Oh, the places you’ll go

We had a busy week of ministry as March ended. The Lord opened the doors for some truly encouraging fellowship, allowed us the chance to thank ministry partners in person, gave us time to hug the necks of loved ones rarely seen, and even let us sneak in a few hours of fun, to boot.

It was an odd trip in that it was just Christopher and I and the five littles, something that seemed like it could either be very, very good or disastrously bad. As it turned out, we were blessed by the very good. We don’t travel with screens or individual distractions, a practice I abandoned after having to pull over one too many times to fish a wayward Pinterest activity from the floor, reminding shouting siblings that their turn with thus and such toy was up, and spending half an hour scraping stickers from a car window. Now we just pack everyone up with the expectation that audio books, seek and find games, and conversation will be enough to fill the time. It works for us. This last trip was seven and a half hours without stops, and aside from hearing from multiple children that the narrator was mispronouncing “Almanzo” (we say “Al-mon-zo,” she said, “Al-man-zo”), it was a very good time indeed.

The ministry side of the trip was more than we could have asked for. Sometimes the life of missionaries is an uphill climb of begging people to see the value in what you’re doing, or hoping that they catch just a fraction of the passion Jesus has for the work He has asked you to be a part of. There was none of that last week; instead, we spent time with enthusiastic friends eager to hear what God had already done, and hungry to be part of the next steps. I also had the chance to share my personal testimony with a group of women who responded in a way that is still blessing me days later. We couldn’t be more grateful for this shot of encouragement, especially as it came right in the middle of multiple international trips for Christopher.

Sandwiched in between, we caught up with friends— always a balm for the soul. It’s a blessing to do life with people who get it, and will even offer you a place to stay.

Because we are frugal folks on a budget, we took advantage of free entertainment in the off hours.

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By the end of five days, we were all ready to head home.

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We returned to spring making itself known in East Tennessee, some much bigger baby chicks, and a two week countdown to Easter… and Christopher and Mary Hannah leaving for Nepal. After that refreshing breath, we’re ready for the what’s coming down the pike, and anxious to tackle it!

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