Farewell and the Trip West

We departed from Cincinnati last Sunday, after saying farewell to many dear friends at Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church. My farewell sermon is posted here. Fr. Wayne and Sandy McNamara came down from Dayton. We were also delighted to see some our senders from outside our church: Tim and Monique O’Neil and Wendy Jacques and her daughter Jenna. The Jacques family was the very first to pledge monthly support for our mission, so they occupy a special place among our supporters. Here are a few shots of the gathered crowd of friends:

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Words of encouragement were spoken, toasts were proposed, and we were very blessed.

Then we started driving. And driving. And driving.

Our goal was Las Vegas, where my wacky brother and his beautiful fiancée Trudie were scheduled to be wed in the Luxor Hotel on Wednesday evening. That is 2,000 miles in 3.5 days. Our kids saw the last snow they are likely to experience for three years – in Texas, of all places!

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We stopped in Amarillo, TX for the night. We make it our policy always to choose hotels that offer breakfast as part of the package, and we had a good experience with the Staybridge Inn and Suites in Amarillo. They had some very nice waffle-makers:

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We started driving again, and had gone one exit on the highway when we realized that Isaiah had left one of his hearing aids on a table in the hotel lobby. We turned back and reclaimed it. After that, we made such good time that we were able to stop and see the south rim of the Grand Canyon, which you can read about in an earlier post. Our kids are fantastic travelers after five months of trips to the East coast to visit churches.

(Click on the panorama picture for a larger version.)

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The next day, we pulled into Las Vegas. My brother and his bride exchanged their “I do’s” and enjoyed the company of several friends who came all the way from Maryland. We’re pleased to report that Isaiah was kept safely away from the gaming tables, and we escaped Vegas without visiting either the topless revue or the exhibit of plasticized human cadavers. The kids were impressed by the Egypt theme:

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From there, it was a mad dash to Victoria, BC – a trip that took 1,400 miles as we attempted to avoid the Rockies. We ended up making the trip in only two days, and actually made it to the Tsawwassen ferry by 4:15 on Friday, just as the sun was setting:

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Hosanna, hearing us discuss the ferry boat before we boarded, inquired, “Are the fairies making the boat go?”

Now we are safely arrived and comfortably lodged at Sora’s parents’ house. We had planned to visit three churches to share our mission to the Philippines, but God, in what we have come to know as His usual way, has made it five – four Anglican and one Presbyterian.

Please pray that we’ll be able to sell our van, and that we will continue to have God’s mercy attending us as we travel. Pray that our vision for missionary work will be a blessing to the congregations we visit.

Also, please continue to pray for the people of Mindanao who have a long recovery ahead of them after the recent typhoon and the devastation it brought. Both of the mission works we’ll be involved with are working on bringing the love of God to the affected areas, with hands and skill to heal and help.

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