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February Happenings

We spent the entire month of February and part of March on the road (we left February 3rd, but didn't return until March 6th).

We spent the first night on the road with a couple who supported John before we were ever married.  They've kept on supporting us for many years!  John and Gayle were college classmates.  



Our next stop was Portsmouth, VA where we spoke at Grace Bible Church.  Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures, though we had a lovely time with our hostess and enjoyed our morning there.  That Sunday afternoon we headed to Columbia, South Carolina and watched the second half of the Super Bowl with our friends.

We loved getting to spend some time in Florida!  God blessed us with beautiful days in the 70's and 80's the entire time we were there.  It was wonderful.  We stopped in Jacksonville on the way down and walked along the beach before showing up at our friends' house.  And, yes, it was actually a bit chilly out on the beach.



John's first full-time job after college was teaching at a Christian school run by a local church.  Rob, with his wife, Linda, was the youth pastor at the church, so the three of them got to know each other quite well. (Yes, I know the picture is not in focus, but it's the best I got.)



We headed on to Sebring the next morning, stopping in Deltona to visit supporters.  They had gone to John's church in CT and supported him since  before we were married.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture.


We visited my parents in Sebring.  



My sister lives in the area as well, but sadly she was gone.  We did get to see my brother-in-law, though.  



Daniel and Kelly with Levi and Everett flew down for a few days, so we all had a good time thawing out from the frigid northern winter.  










While in Sebring we took a day to go to Fort Myers to visit friends and to Clearwater....all on the same day.  Again, picture-taking fail on my part.

We also presented our ministry and those of our field at our mission retirement center where my parents live.  They were having their spiritual life conference.  Their main speaker was Robert Morgan, who has written many books, but probably most famously is the book The Red Sea Rules .  He was really good and we enjoyed his messages.  We presented twice a day for a total of eight times.  I didn't get any pictures, but here's one of the chapel.  We were invited out quite a bit and enjoyed getting to know some people there better.



Alas, our time in Sebring ended all too soon and we headed north to the cold lands again.  We stopped in Georgia to visit my dad's cousin and meet his new wife.  Guess what?  No photos!  Then it was on to Ohio to visit Suz, Theo, "Heavenly", Tera, and Everett.  And I still didn't get any pictures.  One day there it was so warm that we spent a good chunk of the time playing outside.  Suzanne got this picture of me playing with Tera. 

 

That evening we watched the winter Olympics with the windows wide open! 

From Ohio we journeyed on to Michigan for a few days with Daniel and Kelly.  We took Levi and Everett to an indoor playground and they did NOT like the Astro turf AT ALL.  

We also celebrated Daniel's 29th birthday while we were there.  When did I become the mother of a 29 year old????  

 



From Michigan we headed over to the Chicago area, in Illinois.  We stayed one night, then headed to Minneapolis to visit supporters there, Paul and Martina.  John had met Martina back when they both worked at the same camp. 

 

There was a lot of snow in Minneapolis, but we went to a park and saw Minnehaha Falls and then went to a botanical garden. 

 









In the evening, we ate out and visited the Mall of America, just to be able to say we did. We had a great time with them, staying two nights.

We also got to meet up with missionary friends, David and Carmen.  We had worked together in West Africa, but they now have a ministry to immigrants just north of Minneapolis.  



On the way back to Chicago, we drove through Wisconsin.  They were installing new power lines and it was fascinating to see how they were doing the work.  They laid boardwalk roadways for the heavy equipment to drive on.  



I'm guessing that is for two reasons:  1.) the ground is really wet and muddy and 2.) it leaves less of a "footprint" when they are done with the work than it would if the equipment just tore up the ground by driving on it.  Apparently this power line is coming from wind farms and will provide renewable energy for Wisconsin.  We also saw stations to recharge your electric car and ate at Culver's, which seems to be a midwestern fast-food restaurant.

Back in Chicago, we stayed with John's best friend from college, Lloyd and his wife, Sue.  



They made us feel so welcome and relaxed.  We really didn't do much while we were there.  I did make a lot of progress on my picture organizing project and we went for long walks every day.  One day we visited one of our Niger MKs, Heidi, who is a student at Wheaton College. 

 

She was supposed to fly home to Boston Friday night for spring break, but there was that huge storm and the Boston Airport was closed down so her flight was cancelled.  She had to wait until Sunday night to go home.  She had nowhere to go, so we asked Lloyd and Sue if she could come there.  Of course they very graciously said yes, so we enjoyed two days with her, though I know she would rather have been home.  Lloyd also very graciously offered to take her to the airport.  We were more than happy to do it, but we would have had to take her and then go back and get our luggage as we couldn't fit Heidi, her luggage, and our luggage in our car.

We had supper with another couple who support us and who have been friends with John since college days. Guess what?  I forgot to take a picture! We were going to have supper with a couple who recently retired from our field, but they had gone to England and their flight back got cancelled because of snow there.  So it didn't work for us to see them.

And that takes us into March and the story of our trip home will have to wait until next month! :)


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