Monday, September 16, 2013

Recent Travelings


(two trips ago, but no matter)
A week of revival meetings at Shady Lawn Mennonite. 
Such found memories.
Us youth throughly enjoyed bonding with the youth from the church. Many late nights, Dutch Blitz games, hymn singing, and games of Confusion. :) 
I told Mom when we walked into the church on the first evening: "I know we're going to love these people and bond with them so well..." And so it was. 
But most importantly, the Lord was so faithful to show His presence that changes lives. 
 We three oldest after what we call the "Egg-cillent" children's class. First time in doing. Eugene was just fantastic. :)
New friends. 
 It's just such a pleasure...such a pleasure to meet such wonderful people. 
 Over our week in Arkansas we were in about twelve different homes and each was so fun! Above picture was an incredibly loud and hilarious night. :) We loved getting to know the Beilers.

Oh, the joy we had in playing Dutch Blitz with the Stoltzfus'. :) It became tradition. 

   Sat. night after the service: delicious meal and then, clear the table for a rousing (and noisy!) game of "Pit". 

 It was an honor to share a meal with the Duggar family while in Arkansas.

Penn Vally Retreat (with East District Mennonite.) 

(Just this past trip)

This church has a neat tradition of asking one family a year to come sing/speak during their church camping weekend. This year we were privileged to be that family for them. We very much enjoyed getting to know them all and being apart of their weekend. 

 Grace enjoyed the fun Children's activities. 
 Sun. night Dad preached the "family night" message that concluded with a time of blessing from husband to wife, to parents to children ,to siblings to each other. 

  Monday held a talent show. Loved listening to these three widows sing passionately. :) 
 Corn hole tournament in which The Brothers came in second. :) 
We fans. 
 Good memories we made: Dear spotting, singing under stars, playing volleyball in an old barn, and late-night Catch Phrase. 

New Lady friends. 

Days off, Delaware, Pennsylvania, generator problems, meetings, appreciation dinner, time with friends, and Prison service...

it's what happened next on the trip, though is mostly un-pictured. 
     We were so honored to have a service in a women's prison in PA; Mother says it was the highlight of the trip for her. Just Mom, Dad, Derek and I could get in, but such a blessed time.

 On days-off hair-cuts, school, and drama writing need done. 
 One night, on our way to the next destination, we were playing Rook when I decided that (for the sake of generations to come and capturing these fleeting days), we needed a picture. I put the camera on self- timer and the brothers started mocking what could be said as a FB caption with the picture: "Rook with the besties! #lovethem", "Love these guys! #rook #goodtimes".  We're pretty opinionated about things like this. :)

Breakfast with the Kings one beautiful Wed. morning. We love being around their table. (only Anna and I pictured here, obviously. ;) 

Annual Gospel Express Soft Ball Tournament (Gap, PA.) 

Our trip was concluded with this event we enjoy so much! We love working with dear friends in preparing and serving food along with the out-door singing and watching of ball games. 
 Cutting up fruit for smoothies with PA sisters is a good time (even if they don't know how to say "tournament":)). 

 Parfaits! (Grace photography)
  Out-door singing. The evening included Nelson and James, The Mullett Family, The Nolt Family, and  we Millers. 
 Sat. morning Eugene and Dad are packaging Beef Jerkey for selling. 
 Jake is busy at the grill making breakfast sandwiches. 
 Matt and Chet: the men that make it all happen- truly. 
 Sara, Grace, and Lydia working the Smoothie Stand. 
 Fresh-cut french fries!
 Final ball game watching. 

    After all the clean-up (which happened so fast with all those willing hands working together), I asked a few friends to the bus for tea, then it was to bed before a Sunday with two services and then..... HOME!
    Here I sit now, in our beloved kitchen that we deem "big" after having been on the Bus for a time. We don't have much time at home, but we do hope to get much done in the time we have. I told Mom (in the spirit of giving thanks in everything) that one benefit of short times at home is how it forces us to embrace redeeming the time! :) Pray for us as we focus on getting projects done and also resting (which may require wisdom in what things to cut out).
     We appreciate and feel your prayers. I learned so much during this past trip -- hard things, good things. And, like the Pastor from Arkansas wisely prayed over us: "...give them just enough trials that they will stay dependent on you..." we are more aware of our need for Him through these things.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer Tour Tidbits.

     A few pictures for you. There's been lots of ground covered since the events of this trip, but we're posting about it anyhow. The past two post have been from events on the same tour, we're now finally finishing up with a few random shots taken in difference states and weeks. 

One Sunday morning:
Eugene thinks he can tie a tie far better then Derek. :) He took before and after pictures, of course. 
Sunday morning outdoor service. 

Grace took this picture and thought it was very cool. :) 
Once in Canada we were thrilled to spend a few days with the Penner Family. We had services, meetings, and a wedding in their area and they were so incredibly hospitable, despite the fact they were moving all their furniture out of their house (unsure of what house it would go in once they get back from their trip which they were also preparing for.) 
Lovely outdoor dinner. So much fun to have a "day off" with them! 
 They blessed us by taking us to an adorable tea shop for some lady time. 
I was blessed and challenged by these godly women. 
What expressive mannequins. Mother insisted we pose with them. :)
We both had local services and came back to their place for a snack. Two blenders doing fraps and smoothies made for a noisy kitchen. :) 
Daddy talking on the phone and cleaning bus tires. 
We were so glad we were there to help the Penners move their furniture out of their house. We were so amazed by what all was on their plate and how they were allowing God's grace to carry them through it!

     Not long after we joined Gospel Express we were having tent meetings in Canada where we met our dear John Kuephers family. We've so enjoyed spending time with them over the years, and were thrilled we were able to attend the wedding of their daughter Meagan while in Canada!

 Meagan and Max
 The reception was full of meaningful words and so much laughter! We so enjoyed all the candid open-mic sharing. :) 
 Catching up after years of not seeing one-another!

 The Parent's touching and hilarious open-mic speeches. What fun. 
 A few days later, after the couple was on their honeymoon and we had several services and meetings, we returned to Cottonwood Manor for a delightful dinner (and GE Canada board meeting.) with the Kuepfers. In our travels we have many different homes in different states that feel like a bit of "home" to us. This is one of them. 

Returning form our tour of the Newlyweds home. 
After Canada was another service in PA and then a sweet little time in our beloved Holmes County to close out the trip.

Here Grace is watching Curious George with her little cousins while in Oh. 

When we arrive home all of this stuff happens. Car and bus maintenance is one of Dad's favorite hobbies. :)

"Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord HE is good: it is He that hath made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of his pasture"   

`Psalm 100: 2 and 3

(Our trek to Arkansas is coming up next!)