Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Land of Spacious Skies

As they say a picture is worth a thousand words, here is a glimpse of the past couple days:
"Oh Lord, My God, when I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the works Thy hand hath made.
I see the stars, I hear the roaring thunder.
Thy power throughout the universe displayed."

"Then sings my soul! My Savior God to Thee --

How great Thou art, How great Thou art!"


Preparing for an evening service.


Enjoying outdoor adventures.

Thank you all for your prayers concerning the bus. As of now it looks like the mechanics will have it ready to go on Friday. We praise the Lord, and continue to pray that their estimates are correct!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Western Adventures

Greetings from Wyoming! As we have seen the Lord's hand so wonderously the past couple days, we'd like to share the story with you.....


Smoke -- when coming from the rear end of your bus -- is not a good sign.

But as we were driving through the scenic mountain country of Wyoming, that is what Daddy saw as he looked in his rearview mirror -- and lots of it. We quickly pulled over to the side of the road as something (possibly a brake bearing?) froze on the back end and we were stuck. Big time stuck.

Now, as those of you who are familiar with car troubles know, it takes a little time, effort, and expense to get a tow truck. Multiply that several times over when it comes to a 40-ft bus, a trailer and more people than the common vehicle will hold! It was looking like we were in quite a fix!

But let me back up with the story.....

The previous night (Friday) our family had a service in Moorcroft, Wyoming. At the last minute our host pastor and his wife invited our crew to spend the night at their house. Although we originally had other plans, we do always enjoy fellowship -- so we accepted the offer.

The next morning we had a great time together over breakfast, and as we were talking, they mentioned that JoElla, the pastor's wife, was headed to Spokane, Washington later that day and would be driving along the same route for several hours. She was dreading the long drive all by herself, and as our family was packing up to leave Dad decided on a plan.

We sent our guys to drive her car, she happily loaded up on the bus and we were off! The trip went happily as we visited and caught up on our 'western history' together. And then came the smoke.

The bus driving up on the semi trailer

While we were discussing our options, JoElla said, "Wait a minute. Just last Friday I got AAA-Plus insurance. They should cover any towing expenses because I'm riding with you!" We did some checking and sure enough -- her new plan stated than any vehicle she happens to be riding in gets free towing. Even a 40-foot bus! Isn't God good!??! We sat and marveled at how specifically the Lord had ordered our steps over the last 24 hours to prepare us for this situation.

All loaded up and ready to go!

And so we called the nearest AAA towing and they came with their big truck/trailer and a caravan of vehicles to get our trailier and the 15 of us. We all bailed out of the bus and watched as they loaded it up (quite a sight!), hooked to the trailer, and made room for us to pile in.

The story continues from there....but the part we most wanted to share with you is the testimony of the Lord's hand in it all. Our friends from Cody drove a van over and we moved all our nessesities into the trailer and headed to stay with them as our bus was towed to Billings for about a week of repairs. We were able to make both our services on Sunday and have been so blessed by the hospitality of the Atnip family.

Hannah, Susanna and Alaythia...finally, on the road again!

Prayer Requests:

We'd be so grateful if you'd keep the bus in prayer. We need to have it fixed by this coming weekend in order to make our North Dakota dates next week.

Also, tonight (Monday) we have the opportunity to lead a one-night family seminar here in Cody, and we'd appreciate prayer as Dad teaches and we may be leading the children's activites.

"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge."

Psalm 46:10-11

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Westward Ho!

"God be merciful to us and bless us,
and cause His face to shine upon us,
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations."
Psalms 67:1-2

And it is time to pack up and hit the road again. This morning has been one full of preparation -- food, clothes, packing and all those details that must be done before heading out. We are excited about this trip. In addition to several new places, many stops are to 'return areas' where we're looking forward to fellowship and time together with friends. It will be a full schedule -- but we pray the Lord will use us each day to be a blessing to whomever we're around.

Thank you all again for your prayers. Specific requests for this trip would be -- our personal quiet times, ministry at each stop along the way, travel mercies, rest and health (for Mom especially), and wisdom in balancing school in our daily activities. We also desire to get some new music worked up these next couple weeks, and need direction and creativity in the choosing and arranging of the songs.

