Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Andrew


Happy 19th Birthday Andrew!!!
Andrew, thank you for the huge blessing you are to our family -- for the countless times you've cheered us with your humor and been the peacemaker amongst us, for the beautiful music you lend to our quiet evenings at home, for the kind ways you teach your younger siblings new skills, and for the manly way you watch out for your sisters. We are so grateful God sent you to our family, and for your unique talents that brighten our lives. We love you!!!


"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand."
Psalms 37:23 & 24


If you haven't noticed yet, for all our birthdays we've been sharing 'little known facts' about the birthday person. So here are a few little known facts about Andrew:
  • He enjoys eating (Oh, no wait. This was 'little known facts'.....)
  • He has quite the reputation in our family for his sleep walking and talking escapades
  • His actual birthday is February 29 -- a Leap Year baby! So up till now, he has only had 4 actual birthdays.
  • Daddy delivered him because the midwife didn't make it to the birth
  • He used to have his own dog named Dixie
  • He is the only Wissmann to have needed braces (so far!)
  • He could do 450 non-stop pushups at age 12.
  • He lost over 15 pounds these last two weeks because of being sick
  • He is our only brown eyed boy
  • He commited his life to Christ at the age of 6

And the age-old question is asked again this year --should we celebrate his birthday on February 28th or March 1st!? [smile]

Ol' Time Meetings

This week we've had the privilage of taking part in some ol' time tent meetings. There's just something special about taking time out to sing those wonderful hymns and listen to a variety of Bible preachers. Time to reflect and evaluate. Time to praise and thank the Lord for His working in our lives. In the busy-ness of everyday life, sometimes it's nice to take that time.

"A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God."

--Charles Finney

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Florida Sun

Every once in awhile, travel affords some moments of reprieve and 'tourism'. This afternoon was such, as Daddy took us to the Gulf Coast to enjoy some sunshine. As various storm clouds came and went, it was amazing to watch the changing colors of the water -- from sky blue to a deep aqua. Our God's creation is truely breath-taking.

Smiles

The sand dollar hunt was sucessful this year!

Enjoying the pure white "powdered sugar" sand.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth HIS handiwork."
Psalm 19:1

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Fresh Vitamin C


What is better for recovery than a healthy dose of oranges?!...and how much 'fresher' can you get than picking them yourself?! [smile] After arriving in Orlando Friday evening, we were finally able to make a trip today to our favorite orchard and load up several bags -- thanks, Knuths!!!

So with all that good vitamin C, even our lingering coughs should be gone before long. (A big THANK YOU to ya'll who have been keeping our family health in prayer! I'd officially say we're on the mend.)

We also had our cousin, Nicole, fly down from Nebraska this week to join our family for the remainder of the trip -- a wonderful treat for us!!! [smile] She's such a good sport to put up with us in tight quarters! Love ya, Nicole!!!!


"Do you seek any further reward beyond that of having pleased God? In truth, you know not how great a good it is to please Him." John Chrysostom

Friday, February 23, 2007

Josiah

Happy 22nd Birthday Josiah!

We're so grateful you've been a part of our family for the past twenty-two years! God sure knew what He was doing when he sent you to be our first 'big brother'! We're thankful for your example of diligent hard work -- especially putting in those long hours as Dad's right-hand man on the job site -- while using the 'small minutes' to pursue your pilot's dream. And no matter how long the day, or hard the work, you still have time for a smile and a grateful "thank you". May the Lord continue to bless and prosper your way!!!

"Therefore...be steadfast, immovable,always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Cor. 15:58


And now for some little known facts about Josiah:
  • He was the smallest Wissmann baby at birth -- 6lb 13oz
  • He began his hunting exploits at a young age, catching a live mouse with his bare hands at age 6.
  • He prefers a cold (and I mean c-o-o-o-o-l-d) shower.
  • He achieved a 98% score on his latest aviation test (Instrument Flight Instructor)
  • He was bald till after he turned 2
  • He has his Ham radio license
  • He started singing bass -- and sandblasting for Dad's business -- at age 13
  • He committed his life to Christ at the age of 7 during Vacation Bible School.

