The Salt Shaker – June 2018

Published Wednesday July 18, 2018 – Our June Update

Greetings to all:01 Turtle

How do you explain, how do you describe,
a love that goes from east to west
and runs as deep as it is wide?
You know all our hopes, You know all our fears
And words cannot express the way we feel,
but we long for You to hear
(From the song “Listen to our Hearts” by Geoff Moore)

In the same way, the spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the spirit, because the spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.                                                  Romans 8:26-27

Prayers – Continued strength for the ministry God has for us wherever we are; boldness to share the gospel; that we make the most of every opportunity placed before us, whether working with our hands or playing music; and that we always demonstrate the love of Christ for others to see.

 Praises – God has blessed us with multiple music engagements in July and August; able to work without back brace, continued strengthening of John’s lower back. 

We arrived at Timber-Lee Ministries outside of East Troy, Wisconsin on Friday, May 25.  It was great to be back here seeing some old friends, but different since we’ve always been here at the end of camp season and in the early fall.

02 Sandhill craneWildlife wasn’t as plentiful (possibly because the apples are not ripe for the deer), but we did have goslings with protective parents wandering all around, snapping turtles, a Sandhill crane in our backyard, deer in the field, and a nesting hawk along the path we walked to work (as well as warning signs that we might be attacked).

Our first week the guys built two tent decks in one area of the trailer/tent camp for training the kids going to Adventure camps.  They will use these staging areas to learn how to set up their tent before leaving “civilization.”  The remaining weeks included some remodeling in a dorm-type house for summer staff.  The kitchen/dining subfloor was done as well as minor fixes to vents, handrails, paint, door stops, fixing a broken chair, and moving bunk beds out and beds in.  John also helped the summer staff make an easel from scrap wood and delivered fans to the cabins.

The ladies started with cleaning the bakery shelves and machines, repaired the cord to the bread roller, and cleaned oodles of chairs from three dining areas before advancing to sorting the labels for the food lines and pulling the labels needed for four lines, each meal, each day, for the upcoming camp menus.  There was also kitchen prep work, pre-cleaning pans for the dish washer, and break down of boxes and tin cans.

The side legs finally broke off of our black metal “Welcome” sign leaving a very unstable rod to push into the ground.  After a few months of non-use, we designed a holder made of scrap wood, spent a few hours in their shop building it, and it works great!  (You never know what will happen transferring head plans to reality!)  We are now able to put up our wind sock, to judge speed and direction for our awning, and wind chimes which Connie loves to hear.

Our music ministry provided music for a Sunday service at Jefferson Prairie Church, just south of the state line in Illinois.  It was a great service with some fellowship time following.  We then went to brunch and spent most of the afternoon with Connie’s best friend from high school.  It was wonderful to have an afternoon doing nothing but enjoying friends, conversation, sunshine, a wonderful breeze, dogs, cats, miniature horses, and country air.

We went to the local Drive-In (Gus’s) twice this year.  For some reason we had not visited it before, but they have great food and are known for their ice cream.  The first time was mid-week where our purchase went to help the camp.  Then we heard they have car shows every Saturday so we went with our other SOWER couple to see the cars.  We also had to visit our favorite 2-for-1 Monday night special pizza place and spent several hours visiting with 3 other SOWER couples as we enjoyed our pizzas.

Connie spent a lot of time on the road driving between the camp and Beloit (about 45 minutes each way) and long days to help get her Mom into a facility and work on cleaning up her house from mice.  Being closer to family also led to many visits with her brother, sister, and niece’s family and children.  A busy time but enjoyable as well.  Father’s Day we spent at our friend’s church in South Beloit, renewing acquaintances and enjoying a final meal with them.

The weather was hot and humid for much of our stay.  Of course, the one weekend they had other campers coming to the camp area it rained.  It also rained off and on for several days before we were to leave.  There was ‘no rain’ in the forecast, so we left all the packing up for first thing in the morning.  By 10 am it was raining!  We finished up, had lunch at the camp, and met the camp maintenance director with the tractor to pull our trailer out.  We were parked in a grassy spot slightly downhill from the road and knew with the rain, slick grass, and uphill pull, that our van would only spin tires.  After getting hooked up we made fairly good time and stopped at a rest area near Portage with a beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright style building and wild native flowers.  We arrived in Fairchild, Wisconsin about supper time, hot and tired, and looking forward to our month of music ministry and rest!

16 WI Roadside We know that the whole of creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Romans 8:22-23


Listen to our hearts, hear our spirit sing
a song of praise that flows from those you have redeemed.
We will use the words we know to tell you what an awesome God you are
But words are not enough to tell you of our love, so listen to our hearts.
(Chorus to “Listen to our Hearts” by Geoff Moore)

 Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
John and Connie Nicholas, Salty Strings Music Ministry

Contact Information:      Phone – John 909-336-8910 or Connie 909-336-8912
Email –    Facebook – Salty Strings Music Ministry
Check out our NEW web site:
ONLINE DONATIONS via PayPal through our web site

MAIL ADDRESS:        John & Connie Nicholas ~ Salty Strings Music Ministry
255 N Sperry Street, Bushnell, IL  61422


  • August – Camp Lundgren, Pembine, Wisconsin; upper northeast Wisconsin
  • September – Camp Michindoh, south central Michigan
  • October – Potomac Park, Falling Waters, West Virginia; upper northeast
  • November – Tentative – Georgia
  • December/January – Tentative – Florida
  • February/March/April – Tentative – Louisiana and/or Northeast Texas

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