Preface: Last year I decided to express my thanks during the month of November for something new each day, as so many others have done before me. I never finished this series, so that’s my goal this year. I am re-posting the ones I wrote last year and adding new ones. This was originally posted on 11/20/12 (with slight changes made today).
I came to Pennsylvania for the first time eleven years ago. I came as a “summer missionary” to serve in Williamsport, PA for ten weeks. It was my first time traveling east of the Mississippi and I was excited, but a little nervous at the same time: I left Southern California having little idea of what to expect, but I was armed with plenty of stereotypes that had been fed to me by friends. Thankfully, most of those stereotypes were proven to be incorrect (i.e. “everyone’s Amish there!”) and I had a fabulous summer.
I remember the first night in Williamsport so well. I spent time with the pastor and his family while I waited for the couple with whom I would be living to arrive. A terrible storm had come through earlier and the power had been out for a while in much of Williamsport. When we got to the house that would be my home for the summer (and the next summer), it was dark, raining, and we had to use candles and flashlights (so I felt like we were Amish!). I got to spend a couple of hours talking with Toby and Susan, and I met Cheyenne briefly…little did I know that these wonderful people would become my “Pennsylvania Family” 🙂
I lived with them for two summers and have stayed in touch with them ever since. They flew to California to be there for our wedding, which meant so much to us. Toby and Susan love Jesus and they have been such an encouragement and support to me/us over the past decade. I cannot thank God enough for allowing me to live with them and to know them. They helped my two summers of ministry be successful in so many ways.
God has always been faithful with placing people in my life who are great role models, who live out their faith genuinely, and who love others abundantly, and Toby and Susan are two of the greatest examples of those things in my life. 🙂