Sept. 2-3, Sunday-Monday: The long trek was made up to Michigan on Saturday. Pastor & Mrs. Townsend and their daughter, Bethany, greeted us kindly. We had a nice evening of home-style food and laughter as we spent some time in fellowship. We set up and then headed to the hotel, where some wonderful snacks were waiting.
The schedule was much the same as last year. We sang one in Sunday School and Pastor Townsend brought the lesson. In the main service we sang more and Dad preached. They had an afternoon meal with the whole church family staying to enjoy the food. Once again there were split sessions with Dad and Mom teaching, then an informal service with a great deal of specials by different church members. Folks stayed around to talk and eat the rest of the delicious food. We eventually headed back to the hotel to rest.
On Monday there was a church-wide picnic in Frankfort. The funniest thing was watching all of us ride bikes...something some of us hadn't done in years! Volleyball games were held and the meal was eagerly partaken of.
At a music shop across the road, we heard there was a concert going on later in the afternoon. Come to find out, it was not a concert but just the celebration of the second year anniversary of the shop. We went over anyways and sang a song for the owner. He asked what our group name was and said we should record a CD. A novel idea! We tried to tell him we were getting ready to record again soon. It was a great chance to be a witness and we hope that he listened to the words of the song.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing and getting ready for the trip home.
Sept. 9-19, Sunday-Wednesday: The time had come, and it was coming fast! We left on Saturday to head to New York City and the recording studio. Were we prepared? We thought so, but you never really can be all that sure. There's always something for which you are not quite ready. At any rate, we made it into the City without incident, praise the Lord!
Sunday services with the Open Door Bible Baptist Church and our son-in-law and brother-in-law, Pastor Pete Montoro, were a great encouragement. Dad preached all the services except for Sunday School. It was good to be with the people of Open Door once again. There are always the familiar faces of the church family and new faces every time we come.
In the evening service, there was a special time of recognition for our son-in-law and brother-in-law, Ted Monsour, and another young man, Franz, who had completed their Bible Institute work at the church. Dad preached a good message on the ministry, and afterwards there was a time of refreshments. We joked about Sharon (Ted's wife and our fifth daughter and sister) being free to have her second baby--now that we were in the City and Ted had graduated.
Have the baby she did--the very next day, in fact! Little Emeline Priscilla Monsour made her appearance about 1:45pm, September 10. We had started our recording session and the phone kept ringing with Mom updating us on the progress. What a crazy day!
Progress was made the whole week on the recording in spite of a few setbacks. We didn't get everything done that we wanted to, but what was done seemed acceptable.
On Saturday there was a Ladies fellowship at Open Door. Mom spoke in several sessions, Joanna taught the teen girls (and also acted in a skit), and the girls sang several songs. Before the meeting was over we had to leave for the airport for a quick weekend meeting in Ohio.
Sept. 16, Sunday: Our flight to the Akron/Canton airport was uneventful...until we arrived. We were quick to find out that Dad & Mom's luggage had not arrived with the rest of our stuff. Apparently the luggage had gone to Atlanta, and it was uncertain when we would see it again. There was supposed to be a shuttle bus that would take us to our hotel, but upon inquiring of this we learned that the hotel had to be informed 24 hours in advance of our arrival. Meanwhile our cell phone was dying. Never fear! We simply looked up the pastor's number and called. Then we had to wait for a spell as he and his wife lived a bit of a drive from the airport.
Eventually we made it to the hotel (which was only 5 or 10 minutes from the airport) and the pastor took Dad and Mom to Wal-mart for some needed supplies after a delectable meal. Bro. Nathan Gipp was here with his daughter, Deborah, and it was good to see him again.
Services on Sunday went well in spite of the events of the day before. We sang quite a bit today and Dad taught the Sunday School lesson. Bro. Nathan preached the main services. The church was celebrating its sixth anniversary, complete with a dinner in the church fellowship hall and an afternoon service. We enjoyed seeing Dad's cousin and her husband, Virginia and Friday Zetty. The Reynolds family also came to see us.
The rest of the evening was spent resting and eating supper with Bro. Nathan and his daughter. Our flight left early the next morning. Oh, yes...Dad & Mom did get their luggage back late Saturday evening.
We finished up a few more songs in the studio before heading home on Wednesday of the following week.
Sept. 23, Sunday: Our journeys this weekend took us to the Trinity Baptist Church in Warrenton, Virginia. Pastor Vinton Williams had heard of us from another pastor. The church warmly received the ministry. We sang in all of the services and Dad preached the evening service. The Williams took us out to eat several times. (Pastor Vinton's brother, Bro. Van Williams, preached the morning services.) Bob Patterson showed up with a friend of his in the evening service...quite surprising! We remembered fondly the old days at Camp Li-Lo-Li in western New York.
Sept. 24-26, Monday-Wednesday: Still recovering from the weekend, we headed home to be at our church's Fall Revival this week with Evangelist Don Hardman. The girls sang each night and helped in the nursery. Mom entertained (and taught!) a kids' class. We had a good showing this week and believe that hearts were touched. Bro. Hardman greatly encouraged our church to reach their potential for Christ.
Sept. 30, Sunday: This last Sunday of the month found us in Keyser, West Virginia, with Pastor Randall Larry and the Victory Independent Bapt. Church. It was especially a blessing to be with the church folk on this day. Dad preached in Worship Service and in the evening service. It seemed we needed to be with Pastor Larry more than he needed us to be at his church. What a gracious man he is!
September has flown away from us, but we trust that eternal work was accomplished this month. How we pray that God will continue to enable us to do what He has called us to do! Please keep us in your prayers as we minister this next month.
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