It all started on Friday night, July 31, 2009, when we finally got the last suitcase in the trailer and headed out the driveway. Actually, it started several days, and even weeks before that, as we planned, prepared, and finally packed for this long-awaited and much-anticipated road trip. So, with much excitement and many smiles, we left home around 7:15 pm.  The rig all ready to go!

We stopped at a hotel along the way that night, and early the next morning, we got on our way again, with a very exciting destination in view: the home of the Wilkes Team!! After a rather uneventful trip, we arrived in high spirits in northern Virginia. The Wilkes had arranged for our two Teams to minister at an assisted living complex near their land in Culpepper, VA, so that was our first stop. We were well-received, and God blessed us with a fabulous time of singing, testimony, and talking with the people there.

The next thing on the agenda was a new experience with old friends: in the ten years that we have been blessed to know the Wilkes, we had never been to their land in Culpepper! So we loaded up our vans and headed down the road to the property. The evening there was wonderful, and it included supper Some of the supper prep crew. L-R: Adam, Kathryn, Victoria, Sarah, Daniel, Jessi and a tour by pick-up truck all around the land! That was very interesting! Imagine a pick-up truck with a good-sized-but-not-huge bed. Then, imagine that the two dads climb into the cab, to be the chauffeurs on the tour. Okay, now that you have that down, picture two lawn chairs in the bed of the truckMom and Mrs. Wilkes in the queens chairs (for Mom and Mrs. Wilkes), and then pile nineteen other people (ranging from age 24 years to 5 months old) in the remaining space. Put beaming smiles on every face, and lots of talk and laughter on every tongue, and your image is complete. 🙂

The tour was wonderful, and lots of fun! We did have a slight adventure, right at the end of it, when the left, rear wheel started making a strange noise. We stopped the truck and unloaded, only toHmmm... what do we do now? discover that we had run over something sharp and now had a flat tire! Okay! So that put an interesting twist on things, but God is merciful, and the spare tire worked fine… once it was out from UNDER the truck and put ON the axle. 🙂 Dad, Mr. Wilkes, Josh, Matthew, and Daniel worked hard and had it in good running order in a short time, although some people thought it was interesting that the flat had occurred on the GIRLS’ side of the truck… Hmmmm…

Joshua getting out the spare tire (grunt) "Let's get this tightened down the last bit!"

Sunday was very spiritually refreshing, and we thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful fellowship of the people who attend the church services at the Wilkes’ house. Sadly, we had to leave right after lunch, but happily,we would see them later in the week… 🙂 Herman and Mark: pretty good pals :)