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September 5, 2003.

Dear Sisters,

I don't know how to soften this announcement, so let me just jump into it. After much prayer and deliberation Gerald and I have recently come to the decision not to continue publication of "The Mother's Companion'' in 2004. That makes this the second to last issue.

I have not looked forward to making this announcement, and I have worried over the false conclusions some might draw from it. Let me clearly state two motivations which are NOT behind this decision. First, this is not motivated by financial considerations. Jesus has told all who would follow Him quite plainly that "you cannot serve God and mammon'' (Matthew 6:24). In our personal experience serving God has repeatedly meant turning our back on our own financial interest. The present decision is no different. Second, it is not motivated by any sort of family scandal or disaster. Gerald and I are still head-over-heels in love, and all of our children, grown or otherwise, are, as best we can determine, following the Lord on a daily basis.

The factor which necessitates this decision is my desire to serve God faithfully in my own home. When we started "The Mother's Companion'' nine years ago it was only four pages long, it had few subscribers, and Gerald was able to carry 95 percent of the workload associated with editing, typesetting, layout, printing, mailing, and reader service. While I wrote and decided on content, my actual time involvement was minor. Much has changed since then. The number of pages has grown considerably, as has the readership. Meanwhile, Gerald's Bible/science research has demanded ever more of his time, especially in the last three years. I have been able to take on an ever larger portion of the workload associated with publication of the "The Mother's Companion'', but only because the family dynamic permitted it for a time. Most importantly, Laura was able to cover many of the cleaning, cooking, and supervising bases for me these past several years.

Laura, now 18, will have left for college by the time you read this. The younger "gang''---Matthew, Rebekah, Rachel, Timothy, and Caleb---because of their individual temperments and personalities, exhibit a different, higher-need dynamic than Gerald and I have faced previously when our older children were this age. In my heart, before the Lord, it is clear that I must give my full attention once again to my own children at home. In doing this I am, of course, merely practicing in my own life what I have been teaching in "The Mother's Companion'' for nearly a decade now.

Ending "The Mother's Companion'' involves a certain sadness, to be sure. The tears come to my eyes as I type this. I have gained many dear sisters, whom I have thought about and prayed for as I have shared my heart in writing to you. How you have blessed Gerald and I with your letters and e-mails, your words of encouragement, and your sharing of what "The Mother's Companion'' has meant to you and your home.

Most subscribers will have a subscription credit remaining when the final issue is mailed in early November. This will be refunded to you by check in that issue. The enclosed order form shows your credit.


Helen E. Aardsma

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