Join us in saying "Happy Birthday" to the big brother of our crew?!?! [smile]

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Prayer Request

Hello from southern Georgia! Just wanted to post a quick update and ask for prayer. Over the weekend our family has been majorly struck with a very nasty 2+ day flu. While we were able to continue through each scheduled service, we're now starting to look more like a hospital ward than a ministry team!

Right now the 'sick-list' includes Dad, Mom, Rachel, and Charissa, with Ruth, Bethany, Andrew, Elizabeth, Matthias, and Alaythia in recovery. We're all trying to learn Stephen's secret as he's the only one who has mananged to stay healthy this whole trip!!

We are so thankful the Lord has provided a beautiful apartment nessled in the woods for us to spread out, rest, and heal over the next couple days. Thank you in advance for your prayers. Lord-willing, we'll be back on the road soon!!!

Hour at the Coast


Although the air was chilly at just over 50 degrees (I know, I know -- we've adapted to this southern climate way too quickly!), we did enjoy a short visit to the Atlantic Ocean on Monday. The hour passed quickly, but it was sufficient time to cover our toes in sand, fill several bowls with sea-shells, and once again be filled with awe at our Creator's handiwork!

"Oh Lord, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all...
This great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things..."
Psalm 104:25

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Week in Review

Has it already been a week since my last post!? It's about time for an update! [smile] We're eager to share with you how beautifully and specifically we have seen the Lord answer prayers this week. Through the struggles of unexpected changes and events, we again marvel at our God -- Who is able to do "exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think..." (Eph 3:20)

And we once again say, "Thank you!!" for all your prayers and outpouring of love to our family. Though I haven't been able to respond to each of you individually, your notes have ministered to our hearts in a very special way. We are so grateful for each of you!!!

So, for a picture review of our week.....

Once again the Gospel Express Prison Crusades were a highlight for our family. Not only were we able to see several first-time commitments to Christ and meet many believers behind bars -- but this year, the Lord also touched the hearts of a couple guards in the services. Saturday evening one of the volunteers glanced over to see tears streaming down the face of a prison security guard. We were able to visit with him afterwards, and pray the Lord will continue to work in his heart.

This was a huge confirmation to us personally, as that very morning we had knelt and laid all the uncertainties of the future before the Lord -- purposing to focus on the opportunities for ministry, trusting that "...all these things shall be added unto you." We were reminded that our job is to continue seeking Him first!

Andrew has returned to his place behind the banjo and guitar. As we prepared for our first prison service last Thursday, he picked up the guitar and started making it sing again -- and you can just imagine our delight!!! Taking it slow at first, by the weekend he was back to full strength on both instruments. We are so thankful for all the prayers -- he healed so much faster than even the doctor suspected! Oh, and does this bus look familiar?!

It was like a taste of home seeing our old bus pull into our South Carolina driveway early yesterday morning!! With many thanks to the Jeppeson family for their kindness in letting us finish out this trip using 'Ol faithful' -- and to Ragnar and Angela for making the long trek south -- we're ready to head on the road again!

Now this week we've been sharing a family seminar in Westminster, SC. The evenings have seemed to pass so quickly, with tonight being the last session. We have been blessed by the warm hospitality and fellowship!! Besides sharing music and Dad's teaching on the family, we've enjoyed leading activities for around thirty boys and girls.

Such happy, eager faces!

Again, thank you for your prayers! We are daily praising the Lord for His protection, His working in our lives -- and for ya'll (as they say in the south!)!!

Continued prayer:
  • Wisdom concerning a future bus
  • Dad's hip has been bothering him since the accident -- prayers for quick healing.
  • Health -- we're battling the flu bug again!
  • The Lord's work and presence as we share -- for His name to be exalted through this continuing saga!
  • Safe travels!! [smile]


"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father... that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height -- to know the

love of Christ

which passes knowledge."
Ephesians 3:14,17 &18

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Continuing On

Greetings to all from the state of South Carolina! The past couple days have been a blur -- after gathering our personal items from the wreck, we were picked up by a dear friend who drove us through the night to arrive here for the Gospel Express prison crusades yesterday afternoon.

