Monday, August 27, 2007

Unique-ness

One of our more unique services: drive in!
And yes, after each song -- they honked.

What a special way to spend a beautiful Sunday evening!

"Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth." Psalm 57:11

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Across the Miles

Once again this week the iron gates latched behind us as we followed the guard through the quiet courtyard to the prison chapel, preparing for an evening with around 50-60 inmates. As Bethany has already written the many of the details of the evening, please check out her post.

As we have been blessed to visit this prison three times in the past year or so, it was great to see many familiar faces. Men who rushed up to us telling us of their prayers directly after our accident. Men smiling and nodding in anticipation of the music and the Word. And other men -- new faces -- quietly stooped in their seats, not sure what to expect.

We were in earnest prayer, too -- ourselves not knowing what to expect. Not only were our numbers limited by the 18+ age rule but having Josiah away stretched us even further!

But once again we were reminded that we serve a God so much bigger than our human limitations! So much mightier than our feeble efforts. And so far above our hopes.

As the evening came to a close and Dad shared the gospel message, eight men prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. There was a sweet spirit in the room as they prayed; sincerity written on their faces.

We thank the Lord for the local chaplain who labors to share the Word and disciple these men. May these seeds that have been planted continue to grow and bear fruit!


"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."
Isaiah 55:10-11


And speaking of fruit, the past two days we've been at one of our all-time favorite places....Grandpa and Grandma's house! Amidst their ever fruitful and plenteous garden, we've been picking/pulling fresh carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, and a host of other produce. We love you both bigger!

"For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
Isaiah 55:12

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Family Camp II

This morning concluded the week of Family Camp we've been experiencing the past days. Closing out with a few powerful testimonies of the Lord's working in the hearts of families -- and fellowship over a delicious meal -- it was time to say goodbyes.

With many answers to prayer over the course of the week, we're grateful for the opportunity to get to know the families in attendence -- and enjoy some family fun and recreation ourselves. It was a full few days.

Each morning began with breakfast and family devotions. Followed by chapel, which turned out to be an encouraging time of sharing and learning from eachother. Father/Son and Mother/Daughter sessions completed the morning, and then left the afternoons for family time taking in the camp's vast variety of activities. Each day concluded with a keynote session of special music and teaching. Oh yes, and late night snacks. [smile]

Our theme for the week was entitled, "Equiping Families for Ministry". As we explored the many opportunities for serving together as a family, we have been personally encouraged to seek the Lord and remain faithful where He has called. As a song we've recently started to sing for our 'warm-ups' states:

"Let my life be a light.."

Rachel and Ruth led the large session in learning Colossians 3:14-17.
Gotta love those actions!

Mom shares for a mother/daughter session.

We were so grateful for the opportunity to work with our dear friends, the Bontrager family.

Nathanael enjoyed the huge trampoline/bungee cords.

Enjoying the treat of an afternoon clear and warm enough to take in the water activities.

"Above all things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which ye are called in one body. And be ye thankful." Col. 3:14-15

Monday, August 20, 2007

Family Camp

Camp has officially begun! Thankfully, our health is on the mend and we have arrived in northeastern Iowa -- land of trees, towering bluffs, and the Mississippi river.

And its also home to Village Creek Bible Camp where sixteen families have gathered for a time of encouragement and fellowship. We'd appreciate your prayers these next few days as we study and learn together. Daddy will be teaching during the evening sessions and various ones of us will be pitching in; sharing and helping with other activities -- from Andrew leading music to Mom and the older girls teaching Bible verses and special mother/daughter sessions. Our desire is that this week would be a time of both refreshing and vision-sharing.

Thank you for joining us in this prayer! We will look forward to sharing testimonies and pictures in the upcoming days!


"The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ruth

Happy 24th Birthday Ruth!

Ruth, what a joy you are to our home! From first thing in the morning, when you fill the kitchen with the smells of your fantastic cooking -- to the quiet evenings when you read stories to the younger ones or take refreshing walks. Your gentle servant's heart touches ours in so many ways!

How many, many memories I have of us eagerly working together on our various and crazy brainstorms -- from our very own kids club, patriotic parade, and 'secret' choir (with Josiah, Bethany, Andrew and Elizabeth as our 'kids'), to now working together on PBC Camp, children's seminars, and hospitality. You have so faithfully developed the talents and skills the Lord has given you and have been a blessing to so many! May the Lord continue to bless and guide you as you so radiantly serve Him! We love you dearly!!

Little known facts about Ruth --

  • broke her arm at age 8 -- by falling off a horse.
  • is the only one of the Wissmann girls to have a hair permanent.
  • as a little girl, her hero was Nadia, the Romanian gymnist.
  • is the only daughter to sandblast for Dad's company.
  • has never had a cavity
  • used to love jump-roping -- once getting up to 400 times without tripping (or wearing out!)
  • played banjo for a few concerts before Andrew decided to start playing
  • is consistantly the first one up and going every morning
  • she planned and served 230+ meals in our kitchen this July 4th.

"Delight yourself in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Will you join us in wishing Ruth a very wonderful birthday!?!

27 years ago...

...they pledged their lives to God and eachother.

Happy Anniversary, Dad and Mom!
"This was the Lord's doing; It is marvelous in our eyes."
Psalm 118:23

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Seeing spots


Yes, you heard correctly. Spots -- and plenty of them! This week various family members ...*ahem, Andrew Susanna, and Charissa* ...have been breaking out in what we suspect may be a form of the measles. There's just never a dull moment around here!

For all our Wisconsin friends -- we've decided to postpone our trip to Black River Falls and Hilbert in the best interests of not spreading our malady around the countryside. We will greatly miss seeing all of you and hope to re-schedule in the near future.

We'd also appreciate prayers for quick healing -- and protection against a full-blown Wissmann family epidemic! Stay tuned...

"O God, You are my God,
Earnestly I seek You;
My soul longs for You,
in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water...
Because You are my help,
I sing in the shadow of Your wings."
Psalm 63:1,2,& 7

Monday, August 13, 2007

Our Daily Challenge




"Spirit filled souls are
ablaze
for God. They love with a love that glows. They serve with a faith that kindles. They serve with a devotion that consumes. They hate sin with fierceness that burns. They rejoice with a joy that radiates. Love is perfected in the fire of God."
--Samuel Chadwick










"If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light." Luke 11:36

Home-time Happenings

This week has taken wings and flown without blog posts to document the happenings. It's been a season of home-time with special company, music practice (praise the Lord for a new song!), working the Portablast business, milking at the dairy, sewing, and the Seward County Fair. Here's a quick glimpse of one of our highlights -- our lil' mutton buster....


Waiting in line with 'big brother'.

Out of the shoot...

...and hanging on for all she's worth!

But the sheep decided it was time to dump the unwanted passenger!

Oh, well! All you can do is your best -- then smile!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Family Bluegrass

The bus once again pulled into Seward this afternoon -- after a full weekend of travel. And this time the miles amounted to more than we had planned. Upon receiving the news that Mom's uncle had passed away, we detoured our northern trip via our grandparent's house for a day spent with family. Again we were reminded -- life is so short.

Then, after giving our big goodbye hugs (love ya, Grandpa & Grandma!), we turned our hearts northward for the Lake Itasca Family Bluegrass Festival. And what an encouragement! Our dear friends, the Berge family, have done a wonderful job organizing and making this event possible. We were refreshed by the old-time atmosphere, cool weather, great 'live' music, and Christian fellowship. The time just flew too fast!




"Wherever you are, be all there.
Live to the hilt every situation
you believe to be the will of God."
Jim Elliot

Mark your calenders for the first weekend of August 2008! You will be blessed!