We got back on Monday from our first long support-raising trip, and we are still trying to catch up with all that needs to be done after being away for so long. So here is an overview of our travels.
On Saturday, 25 April, we drove from home to Morris, IL, where Ryan preached at Friends in Christ Lutheran Church, and we spent the weekend with Pr. Mark and Paula Willig. We had a great time with the Willigs, and learned a ton, including our first experience with Ghanaian food. Our encounter with durian is another whole tale to tell, but “been there, done that” now.
On Sunday, 26 April, we visited River of Life Lutheran Church in Channahon, IL, where Ryan filled in for Pr. Hans Fiene. The saints at River of Life were very gracious in receiving us, and it was a pleasure to bring the Gifts of God to them.
On Monday, 27 April, we drove to Wheaton, visited an old friend, and then spent some family time at Cantigny Park. The museums weren’t open, but we had a great afternoon exploring the grounds and enjoying the fresh air. Then we drove to Morrison, IL.
We spent Monday night and Tuesday, 28 April with Pr. Mark and Bekah Winkelman and their children in Morrison. Mark served at the same vicarage as Ryan, the year before us, so it was nice to finally get to know them. That evening, we attended a potluck at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Morrison, gave a presentation, then drove back to Chicago to stay with Pr. Steven Anderson of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and School, Chicago.
On Wednesday, 29 April, Ryan was privileged to preach for chapel, then present to the school children of Gloria Dei Lutheran School. Then Pr. Anderson treated us to a nice meal before we headed to Michigan City, IN.
We took a short break on our way to play at Cabela’s in Hammond, IN.
That evening, we enjoyed the hospitality of Pr. David and Lisa Solum in Michigan City, IN, and Ryan got to present at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Michigan City.
From there, we drove to Bennett, IA on Thursday, 30 April, to visit Pr. Jordan and Andrea McKinley at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Bennett. We enjoyed some wonderful desserts and fellowship with the saints of St. Paul’s Bennett, and St. Paul’s Stanwood, as Ryan presented there.
On Friday, 1 May, we drove to Williamsburg, IA, where we had lunch and gave a presentation for Pr. Thomas Ogilvie at St. Paul Lutheran Church, then got to speak to a gym full of kids at Lutheran Interparish School.
That night, we got to stay with our good friends, the Durr family, near Williamsburg.
Saturday morning, 2 May, we left Williamsburg and headed for Illinois once again, stopping at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline for some tractor time.
After leaving Moline, we went on to arrive at the home of Pr. Michael Schuermann in Sherman, IL. We stayed there Saturday night, then on Sunday, 3 May, Ryan preached in the Divine Service at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Sherman. Rhys and Eva enjoyed Sunday School, while Ryan presented to the adult Bible Class.
From there, we drove (through a thunderstorm) to Madison, WI, where we stayed with Emily’s Uncle James and Aunt Sarah.
Finally, we got home on Monday, and we are still trying to recover. Thankfully, this is our only long trip as a whole family until August. We are sticking close to home until the baby is born in three weeks.
For more photos from our trip, please check out our albums on our Facebook page!