Monday, April 14, 2014

1673 Miles

I did it!  Longest solo road-trip ever-but I made it with the most stops possible to see friends!  It really is the best way to road trip! I’ve had plenty of bad hotel experiences that I would rather go a little farther (or shorter) to stay with people I know.  Plus it’s extra hang out time which leaves me feeling even more refreshed and happy! 
It was neat to stop back in all the places I’ve lived in the USA and some that I’ve just visited a lot.  Here’s what those four days meant to me. 
Stop 1 (Thursday morning):  Dallas Texas to see Nicole.  Nicole’s been one of the best friends I ever could have even dreamed up.  She’s spontaneous, hilarious, godly and able to help keep me on track (if you know me at all you know that this I need this so bad!).  She’s getting married to Joel in June and then they are planning to continue missionary training together. 
Stop 2 (Thursday night-Friday morning): Camdenton (“Roach”) at the Missionary training center.  I saw a bunch of great friends there and was able to sit in a folk catholicism class, communion/chapel, and my old discipleship group (this is a picture of all of us in December-now there's one more baby!). 

Stop 3: Chicago IL (Friday night-Saturday morning)  to see a few of my friends who I lived with in Bolivia.  So fun to see all that God’s continued to teach us from our time there FIVE years ago!! (*Can’t believe it’s gone by so fast). Matt & Elsa are now parents and Jen is now married!  Then i hopped over to the neighboring suburb of Evanston and saw Natalia who is a great friend of my little sister! 

Stop 4: Jackson MI (Saturday evening).  Had dinner with one of my favorite families in Michigan.  Scot was one of my teachers at the Bible school and his wife April became a really great friend.  There was another graduate from the Bible school who is now a missionary in Brasil and getting ready to teach literacy in the village.  It was so cool to hear about the next stips for me-and for Scot and April to see what they are a part of even though they are working as missionaries in Michigan they get to be a part of seeing lives changed in Brasil and around the world.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it takes a community to raise a missionary!  Then I got to see my Dean and her family! (This is Me & Martha last spring)
Stop 4: Detriot IL (Saturday night-early Sunday morning).  Bethany was another coworker of mine in Bolivia.  She since married Paul and all of us have been able to spend lots of time together.  They let me crash in their guest room frequently.  I got to meet their little sweetie who joined their family in December.

Stop 5: Camden Baptist Church (Sunday morning).  This is my home church and I’m so excited to spend a few months here.  It was a super full morning of catching up with friends and meeting new people.  Perfect way to end the road trip!  I’ll be staying with a lady from my church who has been so kind.  She didn’t even know me before yesterday other than over the phone and I’m so impressed that she would take a stranger into her home for 2.5 months! 

I know all you Texas folks are wondering, so the weather so far has been so nice.  I hear it might snow soon. :/  But I found an awesome running route with great smelling pine trees, calming rivers and ponds, and quiet neighborhoods.   

Favorite Roadtrip tunes:
*My Victory-Jimmy Needham
*Creere-Tercer Cielo
*Sparrow-Audrey Assad
*Almighty-Wayne Watson
*Life in Color-OneRepublic
*Celebrare to Amor-Jesus Adrian Romero

Thanks to everyone who fed me, gave me a place to sleep, encouraged me along the way, and those who made my time in Texas awesome! Y’all are amazing and unforgettable. 

And a HUGE thanks to Katie for letting me use her car! I'm unbelievably blessed. :)