We can hardly begin to say "THANK YOU" for the outpouring of love via phone, e-mail, and blog comments. They have been like a warm hug to our whole family -- lifting our spirits and encouraging us onward. God is so good, and we continue to marvel at His workings! We are exceedingly, exceedingly grateful!!!

To give a quick update, we are planning to finish this trip as scheduled. The Lord has provided local transportation and this beautiful home for our family to stay while we share in the SC area. We received a good report on Andrew's thumb -- he should be able to use it again within a couple weeks. Until then, Matthias is quickly picking up the banjo, and Stephen the guitar. Our first prison service is tonight.

Continued prayer needs:

  • Direction for transportation after Feb. 18th (when we'll be leaving South Carolina).
  • Wisdom concerning a new bus.
  • That the Lord would continue to be magnified through this situation as we share the photos and testimonies. Our prayer is that hearts would be drawn to Jesus Christ!
  • For the upcoming prison services, church services, and family seminar. (Learning to work around Andrew's injury!!!)

Again, THANK YOU for upholding our family. Our bumps and bruises seem to be healing quickly and we're looking forward to what the Lord has ahead in the coming days!

"Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted amoung the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!"
Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Our Merciful God!!!!

Last night as I quickly posted "Open-air" I turned to Psalms for a verse to tie my thoughts together. Little did I know that less than 12 hours later I would stand in utter amazement at their truth -- "Let God be Magnified!"



This morning around 7:15 we were all cuddled in our beds, heading down the road in southern Mississippi. The steady rhythm of the bus is a favorite early morning sensation -- enjoying the time before the front of the bus fills with tousled heads hungry for breakfast.

Andrew was our driver for the morning, and I teased him about being the early bird before snuggling back into my sleeping bag. After about 20 miles of smooth 70mph interstate, everything suddenly changed. While the details are still a little fuzzy, it seems a semi pulled onto the road just a short distance ahead of us. By the time we noticed the speed difference it was too late. We slammed into it, ripping off the front-right side of our bus.

What resulted is a string of miracles that could probably equal my longest post ever.....I'll try to recount with pictures and details ---


Andrew was not thrown from his seat, and was able to swerve in time to avoid hitting the truck straight on. I was sleeping directly behind him, and was thrown up and over his seat onto the steering wheel. I'm sure it was God's hand that kept us both from flying through the broken windshield.



Ruth also was thrown from her bed (she slept in the front/right corner of the bus), but was stopped mid-air by the brace between the two front windows. Aside from a scrape on her arm, she's not harmed.

Nathanael was the third one sleeping in the front section. Just behind him (on the fridge) we keep all our heavy cooking pots, blender, etc.... Amazingly, he stayed in his bed, but all the kitchen-wares flew over him and landed in what used to be the aisle. Except for a few spilled grits/cereal in his hair, he wasn't touched.


Meanwhile, in the middle of the bus, the bunks had collapsed on each other because of the impact and falling walls. Once again -- by God's mercy, both bottom bunks 'happened to' be empty -- Andrew was driving, and Alaythia, previously having a bad dream had moved to snuggle with Hannah on an upper bunk. Besides a few bruises, nobody was hurt.

And the back room held yet another miracle. While Mom ended up in the hallway, and Dad fell into a corner, little Charissa was whisked off the big bed where she'd been sleeping. A pillow flew in front of her, cushioning her impact on the wall --then slid down underneath while a second pillow landed beside her. The bed frame shifted, landing only inches away. But she is perfectly fine.

All the instruments and sound equipment are all okay.


Almost as fast as we realized what had happened, a host of truck drivers and rescue workers were on the scene helping us get out and gather a few necessities (blankets!). I heard multiple times, "You are so lucky -- I can't believe no one was hurt in this!"

But as we shared with them -- it isn't luck at all. We serve such an incredibly merciful God Who is in control of all situations. He carried that crockpot over Nathanael's head. He placed that pillow under Charissa. He blocked us from sailing out the front windshield en-motion.

His mercy is beyond understanding.


"Thank you" seems a trite way to express our gratefulness to those of you who pray for our family's safety. We have never seen the Lord's protection as we did today. We thought of so many of you as we stood around marveling at the miracle around us.

