Tozour Times – A look back at 2015
Oh, the Places We’ve Been
The older I grow, the faster time goes. And it seems that we travel at a torrid pace as if trying to keep up with time itself! It was over twenty-one years ago that we entered into full-time evangelism, and how we have cherished the ministry our Father has entrusted to us.
The Dr. Seuss poem says, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” We look back now and say, “Oh, the places we’ve been!” Just this year in fact, we’ve been all over America, from New Jersey to California, and from Louisiana to Alaska. It has been our privilege to minister in nineteen states. We’ve held meetings in forty-one churches, (including twenty-eight week-long or half-week meetings), in ten camps (between Michael and Rich), and at three Bible colleges.
We Tozours were accompanied for two months (mid-September to mid-November) by a young lady from our church, Johanna Andrews. With Michael and Candace tied to home (due to the birth of twins in August) and Briana in college, Heather was glad to have some mature companionship. Angela and Heather were glad to have some help in children’s meetings, too!
Since we headed to the West this fall, we made a special effort to see some of our nation’s best national parks: Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Sequoia, too. We never tire of these national treasures!
We also went to San Francisco on Heather’s sixteenth birthday. We walked the Golden Gate Bridge, ate lunch at Pier 39, rode the cable cars for hours, and had ice cream at Ghirardelli. What a day we had! It certainly is a privilege to travel this great land.
Oh, the Victories We’ve Seen
This may have well been the most spiritually fruitful year that we have ever had. There were dozens of professions of faith and hundreds of decisions made by Christians. In children’s meetings, teen camps, and adult services, we saw lost people call upon the Lord Jesus as Savior. Praise His name!
It was a real joy to see the Lord bless the willingness of the girls to “jump in” and “fill the gap” in the children’s ministries in the Wessbergs’ absence. In our first week of meetings this fall, they had the privilege to lead three children to the Lord. The kids loved their energy, Heather’s ukulele playing, their making the games fun, and especially the balloon “creations” they gave as prizes! Angela told the stories and then basically handed the rest of the service time over to Johanna and Heather. They really stepped up to the plate, and the Lord used them greatly.
In the first part of November, we had a mother, daughter and friend visit one of our churches in California for the first time. The fifteen-year old girl received Christ with tears of joy. On Wednesday of that week, the mom and daughter brought their dad/husband with them along with a neighbor friend. The father listened to the gospel and said that he would come back; the neighbor lady received Christ as her Savior that night!
If you don’t know the Lord as your Savior, please consider these verses from Scripture: Romans 3:10,23; 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 5:6-9; John 14:1-6; Romans 10:9-10,13. He’s coming soon, and the Word of God tells us to prepare to meet our God. Are YOU ready?
Oh, the People We’ll Miss
For the past eleven years, it has been the privilege of the Tozour family to share the work of evangelism with Michael and Candace Wessberg and their children (Michael, as most of you know, is Angela’s younger brother.).
When Michael and Candace first joined us, they had no children. But that soon changed! Zachariah, their firstborn, came along toward the end of their first year with us. Nearly every year or two, another child was added: Andrew, Chloe, Evy, Lilly…Their semi truck and 54-foot fifth wheel were filling up!
This past spring, the Wessbergs learned that they were soon to become parents of TWINS! On August 24, Asher and Isaac Wessberg joined the crew.
The family now numbers nine, seven of whom are children ten years old and younger. How to transport so many people has become problematic for our evangelistic partners. It has slowly become apparent to each of our two families that a change in ministry is now necessary for the Wessbergs. With aching hearts and a bucket load of memories, we are now facing a major change for the Tozour Evangelistic Team. Michael has been offered the possibility of becoming a pastor for one of several churches. He is likely going to receive a call soon, and he has peace to accept this invitation. It looks as if we Tozours will begin 2016 as a solo unit.
Do pray for all of us. The transition will not be easy for either family. We sure will miss the children’s ministry, the music, and the familial love that we have enjoyed from the Wessbergs (not to mention Michael’s handy-man skills!). They have been our partners in ministry and our only neighbors for over a decade. They are our trusted confidants and have been faithful partners in the Lord’s work. The relationship we have enjoyed is well summarized by these words from Psalm 133:1: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
Oh, the Family We Enjoy
Many of you have asked about Briana and her adjustment to college life. She has done extremely well in her sophomore year; she is making wonderful grades, has some godly friends, and has really developed her God-given talents through her graphic design major. The Lord has been faithful to meet her needs financially and has been giving her good health.
Heather is doing her best to stay focused on her tenth grade year. She is a very hard worker and brings “life to the party” wherever we go. She is a superb help in the children’s ministry; and now, with her driver’s license, she can even run errands for us!
Lanae had her fifth birthday in November. Wow! Where has the time gone?!? She is five…going on fifteen! She has really missed her traveling buddy, her cousin Evy, this fall. Pray for her, too, as she will miss playing with her cousins—she has loved having them as neighbors!
With the many places visited and the numerous miles we’ve traveled, we know that the Lord has been extremely good to us. As we adjust to life without neighbors, we would love to see some of you this coming year!