Whew! It’s been tough to even find the time to update the blog. We came up here with appointments at about 8 churches and visited 12 by the time it was all said and done (one of them twice!). I think that the last update was Wednesday night. We met with Steve from Sylvan Way Baptist that evening at Starbucks. We’re thankful that he was able to squeeze us in since he had to go back to work after our meeting was over around 9pm (ouch!).
The next morning we were out the door bound for Enumclaw where we met with Pastor Dan Duncan (not to be confused with Don Duncan from Ballard Baptist on Monday). We had a good time reminiscing about when my Dad was a youth pastor at the Church back in the late 70’s. Because that’s the church I was born in, he felt that the church would feel pretty strongly about jumping on board as partners. Yay! We’ll find out for sure a bit later.
From there, we jumped in the car and were bound for Emmanuel Baptist Church up in Mount Vernon. We met with Pastor Christian, a young pastor of a quickly growing church. We presented our ministry to him and shared some of the challenges that we face and he became pretty interested. He wanted to get us connected with his mission board before we left but we ran out of time :(. Hopefully we’ll be able to come back up and do that at a later time.
By the time we left there, we were already running late for our 3rd appointment with Matt at Cascade Community Church in Monroe. Fortunately, he was really easy going about it and just met us at the church a bit later. It was a interesting meeting as he had just started on as missions pastor two weeks before and he was still figuring out how his church handles missions himself 🙂 That said, I think he’s going to do an incredible job. He’s spent some years on the mission field in Africa himself and has a real heart for it. As he figures out everything that’s going on himself, he said that he’d keep our info for consideration. After that, we headed home…exhausted.
The next morning we were on the road by 7:30am to make the ferry again. This time we were headed for Port Angeles, at the very tip of the peninsula of Washington. My cousin, Jessie lives there. For various reasons, we’ve been out of contact with her for the last few years and it was really good to reconnect our relationship. She’s been through some difficult times and it was good to spend some time encouraging her. We also got to meet with her pastor, Gary who has planted a new Converge/BGC church there in Port Angeles. The church isn’t quite at the point where they’re ready to bring on any missionaries yet, but possibly in the near future. The week we were there, they had a big sand carving contest, so we paid a dollar to check them all out and vote on which one we thought was the best.
We stayed the night there in Port Angeles and had breakfast with Jessie the next day. Saturday we spent all day driving. We drove 3 hours back from Port Angeles, then spent a couple hours at home doing sermon prep. Then we took off for Mansfield, 4 more hours away. It was one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever been on. Through the Cascade mountains, then along the Columbia river, lined with fruit trees, then through a canyon and to the plains where there were wheat fields as far as the eye could see, and into the little town of Mansfield, population about 350. We stayed at the church parsonage last night (the current lay pastor already had a residence, so they use the parsonage for visitors).
We spoke at the church this morning, then had a barbecue with whoever wanted to stay and fellowship. It was a great visit with wonderful folks. I’m sure we’ve found some lasting prayer partners there. After lunch, we jumped into the car and hightailed it back toward the Seattle area because we were trying to make it back in time to get to a Potluck at Our Savior’s Baptist Church, where we spent last Sunday. We missed out on meeting most of the staff since the Pastor was returning from vacation and the missions director and youth pastor were on a Katrina rebuilding trip on the Gulf coast. We made it back just in time to spend the evening with them and meet the rest of the staff. The Pastor was even talking about the possibility of bringing a team down next February or March, so we’ll pray that that will work out.
So…sorry for the extra-lengthy post, but that pretty much brings us up to date. I’m going to hit the hay since we’ve got a flight to catch in the morning. Mel already crashed at least an hour ago 🙂
Oh…and about the Hersheys…I threw a huge bag of the miniature candy bars in the cart at Wal-Mart the other day so that we’d have something to help Mel when she got cravings (and so I could sneak a few when she wasn’t looking). Well…as you can imagine…we had to clean quite a few little wrappers out of the car this evening, but at least we were well fueled as we jetted around 🙂