About a month ago, I received an email from my alma mater, Baptist Bible College, telling me that I had been chosen to receive one of the annual alumni awards they give out each fall. The awards were to be handed out during a chapel service in mid-October that culminated the end of the Bible conference and the beginning of homecoming weekend. I knew immediately that I wanted to go…Northeast Pennsylvania is gorgeous at this time of year and I have years of fond memories from college and seminary.
But there is a big difference between wanting to go and making it happen. We kept it on the down-low and started making plans. I knew I couldn’t just get in a car and drive ten hours anymore, so we had to break it up into bite-size pieces. Then there were the unknowns of the hotel rooms and accommodations along the way. Plus, we knew we needed more manpower….I’m too much for Dena to handle alone when away from the set-up in our home.
Once the plans were made, we still almost didn’t make it when two nights before we left, I fell in the middle of the night walking to the bathroom. Dena and Parker had to call 911 for them to come and get me up. I only suffered a cut on my head and some pride, as now walking alone was put on the “never again” list. We knew that the administration and students at our college were praying we could come, so we kept plugging away.
It took Dena two days to pack for our little trip, but she’s doing everything now including loading it all up. As she made several trips to the van with bags of meds, extra supplies, the wedge pillow, handrail for the bed, wheelchair and scooter, she gave me a look that said “do not say one word about how many bags I have!” It’s kind of a joke between us, as it probably is with every married couple packing for a trip!! Needless to say, she made sure we had it all! At each stop along the way, we had friends or family come to meet us and help us into the hotel rooms. Starting the second day, our friends, Matt & Jolynn Frey, joined us in our van and continued the trip with us. Once there, Dena’s brother, Tim, also flew in and jumped in to help.
The weather was great, the service was nice, the familiar faces wonderful, and the young students refreshing. I laughed so much my sides hurt. Receiving the Outstanding Faithful Service award was a real honor and blessing. It is only because of God’s grace that he can use a former troubled teen for His glory. I have only been serving God for 25 years, and many others have done so for much longer. I am humbled.
So was the trip a lot of effort? Yes! But worth it? Definitely. Thank you, friends, family and BBC!
Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord bestows favor and honor; No good thing will he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.