God bless you all! Thanks for your notes -- we do receive messages and e-mails on the road every couple days and it is a joy to hear from you -- our 'blog readers'! We'll do our best to keep you updated!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Baby!

And now for all of you who are wondering what the Wissmann's hidden treasure is -- we are thrilled to announce that baby #13 is on the way!


We are all so excited, surprised, and thankful! The 2006 Wissmann Model isn't due to arrive until the end of September, so we still have waiting to do. And as you can imagine, our mealtime conversations are often filled with name suggestions and trying to figure out exactly how big the baby would be at 18 weeks, ect.... The wonder of a new 'tiny-but-growing' person is incredible and has caused us to marvel at the wisdom of our God all over again!

Mommy and baby are doing well (we heard the heartbeat last week!) and we would appreciate your continued prayers for them until the baby's safe arrival.

"For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well."
Psalms 139:13-14

Monday, April 17, 2006

Seeds and New Life

With the coming of spring comes the joy of growing things. This past week we've enjoyed planting a tiny garden in our small yard. (As you can see by the picture of Alaythia, the pea plants will line our fence and entwine themselves upward as they grow.)

It is amazing how one can take a tiny, small, dead looking 'thing,' place it in carefully prepared soil, and cover it. Now we can't see it, but it is still working away. With watering and patience, soon we'll be able to see a sprout. But it takes more time, more labor, more patience until the harvest comes -- and (in our case) within the next few months we'll enjoy fresh peas!

"He hath made everything beautiful in His time." Ecc 3:11

How often this is true in our lives as well. God wants us to grow in His ways by abiding in His Word and seeking after Him. So often the changes seem slower than we'd like and it is easy to wonder if there is progress after all.

But part of growing is putting down the roots in the unseen places of time in God's Word and prayer -- deepening our walk and love for Him. It is often as we look back through these times that we begin to see how wonderfully the Lord has been transforming us little by little to be more like Him!

But garden seeds, faith, and character are not the only things that quietly grow unseen.

Can you guess another hidden treasure that is growing at the Wissmann's?!

Stay tuned.....

Saturday, April 15, 2006

He is Risen!

Easter greetings from our home to yours!

He is Risen -- He is Risen Indeed!

May you all have a blessed Resurection Sunday rejoicing in the life and power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

"He is not here: for He is risen, as He said!"
Matthew 28:6

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died.
My richest gain I count but lost.
And poor contempt on all my pride.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Isaac Watts

Bethany
has posted some excellent thoughts
concerning Good Friday today on her blog.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Teamwork


In case some of you are curious what 'home projects' consist of this time of year -- it's swimming pool season...er, pool blasting season, that is! With Dad's slagblasting business we kids get to pitch in and help with all clean up (scooping out all the slag). Over the years this has become a fun family project, causing us to look forward to 'pool season' with anticipation. Last night the normal team-work was intensified by our race with an oncoming storm.

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto man."
Colossians 3:23

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Praise and Prayer

After a quick trip to Kansas we've arrived home again. What a full, but blessed weekend it was. We prayed this weekend for a freshness of the Lord's Spirit to be at work as we shared. To be honest, after singing these songs so many times (around 175 times in 2005 alone) it is easy for all this to become routine.

[Arrive. Set-up. Sound check. Pray. Sing. Visit. Tear down. Say goodbye. Drive away.]

We've come to realize that it is only as we daily and individually abide in the Vine (Jesus) that our efforts will bear fruit. (John 15) And as we abide in Him, then there can be the fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit -- because He IS alive and anew in our hearts.

This is our prayer.

And we saw answers to that prayer this weekend. We were humbled and amazed to see the Lord at work as Dad shared and we all sang. On Sunday evening the pastor was able to pray with a lady who came forward -- before Dad even gave an altar call. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness!

And other tidbits from the weekend.......

Does this look like a feast, or what?! In between services this weekend we were able to spend Saturday with some friends in Kansas. Given that they also have 12 children, you can imagine it was a lively houseful! What a delightful time of fellowship. (Thank you, Ulmers!)

Hannah enjoyed little Paul Anson. There's just nothing sweet as a baby!

And yes, we had time for a few (close!??!) games of volleyball!


