This feels a little self-indulgent but Dianne suggested we share some pictures from our trip, introducing you to some of these significant people.
So, of course, we’ll start with a house!
This little house in Salem, Oregon has served more than 1,500 women in just a few years, providing baby clothes, diapers – and most importantly – an introduction to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And these are the people God used to make it happen.
Susan Smith manages a whole team of volunteers and relies on God to provide the hundreds of items needed to serve the women in crisis situations. Craig and Susan live kitty-corner to the Baby Boutique. There are 378 pictures on the wall of this house, with hundreds more being prepared. And Susan told us more than 150 of the women have professed Jesus as savior!
It was a joy to spend some time with them – we were already filled up with blessing before even heading for the retreat!
And here is Justin Reimer, Executive Director and Founder of The Elisha Foundation. “We are eager to reach out to families affected by any disability, with particular emphasis on families with special needs children or adults. Our ultimate goal is to equip these special families for a more intimate faith in Christ, passionately lived out with love.” (From The Elisha Foundation mission)
And this is the young man God used to create The Elisha Foundation: Elisha (Eli) Reimer.
I had the chance to spend some time with Eli. He is a fine young man who loves Jesus and he loves me as well. It was a privilege to be with him.
And this very serious man is Greg Lucas, the author of Wrestling with an Angel and our teacher for the retreat.
But wouldn’t you know I don’t have a good picture of two of the most important people we met! Bob and Marsha took care of us during the retreat, and spent a great deal of time with Paul. We could not have been treated with more kindness or affection – and Paul clearly felt loved. Paul is sitting on Bob’s lap in this photo.
Finally, Dianne said I should post this family video as well, as a thank you to all who made this retreat possible!
The music comes from Dana Dirksen’s CD, Questions with Answers, Volume 2.
Paul was whistling Jingle Bells, at his brother’s request (it’s a little hard to hear).
Finally, the little girls at the end belong to my nephew John and his wife Laura. A few hours with them was a delightful way to close our trip.
God made the whole trip possible. We are very glad (Psalm 126:3)!