Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Back Home Again in Indiana

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go back to Osceola, Indiana - which is a very special place for me.  It was there at the age of 30 that I had my first Senior Pastorate as I was able to lead the Osceola Grace Brethren Church for 9 years.  Few things are as special to a pastor as the first church he is able to lead as a Senior Pastor and for me, this was the first time I had the opportunity to return to this special church.  What a thrill it was for Laura and Joy and I to see so many dear friends that we loved (and still love) so much and to get so very many hugs!

This is also the place where my children spent their "growing up" years.  In fact, while we were there Joy found in a classroom one of my son's most favorite toys from when he was little - a huge dinosaur. Along with other toys, we donated it to the church before we left Indiana. Amazing, isn't it, how a toy can bring back so many smiles, laughter and wonderful memories? 

We actually lived in two homes over those 9 years in Indiana.  The first was on Eleventh Street in Mishawaka, Indiana (pictured first below).  The second home was on County Road 22 in Elkhart (pictured second below).  As we drove by both houses last weekend (literally taking a drive down 'memory lane') and I took these pictures of how these houses look today, I smiled as I thought about neighbors at each of these houses that God gave us the privilege of seeing come to know Jesus while we lived next door to them!

We've actually done a lot of moving since we've been married.  We lived in an apartment and then three different houses while I was a youth and associate pastor in West Milton, OH.  We lived in the two houses seen above when I was the Senior Pastor in Osceola, IN.  We then lived in another house where I pastored in Lititz, PA.  And now we live in yet another house here in Gaylord, MI.  Let's see- that's 8 houses in 26 years of marriage (that's an average of a move about every 3.25 years).  

It was nice to be back in Indiana - but I think I'm about done with this moving thing (unless, however, it is into a house on a lake - that we are up for!)!

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