“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4a
Greetings to our families, friends, and followers:
Prayers – Rest and rejuvenation as we take a month off in March to continue the work of our volunteer ministry in the months to come; discernment for songs for Sower Texas Roundup reunion worship music at the end of the month; RV park for July in Beloit, Wisconsin.
Praises – Good roads and weather for 3-day trip to Texas; visiting friends over night at Acadia Baptist Center, Eunice, LA.
For our February project we didn’t have to travel (good, because Connie was still anxious about traveling again). We stayed at Camp Horizon for a second month along with two other SOWER couples. An additional five new couples joined us for a total of eight volunteer couples for the month. Everyone was needed for all the work to be done!
The ladies continued to clean after groups and deep clean four of the eight cabins after the guys were finished with their work. We started at the top and worked our way down: ceilings, air vents, light fixtures, walls, curtains, lockers inside and out, bathrooms top to bottom, mattresses, and mopping the floors. Connie also put plugs in the new windows, those little plastic pieces that cover the screws, which included re-drilling the factory holes so they would fit. In addition, we cleaned the kitchen storage area including “combing” the streamers and bagging them to keep from tangling in the future and did some food prep work.
The men were quickly split into teams for replacing all the windows and adding egress doors to five remaining cabins. Some pulled out old windows, some rebuilt rotten wall sections as needed, some were installers, and others caulked or ran for parts and supplies. John was the designated “Doorman” and worked with the camp maintenance man as he learned all the “ins and outs” (pun intended) of door installation. The cabins tended to sink slightly toward the back and the walls were not perfectly plumb, so John learned from their head maintenance guy how to overcome this and other minor problems. After a few doors another SOWER helped out and together the last doors were done quicker and better. These skills will obviously come in handy for future SOWER projects that will benefit other Christian ministries we are called to serve at.
Camp Horizon hosted a Marriage Seminar where we were asked to do a concert following their special date night dinner. We had a great time and were a blessing to many as we shared songs around a love theme. We continued attending First Christian Church of Leesburg where we provided special music for the early service, and a mini-concert for their “Fabulous Friday’s at First” talent night. Some snowbirds we met our first winter in Florida (“The Indiana Gang”) invited us to The River Palms RV Resort (south of Zephyr Hills, about 2 hours away) for a wonderful reunion meal after which we made our way to the activities building where we had ice cream and put on an evening concert for the park residents. This was also John’s Birthday so the travel and fellowship made for a memorable day. Our last Sunday we ministered with some special music for the Leesburg Church of the Nazarene, where some SOWER friends attend, and were invited to their Chili cook-off movie night which was a lot of fun.
On our last Tuesday we drove about a half hour south to Groveland where we spent one day with the SOWER reunion. It was great getting together with old and new friends and meeting new SOWER couples just starting their adventures. We did the morning devotion using the fruit of the Spirit as our theme with a song for each (Galatians 5:22-23). We had many positive comments and will likely use this again sometime. Connie joined the lady’s choir for a special song following the devotion time. We stayed for the evening concert and really enjoyed seeing “The Puffers,” a couple with about as many instruments as us! John also worked hard in practicing new songs and techniques from his mandolin lessons.
There was some time this month for several bike rides around the camp and for several days we were able to watch a helicopter practice with a water ball, flying back and forth gathering water from the lake and dumping it near the airport. There were WWII planes (Florida War Birds) overhead February 8-9 and we were able to see the SpaceX Falcon 9 evening rocket launch from the camp (February 21). Weather related, we had blue sky with white puffy clouds to the south and gray clouds with a rainbow to the north one afternoon.
Connie started a “net” to help us move and carry our newest acquisition, John’s Christmas and Birthday present, a massage chair insert that helps his back and soothes sore muscles as well. On one trip to town there were young eagles (we think) in the camp entrance field learning to fly and picking at some carcass on the ground. The night we returned from our reunion it appeared a bag was over the gate keypad and we wondered how we were going to get back home; turned out it was an owl sitting on the post that flew away right in front of our windshield. What a beautiful sight it was in the light from the headlights! And spring is coming!!! The flowers and trees are blooming: azaleas, hibiscus, spiderwort, wild hibiscus, and others we don’t know.
February 27 found us on the road again, with Connie over her anxiety of traveling. We spent the first night at a Walmart still in Florida, leaving early the next morning to cross into Alabama, drive through the tunnel in Mobile, through Baton Rouge and on to Eunice, Louisiana where we were able to stay overnight with electricity at one of the Christian camps we have worked at. We went to breakfast into town with the leaders from our first project before getting back on the road to our final destination outside Woodville, Texas. And that journey is to be continued next month!
SPRING HAS SPRUNG IN FLORIDA – AND IS MOVING NORTH!!!
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. . . Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:1-3, 6
Thanks for being a part of our travels!
John and Connie Nicholas, Salty Strings Music Ministry
ONLINE DONATIONS via PayPal through our web site
John & Connie Nicholas ~ Salty Strings Music Ministry, 255 N Sperry St, Bushnell, IL 61422
TRAVEL PLANS AND UPCOMING LOCATIONS
- March – Month off – Triple Creek RV Music Camp, Woodville, Texas; northeast
- April – ALERT Academy, Big Sandy, Texas; northeast
- May – Tentative – Lake Williamson, Carlinville, Illinois; central
- May 19 – June 1 – Little Galilee Christian Camp, Clinton, Illinois; central
- June – Tentative – Macomb/Bushnell Illinois with family
- July – Tentative – Beloit Wisconsin area with family