Wow, what an amazing adventure this had turned out to be!
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Abbotsford. We stayed at the Marks Centre… a retreat center that I (Marcy) lived in pre-remodel and helped lay the foundation for the current edition. It’s an incredible place and played a huge part in my life, and in our decision five years ago to “wait.” We took the kids to the local indoor swim park… $2 each for a total blast. They still talk about it.
We then headed to Spokane, WA for what we thought would be a one night stay. We stayed with the mother and aunt of good friend of ours. His mother and aunt were so persuasive that we stated FIVE days. The 4th of July found us first at the river… fireworks bursting overhead. During our stay, the opportunity to share at the EV Free church presented itself… a blessing so great. We were given a great deal of time to share about God’s movement at BFA and had the public endorsement of the pastor! Who, by the way, ALSO had me sing with the worship band!
From there we explored the amazing lands of Yellowstone National Park…a place with beauty unlike any other we had ever seen. We saw lots of Bison, some Elk, pronghorns, a Moose and her calf, bald eagles… and were also just seconds away from seeing a bear. We celebrated God’s amazing handiwork as we visited geyers and mineral waters. Incredible.
On the way to Mt Rushmore, we visited the battlefield of Little Bighorn… a somber reminder of the American soils we take for granted, the motivation behind the many battles, and the cost and sacrifice for all up until this day.
At Mt Rushmore, while were waiting for the man-made light show to begin, God displayed His own. Lightning provided a breath-taking backdrop to the four busts… a reminder that even when we carve magnificent artwork into the sides of mountains… He still calls thunder and lightning into place, knows every star, and can crash down our proud attempts and honoring the work of our own hands. Not that Mt. Rushmore isn’t incredible… just that it pales in comparison to our great God! At least that’s what we left thinking on as we chased the thunder and lightning storm down the mountain after the Rushmore program ended early…
We stayed the night in Rapid City, SD and then headed to Chicago… staying with the aunt and uncle of some of our dear friends in Rochester, MN. One and a half hours before arriving, while we were pulled over catching fire flies… we find out that we have a place to stay! Our hostess was an inspirational one… not only opening her doors to a family of 6 an hour before their arrival, but having a breakfast for us the next morning as well! So thankful for the body of Christ.
Chicago met us with a dear friend and deep dish, Chicag0-style pizza. A first for the kids! We relished the time with our good friend. We woke this morning to take the kids to the beach at Lake Michigan. Our feet touched the sand in time for the lifeguard to call everyone out of the water. That thunder/lightning storm was now chasing us! So we took our picture with the lake behind us… at lunch on the grass nearby… and ran to our van when the first drops began to fall.
We are now in Fort Wayne, Indiana… again relishing dear friends, making new ones, and enjoying a small break from the long LONG drives. We head to church with our friends tomorrow… and then begin our trip BACK to Fresno… passing through Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and eventually home.
This is a LOT of information and we’ve had so many blessings along the way:
- A trucker at a rest stop sought us out and offered us a free bag of scrumptious cherries… free! They were so good.
- We met a bicycler at a hotel who is traveling from Washington to Florida. Jeremy really connected with him and spent a great deal of time chatting with him while we were there.
- The kids have been amazing travelers! They have hardly squabbled, have NEVER whined about being bored or in the car too long (even though they’ve surely been both), have allowed imaginations to flourish and fly, and have said “hellos” and “goodbyes” with such a sense that our family is “home” and these are all blessings along the way. Yes, we’ve had our share of timeouts and quiet times… but we’ve been so grateful and impressed by their flexibility and go-with-the-flow attitudes. They are loving it!
- We have found encouragement in the most surprising of places! Most recently, the hostess who opened her home within a couple hours of us arriving… spoke great truth into Jeremy’s life about being present and leaving tomorrow to worry about itself and to God’s able hand.
- God has provided a place to sleep EVERY night! Whether on a sunday school church floor, campsite, or last minute hotel room… He has provided not only the space, but meals and conversation as well.
Thanks for journeying with us and being patient with our limited internet. We can’t wait until our next post!
OH, and we’ve reached 77%!!! We only ned 13% more to get our plane tickets! God is on the move and we are hanging on the by the seat of our pants!
Please continue to pray for our safety, the rental van to continue to perform as designed without any hindrance, and our continued growth in our family relationships.