Unique title, heh??? I was trying to think of a name for this little update and all I could think of was - TIME-. How quickly it passes! So much has happened since my last update! We accomplished our "M Tour" which took us to Missouri, Minnesota, and Michigan. In the end, we added Ohio!
On the way west, we stopped in Illinois to see the Hill Family. They were stationed at our church in Okinawa and we haven't seen them since they transferred many years ago. The boys have grown so big and it was so special to see how much they have grown up. They will always have an extra special place in our hearts.
|Kelly, Eli, Randy, Aaron|
Once in Missouri, we had a couple of meetings with churches we hadn't been to in 10 years. The Lord allowed us to renew our friendship with Paul and Janet Perry. They have encouraged many missionaries on and off the field through the years and I believe they are some of the Lord's choicest servants! This missionary wife was kept alive by the chocolate deliveries that arrived in my mailbox periodically from my dear friend Janet!
|Janet and I|
|Some crazy guy!|
We said goodbye to them to travel through Iowa to Minnesota, but not before I weaseled a painting from Brother Paul. We visited the wonderfully hospitable Noonan Family in Rochester, Minnesota. They always make us feel special and it was bitter sweet to be with them as they prepared for their oldest daughter to head off to California for college.
Our next stop was in Minnesota to see my Madrasta and my father. The weather this year was the best it has been since we arrived back from Okinawa 3 years ago! Randy and I were able to get out for a bike ride and another day we pushed Dad over to a restaurant in the park near him. God gave us a wonderful time with them and I cried as we drove away. We did stop at my mother's grave before leaving the state. I spent time thinking about how much my mom loved all of us and how grateful I am for all the things she taught me. She has been in Heaven since 1985 and I am very thankful that the Lord has allowed my father to live a nice long life despite his health. I pray I follow in his footsteps. He has a great attitude and a positive spirit. Annetta, my madrasta, is a wonderful lady and she always makes us feel loved and included in their lives.
|My madrasta, Annetta, and I|
We travelled northeast through Wisconsin toward the upper peninsula of Michigan. Randy found a hotel on a nice quiet lake where I heard loons all night and we sat by a fire watching the beautiful Heavens declaring the Glory of God in a spectacular meteor shower! The UP is my special place and it isn't just the quiet splendor of God's creation. Our dear friend, Sue, lives in McMillan, MI. If you ever get to feeling sorry for yourself you need to spend time with Sue! She knows how to look on the positive side of life! Her pastor and his wife are some of our greatest encouragers. We sure do love the folks at Northstar Baptist Church.
|My dear friend, Sue|
|Autumn in August in Wisconsin|
During our time in the UP, Randy surprised me with a day on Mackinac Island, where we rented bikes and rode the perimeter of the island stopping to have a lunch break and take loads of pictures. The Lord gave us the most beautiful day we have ever had on the island. He also gave me the energy to bike! This is a big deal as my energy is just so zapped most of the time. What a glorious day we had!
On the way down state to see Dr. and Mrs. Mike Cox, we stopped to clean up around Eddie's grave. September 10th marked 10 years that he has been in Heaven. So much has happened in our lives. We have been from the Azores to Okinawa to Ohio and then to Connecticut in that time!!
Our time with the Coxes was too short, as usual. Mrs. Cox is doing superb and has even been able to make a couple of missions trip since completing her chemotherapy. Just as before her cancer, she was once again the happy hostess and servant. I thank the Lord for her influence in my life.
|Mrs. Brenda Cox and I|
On the way through Ohio we stopped to see our friends the Jamison Family, a stupendous family (and I'm NOT exaggerating!) We also spent two nights the Rod and Debbie Black. The Lord has gifted Debbie with song writing and music. She is another lady who lets the joy shine through even when she is terribly sick.
HOME.....that's where we went after Ohio! It is always great to be back in our home church, to see our daughter, our friends, our pastor and his family, and most importantly.....to sleep in our OWN bed!!!
Lest you think we are sitting back, sipping on ice tea, and eating bonbons....we have been busy getting ready for our home church's missions conference and getting my VISA to India approved!!! It took a lot of time, paperwork, phone calls, and eventually a trip to New York City (which I don't enjoy), but this week my VISA paperwork shows that it has been approved and ready to be dispatched!! Whoo Hoo!!! We leave for India on October 23 and will arrive back here on November 18. So excited to see this intriguing and very populated country!
Well, I guess that is all for now. Have a wonderful week and remember the journey!