Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 trip west

January 1, 2012
Marvin and I were ready to head the the west coast.
The van was loaded to the gills with 41 Christmas bundles for the Shining Light Children's Home, 54 personal care packages for the old folk's home in Tijuana, food for the crew and our luggage.
Our first stop was to worship at Lanes Run Mennonite Church. Our nephew Joel Burkholder preached the sermon. We had lunch at (nephew) Vincent & Marcella Burkholder's home along with Joel & Bonnie & family.
The next day we visited the Creation Museum at Petersburg, KY. So refreshing to visit a museum that exalts the infallible Word of God.
Our next stop on Tuesday, January 3 was a visit with my cousin Anna (Martin) & Vernon Weaver at Bluford, Illinois.
We traveled southwest from there to the Gateway Arch at St. Louis, MO. Rode the elevator to the top and toured the museum. Interesting!
We arrived at the home of our friends, Ed & Grace Reiff (below) at Fortuna, MO in the afternoon of Jan. 4th.
Such a warm welcome- in more ways than one!
On Thursday, January 5th, we arrived in the Rich Hill, MO community where six children of Paul & Elizabeth Brubaker live. This group does not use engines. In the photo below you can see the horse on treadmill that powers the washing machine.
We continued our southwest trek and arrived at Dallas,TX on Saturday, Jan. 7th. Our friends, Harry & Laverne Erb met us and hosted our tour of the 6th Floor Museum in Dallas. This place honors slain John F. Kennedy. You can hear Walter Cronkite's voice - a replaying of the stunning news cast that people our age remember hearing on November 22, 1963.
We went to church with harry & Laverne at Grays Prairie on Sunday morning, then pushed our covered wagon westward again by mid-afternoon.
Expect the unexpected! We got into snow between Big Spring, TX and El Paso, TX on Monday January 9th. Thank God for safety in treacherous travel! Oil wells, desert scrub and all are snow covered!
By 7 PM we were experiencing a different climate! We arrived at the home of my cousin, Sylvia Hasbrock and her son Jim. We had a most delicious supper at her daughter Julie's house where we were introduced to most of her children and grandchildren. So good to visit with all of them again!

On Tuesday, January 10, we headed due west. In southern CA we passed through the Sand Dune Recreational Park. The landscape here is volatile- always changing with the wind direction.
We arrived at Jonathan & Angelica's house by 7 PM- one hour later than our schedule. Thank God for safe travel every mile- 3053.4 miles since we drove out our lane! We stayed here until Friday, Jan 13th. Meanwhile the van was transferred to the Orphans for Jesus ministry, we bought groceries, picked up Karen, Leroy & Romaine who planned to help with the project in MX, and visited with our son and family.
After spending nearly $800 for groceries at Super Walmart, we crossed into MX. We arrived at Rancho Ojai about 10 AM on January 13th. The rest of the day was spent getting organized for our cooking job for the Orphans for Jesus crew.
This is the cook crew! We had excellent help! My sister & husband, and our niece and her future fiance' Jesse & Rachel were great!
And this is the crew we fed morning, noon and night for ten days!
What a group of dedicated young people! They had a mind to work, but knew how to have fun too!
This is the inside of the dining which is located about 1/2 mile from the kitchen. That meant all our food and utensils needed to be transported before and after each meal. But it works!
On Tuesday and Thursday, the cooks did the laundry for the crew. A lot of girls did their own laundry. But we had 46 pair of jeans- can you see the stack under the table? We hung jeans and towels on the rail fence to dry. Colorful scene!

We visited the Shining Light Children's Home more than once. I was surprised and delighted to met Rocio- a 19 year old girl who calls me "Grandma" ever since she lived with Jonathan & Angelica soon after the children's home was established.
And this is Micaela- one of the girls that won my heart. This dress was in the Christmas bundle we prepared for her.
After the Orphans for Jesus week was completed, Leroy & Romaine, Marvin & I did some touristy things in CA. We visited the Creation Museum in Santee, CA and Old Town San Diego. It could be described as the Southwest version of Williamsburg, VAIn the photo below you can see the old jail in San Diego! Not a luxury hotel!
My sister is known to inhabit court houses. Here she even found one in Old Town San Diego!
We found our way to San Diego Zoo on Friday, January 27. Both Jonathans stayed home from work and school for the day. See Jonathan and Angelica posing with the polar bear statues.
Eli and Jonathan pose with the gorilla statue- don't worry , we did see lots of real animals too!
This is Gao Gao the Bamboo eating machine!
Two Jonathan stuck in a fake iceberg!
The real polar bear posing for us!

And no trip to the west is complete without a trip to the beach to watch the sunset over the ocean! I love the ocean and sunsets- the combination is described in two hymns "The love of God- could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made. Were every stalk on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade? To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry, nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky! O love of rich and pure , how measureless and strong! It shall forever more endure, the saints and angels song!
#2- Beyond the Sunset- O blissful morning! When with our Savior heaven is begun! One day we will slip beyond the sunset where we will no longer been seen on earth- but be more alive than ever in the presence of the SON!
We left the van behind in CA and flew home on January 30th. Good to be home and unpack. Thank You , Lord, for helping us fulfill our dream of driving to the west - one more time!