Sunday, August 21, 2016

USA - Week 5 & 6

Be prepared for a very long post.  :)

This was our last week in Pennsylvania.
We visited Pleasantville Baptist Church for Sunday morning service,
this is one of our supporting churches.
It was so great to see everyone there.

Sunday evening we went to our home church.
Autumn gave a testimony about her week at camp.
She was so nervous, but she did a great job!
We are thankful they made it possible for our kids to both go to camp.
They are still talking about it.

Patrick preached in the service as well.
It was great to catch up with everyone.

On Tuesday, my dad had a special dinner for us.
He called it Easthanksmas, to make up for all the holidays that we have missed.
Wanda made a wonderful turkey dinner for us.

I'm so thankful for our family.
Autumn was able to spend the night at her friend's house,
and then Grammie brought them down for the dinner.

Soaking in all these moments.

The next day we decided to head north.  We went to the Pioneer Coal Tunnel.
Patrick and I went here on a date many moons ago.

It was freezing in the mine!

Then we went to Knoebels.
This made my heart happy.

Living many, many miles apart has not hurt their friendship.
They skype every week.
I am so thankful they got to spend so much time together.
Thanks, Julie, for making it possible.  

I will get on any roller coaster, no worries.
But you'll never see me on a Ferris wheel...ever.

Having one last meal with Ayden.
Saying goodbye is so hard.

I was trying to find a way to pack him in our suitcase.

Here we go.
8 suitcases.
4 carry-ons.

One last meal with dad and Wanda.

Saying goodbye to our family and friends was incredibly difficult.  As I type this, I'm crying again.  Those of you who live far from your family understand this.  It makes Heaven so much sweeter knowing there will be no more goodbyes. I am thankful for family and friends who love and support us.  We are blessed.

We flew from Baltimore to Phoenix with a layover in Denver.
After sitting on the plane for 2 hours, they flight was delayed.
As we were getting off the plane, the pilot was apologising to everyone, 
and as we passed, Cody said, "That's ok."
The pilot then invited Cody to see the cockpit,
and showed him around.
Cody was thrilled!

After a seven hour delay, we landed in Phoenix at 4am.
We got our rental car and made our way to Ganado.

There is just something amazing about Arizona scenery.

Pastor Mark Haynes

Ganado Baptist Church

For those of you who may not know, we had to wait 3 years for our visas for Australia.  During that time the Lord led us to Ganado, Arizona on the Navajo Nation.  We made many trips out there, and then lived there for 3 or so months until our visas were approved.  Our hearts were woven with the Navajo People, and they will always have a special place in our heart.  5 years later we can see why God moved us there.  Our ministries are very similar.  They are America's Indigenous People and we work with Australia's Indigenous People.  We gained so much experience and knowledge, that we are very grateful for.  God makes no mistakes.  It was such a blessing to be able to go back and spend a few days with them.  

We decided to redo this photo from 5 years ago.

We went to the Navajo Nation Zoo in Window Rock, AZ.
We've been here many times before.
It's such a cute little place, and the kids loved it.

This bear was so funny. 
It had been sitting at the top, and our friend, Tirzah, began singing the "Bare Necessities"
and the bear came down and then followed her down it's enclosure as she continued to sing.

Cody told Tirzah that when he gets older he is going to work here
so that he could visit her everyday.  <3 p="">
The kids loved spending time with these two.

I loved this photo.

We lived here while waiting for our visas.
I can't even begin to explain the emotions I felt staying here again.

Ganado Baptist Church
This is their new building.

Patrick fixed this vehicle for them to use on the Rez.
4 wheel drives are almost a necessity out there.
It was great to see it still running.

There was a visiting pastor who had recently done a cowboy revival.
Cody loved watching him with his horses,
and was thrilled when he let him help do stuff with the horses.

Window Rock

You never know what you'll see our your bedroom window on the Rez.

Canyon de Chelly
I personally think this canyon is better than the Grand Canyon.

Spider Rock

This is much better in person,
but since many of you won't see it in person, click on the photo to see it better.

This is Ryan and Amber Nez.
They have just finished deputation (in just a year!),
and are in the process of purchasing this building to start their first church.
It was such a blessing to spend time with them,
and here their plans and burden for the Navajos.

That's a hogan out there.
Can you imagine living is such an isolated place?

This is the motel that inspired the Cozy Cone hotel in Disney's Cars.

Eating at Cracker Barrel one more time.

We drove back to Phoenix and flew to LA.  We boarded the plane, got settled in, and they told us they had to shut the plane down and restart it, and in doing this we had to deplane.  So, we gathered our stuff and got off the plane.  After an hour we reboarded.  We then sat on the plane for about 2 hours waiting for the control tower to allow us to take off, and because of the delay, the flight staff was over their time (our flight was 14 hours), and our flight was cancelled.  We waited with everyone else to rebook their flights.  United rebooked us through Qantas the next night.  They got us a hotel, and provided a shuttle.  We arrived at the hotel around 3am, and pretty much slept all day, and then got a taxi back to the airport and flew out that evening.  The rest of the trip back to Australia went smoothly.  Thank you, Qantas.

Jet lag at its finest.

As  you can tell, this was a whirlwind of a trip.  We fit a lot in, and was able to see so many people. We were reminded that we have many people who love us and miss us.  Living overseas is not always easy, we have moments (sometime days or weeks) of homesickness.  It meant so much to me to be able to spend so much time with our family.  It was stressful sometimes to fit everyone in and make everyone happy (which, by the way, is impossible), but to me I felt we did all we could, and I am happy with the memories we made.

We have settled back into life here in Katherine.  My heart is full.  God is always good.

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