Well, I was just looking over past posts to see what I had actually written while we were in the States. Hmmm…not much. One posted ended with …”From Birmingham to Decatur…” and then the next post was not connected at all.

So, I’ll now try to connect some of the dots of our trip…this will take multiple posts, but I want you to meet all of our sweet friends from coast to coast!

From Birmingham to Decatur. The power of facebook. We did not want to drive ourselves in a borrowed car to Decatur/Huntsville because we knew that we had a ride back with folks that we needed to spend some time with before leaving their great state. So, I simply put the question on facebook…anybody driving from Birmingham to Decatur that would be willing to take two missionaries?

First one to respond? A beautiful woman whom we first met when she and her husband were adopting a child in Ukraine. She has a crazy-full life with children of varying ages involved in high school events, elementary school events, church events, and friends and family occasions. And yet she was willing to drive to Decatur and back simply to get time with us so that we could catch up on the latest news of each others’ families. Incredibly humbling, to say the least. Thank you so very much, Betsy, for your time, for your heart, and for the great pictures of your children!

We arrived in Decatur to spend 24 hours with the Batchelor family. Oh, that I would have known what they know at their young ages…but that’s another story. Ty and Sally also adopted from Ukraine and we have valued their friendship ever since. What a joy to visit with ALL of them (Hooray for Ty working closer to home!!), including their most recent adopted sons: James and Luke. Time flew by much too quickly and I realized that I hadn’t taken a family picture — fortunately we left a cord at their home and we had to catch up one more time…at a sports store! Love this family.

Sally delivered us to our next stop…Huntsville. Longtime friend Lynne Wingard met us in a parking lot to transfer bags, boxes and US from Sally’s car to hers. Did I mention that we were there during tornado warnings? We apparently just missed one between Decatur and Huntsville, but we were able to see the results of minor twisters. We also saw the devastation from the storms from the year before. All that to say that Lynne’s trunk was filled with supplies — water, etc. — to take care of anyone from the church that might need assistance.

We were arriving to take part in the missions conference at Westminster Presbyterian and, as usual, looked forward to staying with Charlie and Lynne. Charlie is the senior pastor at Westminster and we love our time with them…never a boring moment and always encouraging, challenging conversation. With LOTS of laughs in between. We were sorry that the Friday night festivities were cancelled due to the weather, but we were selfishly happy to get some extra time with our friends.

So, a good night’s sleep before the kickoff breakfast at the church on Saturday morning…


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