Fruit Basket and Grocery Boxes

Wednesday, December 13

Fruit basket and grocery box packing was finished when we arrived at church to pick up the one we were delivering. Everyone was told to arrive between 2:30 pm and 9:00 pm to pick up the item they were delivering.

Fruit baskets were done in half and full pecks.

Others were also arriving or finding the name of the person to whom they were delivering a Christmas gift from our church family.

There were snacks for the helpers.

These three young helpers were enjoying their snack next to a window.

Large grocery boxes – many for families in our church and community whose names were handed in to the committee. Maybe because of the death of a family member or another situation or hardship.

Committee table

Some people received poinsettias. I think they went to special church workers.

This was the report from the committee in yesterday’s church bulletin along with a thank you to those who donated money, baked cookies, packed and delivered the following items:

  • 20 poinsettias
  • 26 one-peck fruit baskets
  • 99 half-peck fruit baskets
  • 32 grocery boxes


We delivered our fruit basket to Harold Nissley whose wife died in August. He also had some medical issues in the past few months. We had a great visit with him. He lives in an apartment at Landis Homes. It was fun to learn that his passion is Trans World Radio – and because of that he has several books on how God is working in the lives of people around the world. I also learned that he is a cousin to my aunt Hazel.

After visiting him, we went to the other end of the campus to visit Cerwin’s Uncle John Sauder. He was reading the Bible when we entered his room – as he often is. However, on this day he said he wasn’t feeling like the words were “alive” – and just before we arrived he told God, he needed some encouragement. Then we knocked on the door. 🙂

I hope we brought him some encouragement. He turned 102 on Saturday, December 16. He is amazing.

I want to grow old like him.

What is Important to You?

I enjoyed speaking to a group of ladies at Womelsdorf Mennonite Church on Tuesday morning, December 12. I took this picture while waiting for the ladies to arrive. I needed to trust my GPS, so made sure I had plenty of time. I didn’t have any issues so arrived early – about ten minutes before anyone else.

The ladies are studying “The 5 Love Languages” book by Gary Chapman. I was assigned the 6th chapter – Love Language #3 Receiving Gifts.

I chose three points that stood out to me in the chapter:

  1. What is Important to You?
  2. Your Attitude Matters
  3. Listen Carefully

My love language involves time and not gifts – so it was challenging to teach this subject.

The first point got my attention the most. 

If I had to move to a small apartment and could only take a few things with me, what would I take?

  1. Obviously I would take my photos and backup hard drives that store all my digital pictures – which means I would need a laptop. 🙂
  2. I would take the old milk can that came from my parents farm – the one my dad and step-mother had painted for me as a Christmas gift many years ago. (My siblings also received one.) The scene is of the farm as it looked when we were growing up.
  3. I would take the oil lamp that my mother gave me for my 30th birthday – just five weeks before she died.

I asked Cerwin what he would take. He had a very short list – His Browning 300 short mag rifle – a gift to him for his 60th birthday. 🙂 I expect he would find a few more things, but it is without question the best gift he ever received.

What is important to you? What would you take with you if you had to downsize?

Under point number two, I emphasized that the greatest gift you can give your children is a home filled with harmony. I learned from my friend Penny (who grew up in the occult and witchcraft and is now serving the Lord) that Satan has a difficult time penetrating a home where a husband and wife are in harmony.

Listen – Listen to your husband, children, and friends. Do you know their heart? Do you know their hopes and dreams? If you were buying a gift, do you know what is important to them?


I rarely accept teaching assignments anymore. It is exhausting for me, but It is good for my soul now and then.

White Oak Church Picnic

Sunday Evening, September 17

Our Sunday school class was in charge of setting up the food tables this year.

The classes rotate in overseeing this job.

It looks a bit easier than it is, because I didn’t get a photo of everyone putting all the chairs on a rack. This is the youth group Sunday school class.

We were finished about half an hour early with some time to visit until the others arrived.

We tried to help divide the arriving hot food and salads equally between three rows of tables.

The dessert was on another set of tables.

5:00 – Time to gather for prayer

I think I remember that there were 250 people.

The line of people coming into the fellowship hall.

It was a nice, relaxing evening of fellowship.

