We’ve got a couple of weeks to catch everyone up on again! The last Sunday of August, Labor Day weekend, found Brandon preaching for the final time at our home church, Victory Baptist Church. Emily’s Dad has been making great progress and is beginning to resume pulpit ministry. Brandon finished Philippians 1, and the church sent us away with a very sweet “so-long.” It’s been a great summer being able to serve alongside them in ministry.
Right after the services on Sunday morning we travelled down to Spartansburg, PA. Every Labor Day since we’ve been on Deputation we’ve visited this church and participated in the Sparty Fair. Brandon has run the 5K in the fair every year. We had a great time with the folks there in Sparty, enjoying Labor Day with them all for what will probably be the last time in a number of years. We stayed with our good friends the Zinz’ and their three children. We headed back home on Tuesday after visiting a couple of Pastor friends in that area, as well as stopping by a supporting church.
Brandon began a Seminary class on Tuesday, and spent much of the rest of the week working on schoolwork. Then on Friday we left early in the morning to go spend the day with another Pastor friend in the Binghamton area. Friday night we stayed with friends from a supporting church in Northeast PA and headed down to a missions conference on Saturday.
This week we’ve been serving with Grace and Truth Bible Church in their annual missions conference. The missions conference began on Saturday with a church picnic. The church did something really creative in having a cake-baking competition and designating the missionary husbands to serve as the judges for the competition. All the cakes were amazing, and the winner certainly deserved it!
Sunday through Wednesday the church had services, beginning with Sunday School and Sunday morning worship, then nightly services Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. There were three other couples at the missions conference. One was a veteran missionary couple serving in South Africa and supported by the church. The other three of us were all still on Deputation headed to our respective countries.
During the week we stayed with a gracious family, the Brophys. Though both have full-time jobs the Lord worked things out so that we were able to spend quite a bit of time with them and get to know them. Bob Brophy works with Hershey Chocolate, so we were able to fellowship with them around the dark, sweet variety that is Hershey. It was a very nice week.
During the missions conference each couple had the opportunity to preach (well, the guys preached), teach the children, and share the ministry they are headed into. Brandon preached on Sunday night, we taught the children Monday night, and presented our ministry on Wednesday night. Several folks from the church also hosted the missionaries for meals, assuring we left quite well-fed. The final evening we were able to eat with Pastor Norton and learn about his history in ministry. It was really an encouraging time.
We came home last night, and are gearing up for our meeting this weekend. We’ll be headed back down to PA for Sunday. Thank you all so much for your prayers for us. We really appreciate it.