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September - October 2015
A missionary furlough is supposed to be, among other things, a time to relax and “recharge the batteries”. Usually, however, the missionaries have obligations that keep them on the run as they travel around the country to report to their supporting churches. (Actually, we think the travel is one of the most enjoyable parts of the furlough.) This fall, we were able to set aside some refreshing times.
We visited with family members in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Several times, we went to the nursing home to spend some time with Ruth’s mother, who is 94. On Labor Day weekend, we enjoyed a church picnic and a fun get-together with the family.
We had a great time at our home church’s missions conference in Bourbonnais, Illinois. We were not there as missionary guests, so we were able to participate as church members, helping to host the conference. It has been a long time since we have been able to do that, and it was wonderful. We enjoyed fellowshipping with the missionaries, and with our fellow church members, who sent us out 20 years ago to start deputation. We had some time in the afternoons to go back and look at the old house and neighborhood in Kankakee, where we lived when our kids were little.
Another event which charged our spiritual batteries was the annual campmeeting in Elgin, Illinois. We thoroughly enjoyed the preaching, and the fellowship of many good friends, who came from far and near to be there for the meeting. A big thanks to Pastor Gomez, and the people of Northwest Bible Baptist Church and Providence Baptist College. They are always good to us when we are there. We spent three months of this furlough in Elgin, to be close to our children.
Our son Alan and his family flew in from Connecticut for his ordination service in Elgin, so all of our children were together again for the first time in many years. We loved being with our three grandsons! We arranged an Ossewaarde family reunion, with my dad and stepmother, my brother, and all the cousins, kids, and grandkids. It was a great time of fun, story telling, and priceless family photos. After all that, Ruth and I took a few days off to look at fall colors in northern Wisconsin.
In between all these events, we traveled to report to several of our supporting churches in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. On my birthday in October, the kids came over for a party. We helped our daughter to look at town houses, and when she bought one, we had just enough time left to help her move in. It was great to go soulwinning in America.
There were so many small things that brought us joy, just being in America. It was fun to listen to the Cubs on the radio. (They went to the playoffs this year.) The amount of Halloween candy in the stores was amazing. (Reese’s peanut butter mini pumpkins are the best ever!) America has some serious problems these days, but it is still the greatest place on earth. God bless America!
In the service of the King,