Saturday, February 23, 2008

Quilts for the Orphans

The orphans at the CSEN orphanage will not be cold next winter.
During our trip to California, we were presented with 2 suitcases full of lovely, home made quilts. Each quilt was made by a member of the "Peacemakers Quilt Group".
They made enough quilts for each child. The colorful fabrics along with the love and prayer that they were made with will bring joy and warmth to the children.

Julie Stimmel, after quilting a pile

A sampling of the designs and colors

Snuggling with a few of the designs

We look forward to making this warm & happy delivery.

Maxwell Ministries Board Meeting

While in Livermore, Maxwell Ministries had its first board meeting. This was an encouraging time for all involved. God is working in the development of the non-profit, as support for the Maxwell family, orphanage and church are slowly coming in.

There was a good time of prayer, a review of the organizational structure, and vision for future work in Niger.

Setting up the "Skye" with Board Member Dale Franz

Board Members present at first meeting: Phil Maxwell, Dale Franz, David Stimmel & Shannon Maxwell

Open House

We shared in our last news letter that we would be traveling to California to share with our home church, family and friends. It was a great time to reconnect with many. After sharing in both of the morning services at church, we hosted an
Open House at Shannon's parent's home.

What a wonderful time to speak face to face with so many supporters and friends. At least 35 people came and went through out the afternoon.

Phil visiting with some of the men.

Phil & Shannon with family friends Donna & Al.

Shannon with faithful supporters and board member David Stimmel.

We are thankful for those that pray and support the ministry in Niger.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

By Prayer

All we do or accomplish in God’s name cannot come about without the continual discipline of prayer.

As Christians we are in a spiritual war. In our own strength, we are NO match for Satan and his angels and demons. It is only by the Holy Spirit's power and through prayer that we can overcome.

The apostle Paul states it clearly to the church in Ephesus by saying, “our wrestle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, and against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) That is why we as believers are exhorted to put on the “full armor of God” in vs. 13-17.

Then in verse 18 he says “And PRAY in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep praying for all the saints.”

God is causing me to grow in my prayer life as he reminds me of the spiritual nature of the warfare we are involved in. He has brought me to a greater awareness of the need to lift up my pastors, church leaders, elected government officials, family, friends, supporters in prayer these last several months.

He is reminding me DAILY to also pray for His Kingdom work going on in Niger. The work God is leading us to in Niger is HIS ministry. We are simply being obedient to His calling, and we are privileged to be a part of it.

We are to be responsible and do what God has called us to do, and yet it is only by prayer that we can be effective.

We have a goal of returning to Niger this July., and we ask you to join us in prayer concerning this goal.

We are ready, and available. All is in place, yet finances are needed. Many of you have given –and we are AMAZED at how God has supplied and worked in many of your lives moving you to do so. To Him be the Glory.

Still, in our weak human nature we look at what is still needed in finances, and realize-We need to PRAY. And we need others to PRAY. Only by God’s provision can this goal be achieved.
We know God will supply, how and when is according to his timing. His Kingdom come, His will be done.

Thank you for joining us in prayer.

Phil Maxwell

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Family & Ministry Update

This is my (Shannon) first blog entry. I am excited about this new way to communicate with family and firends. Hope you will enjoy checking out our sight from time to time to see what we have posted.

Many of you know that we moved from Carlsbad, California to Evans, Georgia in October. It was a bit of a whirlwind and over 2,000 miles of driving from sea to almost shining sea. (Noah is learning more about Georgia than I know, 4th graders get really smart, quickly. Today he informed us that GA was one of the 13 oringinal colonies. Was it? WOW!!)

Anyways, we are settling in and though friendships are slow in developing we are grateful for the time that we are regaining with our boys. The boys are growing so fast. With one in 4th and one in 2nd, they are becoming so capable. It is such an answer to prayer that they have been healthy and able to adjust to our moves. The boys are settling into thier new school. They commented last week as we walked to school that it seems so "normal" now and they were so afraid just a couple of months ago.

I am now spending lots of time at the boys school as I sub there on a weekly basis, almost a daily basis. It has been a great way to be close to the boys, get to know the school and staff and help supply for our financial needs.

We are now serving under Maxwell Ministries and are minister in partnership with our prayer and financial donors. We are commited to serving Lord through ministry with the CSEN orphanage and the ACEN church in Niger. We are anticipating a July return to Niger, Lord willing. We have been receiving most of our monthly support but still have a ways to go in one time gifts for travel, container shipping, satalite internet system expenses.

We have been grateful for the increased communication between Niger and the US. Between e-mail and cell phones, Phil is in contact with the ACEN church Administrative Pastor, Etienne Ouoba, in Niger at least once a week. Phil is also setting up operations on the administrative side of Maxwell Minsitries, improving means of communicating with everyone (thus the new blog sites).

Please continue to pray for our family as we look towards our summer return, another move, packing, sorting and fincaial preparations. We are confident that God will supply when the time is right. We are willing to be flexible, but would like to set a target date for both our family's sake and those that faithfully support us.

Well, there it is. Blog one. A bit of an update on what is happening. Hope to do this on a regualar basis.

I am excited about this new way to communicate with family and friends. Hope you will enjoy checking out our sight from time to time to see what we have posted.