Up & Around & Back

Friday morning, I headed to Vermont with E and Baby J tucked safely into the back seat. The church I grew up in, Union Baptist Church, was celebrating its Centennial and I really wanted to be there. We stayed with my sister and husband who still live in Vermont, along with my parents who also traveled up for the celebration.

Saturday was a free family carnival. E was ecstatic that there were four (4!) bounce houses – here’s 2:

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My sister and a small team worked tirelessly on a timeline of the church history in conjunction with world events that occurred at the same time. It was huge and well done!

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This is in the gym – you can see how long the timeline was! It was very well done and informative.

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Yup, there’s my family! Yes, that’s me, the little bald baby on the right. I was one when we moved to Vermont and 17 when we left.

Saturday was a nice day of reconnecting with old friends. We haven’t been to Vermont since early 2013 and a few people I hadn’t seen then either, so it’s been awhile! It’s always nice to be back – and always a little surreal. I spent my entire childhood there, yet my entire adult life has been in various other places. But something about Vermont will always always feel like home.

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These were two of my closest friends in high school. We were basically inseparable! Between the three of us, we now have 9 children.

Sunday morning was a big celebration service. {I was proud of my little 5 year old who sat so well during the 2hr service!} The whole service was focused on God’s faithfulness through these 100 years. My dad was invited to come and speak about his time at UBC and the building project he oversaw. The building project took up almost his entire tenure at the church and to this day is still an amazing story. If you don’t know it, some day I’ll sit down and share it with you.

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It was fascinating to hear the church’s history and how, indeed, God has been faithful – over and over – when the church body as a whole was not. God redeemed them, gave them a second chance, and did it all for His glory. I was blessed to be a product of this church and now they are one of our supporters as we do missions work. It’s kind of like coming full circle. Even the pastor they have today was my dad’s associate when I was a little girl, was sent as a missionary to Honduras for many years and then to Texas, and has returned to be senior pastor. Full circle. God is faithful.

I’m very glad I made the time to go. I’m also glad I took my oldest with me and she was big enough to at least hear the stories even if she couldn’t understand everything. She met more people than she probably cares to remember! Yet I’m glad I got to take her with me to experience all of this.

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Before I left for Vermont, I was “missionary of the week” at the CEF Day Camp here at MRF. E was a camper. It was fun, as usual, sharing about missions. This year, I focused on “behind-the-scenes” missionaries and shared precisely what we do within BCM and the importance of MRF.

Meanwhile, Brian was working tirelessly on the home that had the chimney torn down on the work day. The resident was gone for only a week and that was going to be the best time for him to fix the wall, mud, sand, paint, and clean without being a disturbance. After I left with the kids on Friday, he took Big J and they got to work in the house. They put in a full day of work, then ran down to the church to fix a water leak, then over to a friend’s house for supper.

Saturday, they finished cleaning in the home and actually got it done in time! After running more errands, they ran to the airport and got the resident and brought her back to her newly cleaned, fixed-up home.

Sunday during church, Brian got a text from a new friend asking for a ride to southern PA. It was somewhat of an emergency and Brian didn’t even hesitate to say ‘yes.’ The trip took longer than expected, but Big J was rewarded for his patience by a trip to Bass Pro Shops where, surprise surprise!, they had “summer camp”! He got to “go fishing”, shoot a “bow and arrow”, and a BB gun. He had a blast! It was a great way to end the weekend with his dad and a great reward for him being so helpful and patient and not complaining once!

The kids and I got home Monday. We were thankful for little traffic (it’s a 6 hour drive with no traffic and no stops… with two small children, you can imagine it took us a little longer than that!), no road construction, and only one torrential downpour that made us stop for 30 minutes.

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They thought the downpour was hilarious! I did, too – once I was stopped and didn’t have to worry about not being able to see out my windshield!

So, what’s next??

  • Brian is finishing up one bathroom (hopefully yet today) in the pavilion. We really wanted it available for all the summer church picnics happening on the property.
  • July 30-31 we head to Philadelphia to represent MRF at a missions conference. Kiddos will stay with my parents.
  • The end of July we’re joined by two tech interns for BCM. Pray for Brian as details are being worked out right now for what all they will be doing.
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View leaving my sister’s house Monday morning

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