Oct.4: Our meeting this night was at the Bayview Baptist Church out on the Island in Mastic Beach. Pastor Lee Pallman and his family fed us pizza and ice cream before the services started. There were quite a bit of young people and children in the services. Dad preached powerfully on the need to get right with God and seek revival. We fellowshipped with folk and then headed back to Astoria.
Oct. 8-9: We've been holding meetings at the Chestertown Baptist Church in Chestertown, Maryland, for a number of years. Pastor Mel Brindley and his church family always welcome us kindly. As is usually the custom, we were with them for their annual Fall Revival. In Sunday School, Dad taught the adult class, and Mom spoke to the ladies. Tuesday was a packed day. We sang at several chapel services, helped with a church mail-out, sang to a lady who has cancer and may soon go to be with the Lord, and then ate dinner at the Stoltzfus' residence. (We parked our bus at their house years and years ago.) And we still managed to get in a service that night! It was good to see our friends, Jesse Kragiel and Leah Vansant, who came to the meeting during our stay.
Oct. 15: We had a six-hour trip to get to Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, on Saturday. It was a long drive, but we made it in one piece. Pastor Stephens and family fed us upstairs in the fellowship hall when we arrived. We stayed with a family in the church who fed us a "threshing crew" breakfast. There was a good crowd this day at Victory Baptist--services went well and the church had a dinner before wrapping up the day with an afternoon service. Then it was six hours and--home!
With a few days to spare we prepared for another trip this week. We're not sure if we're coming or going anymore. We probably run into ourselves coming and going...yeah, that's more like it.
Oct. 20: Today we started a marathon trip. Our first stop was in Eaton, Ohio, at Twin Valley Baptist. The ladies of the church were holding their Fall Fellowship. We found the food to be delicious and the fellowship sweet. Mrs. Volcheck, a friend of Mom's, showed up with her three daughters and ladies from her church. (Her husband and the family helped us on our cabin when we first received our log home kit.) Mom spoke and the girls sang. We heard several testimonies of God's faithfulness in the lives of the ladies present. The church folk were gracious and friendly and we were blessed to be with them.
Oct. 21: We packed up and headed to Nineveh, Indiana. We were scheduled to be at the commissioning service for Michael Norton, which was being held at the First Baptist Church. This was quite an unusual service for us. It was not necessarily a Graduation service (although Michael had not officially had one), nor was it an ordination service. It was, mainly, a dedication of Michael's life to God with his pastor, family, and friends present. Dad gave one of several challenges in the service, and we sang selected songs. Michael had surrendered his life to the Lord in one of our meetings last year. What a privilege to be a part of his commissioning! His heart for the Lord was clearly evident.
After eating with his family and other friends, we packed ourselves back into the van (a very tricky thing to do) and took off for Clinton, Illinois.
Oct. 22: Our next stop was the First Bapt. Church in Clinton, Illinois. Pastor John Roberson and the church family seemed to be blessed by the ministry of preaching and singing. The fed us a great afternoon meal and we stayed at a nearby motel. Due to some frantic rushing around and a somewhat noisy heater, the water in one of our rooms was left running, quite by accident. When we found that the water had indeed been running for a while, Dad felt he should tell the manager and help defray some of the bill. After reporting what had happened, the manager asked him if he was a Christian. Apparently he knew no one but a Christian would admit to leaving the water running and offering to help with the cost. As a result, Dad was able to talk with the man about his soul. Though he did not get saved, he said he needed a Bible. Dad took his address so he could get a Bible sent to him. What an opportunity!
No...we haven't tried that water trick again..but this time it wasn't such a bad thing after all.
On our way to Oswego, Illinois, for a meeting we decided to stop in at Matt & Julie's place in Schaumburg. It was nice to be able to crash at their apartment for a few days. We had fun hanging out with them--visiting the Wheaton College Campus and touring the Billy Graham Museum. One of the men on staff showed us some books, Bibles, and other items of interest. In the library, we found a yearbook with Mom's picture. She had gone to a nursing school in the area, but had attended classes taught by professors from Wheaton College. We saw Jim Elliot's yearbook pictures, as well as an Auca spear propped in a corner in the small room where we pored over one of Billy Graham's Bibles, a commentary with hand-written notes from a student of Martin Luther, and a 1611 King James Bible.
To top it off, we hit a little candy shop nearby...and left with quite a few purchases. That made Joanna's day!
Oct. 25-29: The girls left Wednesday for a Missions Conference in Oswego, Illinois, at the Valley Baptist Ch. (Dad, Mom, and Grady stayed behind to spend extra time with Matt and Julie.) Pastor Mike Blythe met us at the church where we set up a few mics. We stayed with a couple in the church. It was a treat to see Dr. James Ray and his wife, Mary--director of BIMI in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The meeting went well and we sensed that God was working in hearts. On Saturday, we picked up Dad, Mom, and Grady, who joined us to finish off the Missions Conference.
Oct. 31: We spent a couple of days with the Wesco Family in South Bend, Indiana. They treated us wonderfully with top-notch meals, a comfortable place to rest, and fine fellowship. (Did we mention lots of teasing?) Their church, Fellowship Baptist Church, is a very family-oriented ministry. On Tuesday evening we sang quite a bit and Dad preached. Afterwards, there was an ice-cream social for one and all.
On Wednesday morning we began the long journey home. It is always nice to cross the state line back into West Virginia, because of course that means we're almost there.
We've already hit another marathon month, but we'll save the details till later.
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