When I drove up to northern Minnesota on September 8th to visit my dear friend/"sister", Susan Jones, I rested at her house for about 3 days, because I was exhausted after helping to the delivery of one of my Bhutanese babies. Had not had enough sleep for 4 days, and then hit the road.
On Saturday the13th, I drove north to Baudette, MN, right on the
Canada border to see some very dear friends/pastors, Dave and Mary ("Ducky") Gens. Dave is a wonderful guitarist and singer and music writer and sharing it around and about. For a stretch of time a few years ago, he rode his bike, keeping his guitar and his clothes, and his sleeping bag. He rode hundreds of miles around and about, in Minnesota, and sharing the Lord through his words and his music, sometimes just being in a park by the roads. I met him nearly 10 years ago, and he was still doing that and he'll be 65 in December.
And, while he was gone, his wife was the speaker and teacher and
minister. They've both done helping with and for each other and the people in their town. I've been very impressed when there and was able to explain some of the spiritual issues and MY Dave came up and they so enjoyed him that a few years ago they asked us to move up there and they'd get us involved both in churches and helping through apartments in that area. We wanted to be there and a number of other places in northern MN, but the Lord kept us here in Omaha, and we can do much in either place, while serving the Lord. That's what counts.
After with them for a few hours, I drove back down to Susan's, and that was about 130 miles. The next day, I drove to another town, Crookston, about 60 miles north from Susan's area, and one of my dear friends, Stacey, was for me to be with her. What a treat she was. She drove us around and about, looking at the significant spiritual challenges, both locally and historically, many we'd talked about before and looked at a few years ago. She also reminded me that Dave and I had given quite a number of computers to people from other nations in the '06 stretch of time. And, when I asked about a Sudanese fellow who I met when he was on a bike and cold much of the time during that stretch of Fall, I remembered visiting with him in a fast food place with her back then. Well, she said the blessing I was then was that I bought him bus tickets for a stretch of time and he could adjust and arrange from his new job. Wow! I didn't remember that.
I had connected with her in '05, and went up to teach her about spiritual mapping through the ministry/company I was involved with. Well, when teaching, other pastors in the local area were where I pulled in. It was a pizza place and the 10-ish of us ate and I shared. One of the pastors, Craig and Sonja, who had been living in a town about 40 miles south, became my friends, too. They had been in YWAM for several years, heard of this ministry there-- a special time in Jamaica, for instance-- and were very positive about this. They encouraged Stacey to be with me then. When I see her, we rejoice together. She's only a little older than my daughter, so I consider her a daughter, not just a friend.
When leaving her place, I drove south to see Craig and Sonja, and
reached there just about dinner time and shared with them too long about what I was going through. So enjoyed that time. They put up with my yammering and prayed over me as I was heading out. It was about 9:15 and dark and I needed to drive back north a bit to stay on main roads instead of being on the side roads through the farms and smaller towns from their place to Susan's, because deer and skunks and lots of other danger could be on the roads So I drove miles further, to stay on the main highways; it was so much safer.
When I reached Susan's it was about 10:30. I was a tired cookie. And it took a couple days to restore. It was a huge blessing of being with these people who always thought of me as a good teaching, a good preaching, a good sharing person. Can't not rejoice.
The main wonderfulness of this trip to northern Minnesota, gone for 11 days, was to see MANY dear friends, again. Not just these, but a significant number of others. Love so many!! And am loved by many. What a blessing.