Gettysburg Make A Wish

Sunday, May 7

Jesse and Jared in the bottom sleeper of the chapel tractor.

They were with us over night – because their parents were chaperons for Manheim Central’s Post Prom – all night at a rec center.

I always enjoy this view of the Susquehanna just before we get on Route 30 west.

It was a rainy cool morning.

However, I could see the sun trying to break through the clouds in the rearview mirror.

Helping grandpa set up the steps to the chapel.

Jesse is already scoping out the kids activities.

Jesse proving that he fits into a storage box under the chapel – and Jared being tempted to shut the door. 🙂

As soon as we were set up, the boys went to the ticket table to see how much it cost to play on the obstacle course.

$10.00 for the day to play on or ride any of the activities. Grandpa thought that was a good deal. 🙂

Jared hurrying through the course.


Climbing the wall

By the end of the day Jared definitely got his $10 worth on this. Jesse probably got $40 worth out of his $10 payment. We had to call him in for the morning service and remind him it was time for lunch. After each activity he was back to going through the course. 🙂

These two came early to distribute the advertisements for the chapel service at 11:00 AM.

One of my set up jobs is putting out our display of books and literature – in the living quarters and in the chapel area.

Outside there were lots of signs directing drivers to the correct street and parking lot.

There were several “creatures” walking the lot to entertain the children – especially the Make A Wish children. I think this costume was new, because there were lots of yellow feathers blowing around the grounds during the afternoon. 🙂

Bill Menges – right – York Adams Chapter contact person for TFC helps us at this event and enjoys talking to visitors.

Cerwin and Bill conducted the fifteen-minute devotional.

I was surprised when this man came to the chapel and greeted me by saying my name.

He looked vaguely familiar, but I did not recognize him until he said his name – Joe Vena. I hadn’t seen him since the mid-eighties when he attended TFC functions.

What fun to catch up on his life. He moved to Gettysburg from New Jersey in recent years.

The beginning of the convoy.

I tried to take a picture of every truck and had 140 pictures, so expect there were about that many that left the Gettysburg Harley-Davidson lot.

I will give you just a sampling so you don’t have to look through all 140 vehicles. 🙂

Joe and Cerwin watching the parade.

We are parked in among the activities for the day so do not go out on this parade.

There was a display of race cars behind the chapel.

I was in the living quarters when I heard the beginning of the return of the trucks.

We had a nice group of visitors to the chapel.

Because of the cool, drizzly weather we couldn’t keep the door open or take a table  display outside the chapel. We get to talk to a lot more people when we can be outside the chapel.

Crossing the Susquehanna on our way home. The river was high due to recent rains.


It was another good day of representing the Gospel of Jesus Christ at Make A Wish.

Touch A Truck

Saturday, May 6

I usually travel in the rig when we take the chapel to events, but on this day I wanted to leave the show early to take pictures of our local prom (I will post those tomorrow night), so went to the corner of RTS 501 and 322 at Brickerville to wait for Cerwin.

Since this event wasn’t far away, I didn’t mind driving by myself – following him through the towns and…

…countryside on the way to Richland.

After getting set up, I walked around to get a few pictures before the lot filled up with other vehicles.

Before long there were all kinds of trucks, tractors, cars, and buses for the parents and children to enjoy.

By 10:00 AM children and parents began arriving.

The attendance was lower than usual because of the cool, drizzly day.

We had a steady stream of visitors to the chapel.

Because we were not far from the the Flying J Travel Plaza, I-78, Exit 10 (PA 645), many had seen the outside of that chapel, but they had never been inside one.

One thing we hear almost every time we take a chapel to a truck show or church is, “Oh, wow” when they step inside. This day was no different.

This event is a fundraiser for Richland Community Library. Their goal was to raise $7,500 to be used for children and adult programs at the library. Most of that is raised by sponsorships. There is also food and a few other things to buy.

Children love to be lifted into the big trucks and tractors.

Of course the bigger children can climb in themselves.

I think someone noticed that I was taking his picture. 🙂

This was an impressive-looking man lift.

About noon time I heard music and singing – and thought it was recorded, then saw the source.

He had to be cold – and slightly wet – because by the time he was in the bucket lift, it was beginning to rain.

I do not know who he was but he sounded very professional.

He was singing our National Anthem when I took this picture.

The activities were supposed to last until 2:00 PM, but it was raining fairly heavy by 1:00 PM, so everyone closed down their stands and removed their vehicles.


It is always fun to take the chapel here – even on cold, rainy days.

Pembroke, New York, Part 2 & Traveling Home

After breakfast the men began preparing the chapel for removal from the truck stop.