We have been talking lately about how grateful we are for you, our 'regular blog readers'. Every once in awhile we will get a note or comment that is such an encouragment to us. And even more than that -- knowing that many of you pray for us is very humbling as we travel and see the Lord answer your prayers.

And now we'd like to know how to pray for you! We have family prayer most mornings so if you have specific prayer needs, please drop us an e-mail. How wonderful it is that as the body of Christ we can impact lives through the open door of prayer!

"The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me --
A prayer to the God of my life."
Psalm 42:8

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Online Orders


With many thanks to our webmaster, we now have an online store where you can place a CD/book order via the secure method of Paypal. A big 'thank you' to Mindy, for setting this up -- and also for all the time in re-designing our site over the past couple months! While there are still a few minor adjustments in the making, don't ya'll think she did a great job?!?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Grandparents!

We've all agreed -- the next best thing to being at our grandparent's house, is...... [drumroll] ......having them at our house!!! And the past couple days we've been enjoying them to the fullest. Grandpa and Grandma Hager came to visit for a few days and it was such a delightful time! The hours were filled with baking, shopping, games, hugs, laughter, and all those special things that happen when we're together. We thank the Lord for such a priceless gift as our grandparents!

Hannah, Susanna, and Alaythia help Grandma make cinnamon rolls.
Mm-m-m good!

We had the unique challenge of trying to find hats for our grandparents to wear for a special historical occasion. Thankfully our friend, Fred, had a whole collection to choose from and all the menfolk got into the act!


Enjoying the more feminine fashions of yester-year.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Andrew's Graduation

In addition to working with the children's conference, we also have to share the news that Andrew was recognized at the NCHEA highschool graduation ceremony last Friday evening.

The Nebraska Christian Home Education Association Homeschool
Class of 2006.
(Andrew is on the front/right.)

Always good for a big smile with Grandpa and Grandma around!

From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank you, Dad and Mom, for choosing to homeschool us children. It probably wasn't the easiest choice -- and I know there have been many hours of work, prayer, and even tears. But you have pressed on and we are so grateful.

Thank you for giving the twelve of us the opportunity to grow up feeling your heartbeat of love for the Lord and eachother, for giving us brothers and sisters as best friends, and for planting in us the vision of continuing the heritage!

We love you!

Andrew with our cousin, Micah -- also a 2006 graduate.

Congratulations Andrew!!!

The Weekend...


"Guess what?! I'm homeschooled!" a little girl on my team piped up during our lunch hour.
"Really?! You homeschool?" asked Celeste. "I homeshool too!"
And then a third little girl chimed in, "Both of you homeschool? I do too!!"

They were amazed and so-o-o excited to find out that all three of them homeschooled! Their sweet faces just glowed. What they didn't realize is that this whole children's conference was put together so their parents could attend our state homeschool convention!

The weekend was so exciting -- to see the children all learn and grow, and also to see my brothers and sisters step up and grow in their walk with the Lord as well. The verse the Lord gave me for the weekend was from II Corinthians 4:7 --

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."

It is not by my might, strength, or power, but only through the power of God. He is the one who sustains during long, hectic days, (and short, hurried nights!)

The theme for the weekend was "Enemy Encounter," and really emphasized to us all that no matter what the situation, we must choose to do what is right, even though it is often the harder path. This was clearly demonstrated in the continuing drama about three soldiers. The first was a Christian who did right, and stood up for what he believed, and in the end was promoted. One was a scoffer, who later got saved and repented for his wrong doing. There were serious consequences -- but because of his changed life, he remained in the army. And the third was a 'fence rider', who ended up getting into big trouble and being discharged from the army because he always took the easy way out. It was very entertaining, and yet the message was very clear.

Here are a few pictures of the weekend --
Rachel taught the memory verses in large assembly - Psalms 44:4-8

Elizabeth helped out with any little thing that needed done.

Josiah, Andrew, and Matthias as enemy soldiers in the drama.


Ruth and Tanner on the playground.


Our intimidating "D.I." (Drill Instructor) -- to us known as 'Andrew'!

As I (Bethany) was a photographer, we didn't get a picture of me 'in action'! But here's a picture of my team.

"In God we boast, all day long; and praise His name forever."
Psalms 44:8