In the last three weeks of July, I made a quick trip up to the States. This trip had been planned for more than two years, as I had been invited to be the primary missionary speaker at Lake James School of Missions. As the time neared, the short trip began to have extra activities added in. The first and most exciting was when Wendy informed us in January that our fourth grand child was to be born, precisely during the time I was to be in the States. So I traveled up to the States on the 9th of July with an extra measure of excitement.
Once there, I took a few days to try to get back my English thought process so I could preach in English. After being there a few days, Wendy brought over the grand children for us to keep as her due date approached. It was great fun watching the grand children and taking them to VBX and to swimming lessons. Then on Thursday of that week, our little Katy Rose was born. It was a fun and exciting time for all of us. We kept the children till Wendy could recover somewhat and get settled in with the new baby.
On Sunday of that week, I drove up to Lake James and was there to begin the School of Missions. I had several speaking dates during the week and set up my tent and display and got ready for the week. I spoke the first time at the keynote missionary address on Monday. Then, on Monday night, I got a call from Jeanie that her mother had been taken to the hospital. About an hour later she called again to say her mother was not doing well. Then around midnight, she called again to say that her mother had passed from this life into the next.
I continued my teaching and preaching as I awaited the family’s decisions no funeral arrangements. I could not have gotten back in time to take her to Washington Court House for making those arrangements, so Brian and Susy did that for me. The funeral was set for Friday and so I finished the majority of my speaking dates and left Lake James early in order to accompany my wife at the funeral. I drove directly from Lake James to Washington Court House and met them there. It was a sad time but not unexpected as my mother-in-law had been in failing health for some time. But I will be eternally grateful to her as she gave me a wonderful wife who has been a spectacular wife, mother, and missionary for all of these years.
We returned to Rittman late that afternoon. We then went back over and picked up the grandchildren again as they had colds and Wendy did not want the baby to get sick. Plus, she was still not getting much sleep, so it was nice to be able to help her out so she could nap during the day as the baby slept. We kept the kids till Monday of the following week and took them home at that time. Tuesday I packed for my trip back to Colombia and then flew back to Colombia on Wednesday. It had been an event filled trip; one of joy and sadness. It would have been nice to stay a bit longer but I had important commitments back here in Colombia. So please keep my wife and the Graham family in your prayers.