July 29, 2019 — Dallas

Our flight from Bethlehem was delayed last Sunday, so Ruth and I missed our connecting flight in Atlanta. We were booked on the next flight to Dallas, which meant that we missed worship – but we were upgraded to first class on the new flight! Peter and several other RUF staff joined us for lunch and we settled in for a relaxing afternoon.

It was a very productive week. I met with the men I supervise to chat about the training and to review their plans for the upcoming school year. Peter Dishman and his wife and baby arrived Sunday night, so we had a late dinner with them. Peter and Lauren have a thriving RUF ministry in Bogota, Columbia. I met with all my people on Monday afternoon and reminded them that we are partners with Jesus in ministry, speaking from John15. Ruth and I went out to dinner with the Mid-Atlantic staff Tuesday night. A variety of people led training sessions throughtout the week which were universally praised. This time 40 wives came to training, and Ruth was able to meet all from our area in addition to participating in the wives events. While all this was going on, I was managing a couple of difficult and sensitive situations – which meant daily emails, phone calls, and meetings. I think we are working toward resolution on those matters.

Staff training ended Friday morning. After lunch on Friday, ten of us from the Mid-Atlantic broke into two committees to review and improve the materials we use for training our students. We took a break for dinner and worked Friday night, then finished by noon on Saturday. It is a huge amount of material and there is a lot more we could do, but we made a lot of progress. It was tiring, especially after a tiring week, but also enjoyable to work together and see concrete results which will make our ministry better.

We checked out before noon on Saturday. Everyone else flew home, but Ruth, Peter, and I drove to Gatesville, Texas, to visit old friends at their ranch. We had a wonderful time! It is a lovely ranch in the hill country, with two lakes, a garden, bee hives, lots of farm machinery, and a beautiful house. We went swimming in the lake and had brisket for dinner with peach cobbler for dessert. Sunday morning we drove to Temple for church, lunch, and final visit. We headed back toward Dallas to drop Peter off at DFW for his flight home. There was a massive traffic jam around Waco, but we delivered Peter on time. By then Ruth and I were worn out. I fell asleep at 8:00 PM.

We’re presently flying to Detroit where we’ll catch our flight to Bethlehem. I expect to arrive home in time to mow the grass which will need it after a week and a half of neglect.

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