Instead of 2-3 days, we returned for a total of 10 days, July 19th-29th and had an wonderful time. As soon as we landed in Washington, having come from the Mid-West, we felt like we had forgotten what green trees looked like and how big the mountains were in the Pacific Northwest. Jennifer and I said to ourselves several times, “did the trees get greener and did Mt. Rainer grow since we’ve been gone and have you ever noticed how beautiful the sea fog is in these little coastal cities?”
One of my best friend’s Russ Heppner was married to a lovely lady on Saturday July 20th and Jennifer and I were able to attend. I preached in Elma, WA at the Northwest Life Center on Sunday July 21st for both their AM and PM services. In between those services, both my family and Jen’s family gathered together at my parents home to do a smaller, private dedication of Anna which was really special for all of us.
On Monday July 22nd Jennifer and I spent most of the afternoon in Raymond, WA with her Grandpa Bob at Ralph and Janice’s house which are Jen’s other grandparents. There were lots of family, food, fun, and even sunshine. That evening we had a partner’s meeting at New Life with about 20 people who have been partners with our family as missionaries. This was a great time of reconnecting with lots of people and being able to share about the past 6 months in Kansas City Missouri.
On Tuesday July 23rd we spent the entire day with my (Patrick) side of the family in Olympia and then back in Aberdeen as we had a celebration of my dad’s birthday. On Wednesday we had an awesome time meeting with a family who has also partnered with us in the Aberdeen area and sharing with them what God has been doing. That evening we made our way to Olympia, WA to spend the rest of our time with Jen’s family. On Thursday July 25th we had a family day with the Deskin’s that included an adventure in the Capitol forest, bike riding, stream watching and ended with great people and cake at the Solid Rock Ranch Family night through Capital Christian Center.
The following day, Friday July 26th Jennifer and I, without any children (which was the first time in 5 months),went to Raymond, WA to serve Willy and Lisa Ariss at their rehearsal and rehearsal dinner for their “A Wedding In The Woods.”
Lisa looked so beautiful in her wedding dress and William so mature as they were both ready to take this step and be joined together as husband and wife. The wedding was glorious as the sun was shining, family and friends were in attendance, and the day they had been planning for was now here.
The following day on Sunday July 27th I preached at Pastor Isaiah and Leta Johnson’s church, Crosspointe Community in the morning. That morning I talked about the Holy Spirit and how we are called to build a vibrant, personal and intimate relationship with Him. When we returned to Olympia that evening, Phinneas had been asking all day to go on an adventure with Poppa. So, Poppa (Dwayne) took Jennifer, myself and Phinneas on a REAL ADVENTURE through the Capitol forest. We went “Rouge” as we blazed our own trail through the brush. Thank God Poppa has a built in GPS in his head as we made our way through the thicket and into a beautiful wildlife reserve where we seen lots of different animals and birds.
That evening we relaxed around the house with Dwayne and Janna and the kids until the following day where we had to get on a flight and make our way back to Kansas City. Monday July 28th we said our goodbyes with Jen’s family at the Sea-Tac airport and went through the process to start boarding our flight’s back home to Kansas City. This trip was a huge blessing in so many ways. It was a joy to share baby Anna with many who hadn’t yet got a chance to meet her. We were also greatly blessed by the generosity of several churches, family, friends, and partners. It was so special connecting with people we hadn’t seen in several months.
Until next time, thank you for the great summer trip and wonderful memories Washington!