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January 20, 2017 - A month in America

My holiday trip to America was AMAZING! I cannot believe how many wonderful things happened in just four weeks. Here are some of the highlights:

- Back together with my sweet wife after four months apart!

- We had a comfortable place to stay at our daughter's house.

- Had a fun game night with both of our daughters

- Christmas eve at our son's house with his wife and our grandson

- Christmas day services at a great church in Elgin, Illinois

- We visited with Ruth's mother (age 93) in a nursing home in Indiana

- We visited my brother and his family at their home in Indiana

- I was asked to preach in Elgin, Illiois the Wednesday after Christmas

- We went to Michigan for the funeral of my mom's best friend, at the church where I grew up. She was married to the deacon who was my favorite Sunday school teacher. Her life touched so many people as she served in this church for over 50 years. The church was packed with people. It seemed like everybody I ever knew growing up was there, including my first pastor and some of my closest friends from 40 years ago. What a reunion! We fellowshipped and talked old times until we were the last ones left in the building.

- Returned from Michigan just in time to meet the new year at our daughter's house with family and friends

- New year's day services at church

- We babysat with our two year old grandson a few times. What a joy! He is an exceptionally bright child. (No brag, just fact)

- Lots of shopping and eating out!

- I was able to do a few handyman fix up projects at my daughter's house, including a rewiring job that fixed some lights and outlets

- It was great to go soulwinning, but it was so COLD outside in Illinois. I was out one Saturday when it was 3 degrees below zero.

- I preached in our home church in Bourbonnais, Illinois. In the sermon, I talked about my vision and burden for the future.

- I had an important meeting with my pastor to consult with him about ministry plans for now and what might come next.

- Ruth and I went to Florida to visit for a week with my brother and my father. It was 80 degrees there. Very nice!

- My brother showed me where he works. He is now the director of Landmark's Freedom Baptist Curriculum in Haines City, Florida. He is working on a major revision to update and upgrade the materials. It is a fascinating nationwide ministry.

- We visited with my dad (age 80) and stepmother. We saw their Florida home for the first time. He moved there a year ago after living in Michigan all his life. We went to church with them in Ocala, Florida.

- We took a day to see the Gulf of Mexico. We found a quiet spot away from the crowds in Clearwater Beach, and walked along the shore looking for sea shells. What beautiful soft white sand!

- My brother took us out on a lake one evening on his boat to watch the Florida sunset.

- I was pleased to experience the famous bus worker's breakfast at Landmark Baptist Church. Pastor Mickey Carter asked me to lead in prayer and put me at the front of the line. The food was delicious, and I had a great time visiting on a bus route afterwards.

- Pastor Carter asked me to preach the Sunday night service. They put the audio and video on their website.

- A few days after we returned from Florida, it was time for me to return to Russia. The flight back to Moscow was pleasant and uneventful.

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