Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bye Bye Montana..

We are learning to hold onto vehicles very loosely. What may look like tragedies... are often blessings in disguise! Isn't that the way of all things though?!

 While this Montana served well it's entire lifetime, the time for it's final resting place in the firefighter's practice fields. Burn Baby Burn! Nearly 190k miles and it saw us safely through many situations! Alas, it was time to say good bye. Thankfully the accident was not the fault of our daughter! Insurance did very well by us. We are so thankful for insurance!
In with the new! This is Liv's new car. It is proving to be very quick on the pick-up, very safe in a rear crash test, and also very deer repellant!! All of this has been determined in only a few weeks. I hope it is true things come in threes... and then are done! :)
sig 2

An Ordination... a Commissioning... and an Engagement!

In Uniontown, PA, Bethel Baptist Church had a service to top all services! 
First, a great young man was ordained and commissioned as Pastor of a brand new church, Bridge Baptist Church. 
Second, new Pastor Douthitt asked his lovely girlfriend to be his bride. She said YES... whew! 
 Awww! That is one way to get the spotlight off of himself!
 Third... the preparations for the first service! Signage... check!
 Pastor Douthitt... Check!
Double Rainbow from God... Check!
 Amazing first service! Nearly 60 in attendance... and we are their first missionaries! AMEN!
 Charter members of Bridge Baptist Church, Masontown, PA.
Savannah made this on her iPod... Kind of looks like them, don't you think?! 

Pastor Douthitt and Amanda. So excited for the work the Lord is planning to do through them, and with them! So happy to have been a part of this special week with them! 

sig 2

In EveryThing... Give THANKS!!

We are convinced the Lord is concerned and in control of every detail of our lives. Because of experiences like this one! 

When we are traveling for a couple of days in a row, the optimal situation is that we are able to find a place to park the camper overnight to sleep somewhere safe. Often what we will do is map out about half way, and have the numbers of several churches in that area that we will call en route, and hopefully one will be able to let a vagabond family park in their lot overnight. It is certainly better than a WalMart parking lot or a camping world! :/

In a great situation, we will have electricity to plug into. If they have a water hose we can hook up to, we are living high on the hog. If they have a sewer hook up... WOW! We have hit gold! 

Well after we left Daytona Beach, FL on a Thursday, we needed to get to Pennsylvania in two days time. That meant at least 16 hours driving, so about half way we did our research. Rock Hill, SC, was our place. We wrote down all the churches that showed up on the IFB  list, and began calling. 

After calling 7 churches.... NO ONE would allow us to stay! Shocking! That had never happened to us to date! Usually people are very gracious and we find a place after one or two calls. We were shocked! SHAKE OFF THE DUST MAN!! :) 

Plan B! 

We looked at the map, and have friends that live in the tri-city area near High Point, NC. That is over 9.5 hours away. LOOONG day of driving! That is GPS time... we usually add an hour for gas stops and potty breaks. (Is it OK to say that?!) 

Anyhow, Dan called the pastor of a church we had visited with our friends, and sure enough we can stay. With electricity AND water!! High Cotton!! We planned to leave the next morning, Friday, bright and early. 

 While driving to get to NC, Dan had to add water to the radiator a couple of times. We realized we needed to have it looked at, but figured it would wait until PA. I think the Lord knew the hills of W. Virginia were ahead of us, and we would have been in deep doo-doo had we waited. Dan went to several parts stores to get the "check engine" light code checked  (just a day in the life!), and after he left one of the stores, there was radiator fluid pouring out of the truck! 

Plan C!!

There was a crack on the place where the hose clamps on to the radiator ... busted! Wouldn't you know, they had the radiator! Divine direction for sure as it is a 2000 vehicle, and not a popular one at that! The Lord knew we were going to need to be at a place where tools were available for the repair. And a vacuum for the ant extraction!
 Well the guys made quick work of the repair. Thankfully a radiator is one of those repairs that can be done in a relatively short time... with minimal number tools. A few wrenches, a garbage can for the old fluid, and some elbow grease!
 Savannah took up her position... the nearest swing set!
 They got it out in short order...
 The offending part! Dan was a little frustrated because the poor guy knows with a little time and some JB Weld he could have repaired the radiator and saved himself a few dozen dollars! The broken  radiator actually looked great... sadly. I think he would have felt better if it was a wreck!
 New part in... clap the hoses, fill with fluid...
Tighten it all up, and VOILA!! DoNE! We now know why Rock Hill was less than friendly. God needed us in High Point!! AMEN to the Divine Guidance of the Lord! We were also able to visit with some great friends for dinner and dessert. That is always a good thing!
There have been many times of distress and potential danger when the Lord puts a butterfly in the middle of it. (Right Savannah?!)  While this little guy was already passed his fluttering days, it was still a great reminder of the Lord in all situations!
sig 2

Recap: For the sake of documentation!

In early October we were in Florida, camping in Blue Springs. BeauTiFuL!! It is an aquifer with water at 72 degrees year round. It is also a Manatee refuge where they stay during the cold months. The camp sites are more like a jungle than a traditional campground, which may explain the illegal transporting of native Florida wildlife across several state lines. I will explain!

Where we were camping, there was a very small area for the camper and we were surrounded by Central Florida foliage complete with creatures that thrive in that environment. This lovely creature decided to INVADE our camper.
Here is a nicely labeled picture with the proper latin name... we are if nothing else a home camper schooling family ready to take advantage of learning at any cost. Including my sanity! 
 We had seen a couple of them during the five days we were there, but knew as long as SHE didn't show up, we were fine. After leaving the camp site, we had stored the camper in a church yard for about 5 days while we were in a conference in Daytona. We were being spoiled for a few days and were able to stay in a house for the week :)
Well she did show up. They must have thought that a Springdale was such a lovely location for a nest and all that wood in there!  Complete with eggs. MANY Eggs!!  Our vacating the joint for a week was there perfect opportunity to multiply... undisturbed! :/

After Florida, we were in North Carolina ... in a church parking lot. Thankfully! I have a couple  reasons for being thankful for that. 

One: We ended up needing to replace the radiator in the truck. Post to follow! :) 

Two: They had a vacuum cleaner! Had we not seen the nest as quickly as we did, what a nightmare that would have been!! 

They poured out of that cupboard like soldiers in a war fighting for their lives.

They lost. 

I stood over the site of their intended home for over an hour, vacuum hose in hand and ant killing spray in the other. They were not going to win... I refuse to share the camper with them! They are UgLY! 

Now... the radiator! :) 

sig 2