Tuesday, April 29, 2008

At the Bradricks

Following the Christian Heritage Conference, the Bradrick family invited us back to their home to give us some visiting time together. Those of you who have been involved in hosting a conference know that very little visiting can happen during the event - especially between speakers and conference hosts!

What a delightful time we had at their home from Sunday evening through Tuesday morning. Games, conversation, singing, food... all the elements necessary to a good time were in abundance and coupled with excellent like-minded, like-hearted company we couldn't fail to be refreshed and enjoy ourselves. (Refreshed in mind and spirit, that is... I'm afraid the hours we kept didn't do much in the way of refreshing the body!) We had hoped to visit Mt. St. Helens on Monday, but the snows of this past winter still blocked roads and the clouds that day didn't offer much hope of any view at all.

So, we simply changed plans and spent the day together relaxing at Lake Quinalt in Olympic National Forest. What a beautiful place to spend a day after a busy weekend!

As the day wasn't suited to a lakeside picnic, we spent quite a bit of time just sitting and chatting in the beautiful lodge, the piano was also made use of, stories were read, and a few games were played (and we won't mention any details on Josiah's ping-pong prowess against someone twice his age...). However, the weather wasn't quite wet or chilly enough to keep our group entirely indoors!

So, after lunch and visiting for a few hours we moved out of doors to visit a couple of waterfalls there in the rain forest. Lots of pictures were taken - but we selected only a few to post here.

Of course, they simply begged to be climbed!

Sadly, we didn't get a picture of Josh & Abbey at the very top of the falls...

Sadly, Sunday evening through Tuesday morning isn't very many hours. And though some of us stayed up very late trying to fit in every bit of visiting that we could, it simply wasn't long enough! Is it ever?

(The "babies" of the families - Stephen & Josiah)

Finally, the hour came and we did manage to bid final adieus and get all of us packed back into the van and headed on our way giving thanks for God's blessing of friendship! And not just friendship in a "yeah, man, it's like, cool to be around you" type of way, but a warm friendship based on our relationship in the Lord, and on our working together towards the same goals - even when 2000 miles apart; a friendship that doesn't just have fun (though there is certainly no lack of that!) but that also encourages, sympathizes, challenges, understands, edifies, and strengthens. We love you, Bradricks, and thank the Lord for you!

Our mission had been accomplished, and it was time to hit the road and turn our faces towards home. But more friends, scenery and adventures awaited us along the way...

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