Yes, we are now back home and in just a matter of hours went from sunshine to snow! Quite the shocker but that's what happens when you travel from California to Indiana in January!
As you can see by the couple of photos we had a good time. The waters along the coast are beautiful. Seeing the waves crash up on the rocks is amazing. The other photo is us with Scott, our adopted CA son the afternoon we went to China Town in San Francisco. What a place! We didn't realize that in the area we were in (Cupertino/San Jose) the population is over 50% Asian. Their educational systems are so outstanding that it draws them to the area. We could have spent alot of time in China Town just looking and getting a better understanding of the culture but we just ran out of time.
Now you might be thinking that all we did was spend time at the water and look in shops!! Oh how wrong you are. Yes, we did get in some relaxation, which is exactly why the team brought us out there. But in the 7 days we were there we had 6 different speaking occasions! We love to share how God is working along the coast and how He took what satan meant for harm and turned (and is turning) it into blessing. The story of Mike and Faye is spreading nationwide and is the best way for people to hear how much the volunteers mean to everyone who has been helped by them.
We started out at the main church's staff meeting and were able to share quite a bit there and meet new people. From there our next stop was the Bible Study group filled with people in their 20s and 30s. That house was packed and each week they have up to and over 50 "kids" show up. They were such fun and we really enjoyed them. Our next stop was both churches on Sunday morning. The church has it's first plant and so we were at one at 8am and then quickly sped off to the other one at 10am. Ken and Beth, who have both volunteered with us, opened their home to anyone and everyone who had ever come on a team or who just wanted to meet us to lunch. It was amazing how many old friends we got to see and once again to feel their love poured back into our ministry.
On our last full day we were asked to come to the Christian high school and share a few minutes with them. This school sent a team to work with us last spring break and will be heading south again this spring break. It was great to see the school, see some of the kids and teachers and meet new ones.
Monty also attended a men's Bible Study one evening and we sat in on one of the classes they offer at the main church.
And one of the most fun things was getting to meet the women who run both churches! What an amazing group of women they have on staff! It seems like we saw more of them than anyone and I don't think they realize just how loved they made us feel! Just before we left for the airport yesterday they all gathered and prayed for us and our ministry!
It was an amazing trip and we are so thankful to the California team for making it possible for us to come and be filled up by them.
We did have a "gliche" at the end. On our last day we had lunch with both Pastor Mark and Pastor Gary. They took us to a BBQ place and both Pastor Mark and Monty ended up with a really nasty case of fook poisoning! Monty was up the entire night extremely sick and ended up spending the entire night in the bathroom! I don't know how he actually made the plane trip yesterday but he did. The flight attendants were extra nice and provided ginger ale which really did start to stay down after we flew out of Houston. Needless to say he is still a bit rough around the edges today.
We did arrive home near midnight last night and today it's just a day trying to adjust to the 3 hour time difference and running through all the memories in our minds. We had nicknamed our CA team our "dream team" and they made a dream of ours come true -- to acutally see California -- and them again! They are planning another week of volunteering in April and we will once again welcome them with open arms!
Thanks to all of you for all your prayers, support and love.
We will be spending the next week preparing for our next venture to MS. We are so excited to see what God has in store and also so excited that we have heard from so many past teams making their own plans on returning and spreading the blessings!
Until next time . . . Susan and Monty