Browsing the blog archives for the year 2009

Wheels are Turning

Creative Projects

“Adam, do you think we could build a pedal-car?”

I turned with a smile to ponder 11-year old Matthew’s question. For months he had been asking if we could begin this project, but my attempts to describe the challenges involved did not seem to dampen his enthusiasm. I had tried to explain that this kind of project would be a lot easier to do up at our farm, where we have old bicycle parts, hardware, a full set of tools, and a welder. While I enjoy these kinds of creative projects, I just wasn’t sure how we could pull it off in Oak Brook, where our home doesn’t even have a garage to work in.

Well,.. Matthew persisted. Returning from a visit to the farm some weeks later, he triumphantly produced a set of four bicycle tires, (which I presume came off of old bikes in our shed.) Well, what could I say.  🙂 We sat down and I explained that we should start by putting together some plans for how to build this car. A few evenings later, we had completed our sketch of a two seat pedal-powered car. Matthew, Lydia and Rebecca were ecstatic, and could hardly wait to assemble the materials and get started.

By this time Rachelle’s wedding was just a couple months away, and my assistance was needed for some of the logistical and technical preparations. Dad wisely suggested that we hold off on the pedal-car project until after the wedding, so we could focus on the tasks at hand. The time flew by as our family pulled together in this happy but new experience, and on August 1st, 2009, Rachelle and Joseph Afarian were married.

But the smaller Wallers had not forgotten our project… “Do you think we could work on the pedal-car now?” The question came from eager eyes several weeks after the wedding. “Yes,” I said with a smile, “Thank you for honoring Mom and Dad’s council to wait till after the wedding.” -And how we saw God bless the project! I didn’t just want this to be a fun project together, but a way that we could see God’s hand working in very practical ways.

One Saturday morning I left our home, praying that God would prosper our way and provide the items we needed as I drove to my workplace to see what they might have as scraps from the wood shop and mechanic’s garage. To my great delight I found a rollaway bed frame that was being thrown away, which when unfolded, was almost the exact dimensions that we had outlined on our plans! It was like God had just provided the entire frame of the car, with almost no modifications needed!

Noticing the head of our construction department, who just “happened” to be there that morning, I wanted to confirm that it would be okay to use these materials. Not only did he give his full blessing, but when he heard what we were building, he welcomed us to use any of the miscellaneous hardware from the shop that we needed for the project! This turned out to be such a blessing, and allowed us to build the entire project with materials and hardware on hand.

The frame came together well. We built the steering system from a dust mop handle and tractor steering wheel, using some cable from a garage door and a closet door track as the crosspiece. Sturdy brass door hinges fastened the front wheels to the frame, while the back wheels were supported by a wood frame attached to the metal bed frame.

Of all the different aspects of the project, I expected that the drive train was going to be the greatest mechanical challenge. I would need to run a chain from the pedals to a drive axle under the seat, and then run a second chain to one of the back wheels. Here again we saw the Lord’s clear hand of blessing. On the very day we needed to find additional chains and gears, we found that another family had just thrown away three children’s bicyles!

Not only did this provide the needed chains and gears, but it also provided the parts to add a second pedal assembly, so two people could pedal the car! As little as we anticipated it at the time, the Lord also used these additional bicycle to provide a new set of strong front wheels when the original design strained under load.

I had to smile as I saw Rebecca and Lydia whizzing by on the newly completed pedal-car. With its bare frame construction, it looked like one of those horseless carriages that my great grandmother Blom would have ridden on.

Life is busy, work demands our time and energy, but may we never get so busy that we miss the opportunity to build memories with family. Twenty years from now, all the software programming I am working on now will be gone, but I think my siblings and I will still recall with fond memories our times working on the pedal-car, and remember the blessing of the Lord and the kindness of others that made it all possible.

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Rachelle and Joseph’s Wedding

Family News, Rachelle & Joseph

joseph-and-rachelleWe are delighted to announce the marriage of Rachelle Waller to Joseph Afarian, a research lawyer from Toronto, Canada.

Joseph and Rachelle met in the Fall of 2007 at a Christian young adult retreat in Michigan. After months of careful correspondence with our parents, Joseph entered into a courtship with Rachelle with our parents’ and family’s full blessing.

A strong Christian with conservative Biblical values, Joseph joins Rachelle with a vision for raising the foundations of many Godly generations.

Engaged in April of 2009, Joseph and Rachelle were be married on August 1st, 2009 in Minneapolis, MN.

Date and Location

Cross of GloryThe wedding was held at 2 pm on August 1st, 2009 at the Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, the same church where our parents, Brian and Sue Waller were married nearly 35 years ago.

Church Address:

5929 Brooklyn Blvd
Brooklyn Center, MN 55429
(763) 533-8602

Click here for map and directions


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Rachelle Waller’s Wedding – August 1st!

Adam's Updates, Rachelle & Joseph

Thursday, July 2, 2009
Oak Brook, IL

Dear Family and Friends,

I am excited to announce the upcoming wedding of my sister Rachelle! She is engaged to be married to Joseph Afarian on August 1st, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.2009-05-16 108a

As an older brother, it has been a special joy to see the Lord bring this couple together over the past several months. We first met Joseph in the fall of 2007 at a Christian retreat in Michigan. I was impressed with his quiet and thoughtful personality, and his serious commitment to Christian family values.

2009-04-23 050a

Although I never imagined that Rachelle would one day marry an attorney, it is neat to see the balance brought out through the two of them. Joseph’s strong commitment to family values and spiritual leadership, complemented by Rachelle’s joyful, practical personality and well-refined homemaking skills give an excellent foundation for their future home togther.

