After our last time together, I spent a great weekend in Peoria Illinois for the National Missionary Convention. Between the His Eyes big board meeting (most of us looking across a table at each other instead of imagining through Skype the other three times a year) and my presentation about the mission to those interested were a slew of meetings, conversations, chats, bump-intos....seeing old friends, meeting new friends, having people stop me by shouting "Felipe!" that I otherwise would not have seen, and on the flip side seeing more than one person that I know walk right past me without recognizing me on their way somewhere else. A busy weekend for all involved I think...but in a God way.
After that, this past week has flown by...I still have accounting, email, and container computer work to do, as well as seeing some friends and spending some time with family for Thanksgiving.
Trying to thank everyone that helped make the past month a great month...very hard. Two particular familial shout outs have to go to...#1 my parents (providing the mission guy (me) and Valerie with transportation for the entire time, food to raid whenever needed, more office supplies, printing supplies, etc. than I can remember, a place to throw all our junk and then watch us pack it all up again and leave high and dry for many days at a time, and the always fun rides to and from the airport...especially the always fun leaving-at-4:15-in-the-morning drive. #2 The mysterious Georgians. No, they are not from near the Black Sea, but they helped make much of the trip possible, especially as it pertains to Valerie and the kids being able to go, and also continue to help God's work here in more ways than at which you can shake a stick. Why you would try to shake a stick at that I am not sure, but what I am sure of is how much God is being honored through their efforts. They themselves get no credit of course.
Please pray for the elections that are happening tomorrow (Sunday) here in Honduras would be peaceful, have good participation, be fair, and be recognized as being legitimate by the other nations of the world so we can try to get beyond these past five months. This is a big day for Honduras tomorrow. We will be out and about at Union Church playing for those that can come but otherwise will probably stay at home...unless I can get out for a run in the warm Honduran sun...much preferred to the lovely rainy weather recently plaguing the mid-west so much.
How about some more pictures from the trip? These will be fun, I promise.
Peoria is bigger than I thought, but still not that big. The Civic Center was nice, including this statue. Not so nice was seeing kids climbing on it, skateboarding on it, etc.
Side note: I asked two custodial employees at the center what they honestly thought about our convention...what kind of group testimony we were giving. One remarked that we were so much better than other conventions she was ready to marry us earlier in the week. Insert your own joke or deep spiritual comment here.
Sharing takes different forms...like having a 1/2 hour discussion with the Chili's hostess (Amanda) and sharing a bit about the convention, about her job....and here is Brad sharing hunting pictures with a fellow bambi killer. Good times.
Doing everything in Christ's name...to the point you inscribe it on your body. Amazing what can come from an email salutation eh?
Cousin time is hard to come by for our kids. What better way to celebrate what you have in common than your uncle and grandma pushing you around the store ramming into each other like scenes from a Hollywood blockbuster?
Besides, Ceceilia certainly has the look of a determined force with which to be reckoned.
Soren and Wyatt are definitely the more calm of the foursome, but also swept away with Days of Thunder fever. No Chevy Luminas were harmed during the filming of that 1% milk purchasing spree.
Tthey got down on the farm with grandpa as he struggled to help get the harvest done before Thanksgiving. They really enjoyed getting to ride in the tractor and the combine...Cecilia especially liked "helping" and "driving."
Soren using Grandpa's hat and doing his second-best pose from this trip.
Cecilia ready to drive. My favorite was the mammoth combine, painted yellow, with the obvious need of two yellow strobe lights on the top. Yeah, I could hardly see that thing before, but with the strobe lights, now I can pick it out easier.
I won't include a picture of us getting the mighty Sable stuck in the field trying to drop the kids off. Did I mention it has been raining quite a bit there?
I got my picture back from the marathon. Expensive...until I consider asking someone I know to come down and take pictures of me for about five hours. After thinking about that I have a newfound respect for the friends/family that I did see along the route. Impressive.