Sunday, September 03, 2017

Furlough 2014-15: The Great Road Trip (Seattle to Detroit)

On the first day of December, 2014, we left Seattle after nearly a month in the Pacific Northwest and headed East on our Great Road Trip. I will document the Seattle to Detroit portion of our trip day by day below, with commentary and photos interspersed.

Day 1 (Dec. 1, 2014) -- Seattle, WA to Coeur d'Alene, ID -- We stayed the night in a Holiday Inn, then got up and started driving again the next day.
Road trip!
Open road
Day 2 (Dec. 2, 2014) -- Coeur d'Alene, ID to Billings, MT -- We stayed 2 nights with our friends Craig and Jeri Ford in Billings, and enjoyed our visit with them and their church.
Lookout Pass (Idaho)
6 of the 7 Ford and Campbell children
We spent a morning at Scheels. The kids had so much fun taking all these silly pictures.

It's gonna eat you!
Be vewy, vewy quiet.
There was even a ferris wheel inside the store! How fun!
Day 3 (Dec. 4, 2014) -- Billings, MT to Moosomin, Saskatchewan -- We stayed 3 nights with Rusty's Uncle Ken and Aunt Rae. On Sunday morning, Dec. 7th, we met with the church in Manson, which supports us, and gave a report on our work. We enjoyed a potluck lunch with the members after the service.
Elizabeth and Uncle Ken
Elizabeth and Aunt Rae
One day, while we were there, the Christmas train came to town.
The boys got to see Santa.
They got to play in the snow.
Benjie thought the snow was too cold!
Watching the train go by.
With Uncle Ken and Aunt Rae outside the community center where the Manson Church meets.
Day 4 (Dec. 7, 2014) -- Moosomin, SK to Winnipeg, Manitoba -- We gave a presentation to the Central Church of Christ in Winnipeg about our work, enjoyed a soup supper afterwards, and stayed the night with a family from the church.
We had breakfast with Rusty's cousin Kemmy and her family the next morning.
Day 5 (Dec. 8, 2014) -- Winnipeg, MB to Hudson, WI -- We stayed the night with Dale and Vicky Hawley and enjoyed a brief visit with them.

Day 6 (Dec. 9, 2014) -- Hudson, WI to Bolingbrook, IL -- We stayed two nights with our friends Adam and Christina Mearse and got to meet with folks at the Naperville Church of Christ about our work.
On our way to Illinois, we passed through Wisconsin Dells, where we had lunch and spent some time playing at one of the indoor amusement parks.
Day 7 (Dec. 11, 2014) -- Bolingbrook, IL to Livonia, MI -- We stayed one night with my parents, left the older boys there the next day to spend some time with their grandparents, and took off for Pennsylvania with Benjamin and Elizabeth.

Day 8 (Dec. 12, 2014) -- Livonia, MI to Somerset, PA -- We stayed three nights with our friends the Hintons. The church in Somerset supports our family, so we met with them on Sunday morning and gave a report on our work. My friend Michelle drove up from Virginia with her family to see us and we got to spend some time together.
Michelle and I have been friends for 35 years!
Day 9 (Dec. 15, 2014) -- Somerset, PA to Livonia, MI -- We traveled back to Livonia and parked ourselves at my parents house until after Christmas! Whew!

Next up -- Christmas in Michigan!

Still Trying to Catch Up...

In less than two weeks, our family will be leaving for our next Home Ministry Assignment. This is more commonly known as "furlough," although I believe that this word is something of a misnomer. Most people, when they hear the word "furlough," think "vacation," -- and most missionaries will attest that the missionary "furlough" is anything but. So, I have started using the phrase "Home Ministry Assignment," as I believe it better reflects what we are actually doing while in the U.S. Sure, we have a few days of rest and relaxation planned, but most of the time? We are reporting to churches and individuals who support us and our ministry at Camp Bellevue. Or we are fundraising. Or we are taking care of business or paperwork that has to be done when we are physically present in the U.S. Or we are traveling from place to place for our next meeting or appointment. So, it's definitely work, a change of pace for sure, but still... work.

As we make our preparations to be gone from Ecuador and the camp for 10 weeks, I keep thinking about this blog. I am still trying to blog the experiences of our last furlough. Which makes me officially nearly 3 years behind, but who's counting? Then again, recapping what we did during our last Home Ministry Assignment in 2014 might be a very good way to give people an idea of how we'll be spending our time for the next 2 1/2 months.

So... updates are on the way. Stay tuned.