Last Sunday night/Monday morning, we made our longest journey of deputation! We traveled from Fort Myers, FL (waaaaay down there!) to Kent, OH (pretty far up there!). We had church in Fort Myers on Sunday night (that last night of a round-robin missions conference-4 churches in 1) and had to be at a missions conference meeting on Monday night in Kent, so we left right after the Sunday evening service just before 8 pm. We traveled through the night, taking turns driving, and taking turns sleeping, until we arrived in Kent at about 3 pm. Jolynn and I crashed for a few hours at the hotel, and Daddy went to get our car worked on. That crazy marathon of a trip did quite the number on our little Dodge Caravan!
(Yes, I know it says the trip should take 19 hours, and it only took us a little over 18, but our GPS always gives us a shorter ETA than does Google maps.) All 5 churches were so sweet to us; I can’t say I wish we wouldn’t have gone to either. In fact, Fort Myers was a bit of a vacation for us, which is wonderful since Paul and I had not been on once since our honeymoon. We took Jo to the beach two different days. She loved the sand but not so much the water!
We enjoyed our time with all of these church families, and even got to visit with a precious man of God that had hosted us when we had a meeting at one of our now-supporting churches in Kent. We were spoiled, Jo was loved on, and Paul got to preach to his heart’s content! At the church in Kent (Ravenna, actually) we even got to help the church put together and ship 20,000 John and Romans! What a blessing!
We have one more crazy trip planned next month during which we will have to travel 12 hours from a Saturday evening missions conference meeting to a Sunday morning meeting. Whenever Paul announces to me that he has such a trip planned, he says, “You’re gonna hate me.” Well, I’m not super excited about making this kind of trip, but I definitely don’t hate him yet!
He says he needs to fire “whoever makes his schedule,” which of course always makes me chuckle because he’s the one who makes his schedule! In all honesty, I truly admire him for spending all those hours making phone calls and setting up our meetings. I know it’s not an easy job and he always does the best he can do by our family. We haven’t made many long trips and have only been to 13 states (3 of which we have only been to once!).
I’m thankful for the hours he puts in and for how he considers the needs and feelings of our family. Though things don’t always work out perfectly, he always takes control and gets us through them- doing the brunt of the driving, filling up the gas tank 4 times, letting us stop in a drive-thru at 4 am for breakfast, etc. It’s these times I sit back and admire his faithfulness, his patience, and his thoughtfulness. So, really, I wouldn’t trade these moments during these all-night drives for anything. But I would take a few extra hours of sleep!