The Salt Shaker ~ May 2021

Praises – Range hood ordered for June delivery; safety from more storms; better gas mileage and stability when traveling; back in Illinois again

Prayers – Solution to lock down the tonneau motor cover; install range hood; John’s brother’s health and healing from pneumonia; RV park near Manassas, VA for September

Jesus said to them, “Come, follow me, and I will make you a different kind of fishermen.  You will bring in people, not fish.”  So they immediately left their nets and followed Jesus.  Mark 1:17-18 (Also Matthew 4:19-20) Easy-to-Read Version

Hello to our family, followers, and friends:

We are reminded this month that “immediately” is really not a part of our lifestyle.  Not that we don’t hurry, try to do too many things at once, or get rushed, but once we trust God for direction, we have a steady course. Our second month at Lake Lavon Camp south of Princeton, Texas brought completion to the projects we started last month, which is not always the case in volunteer ministry. We are thankful for this season of travel and volunteering; very refreshing, relaxing, and fulfilling.

Another SOWER couple joined us this month making the time seem to go quicker.  The guys put cedar trim on the ceiling beams and made cedar floor molding for Lakeview Hall.  The kitchen cabinets were rearranged, flooring redone, and counter top installed (with John crawling in the cabinets to fasten it).  They added some more electrical wiring for switches and kitchen lights, put up a few light fixtures, cleaned the foyer doors and their renovation project was complete and ready for guest use!  In addition, the guys spent some time putting up hardyboard siding on one side of the worship center and made the summer staff bunk beds more stable.

Connie continued working on the database and was able to complete her task as well.  A grand total of 423 entries including 418 member churches, all updated with current “online” information.  Our other SOWER gal was kept plenty busy in organizing closets, shelves, and gift shop items; as well as cleaning, dusting, and vacuuming – Connie’s least favorite things to do!

The May weather in Texas was hotter and more humid; lots of clouds, wind, one hail storm, and plenty of rain.  Connie spent a lot of time working on taxes for us and her mother’s estate, getting them done before the extended May 15th deadline.  Once that was over, we enjoyed some meals out with our fellow volunteers and were pleased to find indoor seating in a McDonald’s.  The restaurant of choice was Whataburger, the first time for us in several years. John also was able to get a “flamin’ shrimp/chicken combo” at Popeye’s, one of his favorite places to eat (even though it made his eyes water).  The microwave shelf was built, installed, and we purchased an inexpensive counter top microwave to use.  After many online searches we found the almost perfect range hood, which will arrive in June.

We continued attending Culleoka Baptist Church Sunday School, worship, and evening singing fellowship where we provided some special songs.  Connie played piano two weeks for the worship service which was a treat for her.  On Sunday evening, May 2, we presented a 1 ½ hour concert for the community followed by fellowship with homemade cookies and breads.  That was a great encouragement for us to continue in this ministry and an unexpected financial blessing for us.  God still works mightily through music and our willing hearts.

Our morning devotions with the staff continued to bring more thought-provoking insights. It is interesting how the Bible is able to address so many pertinent areas of our lives today and can be used for all stages and settings of life. So wonderful to hear the application to camp staff and the students they will be ministering to. There were also some discussions leading to further research; Connie is following up from a Sunday School class and from the sermons on being a royal priesthood, a “peculiar” people – which, of course, we are!

Alas, the time came when we started packing up – only the 2nd time we have with this trailer. The lists were made, adjusted, and fine-tuned for next time. We left after a stressful time getting hitched up, and drove through some heavy rain as we headed out of Texas. There was a devotion only a few days before we left saying we need to put our lives in “neutral” from time to time – we realized by late afternoon that time was now! We spent two nights “boondocking” with full hookups on the farm of some SOWER friends near Pretty Prairie, Kansas; fishing ponds, tree swings, and a tree slide with indoor ladder. The fellowship and food were great – spaghetti on arrival, Carriage Crossing in Yoder (Kansas) for breakfast (yes, an Amish restaurant), a late lunch buffet at Pizza Ranch, and a wonderful breakfast before we left for a slightly unlevel Walmart overnight near St. Louis, Missouri.

There were a few additional stops our last two days of travel as we taped and retaped the tonneau motor cover that kept coming unfastened, blowing up and bouncing as we drove along. We had a short final drive day, arriving at our new volunteer project around noon, followed by a great indoor seating Chinese buffet lunch in Carlinville, IL. After that, a short nap, and putting out a few things including the harp, tuned up for some practice over the Memorial Holiday weekend.

We have been so encouraged by the people we meet and work with.  Our final Sunday we were sent off with homemade peanut butter cookies, biscuits, and a prayer circle around us and our fellow SOWER couple for our travels and future work.  We also have this wonderful (huge) trailer and truck that gives us better gas mileage, pulls easy with more stability, and lots more comfort than before. We are so blessed; please pray we may continue to give what we have as an encouragement to all those we have contact with.

“Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to . . . where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.  When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.  Peter looked straight at him, as did John.  Then Peter said, “Look at us!”  So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.  Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you . . .”  Acts 3:2-6 NIV paraphrased

Thanks for traveling with us!  We so appreciate your prayers and notes of encouragement!!
John and Connie Nicholas, Salty Strings Music Ministry

Contact Information:      Mail:  John & Connie Nicholas ~ Salty Strings Music Ministry,
3916 N. Potsdam Ave. #3962, Sioux Falls, SD  57104

Phone – John 909-336-8910 or Connie 909-336-8912      Email –
Facebook – Salty Strings Music Ministry                         Web site –

ONLINE DONATIONS via PayPal through our web site

  • May 28-July 1 – Lake Williamson Conference Center, Carlinville, IL
  • June 28-July 1 – Travel with truck to Wisconsin for Memorial service and family time
  • July 2-July 16 or 23 – Tentative, Macomb, IL friends and families
  • July 16 or 23-31 – Tentative, Little Galilee Camp, Clinton, IL friends and truck graphics
  • August – Tentative – Central Wisconsin; recording and music engagements
  • September – Tentative – Virginia; friends and family
  • October 2-29 – Volunteer SOWER Project – Fairmont, North Carolina