A great week of fun in the sun and surf

My family just returned from a week of “vacation with a purpose” at Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference Center located in Muskegon, Michigan on the east central side of Lake Michigan.  This is the fifth year in a row we have attended this conference.  On the way out we stopped in to say hi to someone in Portage, Indiana, just a few miles off the Interstate.

Karla met Melanie while we were in Rochester 18 months ago, and has kept in contact with her sporadically ever since.  They have several things in common.

First, they are each married to pastors (respectively).

Second, they are married to Evangelical Free Church pastors (and this is not a huge denomination or whatever we call ourselves).

Third, they are married to Evangelical Free Church pastors who had their brains operated on the same day by the same neurosurgeon, Dr. Frederick Meyer, chair of neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic.

Fourth, their husbands had never met one another…So we stopped in for a couple of hours and chatted.  It was a great time to connect with Dave and his wife Melanie.

Three hours after meeting with this couple and their four children we were off to Kalamazoo for a couple of nights with some  friends.   They took us boating, tubing, and go-carting.  It was good to see the Ropps once again!

Saturday morning we met with the Jaspers and re-connected with this kind and gracious couple.  The consummate host is how I like to describe Diane.  Always has been and always will be.  They invited our family over for a brunch where she had about a dozen of our favorite Rykses cinnamon rolls waiting for us, along with quiche, various fruits, and waffles.

Then it was off to Maranatha for seven nights!  An excellent time was had by all!  The missions emphasis this week was on a group called Russian Ministries.  There were two Russian men who made the trek from the eastern side of the former Soviet Union.  Very inspiring to hear of the work that is going on there!   In the morning and evenings we were fed a steady diet of good teaching from the Bible.  Then there were the times of play.  Great times of play.  I have always loved the Great Lakes…even more than the oceans.  Freshwater is also clear water.  The waves on a couple of days were quite large…and I was able to body surf some times as much as 70 feet I would guess on the rare occasion that I would hit a wave just perfect.

Benj did a face plant on a rock giving him an orange sized protrusion on his forehead, cuts on his mouth and nose, and a nasty bruise on his knee.  I’m glad the swelling was outside and not inside the brain.  It was absolutely amazing how quickly that swelled up and how large it became!  After calling our doctor back home we just kept an eye on him for any signs of a concussion.  He was swimming again the next day…albeit with a substantially altered exterior “look”.

Back home this week and am working on a remodeling/addition project on our garage.  I’m replacing all the old cardboard masonite with hardiplank cement board and adding a 16′ X 18′ addition for a shop and storage.  Today the heat index was 110 and I lost ten-and-a-half pounds in just 8 hours.  Hollywood diets got nothing on me.  I’m just happy to be able to be doing this addition!  Things take more time than before but until the clock runs out for me and my work on earth is finished, I’m immortal.

Sweating and Happy,



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