Bible School – Wednesday

July 12

The scene as we arrived at church on the Wednesday evening of Bible school.

I took a few more pictures in the hallways – that I missed the night before.

Pictures of the sanctuary from the balcony – that I missed the night before.

Teachers and students entering the narthex to go to the sanctuary.

Gordon leading singing

Kyle – one of the superintendents – talking about the feature animal – the narwhal.

Spike the narwhal conveys the importance of having a firm foundation.

The memory verse for the week.

Our grandson Jared read the scripture and prayed for the evening program.

I noticed our granddaughter Abby holding Anthony in the nursery class.

Story time was again narrated by Joanna.

Jesse was frantically cleaning and preparing for the arrival of his sister.

Joanna was trying to help him relax and prepare for her visit.

Here they come down the center aisle – the bush pilot and Jesse’s sister.

It was a bit awkward at first, but they gradually got acquainted again. She began by asking him what he had been doing and asked about the mounted fish on his wall.

Yep, he’s describing a fish he caught.

He was a bit puzzled by her kindness and friendliness. That is not how he remembered her. She began by telling him about her new relationship with the Lord.

The treasure hunters are back, and hid while waiting for the cabin dwellers to leave.

I am sorry to tell you that this was the last night it suited us to attend, so I can’t tell you the end of the story. 🙂 Although I asked Joanna about it later that week, and she said the only treasure they found under the cabin were Russian Bibles.

Going to their class rooms.

Dustan Martin taught the adult class and gave us a very well researched lesson on the history of the Bible through the generations and many translations. I knew some of the stories, but it was good to be reminded of the dangers people faced when they tried to translate the Bible into English.

It was a beautiful drive home from Bible school – and we only have two miles. 🙂

Thank you everyone who worked and studied diligently to make Bible school a success.

Bible School – Tuesday

Tuesday, July 11

Operation Arctic – Exploring the Coolest Book on the Planet.

It was interesting to see the exterior to this room – our usual Sunday school room.

We arrived early, so I walked around the hallway on the first level – I did not go to the basement rooms.

Rooms and door entrances were decorated to look like cabins, or with arctic animals and arctic landscape.

By the time I arrived back at the front of the church, the teachers and students were gathering.

I noticed these three when I stepped through the door to the balcony, and thought – how neat we have a few street kids tonight – then I recognized them as three of our young people dressed up for “story time.” 🙂

The pulpit area and sanctuary looked quite different than usual.

Gordon led singing as students and teachers arrived in the sanctuary.

Dave – a superintendent – welcomed everyone and prepared us for the evening.

The animal feature on this night was the Artic Hare.

The Bible verse for the week.

Opening devotions. If I remember correctly this was Brayden.

Joanna was the narrator for story time.

She is telling Jesse to wake up!

We were surprised to discover that there was someone in the sleeping bag. He rolled down the steps when Joanna startled him. 🙂

He was kind of a hermit living alone in an arctic cabin.

He and the narrator had a bit of a dialog about his lifestyle.

About this time the three young people who were on the balcony with me entered the scene as three British explorers searching for treasure that was supposed to be left behind by a plane wreck.

After some discussion and searching maps, they discovered that Jesse’s cabin was built on top of the treasure.

After they left to think about what to do, the bush pilot arrived with a letter for Jesse.

Jesse (not his stage name – but I don’t remember that) was surprised to receive a letter from his sister saying that she was coming to visit. He was not pleased about that possibility…

…to be continued tomorrow night.

Singing the prayer song before going to their classes.

Cerwin and I enjoyed the adult class where Larry Rohrer taught a challenging lesson about the impact of the Bible in the world. (This is about half of the class. I didn’t photograph the right side of the aisle.)

We were especially interested in this lesson, because Larry asked to meet with us to hear about the impact of Transport For Christ. We took him and Carol to the International Office and asked each staff person to have a favorite story written down for him.

One of the facts that impacted me was that there are currently about seven and a half billion people living on earth and the only way each of those people will hear the truth of the gospel is if someone tells them or gives them a Bible.

If you want to watch something interesting and challenging, go to and watch the population grow.

Blessing Our Preachers – Part 9

Thursday Evening, June 29

This time it was the youngest of our preachers that we chose to bless by taking his family to Brickerville House Restaurant.

