God has been so good to us (He always is good!) through the unusually cool summer months...we have experienced many blessings and generous gifts from God's people. From church to church, Samuel loves to shake hands and pass out prayer cards--he is very well received! James is still learning to enjoy the adventure of travel. We are thankful for God's provision and protection.
What a great trip we just had to Northern California! It began with a church in Paso Robles and a Pastor with a young family that definitely understood our needs and provided tons of kid friendly snacks :). We had the blessing of staying in an apartment at Golden State Baptist College for a few days between meetings. Then on to a newer church in the very needy area of Oakland/Alameda; they have such a kind and compassionate Pastor there.
Next, we had the opportunity to visit a church in Marina--very close to the ocean with a church full of kind Christians and a beautiful location next to Monterey. We were given the chance to go to the great aquarium there and Samuel called every fish or shark that was bigger than others in the tank a "big whale". We also said "hi" to Nemo and a very friendly penguin.
It was exciting to be in Missions Conference at our Pastor's former church and enjoy the guest preacher who was my parents' first pastor where they got saved! It is amazing how the family of God is all related :) Pulling in the driveway to Bay Area Baptist Church, Samuel started saying "Baptist Church"--not sure if he was reading the sign or just sensed the Baptist distinctives of this church!
The last church during this trip was near San Francisco and provided great encouragement spiritually and some fun sight-seeing as well. Samuel began saying "Praise the Lord" at this church. The Heritage Baptist Church impressed us with desire to do great things for God and amazing hospitality (especially good food).
Thank you for all the prayers...I know that is our greatest need, and it makes a difference!!
Ok, so I have not been so good about writing this blog…but many things have happened! From my perspective, the events that stand out are usually silly things that our boys have done, or embarrassing moments! I’ll try to catch up a bit… One funny story, if you are not me, was when Samuel was sitting with me in a service and could not see well, so he climbed up on my lap. In a few minutes, I slowly started to feel warm…then wet. Somehow the pull-up wasn’t situated quite right and we both were soaked, particularly my left shoe! I had clothes to change him, but I got to stay in these wet, squishy clothes for several more hours…very memorable.
Another crazy moment was a night when James “got sick” and I quickly put the boys in the bathtub, and was changing my own clothes when the hotel fire alarm went off. Trying to not panic and be a good mommy, I was quickly finishing up bath so we could run out of the room and accidentally poured cold water on James’ head. This caused much screaming, just in time to find out it was a false alarm and we didn’t need to leave the room at all. Maybe it’s good that they don’t remember everything.
Enough silly stories for now…We are certainly blessed in our deputation travels with safety and good meetings with churches that have gone out of their way to be helpful to our family. We have also experienced some sickness, starting with James and working up through the ranks! Hopefully as spring progresses we will say goodbye to germs and hello to healthy kids. (I’m sure everyone wants this).
One great blessing during April and May has been an opportunity to stay with my oldest brother Tim and use their home as our “base” in Oregon. Samuel and James just love Uncle Tim, Aunt DeeDee, Zach, and Seth. They have been so wonderful to us and we are thankful for them! Samuel loves being in their home and all the attention he receives from the boys. Also, both boys have gotten James to sleep and earned the title “James whisperer".
I have to include that this is a very blessed and humbling experience as fellow-Christians are so generous and sweet to us. Churches and individual families have both been amazing to meet our needs and beyond without us saying a word. May the Lord bless those who have so selflessly helped us along the way. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and the giving of His people!
“On your mark, get set…… GO!” Race is one of Samuel’s favorite games to play right now—probably due to the Olympics. But that also describes how I feel at this point in deputation. It is like we are still at the starting line and preparing to really GO. This past month has been close to home visiting a few churches in Long Beach and making plans for upcoming trips.
April marks the start of much more “on the road” time for us. Please keep us in your prayers as we look to buy a minivan and for our travel safety going up and down the I-5. I’m not sure how much we will pack, but I’m sure I can fill a minivan and Ryan should be able to make it somehow fit. :) A big highlight for April and May is the chance to spend time with my brother Tim and his family in Southern Oregon as we visit their church and others in the area. I know our boys will have fun playing with their big cousins.
It has been an encouragement that Samuel has done so well adjusting into different classes at new churches. But, he is always glad to go to “churchie” (as he says), especially when we go to Liberty! James still wants mommy often, but is very happy around strangers. We are very thankful for how well the boys are doing.
Thank you for all the love, support, and prayers!!
This past week was a unique opportunity for our family--we were in our home church missions conference, Liberty Baptist Church, Newport Beach, California. It was nice to already know what to expect and where to go and we didn't even have to pack :).
The best part was receiving such amazing love and support from the church family. This is a big learning experience for missionary and church members to see the practical side of working together to fulfill the great comission. Our prayers for Liberty include more people being called into full-time service for the Lord and some to go to the foreign field. Never before have I realized how important a sending church is for a missionary. I am very thankful for Liberty and the special people there.
It was interesting for our boys this week as they are learning their part in this new chapter for our family. James recognized Ryan's voice over the speaker while in the nursery and was upset that Daddy didn't come get him. Samuel loved that his picture is on the display and prayer cards and thinks the displays were put up for him to have toys to play with after church!
We also got to visit my mom's K-5 class at Newport Christian School as they were learning about England this week. Samuel enjoyed sitting at a school desk and seeing Grammy as a teacher. He loves being with the "big" kids and they are all so sweet to him!
It was a great week, and God is good! We appreciate everyone's prayers. :)
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