Dwayne removed the lettering.

Cerwin, Sam and Dan removed the lattice work, lights, and steps.

When coming out of the truck stop I noticed that the men were praying. I got there just as they finished and said, “Keep praying.” 🙂 It was difficult for them to remain serious.

Dwayne stayed to wait for the man who was coming for the trailer – and removed or painted over all the lettering.

Later in the day we received a message from him that the chapel was gone.

There were lots of reminders along the road and in the fields of the heavy rain we experienced the day before.

We had a great time traveling, visiting, and remembering our time in Pembroke.

Traveling to Pembroke, New York

Thursday, April 20

It was a cloudy, rainy morning when Cerwin, Sam Rittenhouse, Dan Witwer, and I began our six hour drive to Pembroke, New York.

At times it was a bit foggy.

Other times it was just cloudy.

When I turned around to talk to Dan and Sam, I saw the headlights of a big rig behind them, but till I got my camera, the truck was passing us.

Dan is TFC’s Vice President of Staff Development and Sam is Assistant Director of Pastoral Care for Chaplains. The purpose for this trip was to prepare the chapel to be removed from the truck stop.

Along the way we discussed some of the memories of taking the chapel to the Buffalo area and some of the experiences of it being there for the past twenty-three years.

We took them to our favorite restaurant on this route.

Outside the restaurant

The closer we got to Pembroke the more it rained.

Because of the heavy rain, I sat inside the restaurant while the men went inside the chapel and soon decided to wait until morning to remove the lettering, skirting and steps so the trailer could be pulled away.

The person who bought the rig (for restoration) had already come for the tractor.

I took this picture through our motel window.

There was a preplanned dinner in the truck stop to celebrate the ministry that had happened at this truck stop for the past 23 years. Kathy (right) brought her dad, retired chaplain Earl Carlson (left) who was the chaplain when the rig was brought here. Next to Earl (clockwise) Sam Rittenhouse, Laurie and Jack McMullen, Dwayne Johnson (who also drove through a lot of rain – from Michigan), Dan Witwer, Cerwin, and Kathy.

Earl, Sam, Laurie, and Jack. Jack kept the chapel open several days a week in recent years.

Dwayne, Dan, Cerwin, and Kathy.

Cerwin, Earl and Sam. Earl is 92 years old and doing fairly well.

We were surprised to look up and see this huge dog being brought into the restaurant by the driver of an escort car – for an oversized load. He looked like a pony. 🙂

He slept on the floor while his owner ate supper. Apparently he had permission to be here, because nobody seemed surprised to see him.

Dan gave Jack a gift in honor of his service to TFC at this truck stop.

He gave Earl two plaques that had been inside the chapel.

I enjoyed getting to know Kathy. She is a train engineer.

It was fun for us and Earl that several staff members and truckers who remembered when he was chaplain stopped by our table.

We treasured the time we got to spend with Earl and hear stories from when he was a fulltime chaplain.

TFC York-Adams Chapter Banquet

Tuesday Evening, April 8 – Union Fire & Hose Company, Dover, PA

We showed a slide program of truck rallies and ministry announcements as people gathered and ate their meal.

Bill Menges, York-Adams Contact Person, welcomed everyone.

He wanted to get several young people involved in the program, and asked this young girl to open with The Lord’s Prayer

This young man repeated the Pledge of Allegiance.

We started with an appetizer of fruit.

The meal was prepared and served by the Fire Company Auxiliary.

Preparing for the featured music program.

Set Free Bluegrass Gospel blessed us with a fabulous concert.

Martha Martin shared about her journey from tragedy to grace. She talked a bit about adjusting to having a truck driver for a husband – and then the day her husband and two boys were killed in a trucking accident – on the screen behind them.

She and their oldest daughter had considered going along on the trip, but Martha was pregnant with another daughter and there was a lot of garden work to do so they decided to stay home.

God blessed her with another husband – also a trucker – and two more daughters.

Bill shared a spiritual challenge by comparing a road atlas, GPS, and the Bible.

Cerwin gave a ministry update.

Set Free gave a closing concert.

We were blessed.

Spring Cleanup at TFC Headquarters

Saturday morning, April 1

The first two pictures are borrowed from Inge’s blog.

Dan Witwer, Vice President of Staff Development, organized some friends and TFC staff to do spring cleanup on the grounds.

If you would like to see the other people and pictures, go to Inge’s blog:

Before everyone went home, they stopped in to see the new chapel which is under construction. Cerwin took this picture with his cell phone.


Cerwin said the grounds look so much better.