One of the most beautiful things I have observed in their relationship is the strong commitment to honor both sets of parents. Unlike the casual dating relationships (and later heartaches) we so often see in our culture today, Joseph did not begin this relationship by spending time with Rachelle.

Instead, he spent several months last summer in careful correspondence with my parents, seeking to discern the Lord’s direction in this potential relationship. Then with the full blessing and approval of both sets of parents, my mother and father presented Rachelle with a letter from Joseph. -The first indication she received of his interest in pursuing a relationship with her.


This, as could well be imagined, marked a significant change in Rachelle’s life. We all had to smile as we thought about it… None of us imagined that she would be the first one to be married.  🙂  Over the next several months, Joseph and Rachelle spent many hours on the phone together, getting to know one another, and finding the Lord’s confirmation in this new relationship.100_0698c

Visiting Toronto, Canada, in February was an adventure for the whole family as we loaded our van for the trip across the border to visit Joseph Afarian’s home and family. We were graciously hosted at the Afarian home, and enjoyed good fellowship with his family and friends. From basketball on Friday evening to church on Sunday morning, a visit to Joseph’s office and meetings with friends, a full itinerary made the most of our weekend together.

Filled with many details, calls and meetings, the last few months have quickly flown by. Rachelle and Joseph were formally engaged in April, and at the end of May Rachelle concluded her work responsibilities at IBLP to spend the next couple months preparing for her wedding. I miss seeing her smile when I pass her empty desk in the finance office, but I rejoice with her in this new chapter in her life.2009-04-23 055a

Wedding preparations are a new thing for us, but we are taking full advantage of the benefits of a large family.  🙂  It is really neat to see the diversity of skills coming together as we get ready for Rachelle’s special day. Dad’s practical organization of people and details keeps everyone working together, while Mom’s perspective brings creative ideas and a mother’s wisdom to our developing plans.

David’s creative negotiation skills have saved hundreds of dollars and his enthusiasm has been a constant inspiration for the rest of us. Sarah is putting her sewing skills to good use as she works with Rebecca and Lydia to sew the bridesmaid’s dresses. I have been helping on the technology side with Web site updates and invitation mailing lists, while Derrick is coordinating the transportation of Rachelle’s belongings to her new home in Canada.2009-06-17 071a

Even the smaller Wallers have been playing a key role in these weeks, from collating wedding invitations to preparing beautiful meals for the family, and keeping up with chores around the house. In addition to our family, we are so grateful for a number of others that have jumped in to help in various ways as we prepare for this event. It has truly been a team effort! Thank you all so much!2009-05-16 137b

Hopefully many of you will have received a wedding invitation by mail, but if we reached you by e-mail instead, please consider yourself invited to join us in our celebration of this happy occasion on August 1st as Rachelle and Joseph are united in marriage in Minneapolis, MN. Further details and an RSVP form are available at our family Web site. (

Thank you for your part in our lives!

In Christ,

– Adam

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Living our Faith

Adam's Updates

Monday, March 9, 2009
Oak Brook, Illinois

Dear Family and Friends,

Over a year has past since my last update, but for our family, much has remained the same. We are still living in Oak Brook, Illinois, near the IBLP Headquarters where David, Rachelle, and I work full time. My Dad and Derrick continue to work in downtown Chicago for ESD, a consulting engineering firm.

While much has remained the same for our family, we have seen some major changes happening all around us. National elections last November brought in a new president, and a cascade of new directions and decisions for our nation. Our economy, once strong and flourishing, is crumbling before our eyes as our nation turns away from the very principles that made this nation great.

Around us we see people who focused their whole lives on material possessions and financial security, only to find their investments evaporating in the wake of plunging markets. Businesses struggle to stay afloat, while families all over this nation face the fears of an uncertain future.

And yet amid the rising tide of fears come some of the greatest opportunities we could ever have in demonstrating the faithfulness of God’s promises before a watching world.

Several weeks ago I and several other home school graduates had the opportunity to sit on a discussion panel at a local home school group meeting and share from our experience in home education, and how it prepared us for work and ministry opportunities in later years.

Our Farmhouse

One of the questions raised was, “Were you prepared to defend your faith as you stepped out into the real ‘world’?” In addressing this question, I shared that I personally believe that the very best preparation for defending your faith is not in memorizing answers for the questions of critics, but in seeing God’s work first-hand in your own life and family.

I clearly remember sitting with my family around our dining room table in our Wisconsin farmhouse eight years ago as my Dad commented on our family’s financial state. Some eight months previously, our family had moved to the farm after a couple years in Maryland. We felt that this was the Lord’s direction for us, and my Dad planned to start his own business doing consulting engineering work.

But somehow things just didn’t seem to work out as we had anticipated. We lived off of our savings, month after month, while my Dad looked for engineering work. The money my Dad had saved was slowly dwindling, and that evening he told us, “It wouldn’t surprise me if God takes us to the very end of what we have, before He shows us His provision.”

Those words may have been quickly forgotten by the younger ones, but for me, they went deep into my heart as I saw my Dad turn in faith to the unfailing promise of our Provider. In Matthew 6 Jesus talked about the daily need for food and clothing, and told His disciples, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

My Dad’s confidence was in the Lord, and he would not be disappointed. God did in fact take us to the end of what we had, but in January of 2002 my Dad was hired by LHB Engineers and Architects, where he worked until our family went to Mongolia several years later.

Why did God take my Dad through nine months with very little income? Was it not for his own children to see a living testimony of faith in the midst of trial?

I don’t know how you are affected by our economy or other pressures right now, but may we use these pressures as opportunities to live out our faith before our family as we build our security on the unfailing promises of God’s Word.

Jesus said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” – Matthew 7:24-25

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