Nostalgia, Blessings, and Looking Forward to the Future

June 1, 2023

My 60-year high school class reunion is coming up over the Memorial weekend holiday.  I graduated from Clearfield, Iowa high school in 1963.  There were only 19 graduating together and most of us were in the same school for all 13 years.  I have spent considerable time this week reminiscing about my high school, college, and medical school days.  Most of my high school classmates came from fairly impoverished families but we did not know that we were poor, and we certainly never felt impoverished.  We were so blessed to grow up in this rural Iowa community that had strong Christian values and a high work ethic.  I started my work life at about age 10 with a Des Moines Register paper route, I also had a few neighbors who would hire me for $1 or $2 to mow their lawns, and at age 12, I became the janitor of our Methodist church.  If I remember correctly my salary was $25/month.  When I was 14, I got an amazing job working at our local gasoline filling station pumping gas and working as a grease monkey.  I was the only student in my high school science class who had to purchase their own textbook.   The reason my teacher made me pay for it was that by the end of the year, it was covered with grease stains from my doing homework at the gas station during the evening shifts. 

I have enjoyed this brief walk down memory lane, but I definitely believe that it is not good to focus on the past and enjoy keeping my focus on the future.

I am not scheduled to go back to South Africa until October.  This is the longest that I have been out of Africa for 20 years, even during the Covid pandemic.  I am enjoying our beautiful Iowa bike trails.  It is wonderful to see our son Dustin and his wife carrying the ball with everything that goes on in South Africa.  I am blessed to get to communicate on the phone with them nearly every day, so I still get to share a bit of wisdom and enjoy staying in the loop with all that God is doing with our ministry in South Africa.

A few of my classmates have died and a few of them are feeling too old and infirmed to make the journey.  I am looking forward to fellowshipping with those of us who show up at our reunion.  I love and appreciate every day that God gives me to live on this earth and to serve Him and the beautiful children in Africa.

Prayer request: We just had a successful mission team from a church in Cedar Falls, Iowa and we have another large team come from North Carolina later in June; please pray that everyone will have a fruitful spiritual experience on their mission trips.