If they build it, I will come…
So it is long over due, but here is a recap from my trip to Iowa.
I began with the long, lonesome drive (see last post) to reach my destination of Logan, Iowa, where I got to visit a Bible study and reconnect with my college friend and classmate, Matt Rappley! It was a great experience with him and his family and some folks from his church, I was greatly blessed.
Then I drove to Des Moines, where I got to reconnect with John and Judith McCarty, parents to my pal Kev. We had a great time and they even put me up in a hotel for the night! They are really wonderful and I am so thankful for their influence in my life down through the years. From there I did a drive-by tour of central Iowa, meeting with three pastors before heading to Kalona to stay with my relatives. I had some real encouraging visits, and I will even get to revisit the area next spring, returning to one church! Along the way I passed through Oskaloosa, former home of my good buddy Junaid. It was there in Osky that young Junaid first stumbled across the wondrous institution that is Breadeaux Pizza, my absolute favorite pizza restaurant. He passed this love for Breadeaux to me in high school. The closest Breadeaux to Hutch is two hours away in Abilene, KS and we often spent our Saturdays driving there just to partake of the buttery goodness that is Breadeaux. I snapped a shot of the birth place of my passion in honor of Junaid.
I enjoyed a few days with my dad’s side of the family in Kalona, visiting with my Grandpa and Grandma, seeing all of my Aunts and Uncles and Cousins, and just having a wonderful time of catching up and connecting after far too long. It really was great to see all of them, and I hope to return soon with Nikki so that she can get to know them too.
Amongst some of our activities was joining my Grandpa early in the morning with his Kalona Koffee Klub. It was over a dozen older gentlemen chatting and swapping stories and joking around. I’m now an honorary, card-carrying member. I also got to sample my Uncle Sheldon’s legendary Bratburgers at the DW’s restaurant. Quite delicious. And the last night I was there we all had dinner outside at the campgrounds and toasted marshmallows over a fire. Simply a great time.
I got to see a little bit of the local sights while traveling through Iowa, such as Riverside. You might not be familiar with it, but it is the FUTURE birthplace of a great American hero, Captain James T. Kirk. As you can see, the town has embraced their heritage with great passion.
I ended my trip by visiting another college friend pastoring in Iowa. Brian Miller pastors in Dubuque, and I was privileged to get to speak to the kids in Sunday School, telling them about myself as a missionary and capping off their week-long Vacation Bible School. It was such a friendly church and I was so grateful to be there. I can’t wait to visit again. From there I began the long journey home. As I have given ample evidence, without my lovely wife with me, I was going a little bit crazy missing her. I raced my way across the Midwest and was thrilled to be reunited with my beautiful bride. I love her so much and I never want to travel without her again. I know she missed me too and she demonstrated her love so sweetly to me with a table all laid out to welcome me home. Its good to be back.