are to be grandparents again in May.  Please pray with us for a healthy pregnancy and healthy little one.  All of our grandchildren have either blue or green eyes.  I am hoping for the first brown-eyed little one as both Zach and Alyssa have dark brown eyes and dark hair.  Kalah is teaching first grade and believe it or not this is her 10th year of teaching.  She also is very involved with the youth group at church where she loves the opportunities to pour into the lives of the teens.  Our oldest grandchild, Elsie, turned nine in September.  It’s hard to believe we have had the privilege of grandparenting that long already.   Elsie is in third grade this year and Jude in first.  Link started kindergarten and Aurora is in VPK.  They both love school as well.  Daisy will be three in December and our little Oliver will be a year old in October.  Wow, time flies.  

THANK YOU

‘Thank you’ never seems enough at times; however, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU to our supporters and prayer warriors.  What a privilege it is to serve the Lord together and impact our world for eternity.  Because of your partnership thousands are hearing the Gospel each week!  We pray that we can continue to serve.  May HE find us faithful.  

PRAISES

1.  Praise the Lord for a summer of ministry that impacted eternity.

2.  Praise the Lord for good health.

3.  Praise the Lord for a place to serve.

4.  Praise the Lord for faithful supporters and prayer partners.

PRAYER REQUESTS

1.  We would like to take a trip to see my mother in Pennsylvania before the end of the year.  Please pray we can work out our schedules to be able to go.

2.   Pray for a healthy pregnancy for Alyssa and for our new little one to arrive safe and healthy.

3.  Pray for wisdom, joy and strength for our daily tasks and responsibilities. 

4.  Pray for the Lord’s hand of safety and good health for all our overseas staff and bases.

Blessings

Tom and Linda Maher 

Phil. 4:13