Western Trip

Yes, we're finally home from our trip out to the Great West. For a total of twenty-three days we were out and about, seeing old friends and making many new acquaintances. We were blessed with safety on all six flights, as well as with the various rental and borrowed vehicles we used. God was gracious to us and worked out many details on the trip as far as lodging, travel, and schedule. We give Him all the glory for all that He did! Many folks were involved in making our trip a success. We would like to publicly thank Pastor Bruce Goddard and Faith Baptist Church in Wildomar, CA, and Pastor Wayne Hardy and Bible Baptist Church in Stillwater, OK. All of the churches we were with were a great blessing, but these two especially helped with many of the needs we had during our stay. They graciously helped with lodging, vehicles for traveling to other meetings, and many meals and snacks. We want you to know that we truly appreciate all that you did! We could continue all day and write about each church who helped and either gave money towards our plane tickets or helped with other needs. The Lord knows the trip would have been impossible without you. Thank you for giving so freely and allowing us to minister to you. Sunday, November 11: Pastor Bill Rench jokes that he single-handedly opened up the West to us. In reality, if it wasn't for his help many years ago, it's doubtful whether we would have started holding meetings on the West coast. In the mid-1980s we were headed to his church in Oregon for a meeting. Before we arrived, Bro. Rench called to inform us that the meeting was cancelled. We were already on our way, so Dad told him we would just come on ahead anyway. We ended up parking our vehicles at his church and working out of the area for quite a while. Bro. Rench helped us get into many of the churches in Oregon and Washington. From there we made our way into California. Apparently he has "single-handedly opened up the West" to us! We ministered at Calvary Baptist in Temecula, California--where he pastors now. The church continues to grow. They are almost finished with a huge fellowship hall/gym and are making great strides in expanding the space they have. It was a blessing to see them again. The church responded warmly to the ministry and almost bought out all of our CDs we had shipped ahead. Wednesday, November 14: Pastor Bruce Goddard is one of the most gracious pastors we know. He has always received us kindly whenever we were able to be with him and his church folk. Tom and Glessie Donar (from the church) allowed us to stay the entire week with them while we were in meetings in the surrounding area. They bought many meals for us, helped us with our mailout, and generally got the job done. We loved meeting their family...Ivan, Luke, and the dogs, Kirby and Cookie. We surely miss Ivan and Luke, especially....and Dad misses Kirby a great deal. They became great friends. Dad preached one of the school chapel services while we were here, and Joanna and Jessica helped in the guitar class taught by Pastor Goddard's mother. The services on Wednesday evening went well. We were thankful to be able to see Mrs. Doug Fisher and two of her daughters, Nicole and Rachel. The Donars were very kind to let us visit with other friends while staying at their house. Thursday, November 15: Our next stop was in Corona at Grace Baptist Church with Pastor Ken Bates. We sang and Dad preached a short message. Charlie Everett, a long-time friend of Dad's, attends church here. He is an amazing violinist. We tried to glean some help from him. After services, we grabbed a bite at Denny's before heading back to the Donars. Sunday, November 18: Headed up to the high desert country today. We had been with the Mountain View Baptist Church in Hesperia long ago, but not when Bro. Ron Webb was pastoring. The church seems to be doing well. When we arrived Saturday evening, the pastor took us to eat, helped us settle in at the missions quarters, and we were able to check out the P.A. setup before heading to bed. There were quite a few young people in the services on Sunday. Dad preached all morning. In the evening Pastor Webb preached and we sang. It was good to see the work going forward even after all these years. Monday-Tuesday, November 19-20: It was the L.A. area on the schedule these two days. Pastor John Wilkerson and First Baptist Church in Long Beach were having a Fall Revival. Pastor Doug Fisher was here to preach. What a blessing and treat to hear him again! The Bumacod family took us to eat the first night and we enjoyed fellowshipping with them. The next day we sang at the high school chapel hour. After trying to wrap up details on the new CD, "Mountain Heritage", we headed to the Black Angus to eat lunch with Mr. Ward Cayot. He is a dear family friend of ours who has had a tremendous part in our ministry and in the ministries of our extended family. We spent some time in his home that afternoon. The service that evening was once again a real encouragement. The church had both their English and Spanish church members involved tonight. We attempted a song in Spanish. It's been a while since we've done so, and although we were a bit shaky, it appeared that they could understand us fairly well. We tried to say goodbye to all before having to head back to the mission room and squeezing in all our junk into already overflowing suitcases. It was time to move on to the second segment of our trip. Wednesday, November 21: We made it into Dallas and then on to Amarillo the next day. Dan and Jennifer (our third sister and daughter) Martin and their three daughters, Ashley, Melissa, and Heather, met us at the airport. We headed directly to their home in Dalhart, Texas. Services were coming quickly as we ate and dressed. We had a good time in the service, just remembering God's goodness to us this year. Jennifer joined us on one song. It's always fun to sing with other family members as it doesn't happen often! Dad preached a short message on reasons to be thankful. Dan and Jennifer had a small group of folks from their church over for Thanksgiving. We still had some of Dad's deep-fried turkey, thanks to Dan purchasing a deep fryer. It was a nice day of fellowship and great food. We spent an extra day with the Martins, touring their town and checking out the improvements on the church. They have done a tremendous job of fixing things up and have a great heart to reach many folks in the area. We were sad to leave them on Saturday as we headed to Oklahoma. Sunday, November 25: After some changing around of vehicles on Saturday, we made it into Stillwater. We had dinner with Pastor Wayne Hardy and his family. Pastor Hardy has been a great help to us, especially this past year. He has had a big part in getting the newest CD completed, for which we are very grateful. The church was very refreshing to minister to this Sunday. We sang in junior church during the Sunday School hour, then sang for the morning and evening services. Once again our friends, the Morie family, came to see us both services. There was a time of food and fellowship after the evening services. Wednesday, November 28: During this week Pastor Tom Vineyard and the good folks at Windsor Hills Baptist in Oklahoma City opened up their mission apartment to us. They have supported us for many years and it was good to see them again after so long. They were a blessing to us, allowing us to use the church offices to do some much needed business work. We sang for one of the college chapels, went on visitation with the church another night, and ate dinner with some of the college workers and students. We slipped away a few times to visit our nephew and grandson, Peter Montoro, who is attending Heartland Baptist Bible College. He is certainly amazing all those who meet him with his vast amount of knowledge. He is an avid eater of raw spinach and we watched in wonder as he filled up half of his lunch tray with the green stuff. We were thankful to be able to see him and others from Open Door in Astoria, Queens. (our son-in-law and brother-in-law, Pete Montoro, is pastor there). Sunday, December 2: One more stop before heading home was at Bible Baptist in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Pastor David Zimmerman had wanted to split a Sunday with Pastor Hardy, but when that didn't work out, he had us for the following Sunday. We sang all day. The church was kind and friendly and we had some time to fellowship with various members both Saturday and Sunday night. The Mories came again and invited other friends. We returned back to the hotel to once pack what we could into crammed luggage. Pastor Zimmerman was a kind one to take us to the airport early the next morning for our flights home. Despite delays, we made it into Pittsburgh in one piece. It was snowing on the way back, but we slid into our driveway eventually. Not a moment too soon! The next few days it was snowing...and snowing...and snowing. We ended up getting at least ten inches. Welcome home, huh!