On Monday, June 11 we drove down (about a 3 hour drive) to Crete, Illinois for the annual synod meeting of the PRC. We were able to stay with my sister Karen, her husband Phil, and their five children who are members of Crete PRC and live in the area.
In between attending synod, there was time for some fun family activities. One morning we visited with several nieces and nephews who were in the area and saw some of the new "greats" on the Hanko side.
Kailyn and Owen, Ashley and Leia - 4 new great nieces and nephews
Trying to "crack the egg" (their Uncle Daniel) on a trampoline
Next, a blog concerning Synod 2012 of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America.
We arrived in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 6, with many family members at the airport to greet us. For our short stay in Grand Rapids we stayed with Rev. Kleyn's brother Nick and his wife Deb and their family.
At the airport
Sunday dinner at Nick and Deb's
We have been able to visit and catch up with many friends and family members.
Visiting with Singaporeans and others at Dad and Mom Hanko's
Jeff and Katie and Mila Baatenburg
Cornelis and Rebecca Kleyn's
Another enjoyable part of the furlough has been seeing some of the 19 new nieces and nephews that have been born in the Hanko and Kleyn families since we left America over 2 years ago. We were also able to attend some graduations.
Sunday evening Rev. Kleyn gave a presentation on the mission work for all the area PR churches in Grand Rapids at Grandville Public High School auditorium. There was a good crowd, showing much interest and support of the work in the Philippines.
The next leg of our journey took us this past week to Loveland PRC in Loveland, Colorado, set near the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park. We stayed with Rev. and Nancy Key for the couple days we were there.
Rev. and Nancy
We had some time on Tuesday to drive up into the National Park. We drove up to Trail Ridge Pass, stopping along the way to see some of the scenery and wildlife and to take a few short walks. We saw elk, marmots, Clark's Nutcrackers (birds), as well as some wildflowers in bloom.
Near the top of the pass there was still some snow and they still had the snow removal equipment standing by in case of another late snow fall. The poles are there to mark the sides of the road when there is a heavy snow fall. The height of the poles shows how deep the snow can sometimes get!
Tuesday night Rev. Kleyn did a presentation for Loveland congregation on the work in the Philippines. We thank the Keys and Loveland PRC for their hospitality and support in the work of missions.
We left Redlands, California in the wee hours of the morning to make our way to Spokane, Washington. Rev. Rodney and Liz Kleyn met us at the airport with some of their family and took us to their home.
On that first day we drove a little ways out of Spokane to visit my nephew, Neal, who lives near there. On the way home we stopped in downtown Spokane to see the Spokane River.
Rev. Kleyn's parents were still in Spokane from an earlier trip there. Also, his sister Heidi, her husband, Mike, and their 6 children made the trip down from Edmonton, Canada to see us. It was great to catch up with them all. We enjoyed some great family times in the middle of the beautiful mountain scenery.......
(notice the beautiful wild irises in bloom)
(A walking human totem pole??)
And visiting around the campfire
(some of the church members also visited around the campfire one night)
On Sunday we had church at 10:00 am and at 2:00 pm with lunch and the presentation in between, all mixed with good fellowship.
On Monday it was time to bid family and friends farewell and to continue onto our next stop, Loveland PRC in Loveland, Colorado.
After being in the Philippines for close to 2 1/2 years, the time came for our first six week furlough. We left Manila airport on the morning of Monday May 28, and arrived safely in Redlands, California the same day only two hours later! Actually the trip took about 18 hours, but with the time difference we had the "bonus" of repeating our Monday.
We arrived at Redlands church/school/parsonage in time to catch the end of their annual Memorial Day church picnic and were able to meet and chat with old and new friends. In the evening we were invited along with many others to the home of one of the members for supper. It was a good time of fellowship.
Rev. Brian and Michelle Huizinga and their four children were our hosts for our time in Redlands. We didn't get a picture of the whole family together, so this is an older one, without baby Quinton.
Anna, Calvin and Jacob
Jacob playing with baby Quinton
On Tuesday we had a few hours to take a relaxing drive into the San Bernardino mountains. We enjoyed the cooler temps, a short hike and the beautiful scenery.
On Tuesday night was the presentation on the mission work. This first run of the presentation went well and there were many good questions both in the question time and in the coffee time afterwards.
A heartfelt thank you to the Huizingas and to Redlands congregation for their Christian hospitality and for their encouragment in the work of missions in the Philippines!