And Now For Something Completely Different (Kinda)
The past couple weeks have been wild and hectic, non-stop on the road, go – go – go! Nikki and I officially have begun our fall deputation push, with our schedule running until December. More has gone on than I can properly recap here, and I know I have a tendency to be a little wordy (like in this current sentence that I am writing (also I can be a little obsessive with the parentheticals)). I thought I would try something new. The following is a brief breakdown of the past 2 weeks in Oklahoma and Texas, describing our incredible experiences, all boiled down to a sentence or two.
Sat. 8/14: We picked up my Malibu (Pearl) on our way to Tulsa; the A/C had been out all summer, but through the generosity and mechanical know-how of Stacy Morris (a friend from our church in Hutch), we now have cool air blowing again. We went to dinner at The Spaghetti Warehouse with the Foster’s and Stockinger’s before heading to the Wilson’s to stay with our friends Josh and Erin (and Penelope) for the week.
Sun. 8/15: We attended Riverwest Baptist Church of Jenks in the morning and Grace Baptist Church of Cleveland in the evening; both churches were passionate about reaching the world and encouraged us. We had a lot of fun presenting our ministry and building relationships. We spent lunch with Pastor Paul Foster and his family; in the evening we had the pleasure of meeting a group of Filipina women who have made Cleveland their home.
Tue. 8/17: We enjoyed a rousing game of mini-golf with my family in Tulsa at the Gilligan’s Island Golf Course (they used to have the SS Minnow with one of the greens on-board, but it had decayed beyond the point of safety); we went with Grandma, Aunt Lesley, Aunt Cindy, my cousins Samantha and Shawn, Mom and my brother Colin (they were passing through on their way to Branson). Afterwards we partook of some delicious Pei Wei.
Thu. 8/19: We had lunch with my family at my Grandma’s house, where I got to play with my little cousin Isabelle; she is 4 years old and a total ball of energy. We then spent the night with my Uncle Wayne and Aunt Lesley and cousins Nicholas and Samantha, where we grilled steaks, watched Patriot Games and some Mythbusters, and I played around with Nick’s night-vision goggles (totally awesome, wish I had a pair growing up!).
Fri. 8/20: In Owasso, OK, Nikki and I spent the evening with Jim and Sherri Reynolds, former counselors in Nikki’s youth group in Kansas City, and played with their kids Ashley and Brandon (checkers & Super Mario Brothers for Wii). Those kids were so full of energy, it was just non-stop fun with them. Jim made us dinner, and then we watched the kids run around outside. I even logged in a little time on their go-kart (I was a tad over-sized for it though).
Sat. 8/21: Saturday we migrated to Lawton, OK, checked into our hotel, and went out to dinner with Pastor Greg Baxter and Keith and Sherry Bassham (Keith is the editor of the Baptist Bible Tribune). We had great conversations and I really enjoyed getting to listen to these two intelligent thinkers discuss a variety of topics. Then we went back to the hotel to relax and prepare for the next day after picking up some frozen yogurt.
Sun. 8/22: Another exciting Sunday sharing our passion for the Philippines, first at Faith Journey Church of Lawton and then at Heaston Community Church in El Reno. Both churches were very receptive to our presentation and we held a responsive question and answer time afterwards, where we had the opportunity to dialogue with everyone. Kevin & Andrea Barnes were former youth leaders in Nikki’s youth group and introduced us to Heaston; we spent the night with them after the service.
Mon. 8/23: After a relaxing morning with Kevin & Andrea, we hit the road for Fort Worth to stay with Nikki’s friend Aubrey Slaybaugh for the week. Along the way we took a lunch break in Norman by the University of Oklahoma campus, where we walked around a bit, took in the sights, and chowed down on some ultra healthy and tasty food at The Earth Grill & Deli. It was a beautiful day out and a very enjoyable drive.
Tue. 8/24: I got up early and hit up the Texas State Fellowship Meeting at Alliance Baptist Church, where I connected with pastors and some friends (Troy Wolfe, Caleb York, Trevor McNellis, Zac Pyle, Miguel Lopez). For lunch I picked up the Grand Canyon Sandwich (roast beef, bacon, pepper jack cheese, BBQ sauce, and ranch) and jalapeno garlic cheese bread from Loafin’ Joe’s here in Fort Worth. Easily my favorite sandwich shop I’ve been to in my travels.
Wed. 8/25: Nikki and I joined Troy Wolfe for lunch to catch up and here all about Movement Church, the church he and a team are planting in the North Fort Worth area. What a need for a church there is there! He took us out to Fuzzy’s Tacos, which transported my taste buds back to Southern California with the fish taco. In the evening we hung out with Aubrey, playing board and card games (the current standing record: Nikki – 6 wins, Aubrey – 2, me – 1).