Today we had a wonderful and full day visiting with friends and family. We had 2 separate events scheduled, and managed to squeeze in a 3rd one as well, as they were all close to each other.
First, we went back to my home stomping ground, and attended my old church in Mayview MO for a surprise birthday party for one of the church pillars who had turned 80. One of her sons arranged for a full house of close to 200 in the little country church. Many were like me, past members who had moved out of the area. It was standing room only in the back, and a dinner for her followed after church services. She was very surprised to see so many people from her past keep entering the building. She has helped with many VBS, worked in the nursery, led music, taught children's church and Sunday School for most of her life. It was good to see people I had not seen in years. Some had changed, aged and looked different. Others had not changed at all, and a few even looked younger. Ones I had last seen as children were now adults, married with their own kids.
After the dinner, we ended up at my friend Kelly's home for a visit. Kelly and her boys have gone with us on our Joplin trips to help with rebuilding after the tornado with IDES. Kelly has one of those homes where anyone is always welcome at anytime, and when you walk in the front door you feel it is your home away from home. And, her kitchen is the focal point--perfect for a large family (such as hers) or a gathering.
After a visit, we then headed to my parents home to have our Christmas. It was a nice visit with the highlight being my parents gift all of us went together to give my parents a new computer. Their old one had bit the dust. My brother set it up for them before we all left. It was our first Christmas as a family since Debbie passed away, and this week will mark the one year anniversary of her passing. Please keep all our family in prayer this week.