Please do continue to pray as this has placed many uncertainties into the days ahead. We have been brought to a local Baptist church this afternoon, where they have been going out of their way to provide hospitality -- showers, pizza, and a large van to use for errands. And a friend is currently bringing us a motorhome from South Carolina for transportation to the upcoming prison ministry.

Specifically, we ask prayer for --

  • Wisdom concerning the rest of this trip: transportation, lodging, etc... (We have over a month left on this trip.)
  • Andrew did fracture his 'banjo thumb' -- pray for quick healing and creativity in how to work around that, as he provides much of our instrumentation.
  • Future transportation -- new bus?!
  • A quick settlement with the insurance companies -- no legal battles.
  • As this goes on the local news here in Mississippi, we pray the Lord would be glorified. (The newspaper woman is a believer!)

Again, THANK YOU for your prayers!!! We will endeavor to keep you updated with the latest developments.

"...Let God be magnified!!"
Psalm 70:4

Monday, February 05, 2007

Open-air

Tonight, in New Orleans, we shared our first outdoor service of the year -- Brr-r-r-r-r! The temps may have been chilly (I won't call it 'cold' in consideration to our northern friends), but we found the fellowship warm. [smile]

And since the guys spent several days here last year with our church group, we were glad for the opportunity to renew friendships and see the ongoing work projects. The devastation of hurricane Katrina continues to bring many opportunities for outreach in the area.


"Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
And let those who love Your salvation say continually,
"Let God be magnified!"
Psalm 70:4

Friday, February 02, 2007

Mexico

The past two days, we have had the privilege of meeting world-changers. No -- you've never heard their names lauded on TV or read their names in the newspapers, and if you met them on the street, you'd never know the impact they are making.

It may seem small.

But sometimes a hug means the world to a child -- knowing somebody loves them. And if they are pointed to their heavenly Father at the same time, eternity might be changed.

Or maybe it is a few meals for a hungry family, while at the same time sharing with them the Bread of Life; again, eternity might be changed.

Handing out water, telling them of the Living Water -- that they, too, might drink from the fountain, and never thirst again. Eternity is being changed.

Maybe an outfit for a child. A home for an orphan. A prayer for a needy person. Though it may seem small compared to the needs of the world, the two ministries we've had the privilege of being with the past two days have been changing their world -- one life at a time.

Now for the "oodles of pictures" that were promised [grin]:

Oh, the precious faces!

Inviting the village people to an outdoor meeting.

Our Grandpa helping pass out candy and food, which was greeted with echoes of "Gracias."

Singing for the outdoor meeting on the beach.

The fields -- indeed, white unto harvest

Daddy preaching through an interpreter.

Prayer warriors, praying for the people while the Word of Life is being shared.

Elizabeth handing out treats to the children.

Ruth joining in prayer for a needy Mexican lady.

Andrew handing out water.

Helping meet practical needs.

Singing for the orphanage -- what bright, joyful faces!

And finally, listening to the miraculous stories of God's leading and provision from the director of the orphanage.
Changed lives -- for eternity!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Coming Soon....

Just wanted to post a quick update -- it's been a full week and we have oodles of pictures and stories to share from our time in Texas and Mexico. Hopefully I'll be posting them soon. We're so grateful for your prayers! Stay tuned....


"But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful...

...And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
Colossians 3:14,15, & 17

Now it's my turn....


Bethany, Bethany, Bethany!!! Well, as you have made a surprise post on 'my' blog yesterday, I guess it's only fitting to reply with a post about you?!? [smile]

I had so much fun with you the other day -- dragging the seven garbage bags of laundry into the laundry mat, stuffing the washers/dryers, and folding the piles and piles of the now-clean-smelling clothes (admist curious glances - "What would two young girls be doing with SO MUCH laundry?!?!").

And I once again realized how much you bless our family by your consistant and tireless serving. So here's a sisterly 'thanks'!! I love you, too! [smile]

:: :: :: :: :: :: ::

A huge thank you, also, to all of you who left me a comment -- it was such a special joy to hear from you. I treasure the joys of friendship with many of you! I'm looking forward what the Lord has in store for the coming year (and hope to live up to your many kind words)! God is so merciful!
Oh, and just maybe I'll give peanut butter another try! [smile]