I mentioned that Thursday morning we visited a pioneer village in Federicksburg. It was an interesting display of life in the 1850-1880’s. However, the most significant thing for me was the memories it triggered. The sound of a wooden screen door squeaking on the hinges and then slamming shut, the little one room school house, the musty cellar all reminded us of our personal experiences growing up in rural Ontario in the late 40’s and early 50’s. There was a barn filled with carpenter tools from the period. Hand planes for making dado’s and ravets’, a four man joining plane fastened in a large beam, a belt and pulley driven band saw. Many of these were of the vintage that my grandfather used in his work before power tools became available.
This was another weekend of WALMART camping (Oh boy –my favorite).Friday & Saturday night at BASTROP and Sunday at Taylor.
At BASTROP there was a Holiday Inn Express right next door and we were able to access (wireless) INTERNET through them. I managed to get caught up on some recent emails although I still have a large backlog of smaller items that have accumulated over the past 6 weeks.
I sent off a number of emails I had prepared while relaxing at various places last week. including a couple to John Dobbs – he had asked a couple of questions about how an “outsider” saw their work. In general, my response was that I didn’t have many answers but I could share the new” questions” that the experience was causing me to ask myself. A journey with God is richest when we are open to new insights and new directions as we grow and develop in our relationships- with him and with others. I saw a reference to a blog entry April 5 or 6 by Jim Martin ( http://jimmartin.typepad.com/) about “Grace-ful(l) churches that could challenge many of us to think in a different way about what “church” is all about. (and the “messy” part certainly seemed to describe – in a positive way – the current situation at Pascagoula!!)
We heard from Sandy Williamson about their ongoing efforts at Pascagoula (They had arrived with their motor home from California the week before we left. Sandy & Jim have a real heart for helping others and we pray God’s blessing on them as they continue to serve).
We received word that my sister Goldie and her husband Morris had become great-grandparents. (Goldie & Morris celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on December 31, 2005. The “party” was held in November when most of their family could be there).
I think I may have mentioned before that Amanda (their granddaughter) and her husband Joel had been in China to teach English as a second language when Amanda became pregnant.
They had returned to Canada on March 6 expecting the baby to be born 6 weeks later. However, Elijah Charles Lock was born April 6 - healthy- 6 lbs. 13 oz. which Linda says is the same birth weight as our daughter Melissa.
Seems like it was only yesterday that the new grandfather , their son Don, was a baby however, time flies. The other grandparents David & Karen Lock are also close to us. Karen grew up in the church I attended as a youngster and David preached for a while at the church in Sault Ste. Marie where we now attend.
I also received the monthly newsletter from my nephew Craig Ford. http://www.championschurch.org/missions/ford_newsletter/March2006.htm.
He and his wife Jerri are leaving for the mission field in Papua New Guinea in May.
Craig also has a blog http://pngfords.blogspot.com/ which has more information about himself, Jerri and their daughter Hannah.
Saturday afternoon we visited with Mark & Nancy Lynn Klym. We have known Mark most of his life. His mother Cora is a long time member of the church in Sault Ste. Marie and also my 2nd cousin.
Mark & Nancy Lynn lived in Sault Ste. Marie for several years after they were married. Nancy is from Philedelphia and, if I recall correctly, they met while Mark was at Harding University. Mark worked for a while at the Steel plant in Sault Ste. Marie and then went back Lake State to get a degree in biology. He was able to find a job with Texas Wildlife and they moved to Bastrop in 1999. Their sons Timothy & Nathan were still at home – high school age - when they came here. Timothy is now in the Navy on a ship somewhere in the Gulf. Nathan is in Paris working on his master’s in French He graduated from Harding last year. He was married in January just before leaving for 4 months in Paris while his bride remained in the US. I’m sure they are anxious for May when he comes home.
When we contacted Nancy about visiting on Saturday it turned out that Mark was in the Houston area putting on a wildlife program. However, the weather turned cooler and it was windy so he was able to cancel his part and he drove 3 hours to come home for the afternoon. He then had to drive another 3 hours back for a different program on Sunday. During April and September he spends most of his time in the field so we appreciated that he was able to do that. Mark is co-author of a book on hummingbirds and much of the traveling this year is doing ”book signings” at various bird watching groups.
It was good to see that Mark had found his place and to see the enthusiasm he had for his work and for his involvement as a deacon at the church in Bastrop where he is concentrating on missions. Nancy is a teachers aide for “special needs” students at a local high school. Nancy has suffered for many years from migraines and fibromyalgia and this is emotionally and physically demanding work –but her compassion for others allows her to meet those needs despite he own problems
Sunday we attend services in Bastrop and got to renew an acquaintance (from 43 years ago) with Carolyn and Larry Foster. We are “almost family” because my brother Elwood is married to Carolyn’s sister Shirley. Larry & Carolyn took us to lunch at Mamma Mia's in Bastrop. They had their grandson Michael with them - but he was too shy to have his picture taken.
Larry is the preacher at Bastrop. He spoke on what seems to be becoming a theme this year as we travel – namely that happiness comes from being thankful in all circumstances that we have a God who loves us.
Charlie & Linda