After the PARBC conference, we landed at home long enough to do laundry and pack for our 16-day trip out to California. As we mentioned in our prayer letter, we were invited to a missions conference out in CA and were able to schedule four other meetings during our short time on the West coast. Total time spent in airports and on planes was about 12 hours (thank you, Priceline), so we were very happy to hit CA streets in our cute little red compact rental car. Some folks from the church in Hayward, CA graciously hosted us the first weekend and even had soup on the stove when we arrived at 10:00 at night (1 AM NY time :p ).
In the morning we had the opportunity to present the ministry at Fairway Park Baptist Church. A couple neat things about the church is that it is truly a multicultural ministry, and after the morning service they had a time of coffee and fellowship, in which many of the folks stayed and participated. For a little bit of extra fellowship and camaraderie, Pastor Eldred and Brandon will be running a half marathon together on October 5th.
That evening we drove down to Campbell, CA to join Campbell Baptist Church for their evening service. Pastor James and his family are there at the church doing recovery work, and it was neat to see and hear what is going on at the church and the progress they’ve seen even in the couple years they’ve been there. Please join us in prayer for the church there as they seek to effectively reach their community.
Monday morning we took off for Fallbrook, CA to visit Emily’s brother and sister-in-law. We had never been to Aaron and Stephanie’s home in CA, so it was extremely nice to spend the week with them and have them show us around their area. Aaron is a Major in the Marines, so he showed us Camp Pendleton and some really neat helicopters. They also took us down to San Diego (where we found a Brazilian restaurant) to see the beach, the harbor, the most architecturally interesting mall we’ve ever seen, and some other sights. We also went to a desert and discovered the coolest desert tree ever! We hadn’t seen Aaron and Stephanie for over a year, so it was good to catch up with them.
On Wednesday evening we presented the ministry at Calvary Baptist Church in Oceanside. Pastor Yoder and his family are old family friends of the Carmichaels; they were neighbors in PA when Brandon was little and the families have remained close through the years. The church there was started by Judy Yoder’s parents when she was young, so it was neat to see how God had directed them to that ministry. It was such an encouragement to see the church, right there in the middle of Oceanside, and to talk to the folks and see their heart for the lost around them.