We’ve been on our first long road trip for a little over two weeks now.
It’s been a time of “I love ministering with my family!” and “How do I cook dinner for nine people in a 35 ft travel trailer?” and “How will God provide for this need?” and “Will my little ones ever see an early bedtime again?”
The children have been amazing. They work right alongside us and are our greatest blessing. Johanna and Gabbey have struggled a bit with the unpredictable schedule (remember, they come from orphanages were nothing ever changed, so change is challenging) but I have faith that they will adjust as they get used to our new “normal”.
Sleeping on the road is becoming quite easy for our youngest ones.
We’re SO thankful that no one gets carsick!
We’ve been so blessed to be able to present our ministry 5 times in the past two weeks. Our meeting with the people of Heartland Baptist Church was wonderful—we had a lovely lunch with Pastor Ray and his sweet wife Laura. Their teenage children were such a blessing to our children. Heartland has been through a difficult couple of years and we believe God has great blessings ahead for this group of believers.
We also loved meeting the Gil and Kelly Bates family! Pastor Gil recently planted Bible Baptist Church in Clinton, TN—our children liked how they meet in a hotel conference room, because our home church does the same thing!
Nathaniel fainted while the children were singing, so that added a little drama right as Brent was getting up to preach.
We felt right at home with the Bates (and it isn’t often that we are the “small” family at a church) and enjoyed an afternoon of encouraging fellowship. They passed on some practical parenting advice and we soaked it in.
We spent a week at Family Camp at the Bill Rice Ranch. The preaching, the special music, the games, the lovely fellowship with old and new friends, the rodeo, the food, the late nights and early mornings–it was CAMP and the entire family had a blast. Noah was incredibly nervous about his “class” but ended up having more fun than anyone. They’ve all been entertaining us with the new songs they learned.
It was an amazing week. Jim Shettler was my favorite speaker (first time hearing him) and I felt challenged and convicted during every message. Brent and I especially enjoyed the message on godly communication. We have been used to a certain “way of life” for 15 years of marriage—him fulfilling the work-outside-the-home and me fulfilling the work-inside-the-home—and now our roles are all mixed up as we work together every day. We love the time together, but we are needing to communicate in a whole new way. I’m so thankful for godly men who have “gone before” us and who offer us their wisdom.
On a personal note, keeping the family in clean laundry is one of my new challenges.
I am shocked at the cost of doing laundry at a laundromat! I wish there was a more frugal, efficient way. We have about one load every day (not counting towels) so it just HAS to be done frequently. Just this past week, I spent 30 DOLLARS in quarters at the Laundromat! Crazy, huh?
The funniest part of laundry so far was the night when I was finishing up laundry at 10:30 pm (at a campground). I had started the laundry when it was still light out, but by the time I finished it, it was very dark out–AND raining. Picture me, carrying 40 items of hanging-up clothes, in a stack that completely blocked my view in front of me. Luckily, Brent was with me, and his Michigan pajamas glowed a bit in the moonlight so I followed the big “M”s. With every step I gingerly took, I envisioned tripping and dropping the massive pile of clean laundry onto the muddy ground. I was never so thankful to get into our trailer safely as I was that night.
We’ve been driving for almost 7 hours already today, heading from GA to the coast of VA. I’m hoping we can get everyone into bed by 3 am. Tomorrow night begins a VBS at Central Baptist Church in Yorktown, VA. Brent and I are excited to be doing all of the teaching, plus skits, music, etc. Should be an awesome week!
Blessings to each of you—THANK YOU for supporting our ministry. Please pray that God would prepare us, provide for us, and protect us.