Back to my Roots

I was blessed to have a wonderful childhood. I grew up in a small town with lots of room to roam and close to a woods where I built forts, went fishing and made some great memories. My parents never moved until I was 21. So my roots went deep. The above picture is me in my fatigues, as a kid I loved G.I. Joe. I was the youngest of three boys but there are 6 years and 9 years between me and my older brothers. I had to play by myself most of the time since my brothers were so much older. So I had a lot of imaginary friends and a big imagination.
My older brothers and I. Look at all my curls!
My parents gave us a godly heritage. We were part of a great church where I heard some fantastic preaching and had Sunday school teachers that taught me right from wrong. This picture was taken in the old sanctuary of the church, since then it has gone through two building projects.

My senior year of high school and I got a bad case of chickenpox. I spent I think close to a week in the hospital. Some of the doctors had never seen a case like this. It definitely left it's mark.
I have talked so much about the woods and our old house to Joseph I wanted to take him and show him where I grew up. So the other afternoon we took an adventure together.
We started up the road from our old house at the bridge where I used to spend a lot of time fishing. The bridge is no longer in use.
We found this snake skin lying in the water. I'm glad we didn't see the actual snake.
Joseph brought his BB gun pistol. He really wanted to kill a deer or bear. We caught a glimpse of a deer but no bear.
This was a very special place for me. As a teenager I would often come to this spot in the woods and walk back and forth praying. It turned into a "prayer trail". You can still see the trail as it goes to the tree where Joseph is standing. I specifically remember leaning against that same tree and looking up through the leaves as I prayed for the people of Honduras. There were some good memories made here.
On this site is where I had my fort. Not much left now a few sticks still lying around.
Looking through the woods into the backyard of our old house.
Under this tree we used to have a sand box. We made cities of sand and drove our matchbox cars around the streets. Now it's all grown over with grass.
The old bean tree is still standing next to the house. I used to climb this tree all the time. We even had a swing on one of the big branches.
I rode my bike up and down this road all summer long.
It was nice going "back to my roots". It brought back so many good memories.


Deputation Update

We have been having a great deputation. By the time it is all said and done we will have done more than sixty services. At the beginning of the service Joseph usually speaks a little bit about the culture and has a show-n-tell about things he brought from the country. He does a great job!
It was nice to be able to attend the God's Missionary Church conference. I always enjoy seeing the other pastors.


Seeing Noah

During our week vacation with my parents we stopped by Lancaster, Pa to see Noah at Sight and Sound. We really enjoyed it!
Get in the ark! Here comes the flood!
I am blessed with a wonderful family!
We had an incredible experience after the show. We met up with some people from Syria. They started talking with Hannah in Arabic and we soon discovered that this man's brother is pastoring a church in Fuheis, Jordan where Hannah grew up. A few years ago Hannah and I did an eight week missions internship in Jordan and I preached in this man's brother's church. It's such a small world!


Visit to Niagara Falls

This week we are off the road and on vacation with my parents. We took two days to visit Niagara Falls. The boys were really looking forward to it.
Here is how our van looked like. Screens everywhere! How did we travel before IPads?
Wind turbines somewhere in New York.
Beautiful Niagara Falls. Niagara is an Indian name meaning "thundering water".
Skylon Tower.
Two happy boys!
Voyagers on the "Maid of the Mist".
Braving the mist and driving wind.
Stunning beauty!
We took a ride on the awesome Skywheel.
Look who went over the falls and survived!
I so enjoyed viewing the strange and weird at Ripley's Believe It or Not, it's been too many years since I last visited.
Sitting in a giant's chair.
I wonder if he could see through all four of his pupils?
Can you see a family resemblance?
I couldn't stop taking pictures of the falls.
Very interesting to see the diversity of nations that came to see the falls.
I loved the scene looking out of the welcome center.
We took a "Journey Behind the Falls" and got an up close and personal view of Horse Shoe Falls.
We couldn't pass up a trip to a Lebanese restaurant. My parents had never tried a Middle Eastern restaurant so we wanted to give them a new experience. They liked it! The beef shwarmas were amazing!
Sipping Turkish coffee.
It's been a great time!!


July 4th!

Flavor bursting, mouth-watering, scrumptious, mind blowing, taste bud blasting, incredibly delicious food!!
So much fun to be with aunts, uncles and cousins.
The first time our immediate family was together in probably a good three years!


Potporri of Pictures

Deputation has been going very well. We have had some very good services and God is helping us to reach our goals. In the mix of the traveling and speaking we have also had some family time. Back in June we took a week vacation with Hannah's family and did some camping. We had a really good time and it was nice to have a change of pace.
Hannah's aunt and uncle allowed us to use their camper and Scott and Sarah brought their camper.
There was a lot of good cooking on the fire. Plenty of hot dogs and hamburgers to go around.
The cousins sure had a good time playing together, riding bikes and making great memories.
Having fun with sparklers and poppers.
We also had a blast boating and riding jet skis. It was perfect weather for a ride on the boat.
Splish splashin' and having fun.
I haven't fished in probably four or five years so it felt good to get a rod and reel out and try my luck at pulling in a big one. Well I didn't get the whopper but I did catch this little cat fish. It sure was fun.
While visiting with our good friends Wes and Jana Cressman we took a tour of a Bible museum with wax figures and scenes from the Old and New Testament. Here are Joshua and Caleb bringing grapes back from their visit to the promise land.
At the museum was this very interesting piece of art. The picture itself is made by a man who hand wrote the entire new testament.
A closer look reveals that the picture is made up of only the words of the New Testament. It was amazing!
I was intrigued by this painting of Noah. There was a lot of symbolism in the different people who are listening.
We spent a weekend in Indianapolis preaching a weekend revival at the Spanish church. On Saturday evening several area Spanish churches came together for a rally and afterwards we had a big fellowship meal. We had a wonderful time.
We were privileged to eat lunch and visit with Glen and Helen Reiff. They are just dear friends and it was so nice to catch up on life.
June 30th was Joseph's 7th birthday! We had a big bash for him. Here he is with grandma and grandpa Kennedy.
The theme of the party was Monster Inc.
Uncle John did some awesome grillin'.
One of the highlights of the party was the huge slip and slide!
I love this picture of Joseph and Mimi.
It's hard to believe he is seven years old!!
One of his favorite gifts was this pistol BB gun.
Last Sunday we had a service in Shelbyville, Indiana and we met up with some of my cousins. We all got together for lunch and had a great time visiting.
Two great Joseph's who share the same birthday, June 30th!
On our way back to Pa we stopped at Cabelas.
Visiting Sub-Sahara Africa at Cabelas.
Lions defending their kill from wild Hyenas.
What a surprise to meet up with Hannah's cousin Ana and her family! It was nice seeing them again, it has been a long time.