Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What a Whirlwind!

Well, this weekend was full! We thought we'd let you see the quick version in pictures:
Saturday we spent a couple hours at the E.C. WorldFest Pennsylvania, which was great for us since it was only a 3 minute walk from our house at Evangelical Theological Seminary. The folks there were excited as we spoke of God's faithfulness in supplying 92% of our needed monthly support thus far!
Sunday morning we headed to Peoples E.C. in Lehighton, PA, up towards the Poconos where the leaves are beginning to hit their peak fall colors. The folks at Peoples were greatly encouraging as we shared our story and calling with them.

After leaving Lehighton, we headed down to eastern Berks County to Christ Lutheran Church, which is in the countryside of Barto, PA. I (B.J.) had met many of their members during the summer at PACE Workcamp where I spoke, so they invited us to come, preach at their afternoon worship service and share about Spain at their fellowshp meal afterwards. Above is one of their sanctuary's stunning stained glass windows which we felt is something we're learning about right now: Jesus truly is our Good Shepherd in these great days of transition!

Monday, October 6, 2008

P.M. Roots

Well, it's been another long but good weekend for the Whitakers. This weekend we had the opportunity to retrace some of Rachel's Primitive Methodist roots. On Saturday we were the keynote missionary speakers at the P.M. Pittsburgh District Missions Rally...interestingly, the event wasn't in Pittsburgh (as one might think) but in Youngstown, OH. As an Anderson, Youngstown is a pretty important place for Rachel. It's the hometown of Rachel's grandpa and, therefore, the site of the family's home church--Glenwood Christian Fellowship (a P.M. church). Youngstown is also where Rachel's dad graduated from high school (even though most of his childhood and youth was spent in Guatemala). So everyone at the rally knew Rachel from birth, reminding her of how she was when she was just a wee little lass.

So after the missions rally, we spent the evening with Pastor Tom and Heather Snyir who lead the Merritt P.M. Church in Buena Vista, PA, near Pittsburgh (note the photo above). God has really renewed the vision and ministry of this church in recent years, and, as a former youth pastor, I was thrilled to see a number of teens participating in the worship service. The congregation was quite welcoming to us, and of course they knew of Rachel's grandparents and parents. All in all, it was a good weekend, though we're now trying to rest a bit before we start a new work week. Only about a month of the normal 8-5 routine for Rachel left--more on that later!