Nancy and I left for a cross-country road trip eight days ago. Our agenda is to visit ministry donors and other friends as we travel to our daughter’s wedding. So far we have traveled in eleven states and met with numerous people.
Simultaneously, we are preparing for the wedding that is scheduled at a venue in Canada where none of our family currently resides.
As I’ve reflected on the trip so far, one word that describes our experience is, “generosity.” We have noticed that most people are adjusting their lifestyle downwards. The weak economy seems to be affecting everyone. Our friends don’t have as much financial flexibility as they used to. A small business owner is struggling with decreased traffic in her store. Employees at academic institutions are struggling with frozen salaries. A dentist is trying to increase his client base as people postpone their dental work due to lost insurance. Young people are struggling to find employment of any kind.
Nevertheless, people have enthusiastically welcomed us into their homes and have made us feel special. We have eaten some of the most wonderful meals imaginable. We have slept on beds that have been sacrificed by our hosts for us. We have received gift cards for gas and meals. A donor in Pittsburgh even lent us a company van including a gas card to transport supplies to the wedding.
We are also receiving various kinds of help from friends in Niagara Falls and other places as we approach Laura’s wedding day. Many people are working together to make that a wonderfully unforgettable event.
I confess, I am humbled by this outpouring of generosity that rises out of our friends’ love of God and appreciation for us and our ministry. I am the kind of person that is more comfortable with giving than with receiving. Nevertheless, I am deeply grateful.
Thank God for his unmatched generosity and for our many friends who are joining together to support us during this month of travel and celebration!