Yesterday we left Wickham Park in Brevard County FL where we’ve been staying all month. It worked out so well for us to have this month of rest and healing (and practice!) in a place that was still quite familiar to us (the east coast!).
One of my dear friends growing up had the last name Wickham so I had the pleasure all month of praying for and thinking of him and his wonderful parents every time I saw a Wickham sign (and there’s lots of them down here including the major road we have traveled on daily).
I want to recap the rest of our last week here and then give some monthly stats :).
It seems that this week was animal week ! We had Sea World last Saturday and then went to the Brevard Zoo on Tuesday which was the best small zoo I’ve been to.
Just like at Sea World, it seemed we had such favor on the timing of things and what we got to experience. It was like at every exhibit the volunteer or staff would say, “wow this is excellent timing, most people don’t get to see this”.
Let me give some examples !
We saw this baby leave it’s mom’s pouch – wow ! Never in my life did I expect to see that and so close up!
The alpaca was in the mood for selfies 🙂 . If I didn’t know better I would have sworn she was posing and being silly with me in each snap:
” Do I have anything in my teeth!” — “This is my better side” — “How’s my hair?” And the last pic — “everybody smile big”
The meerkats ran right through the tunnels numerous times which was apparently rare to catch and as RR was looking at them from above, the guard one sent out a warning cry when he heard a close plane passing by – and they all buried down to safety. We were the only ones around and the volunteer told RR, “wow this was very special you got to see and hear this, most people never will.” 🙂 Another smile on the day. Those meerkats are so cool. I love the way the queen assigns them each roles and how they work together.
This was just awful . And I don’t have much to say about it but this girl was all kinds of active and up near RR. Those things need to go back to Asia ! (These are the pythons that are causing such problems in the Everglades!)
Feeding the birds – not rare but oh so fun.
Sitting next to a kangaroo -how cool is that !?
At this zoo anybody can feed a giraffe but this was a first to us. So special ! I can’t believe how high up his head is from the ground.
The diversity of animals and the creativity in making them is just mind boggling!
It was another great day of learning! After each field trip the kids are doing writing assignments about what they learned – I love schooling this way :).
Tuesday night after the zoo the Lord gave us another treat ! We went to see the sunset, which turned out to be covered by clouds, but at the last second before getting in the car we saw dolphins in the distance!!! The girls definitely have fallen in love like Mommy cuz we ran so hard back to our lookout to catch them!
It was just amazing. A huge amount of birds enjoyed the show with us . The dolphins (porpoises?) went right under us and were so close we could hear their breathing!
We enjoyed our time with MomMom and we were happy she could join us for the week.
Sadly – this was as close as we could get her to the beach/water since Florida’s week of winter apparently took place this week!
But we enjoyed games and walks and
housekeeping trailer-keeping together.
We were excited to see Ted and Mel who captured our story in words and photo.
It was so encouraging to see many of the GAiN staff and thank them in person for how they ministered to Brandon and me and our neighbors. They were the first organization to come to Stoney Creek and were there hours after we arrived. So amazing. We had a very special bond with GAiN and the Lord really used them powerfully. I’m very challenged and inspired by the staff we got to spend more time with and it just reminds me how many amazing people there are working for His Kingdom! God is so good !
CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) is just amazing! And it’s yet another ministry that was started in the 50s! Billy Graham, Bob Pierce (World Vision & Samaritans Purse), Bill Bright (CRU), Jim Rayburn (Young Life), Ms Audrey Wetherell Johnson (Bible Study Fellowship formed after a Billy Graham crusade). Those are only a few and wow what the Lord has done all around the world through all of those! Wow!!!!
A tidbit of fun info for you – in eternity we are going to hear the most amazing stories of untold heroines such as the woman who I believe is behind most these ministries directly or indirectly. Henrietta Mears is her name ! A Sunday school educator. She poured into many of these young men’s lives and wow to think of all the ripples she sent out by doing her “small” part. If you haven’t heard about her, look up her story and how much of an influence Billy Graham and others say she had on them. Behind every great man are many wonderful women :).
Omgoodness what the Lord did in the American church in the 50s is amazing and has set our generation up to make such progress for His Kingdom – IF we will obey.
I didn’t know that the Jesus Film was even part of CRU – the :45 tour we got to go on was very well done. We were very touched by the stories of how the film was first created and how it’s been continually translated since. Such care is taken in the translations, finding the actors, recording and then dubbing it well. Technology has changed this ministry so much! I love how instead of having to ship boxes of films and screens – they can now carry a backpack that contains projector, screen, SD cards of the Jesus Film in hundreds of languages – it’s so discrete.
Check out the Jesus Film app and if you meet somebody who speaks a different language – you can pull up clips or the full movie in their language. I love the testimonies of how the Lord uses this film around the world when people hear His Words for the first time in their heart language.
I truly believe in this generation we could see all people groups reached by Jesus for Jesus – with the Bible in their language.
They (organizations such as Wycliffe Bible Translators) are making such progress toward having the Bible translation started in all 7,000+ languages in the world. Pretty incredible. Jesus is coming back!!!!
It was a good day and I think we were all touched and inspired through this opportunity to see yet another way that Jesus is working.
Thursday/ Friday we said goodbye to some of our market friends at Wickham Park and our neighbor dog Tessa. The kids loved all the nice dogs around! For memory sake our faves were Jake, Tessa, and Scruffy. We met very nice people while we were at this park. We didn’t spend a lot of time getting to know others – this month was truly a time of ministering to each other as a family. But even so, we knew His people were around us and we connected in short conversations with many.
We really enjoyed our next door neighbors – John & Jayne – and were grateful for their tips. If we had more time I know we would have enjoyed getting to know them now!
Last night after leaving Wickham, we stayed at our first Harvest Hosts spot!
Its a chance to boondock (no hook ups) for free on somebody’s land. This animal farm was so beautiful!
And now Pa, MomMom, Gramma, and Peepa – the kids know what they want for Christmas:
Goats ! These were mini goats (TN fainting goats) and were so friendly and adorable !
We also loved this guy:
We did a Tarheel cheer with him but he wasn’t impressed.
And this guy. 4 am. On the dot. Geesh . Then a nice break until 5. On the dot. Then 2 straight hours until it sounded like he lost his voice.
GAiN gave us this solar panel lantern and phone charger that they handed out after the hurricane and it was perfect for our boondocking – playing games and reading the Bible by lantern:
It was a fun night/ morning and great conclusion to animal week!!!!
(We also *tried* to go by Ray Charles childhood home a few miles down the road from where we stayed but these roads were *tiny* and Betty/Woody talked about it and didn’t feel comfortable so we just drove on. The mayor of that city (Greenville) was a childhood friend of Ray Charles and will even give tours of the *inside* of the home but she wasn’t available when we were there) . 🙂 Pretty interesting!)
And some more cute E / doggie pics just because:
Finally for a monthly recap for those interested in these types of things:
- Our “rent” = $534 (one of our cheapest months in this regard!)
- Utilities = $0 (FHU included. Read more here if you need acronym help)
- Gas = $389
- Laundry = $68 (would have been a lot less if we didn’t get soaked on that terrible day of rain)
- RJ Steps taken = 297,364
- Meals outside = 28
- RJ Books started & finished = 6
- Birds and animals seen = 482,847
- How many times we said “stop making Woody rock” = 6,372
Now, Westwego!!! Literally, west we go to Westwego, LA!