After the GIBF meeting we were in a Missions Conference in Phoenix, Arizona with Bro. Bessinas. We stayed in their Missions Apartment for two weeks and we had such a great time! They have foster kids and adopted kids all around our kids' ages so they played mightily the two weeks! The church there is so sweet and loving. On Saturday Caleb went to the swap meet with the church where they set up a tent and hand out gospel tracts. It's mostly a spanish community and people were very receptive! The kids and I met him later and I was amazed at how friendly the people were and how much they wanted to take the tracts. Of course we found a lot on the ground and there were people that refused them, but all in all alot took them. The Missions Conference went well even though I was TERRIBLY hot!! It was in the 80's which to them is cool (they wore jackets and sweaters) but to this pregnant lady I felt like I was going to die. To make matters worse they didn't turn on the a/c in the church, they just opened windows, and there was little to no breeze. We also got allergy colds so we were all sniffing and sneezing the whole time.
When we left there we headed to Farmington, NM to be with Burson Corley in his Missions Conference/Preachers Meeting. We stayed with the Waldrip family who live on the bumpiest road I have EVER been on! It was awful, we couldn't go more than 5 mph and we were shaken around like rag dolls. We had a good time at that church also, and Caleb was able to sing some specials and I played some offetories and Caleb was able to present our ministry. Sunday morning (March 1st) we were with Bro. Harjo in Shiprock, NM. They have mostly an Indian congregation and it was good to be with them. It really is sad how pitiful life is on indian reservations. It's almost like a third world country, like Bro. Harjo pointed out. Whole families living in tin shacks, beggars everywhere (Caleb wouldn't even let me take the kids to the bathroom at a gas station by myself), and just poverty and sadness everywhere. I'm sure not all reservations are like this, but it really opened my eyes to the need the indian people have of hearing the gospel!
On Tuesday afternoon we left Farmington to go to Englewood, Colorado. We were planning on leaving at noon but didn't leave until after 3pm so we didn't make it to the first night of the Home Missions Conference. We drove straight to Silver State Baptist Youth Camp where we were staying for the week. It was excited to drive through the mountains at 10 at night, let me tell you! We went around the back of the mountain because of the direction we were coming from and I was for sure we'd go around the corner and there would be a bear.
But we made it safely and we were able to get unloaded and in bed before midnight! The next morning we woke up and drove to the church in Englewood for the meetings. Let me tell you, we've been in a few "big" Home Missions Conferences and we have NEVER been in one like this one. I don't want this to sound bad, but we usually feel like we have to make ourselves known or nobody will talk to us, we just end up sitting by ourselves hoping someone will look our way. But at this one, everyone was so friendly and there weren't "ranks" in the preachers of who you could and couldn't talk to on a social scale. Everyone was open and nobody was made to feel less than worthy of a conversation! That doesn't always happen when you get a lot of preachers together, sad to say. The people of the church were incredibly friendly and I can't even count how many asked me about the baby and if we knew what it was! I felt like taping a sign to my shirt "6 months along, we don't know what is it" because I answered those questions so often!
The best part of the entire week, we got to see Lauren Murray. We knew each other in High School from going to camp together but for some reason never liked each other. Then we went to Heartland together and we were inseperable! She was my Maid of Honor and I love her so much. I forgot how much I love her, actually. On the last night of the Conference we were sitting in the service and Caleb was on my left and Lauren was on my right. I felt so deeply satisfied I honestly could not think of anything else I needed. I am so thankful that the Lord brings friends into your life that you know will be there forever. Even though we don't talk often, maybe 2 or 3 times a year, whenever we do talk it's like we've never been apart. I am so unworthy of a friend like her!
This week we're in Albuquerque, NM. Sunday morning we were with Bro. Carr at Mesa Baptist Church and we might be able to be in their Missons Conference the beginning of April, if we can work it out! Sunday night we were with Rio Grande Baptist Church which is where we're staying in a Missions Apartment. We were supposed to get here Saturday night but the Pastor forgot we were coming and put another Missionary in the apartment! But he was very kind and put us in a hotel room for two nights. We are now in the apartment and will be here until Saturday.
After this we will be going to Florissant, CO to be with Nate and Tresa Scholtz; Page, AZ with a Navajo Pastor; and then Hobbs, NM which is at the bottom of the state. We're hoping to go to the Grand Canyon when we're in Arizona and Carlsbad Caverns when we're in Hobbs. Noah really wants to go! Thanks for reading.