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Noteworthy November -- Part 1

As of today, November 16, we have slept in nine different beds.  Well, one of the beds we slept in two different times with a few days in another place in between.

We left our home in Pennsylvania on November 3rd and traveled as far as Salisbury, NC.  We stayed with a family we had never met, but they knew my mother- and father-in-law.  John's parents had once been part of a bed and breakfast organization, something like Airbnb, only it was a Christian organization.  This couple had stayed with them and they hit it off well, so the next time they traveled through the area, they stayed with my in-laws again.  John's parents told them about us and they started corresponding with us.  We finally got to meet them.  And I failed to take any pictures.  

When we got to their house, we found that a couple who had done a short-term in Niger back in the early '90's was also there.  They live not far away from our new friends and had met at a church!  And I really don't know why I didn't take pictures, but I didn't.  I did do better most of the rest of the trip.

From there we traveled down to Jackson, SC.  Our church there started supporting me in 1982 when I first went to Nigeria as a single missionary and they have supported us ever since.  Again, I didn't take many pictures, but we always appreciate the warm southern welcome we get there! We presented our ministry in Sunday School and John gave the morning message.  We also presented in the evening.  We were blessed by a visit from a couple who came all the way from Greenville SC (the opposite end of the state).  His parents had been missionaries in Niger and he had grown up in Tera.  He is about our age, so it was long before we got there.

On Monday, November 6, we drove back up to Columbia and stayed with friends.  That afternoon we got together with two graduates of Sahel Academy who are now attending CIU.  It was great to see them again and to hear of God's faithfulness in their lives.  Since they are international students, they are not able to get grants or loans, but God has provided their tuition one semester at a time.  They know the value of a good education and are working hard.  Not only that, but they both love God and others deeply and are seeking to do what God wants in their lives.

That evening we ate supper with friends and, once again, I forgot to take out my camera!  Victoria and I had known each other ever since I was in college and she was in high school and have followed each other's journeys to the mission field; she and her family to eastern Europe and now a campus ministry in the USA and us to Niger.  We got reconnected, though, when she did a short term in Niger.  We had gone out to the airport to meet somebody (Daniel was just a baby then) and our mission travel coordinator was there to pick up somebody .... who it turns out was Victoria!  We cancelled her guest house reservation and made sure she stayed with us!

The next day, November 7, we went for a hike at a local state park and then met up with some MK friends from our childhood days at KA in Nigeria.  Deb, on the left, and I had actually been roommates in 3rd grade.  I also remember Susan, which is remarkable as there are a lot of kids from back then that I don't remember.

I went to a very small Christian school in Syracuse NY (we were there during the 2nd year of its existence.  It is currently a sizable school! ).  My teacher, Miss Prentice, had a roommate, Miss Burns, who taught either 3rd or 4th grade.  Later she married and she and her husband moved to Columbia SC where her husband teaches at the CIU grad school.  She reminded me that I had been a teacher's aide in her classroom, which I had not remembered!  But I am sure it was through the encouragement of people like Anita that I went into education.  (I don't think I'm as huge as I look in this picture!  LOL.)

After lunch we drove up to Charlotte.  Friends of ours who were out of town let us use their house.  We wish we could have spent time with them, but it sure was nice to be "off duty" for a couple of days.  We did have a meeting at our SIM office, met with a couple who is possibly interested in Niger, and saw some other people.  We were there for two nights.

Back when I was a student at Cedarville, those in the elementary education program had to do a certain number of classroom observations before doing student teaching.  Since Cedarville was on a quarter system then, I didn't go back to school until late in September, so I could get in an observation while I was still on summer vacation.  My dad connected me with a Christian school near Greenville, SC for one of my observations.  The teacher I observed under was amazing and I learned so much from her.  She and her husband have supported us, I think, ever since I first went to Nigeria.  It was fun to catch up with them again.

Our next stop was back in Columbia.  We stayed again with Jerry and Lois who are amazing hosts! Even though Lois wasn't feeling well, she still took good care of us.


Our supporting church in Columbia has also been supporting us since 1982!  They chose the month of November for a missions' emphasis month and have been having a special missions' message or presentation every Sunday.  We shared the Sunday, November 12, with another family.  They did Sunday School and John did the morning message.  They had decorated the church so nicely with an international theme.  They also had dinner-on-the-grounds with an international theme.  We had a great Sunday there.

On Monday, the 13th we  headed back up to the Charlotte area to visit supporters.  Unfortunately, once again, I failed to take photos of us together, but I did take one of the lovely guest apartment they have for visitors.  

That afternoon we went to the JAARS center and went through the Alphabet Museum, which is nicely done and very interesting. 


On Tuesday, November 14 we drove up to Maryland to stay with supporters.  Cheryl and I have known each other since we were in college together!  We were in the same major so we had a lot of classes together.  They have supported us for a long time.  

We were able to get together for lunch with a friend we made the year we lived in Maryland.  He is now pastoring a church.  We had a great time with him, and the Mediterranean restaurant was an excellent choice.  After Marty left, we ended up talking with the owner for awhile (he is actually Pakistani) and he gave us a piece of baklava as a gift!

Wednesday night we spoke at Grace Bible Baptist Church which has supported us since about 2000.  We showed our presentation and John preached.  We had a great evening there.

We drove home today.  It took us almost four hours, I drove all the way, and we never stopped once.  We are home for two nights and then on the road again on Saturday!  We are praising God for safety in the many many miles we have traveled.

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