Dear Friends and Family,
Jon here at the keyboard, writing from the I-90 in South Dakota! We haven’t seen any tornado’s yet, but our last week has been a wonderful whirlwind of fellowship and fun! With 8,000 miles in to our trip, a patched tire, and bumper stickers all over the car, we’re zooming along green open prairie country with BIG sky. (Not too fast mind you……. since a couple thousand miles back Melissa almost hit a pronghorn, and I almost hit a buffalo and a horse!)
What we have seen of this amazing country out West here has been amazing! Some verses come to mind:
Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands”. And
Colossians 1:15-17 “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
In the last 10 days, we’ve seen Yellowstone National Park, watched Old Faithful shoot it’s boiling spray at 10:30am on July 4th, and watched a rodeo and fireworks that same evening in Jackson, WY. We gawked at the majestic Grand Teton Mountains, went swimming in a mountain hot spring, fished in Utah mountains, drove through beautiful passes in the Rocky Mountains of CO, saw the green Black Hills, admired Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse memorials, and awed the chiseled moonscape and colors of the Badlands in South Dakota.
In the wild, we’ve seen bison, elk, deer, mule deer, coyote, mountain goat, big horn sheep, pronghorn, and prairie dogs! At an encounter park, we saw wolves howling, and grizzly bears digging for food that Rachel and 24 other kids hid under rocks and logs for them to find.
Though we have enjoyed all of these things, even more have we enjoyed the sweet fellowship of fellow believers in Christ along the way. We stayed with the Bruce’s near Salt Lake City, and had a great time fishing and fellowshipping with them. They are shining their light in a pristine part of the country where the local majority religion has steeples everywhere, but no crosses on them. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24 says “but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
We got to stop in and see Bay and Peg Forest and enjoy a meal and fellowship with them, and then we spent time catching up with Melissa’s Aunt Marlowe and Uncle Ed (who pastors a Denver church and was recently in Uganda teaching) and all of her cousins there in Denver Colorado. It was a great time seeing cousins and their kids whom we hadn’t seen for over 15 years or so. It was so good hearing of the Lord’s faithfulness to each of them in their lives.
We also forgot to mention that during this trip, Rachel got her ears pierced (woo hoo!) and Josh was elected to a class officer position for his upcoming 8th grade RVA class.
Thanks for praying for us, we’re looking forward to this next week of visiting more friends and family in MN, WI, IL, IN, and OH.
Love from all of us,
Jon, Melissa, Josh (aka the President), Drew (aka Mr. Cheesburger connoisseur), and Rachel (aka Flipflop…..because that’s what she does in the bed next to you while you are trying to sleep!)