Jon and Keri Cassel and their family are on the left. (left to right) Emma, Jon, Aubrey, Austin, Keri and Ethan. They chose  Tyson and Adrienne Snyder as the family they would like to have supper with and learn to know better.

The Snyders are on the left in this picture: Dontae, Adrienne, Casen, and Tyson. It was so nice to have the Garden Room to ourselves. The children had fun playing while we ate and visited.

Keri and I had the coconut cake and decided it was extremely light and delicious.

Aubrey read to the other children in a corner of the room.


It almost makes us sad to come to the end of blessing our preachers this year. I think we were the ones who were the most blessed.


If this is the first time you are reading about the occasion for blessing our preachers in 2017, go to the top of this post and enter the word “preachers” in the search field on the top right, then hit enter. You will see the other eight times we took a preacher and his wife or family out to eat – and who they chose to be with us for supper.

Blessing Our Preachers – Part 8

Tuesday Evening, June 6

I took a few pictures of my surrounding area as I waited for Cerwin to bring our guests to the table at Brickerville House Restaurant.

This time we enjoyed an evening with Dave and Shawn (next to Cerwin) and the family from church they wanted to get to know better – Glendon, Denise and their son Brayden. Glendon and Denise also have two young daughters who were enjoying an evening with cousins.

David is our Elder-In-Charge. He and Shawn have a married son and daughter, two daughters at home, and a grandson.

We had a great evening getting to know each person better. Our time ended rather soberly when, close to the end of our visit, we were notified that Alice, a church member who was in the hospital, had taken a turn for the worse.

We stopped to pray and Dave and Shawn left to call the family. We talked a bit longer with Glendon and Denise before heading home.

PS: Alice Bross is doing better, but her health is still a bit fragile. She and her family would appreciate your prayers.


If this is the first time you are reading about our church congregation’s involvement in blessing our preachers in 2017 – go to the top of this post where it says “search”, enter the word preachers and hit enter to read about our previous seven restaurant experiences.

Blessing Our Preachers – Part 7

Wednesday Evening, May 24

This time we were blessing Ron and Brenda Copenhaver (next to Cerwin) and they invited Derrick and Linda Negely as a couple from church that they would like to get to know better. We invited the Negley’s to bring their children. They have eight children (and expect a new one in July). They decided to only bring Mason, Halie, and Pearce. Linda’s parents (Dale and Lucille) kept some of the others.

We had a good time getting to know everyone a bit better and enjoyed a great setting as the only people in the Garden Room of Brickerville House Restaurant.

Linda’s spinach pie.

Someone’s dessert


If this is the first time you are reading about our church congregation’s involvement in blessing our preachers in 2017 – go to the top of this post where it says “search”, enter the word preacher and hit enter to read about our previous six restaurant experiences.

Blessing Our Preachers – Part 6

Tuesday Evening, May 2

What a delight to have supper with another one of our preachers – Merv Groff – second from left and his wife, Rachel. They chose Ed and Joy Weaver and their children, Sophia, Edward, and baby Vivian as the family from church that they would like to get to know better.

We learned a bit more about bulk food distribution (Merv works for Dutch Valley Food Distributors) and Ed is COO/Candy & Snacks Buyer for Weaver Nut Company. I am not sure of Merv’s job title, but I remember him saying that he enjoys bringing satisfaction to a customer who is frustrated about something.

Merv loved connecting with Sophia, who is a delightful little girl, and making her laugh. At one point she said to her parents, “This was such a fun way to end the day.”

I agree with her.

It was also a delicious way to end the day.


If this is the first time that you are reading about our church congregation’s involvement in blessing our preachers in 2017 – go to the top of this post where it says “search”, enter the word preacher and hit enter to read about our previous five restaurant experiences.

Helping a Church Member

Tuesday, April 18

Cerwin took these pictures with his cell phone.

Several from our Sunday school class and church helped prepare this small farm for sale.

Harold’s wife, Doris, died a few months ago, and he is not doing well emotionally, and needed help.

I was not able to be there, and Cerwin said these few pictures do not depict the number of friends who spent the day helping.

Pray for Harold and his family – and those at church who are responsible for helping them.