Back “Home”

In Uriah, that is! When we pulled up to the bus this morning, our hearts were full of gratefulness. There is truly no place like home, and I hadn’t realized how much Uriah felt like home until we were “on-the-road-away-from-him” for a week. Wow!

This morning, Joseph and John left the hotel at 6:45 to make it to the shop and unload the truck before we came. We left at 7:30, and as we neared Ocala, we found out that the shop was waiting on a final part (for those technically minded, it was the transmission fill tube) to arrive via UPS. Thus ensued an interesting time as we tried to flag down a UPS driver, who ended up not having the package, and then we found a UPS distribution center. Anyway, I’ll spare you the story. Good news? We ended up getting the package. Bad news? It was the wrong part. They sent the dipstick and not the fill tube. They were able to temporarily get the old fill tube to work (we will replace it once we get home), so a little after noon, we took the bus on a test drive. We were so grateful that it drove well. It now shifts so smooth we can hardly tell it is shifting.

We were excited to be on our way again! We are stopped at an RV park near Lake City, Florida. It was a short night last night, and we are looking forward to getting caught up on rest and being refreshed for the final conference in Savannah this weekend.

Love,
Sarah


We did an unload "blitz"--long story, but we had to unload quickly.



BTW - those aren't Jesse's pillows.

Because we had to do a quick unload, the cabin was quite full initially.

We had a delicious dinner of chicken fajitas tonight.

“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

Misc. Pictures

We packed out of the river house yesterday morning. We were so grateful for the use of it this past week. What a blessing.

Last night’s conference went well. We’ll have a report later. We’re headed to Ocala now for the bus, praising the Lord that the transmission came in yesterday and looked really good. We’re also praying that as it’s finished this morning, everything will be running properly.

Love,
Sarah

When I was working on yesterday's blog post, two sets of manatees floated down the river, and I got distracted.



Temporarily back to the days of hotels and carts. It just creates an even greater appreciation for Uriah.

Mailing postcards.

“For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me” (Psalms 31:3).

Orlando’s Conference

I am sitting at the dining room table in the river house marveling at all the Lord has done this past week. Only one week ago, we were motoring along the interstate, hitting heavy traffic, slow downs, and rain. The Lord used those tire alarms to get us off the busy interstate and direct us to the repair shop. The transmission is to arrive at the shop tomorrow (likely morning), and then we should be able to pick up the bus on Tuesday, Lord willing.

We spent the weekend in Orlando with the conference and came back to the river house last night.

We clearly saw the Lord’s hand working throughout the conference. Set up went just fine, considering the unloading process was different with the van and truck. A sweet widow from the church made us a delicious dinner of lasagna—and it was an extra special blessing since we’re without a “kitchen.” Friday night’s music and the Building a Vision session ran smoothly. A highlight for me was meeting Annie, a sweet young lady who gave me a bookmark she had cross-stitched. It was precious.

When the sessions were through and after we had talked with several families, we headed for our hotel. Since we were going back to the river house after the conference on Saturday, we had packed light in order to make it easier to load in and out of the hotel for just one night. We were grateful for God’s provision of the rooms.

When we began Friday evening, hearts didn’t seem too open. But as each session progressed, hearts were softened, and the Lord was doing a mighty work! It was exciting to see.

Young people also told us that they were blessed by their sessions. I think the newest one, A Necessary Skill for Life, is having a big impact in young people’s lives.

Lunch was catered in for only $5 per person by Chick-Fil-A and was very tasty. Eat mor chikin! Right?!

We truly are grateful for those of you who are standing by us in prayer. We need your prayers, and we feel them. Thank you!

We look forward to Palm Coast Monday night. Palm Coast is outside of St. Augustine.

Love,
Sarah

Practicing Friday afternoon.

The sweet ladies who made our dinner.

It was different preparing for the conference without the bus.

Annie and I.



At the hotel.

The guys


Talking after a session.





A little girl gave Anna a picture.






Talking.

Little two-year-old Anna helped with the pack out process.

Mom

Emily helped too.

“For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth forever. Praise ye the LORD.” Psalms 117:2

Here in Orlando

This morning, we worked on packing things we would need, but we packed light, since this is just an overnight stay. We’ll be going back to the river house tomorrow night through Monday.

It was a pleasant, two-hour drive, and the temperatures seem to be a little less warm today. Things are a bit more challenging without the bus, but it makes us all the more grateful for Uriah.

We have been lifting up this conference in prayer, and we look forward to what the Lord will do. We would be grateful for your prayers as well.

Love,
Sarah




“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (Psalms 20:7).

Today in Pictures

We headed out for the gulf again this morning. The water was choppier, which made it a little more interesting. We opted for going out a little further, but there were some really shallow areas, and we didn’t want to get our boats stuck, so we turned around. Dad and Mom were leading, and Dad saw a manatee surface about 10 feet in front of Mom. It’s a little bit of a helpless feeling as one tries to get their boat off the course the manatee might be on, because one really doesn’t want to get dumped if the manatee were to try to surface again under your boat. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. We saw another manatee off to the side also surfacing.

We continued back, enjoying our time together. This afternoon, most of us have been inside, catching up on things. John and Jesse went in the kayaks to explore, and when I saw them coming home, I stepped out to the porch, and John called to me that I should go look for a manatee. I grabbed my camera, rushing upstairs to the second story. SURE ENOUGH! There he was. I was praising the Lord for being able to grab pictures to share with you all. John and Jesse had been following him downstream for a ways. Manatees are such amazing, gentle creatures.

We have been in prayer for this weekend’s conference in Orlando. We’ll be headed there tomorrow!

Love,
Sarah











We saw bald eagles as we drifted along today! Then, suddenly, one was only about 20 feet from Joseph, and the eagle flew off, dropping branches. Joseph paddled over and picked up what the eagle had dropped.



The manatee!



“As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him…” (Deuteronomy 32:11-12.)

Good News and Our Time

We continue to see the Lord’s Hand on every aspect of this transmission replacement. We received a call from the shop. Upon pulling the transmission, they found that it was actually the new style of transmission. So, the good news is, instead of sending the transmission up to Grand Rapids and waiting while it was rebuilt, they were able to order one right away. They should have it “in hand” Friday or Monday. Lord willing, Uriah should be repaired and ready for us to re-inhabit early next week.

We had a nice evening last night. A sweet family has treated us to Chick-Fil-A. What a blessing! Thank you!

This morning, we set out in kayaks. A neighbor had previously allowed us to use two of their kayaks so we could all go out together. Dad talked with them, and they happily said we could use the kayaks again.

It took awhile to get settled in our kayaks, but then we headed for the Gulf. The inlet in our back “yard” takes you out to the Gulf if you go far enough. It was easy going since we were flowing with the tide. Reminds me of a spiritual analogy. As Christians, we are to go against the tide (the world). If we go with the tide, life can sail along pretty smoothly, because doing what the world wants is easy. It doesn’t require “hard decisions”. “… know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4

Anyway, after we got out to the Gulf, we turned around, and that’s when the going become hard. But, with consistent, steady strokes, we made progress.

We look forward to church tonight :-).

Love,
Sarah














This is the main area we saw manatees last time, so we went there this morning after going to the Gulf, but no manatees. Joseph spotted one from the river house, though!

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High” (Psalms 92:1).