TFC Lancaster Chapter Dinner Concert

Saturday Evening, March 25

Gene Gehman (left) – MC for the evening. Chaplain Joe Matthews (right) – praying for the meal and evening program.

Yoder’s does a fabulous job of cooking and serving the meal.

I haven’t received the exact count, but we were prepared for 625 people. There were probably a few less than that because I noticed a few empty seats.

Inge took this picture of us.

I returned the favor by taking a picture of her and Howard Jones, TFC President Emeritus.

Dessert was shoofly and peanut butter pie – with ice cream.

Look who sat across the table from me. Our daughter Deb was holding Bryan and Leslie’s little guy – our grandnephew, Caleb. His momma was just to the left of the photo.

The Mullet Family blessed us with songs and testimonies of their strong faith in Jesus Christ – even through struggle and pain.

Their son died as a teenager when his body rejected a second heart transplant. His first transplant was given to him as a young child. The daughter on the right also lives with a transplanted heart and is doing well.

The young girls did a cute song about wining – which included motions and singing, “Waa, Waa, Waa.” 🙂

Dan Witwer gave the ministry update. He is TFC’s Vice President of Staff Development.

Cerwin shared a bit about chapel construction before the evening offering.

The Mullett’s closed the evening with another half hour of singing and testimony. You could have heard a pin drop as he shared about the time their son died.

We were blessed and received many positive comments concerning the evening.

TFC’s Lancaster Chapter Prayer Breakfast

Saturday morning, February 18.

We left the house about 6:45 and drove toward a beautiful sunrise.

There was beauty everywhere as we drove from Brickerville to New Holland on RT 322.

Then as we turned off of 322 we were greeted by this beautiful row of trees and bushes.

I love seeing bare trees on a horizon.

Ken, Chapter Contact Person, opened with a short devotional challenge.

Cerwin shared his challenge on The Great Commission.

After he finished, I shared excerpts from a few letters from our staff chaplains to add to Cerwin’s Great Commission challenge.

Then we enjoyed a delicious breakfast and a time of visiting.

We were in the area of “Team Mennonites” and enjoyed seeing several buggies.

Their buggies are black, so we knew they weren’t Amish.


It was a good morning.

Planning a Truck Rally & Dinner Concert

Sunday, January 8

The Pennsylvania Truck Rally Committee met on Sunday afternoon to fine-tune details for this year’s rally on Saturday, June 24.

There were lots of good ideas for continuing to make it a special day to honor the drivers and their family.

Our son Jere and his wife, Kristen, oversee this meeting and the rally day.

Randy and Karen (left) are their assistants and add a lot of insight due to their trucking experience.

The next day we received the LargeCarMag magazine in the mail and because we wanted to make sure the committee saw the article, I asked Steve and Michelle for permission to reprint it or quote from it.

Read the first paragraph to understand why we wanted the committee to see it. 🙂


Cerwin and I provided supper, then we had a Lancaster Dinner Concert meeting…

For this meeting we only have to plan the menu and a few minor details.

If you live in our area – or want to come to our area – check out the poster for information.

TFC Chapel Construction

This one will be a new International Chapel to take to truck shows and churches for promotional work. Cerwin hopes to debut it at York Make-a-Wish – the first Sunday of May.

The early pictures are from November and December.

Most photos by Cerwin – using his cell phone.

Glenn grinding the surface where the hinges to the back door had been in preparation for the back wall.

Back wall installed

Inside the back wall

A Thursday work crew. Bunny (vest) enjoys coming over from the office to have coffee with the guys.

Whenever Cerwin and Glenn need a work crew of 4 or 5 people, Cerwin Calls Living Water Chapel, Lebanon, PA.

Framework being installed.

This trailer needed new wheels, so Cerwin asked a friend if he had any good, used wheels? He said he did. Cerwin was surprised when he went to pick them up. Two trucker friends decided to donate brand new ones.

Thank you guys – and wives. You are a blessing to us and TFC.

Last Thursday the work crew installed wiring, insulation, and ceiling paneling.

Our grandson Josh helped a few times when he didn’t have work. Landscaping and lawn care isn’t always busy in winter – unless it snows. 🙂 Cerwin forgot to take a picture of him.

Cerwin is short a few men this winter due to surgeries and injuries, so he asked one of our ministers, Carl, if he would be interested in helping. He was, and helped for the first time yesterday.

Carl helps a son on occasion who has a construction business, so Cerwin knew he was capable of using a hammer. 🙂

Glenn cutting a hole in the back of paneling for an electric receptacle.

I will update you again in another few weeks.