Tozour Times – A look back at 2017
Why Birds Fly South in Winter
As I write this newsletter, we have been in Florida for a week and freezing temperatures have even invaded the Deep South. We often say, “Even birds have enough sense to go south for winter.” Frozen water hoses and cracked tanks have taught us to head to the lowest portion of the country when temps go low.
As for our church schedule, we started the year off in the Southeast, headed up the Eastern seaboards, and ended the year of ministry on the West Coast. A highlight in California was the Northern California Men’s Meeting hosted by Evangelist Tim Schmidt and the people of Faith Baptist Tabernacle (North Highlands, CA). There were over 150 men present. The atmosphere was electric! God’s work was apparent.
In the middle of our year, we spent two months ministering in Hawaii. Now, as soon as we mention Hawaii, everybody thinks, “Ministering…yeah, right!” Truth be told, this was one of our busiest trips to paradise. We were in seven different churches in a span of seven weeks. Most of the meetings were for four to six days in length. We sure do love the churches in the 50th state. Of course, we made time for family time, too. The whole Tozour family has come to embrace Hawaii as a second home over our two decades of serving there. We never tire of its beauty or majestic sea creatures…or Hawaiian shave ice!
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?
The Trailer’s Terminal Troubles
While we were in Florida in late June, our truck had to go in the shop for an air conditioner job. It took longer than expected, and we were delayed on our trip back to Missouri. We had to get back home, so I could preach a week of camp in Kansas. Once the repair on the truck air conditioner was finished, we had 920 miles to drive in a day and a half!
We covered over 600 miles our first day and spent the night at a church in Arkansas. The next morning our bedroom slideout on our RV would not come in all the way. (The wall had been deteriorating since a year ago when the slideout was hit by a church mower. At that time we had the slideout rebuilt.). We managed to get the room extension pulled in. On our drive, I called the shop that had done our repairs. They said to let them have a look at it on our way by.
When the shop supervisor inspected the trouble, he said, “Yeah, you’ve got an issue here. Can you bring it in?” I explained that we live in the unit and that we were heading to Hawaii in a few days and would be gone for two months. Michael, my brother-in-law, just happened to be present (since the shop is in Michael’s new town and our kids were getting together). He said, “Hey, listen, I can drive it to the shop when you go to Hawaii.” So the dilemma was solved.
We got home late that afternoon after our 920-mile drive. We were exhausted, but sleep was not to come. Tornado warnings were issued in Kansas City. We ended up spending an hour and a half in our church’s nursery! When the all- clear was given, it was after 1:00 a.m. when we got to bed.But the story doesn’t end there. The next night there was a threat of storms again. Since our county was not one of immediate concern, we did not pay much attention. Suddenly, around 7:15 p.m. we were blasted with 80 mph straight- line winds! The trailer began to sway violently. When I opened the door, I saw our motor-powered awning get blown over the top of our trailer, snapping the arm supports! We gathered the kids and rushed into our church building for a second night.
As I later surveyed the damage (which included three trees down on the church property), I thanked the Lord that we weren’t killed and that we hadn’t lost the trailer. Then I thanked Him for the awning damage. It dawned on me that we could submit this issue to our insurance company while the trailer was in the shop for its slideout repair!
Imagine our surprise when the RV repair shop later called to say that the problems with the slideout wall were due to water damage in the walls and that they were advising us to replace the trailer rather than repair it! I explained that we live in the trailer, so it’s not as simple as some retired couple swapping out their vacation vehicle. The shop manager said that repairs would be extremely expensive. He then added, “The insurance company is suggesting that you total the vehicle. They will give you fair payment so you can have something toward your next trailer.” He went on to explain that the trailer walls would deteriorate quickly from this point and that mold would probably become a problem (We’re indeed experiencing those issues five months later.).
In the end, the insurance company offered us a decent amount to total our 13-year-old trailer. We bought it back from the insurance company for a fraction of the payment so we could continue to live in it. This left us with a fair sum to put toward our next trailer. Had it not been for the 80 mph winds that caused external damage to the trailer, insurance would not even have been brought into the repair considerations (Romans 8:28).
When we got back from Hawaii, we did not feel comfortable pulling our trailer to Wyoming and California for two and a half months of meetings. I ended up flying back and forth from Kansas City to California. On one stretch, I was away from home six out of seven weeks (definitely NOT what I want for our family.).
We have not found a used trailer comparable to what we currently have, though Angela looks online several times each week. We did go to a place in Missouri that custom builds fifth-wheels. We laid out plans with the owner and learned that a trailer similar to ours would cost $188,000 and would be about a year away before they could build it! So, we are in the position of needing both the means for and the availability of a nice, used trailer. The Lord has always been faithful to provide. We’ve now been through three trucks and two trailers in our twenty-four years of ministry. We’ll let you know what our Father does in this new chapter. Please, pray with us about the need as you think of it.
The Trio of Tozour Children
Our daughters continue to bring great delight to their parents and to be actively involved in this ministry. We sure are grateful for the girls the Lord has given us!
Briana (21) is a senior graphic design major at Pensacola Christian College. She is an honors student, and her talents in art and design have blossomed over these four years. This past semester she wrote, illustrated, and published her first book, a children’s work entitled The Glamping Trip (details and purchase information can be found on her new website britozourdesign.com). She will be designing our new prayer card for us, and she has been doing freelance design work for churches and organizations. She continues to grow in her walk with the Lord.
Heather (18) is a senior in high school (homeschool) whose poise and maturity exceed her years. She is Angela’s very capable assistant in the nightly children’s meetings. She plays her ukulele, heads up the games, and is an invaluable help keeping the children attentive and in good behavior. She is a role model to her little sister who adores her. Heather is mature, dependable—and fun! We cherish her.
Lanae (7) is our energetic, fun-loving, and intelligent first grader. She has become a lover of note-writing. Every night she writes notes to each of us in the family. Just last week, she wrote the following to the Lord about her fear of going to Sunday-school class: “Dear God, Please help me go to class. I now [know] you can help. You are the true God and the best God. I love You. I try to be good. I really do try. Love, Lanae.”
As for Angela, I am very grateful for the youthful, diligent, and capable partner the Lord gave me. She and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary on May 22 of this year. What a blessing to be able to serve our Lord together all of these years!