Orlando is a wonderful place to go in the winter... I now understand why animals migrate, in fact, the WA that picked me up, referred to himself as a snowbird. Dale it was great getting to meet you!
This past week was awesome, and I'm so thankful that I got to go and be a part of what God is doing here in Orlando with these transition seminars. The team here does a great job of member care, and the whole Wycliffe center here is really amazing.
My first impression was spectacular! I stayed in a really nice apartment that had all the essentials, a freezer for my ice pack, and most importantly a Coffee maker. I spent most of my nights on the floor because the bed was too soft for my back and I woke up very stiff the first morning. The floor was kind to me though and I woke up feeling pretty good the rest of the week.
Monday was relaxing, I slowly got up stretched and then was getting bored when I was called to a meeting. It was great to have human contact! I enjoyed getting to meet the wonderful lady (Jo Haag) who facilitates the program, and it was great getting to meet Ben, a young man who just joined Wycliffe. He ended up taking me on a tour of the center.
After that I got my first of many amazing meals that have left me a much heavier traveler coming back to Dallas. One day we had three meals and four snacks... yeah it's good working with teenagers :). After lunch I got to meet my roommates. I didn't know if I was going to have roommates so I took the best room in the three bedroom apartment when I got there. I felt bad later when the two others joined me, but not too bad, it was nice having my own bathroom.
Here they are bellow. Left is Mike who runs the youth program at JAARS and next to him is Carl who I knew from our furlough in Pennsylvania. In fact, having parents and grandparents in Wycliffe means that I 'know' a lot of people in every circle I go to... or at least they know my parents and remember me when I was... well never mind.
It was really great getting to work with Mike! I picked his brain and was also able to glean lots of helpful resources. He is great at what he does, and is a kindred spirit in being a goofball... I think it might be a prerequisite for what we do :).
Here are some pictures of the families and the teens we had. The Bitikofers and the Turners. Only three teens, which made it easy to get to know them pretty well.
Bellow are some pictures from our many wonderful times together; time in class, doing a scavenger hunt, at the beach, at the mall, and at Gatorland.
I couldn't leave out a few pictures of eating time! We spent so much time doing it :)... and they were some of the best times to connect and hear peoples stories.
God really used this opportunity to give me some ideas for my group back home. Home sweet, sweet home I'm really looking forward to getting there. I'm writing this in the airport while I wait for many hours before my plane leaves.
The pictures tell great stories in themselves. Needless to say we had a lot of fun! Thanks for your prayers for me and my family and thanks for being a part of what I do! I'm so thankful for you all!