Thursday, March 24, 2016

Highlights from Ohio

We've been settled in Connecticut for over a week now and are slowly catching our breath from a few busy months of travel. I (Bethany) was especially excited to unpack, organize everything and vacuum out the car!

As we look back on our recent 2 weeks in Ohio, we are so thankful for the visits, memories and special times shared with family, churches, friends and supporters. God has been so good to us and has provided such encouragement through our network of support here in the States. Here are some highlights:

We spent time with Bethany's maternal grandfather, affectionately known as "Grampydear". You can read more about him in this post. We were shocked to learn that after our visit, Grampydear suddenly passed away this week. We will really miss him, but we are also very thankful he did not suffer and lived until 89 with practically no health problems. We are also very thankful to be here when this happened and to be able to attend the funeral with our family.

While in the Youngstown area, we stayed with
Bethany's aunt and uncle, who also live down the road from Bethany's cousin. They have a little Ellie, too, and we had lots of fun having play dates with the "other Ellie". We enjoyed a visit to the children's museum, family dinners and lots of random play time. Bethany's aunt and uncle spoiled us with babysitting and delicious food during our visit.

We visited three supporting churches in Ohio. The one pictured to the right is Evangel Baptist in Boardman, our first stop. We enjoyed being there for a missions Sunday, where we participated in a panel discussion during the service about challenges and "God moments" on the mission field. We also visited Grampydear's church, Champion Presbyterian, in Warren, OH. With each church visit, we were so encouraged to meet people who are faithfully praying for us, as well as sacrificially giving to enable us to serve.

Our third church in Ohio was Stanwood Community Church in Navarre (near Massillon). The pastor of this church is a dear friend of Nate's from college. Not only did we love our time with the church, we also got to spend quality time with our good friends, discussing ministry, growth, family and everything between. The family hosting us generously babysat for Ellie so we could go out that night with our friends for some quality time together. We left Ohio certainly feeling refreshed.
In between all of this, we also go to visit some of Bethany's cousins who live in the Columbus area. Nate (cousin) and Nate (Johnson) used to go ice climbing together in NH and the four of us had a great time catching up, while Ellie jumped on their trampoline and played with their girls' barbies. Ohio was just one encouraging visit after another, and we came away tired but incredibly blessed and grateful.

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