Not far from the Statue of Liberty is a building that blends right into the old Bowery neighborhood . We might have passed by were it not for the man grilling chicken for the mission on the sidewalk out front. Again, we were reminded of the parallels. Lady Liberty shines her beacon of freedom for our country, while the Bowery Mission shines its beacon of hope for the men entering its doors for over 100 years. Standing inside the beautiful old chapel, light flooding through the stain glass windows, we thought of the many lives that had been set free in here.
What an amazing 4th of July week for us — proud to be Americans! In Philadelphia, after the mision, we saw the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. In D.C. we served at the mission, then minutes away, visited the monuments and stood at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial thinking of his words “all men are created equal.” We stopped by Arlington Cemetery and paid tribute to all those who gave their life for the freedom of this country. In New York, we took a boat around the Statue of Liberty, and then stopped by the 911 Memorial. Later that evening on the 4th, near the banks of the Hudson River, we stood with thousands of people celebrating our liberty during the fireworks display. (By the way, they lasted quite a bit longer than the display in San Diego). Those monuments are there as reminders of our country’s freedom through the soldiers who fought and those who sacrificed their lives. For many whose lives have been changed at a mission through the sacrificial blood of Christ, these rescue missions stand as monuments of freedom for their soul. Few died for many, and ONE died for all!
It is Day 37, so we are now past the halfway point of our trip, heading to our 33rd state and 42nd mission. The trip has exceeded our expectations, but many have asked how we are getting along with so many hours in a van on this 15,000 mile journey. Actually, really well, in fact, we’re having a ball! Tim did woke up with a fat lip this morning, but it’s not what you think. He was eating a piece of licorice while driving last night and accidentally bit his lip. Ah, the woes of road trips!
Along the way, it’s been great to meet up with relatives, friends, students, and alumni. With some, like Adam & Leah Mick from ACU, the Rhonda Sia family from SCA, and Tara & William, we were able to serve together at a mission. With others we enjoyed catching up with each other:
- Pizza with Jan & Neil Gilsdorf along “The Market” — cobblestone downtown Omaha, Nebraska
- Grilling with Trudy & Tim Carroll and the McClelland Family Picnic in Quincy, Illinois
- Breakfast with Tim’s brother,Charles (Chip) Reed, in Marion, Illinois
- Home grilled Steak with Dave & Janet Neal in Dallas, Texas
- Mexican food and the boardwalk with Dixie’s cousins Aunt & Sylvia in Houston, Texas
- Southern Barbecue at the “Dream Land” with David & Tina Miller in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
- Home cooked breakfast with Connie (Schoch) & Aurelio Morello in Atlanta, Georgia
- Lunch on the river with Jill & Scott Bailey in downtown Greenville, South Carolina
- Barbecue with Brian & Linda Zylstra in downtown Greenville, South Carolina
- Southern food at Xaxby’s with Jerry & Crystal Hall in Asheville, North Carolina
- Crab fest with Dan & Becky Haverkos, Tara & William Miller & I Squad (World Race) in Maryland
- Lunch in a deli at Central Park with Ed & Lori Rumley in NYC
- Steamed clams at the pier at “J’s Oysters” with Jill & Martin in Portland, Maine
Thanks to all who have hosted us and made our trip special. Thanks also to those who taught us how to eat crab and clams. And thanks to Dixie’s sister, Lorie, for all the Costco snacks she sent to carry us through the beginning of the trip. Now for the last half of our journey!
STORIES THAT INSPIRE
A boyfriend and girlfriend ended up at a mission - she in the woman’s center and he in the men’s center. They both came to faith in Christ, turned their lives around, finished the year long discipleship program, completed their GED, and got jobs. Before they left, they had one piece of unfinished business: they wanted to get married in the mission chapel surrounded by those who had supported them.
A 19 year old boy was trying to get his life back after being controlled by drugs. He read us a poem he was writing, and said he was working on his dream to write Christian reggae music. One of his lines about “Satan trying to burn the heels of his feet as he walked to Jesus” showed us just how difficult the struggle can be.
Quote: “These are the worst drivers of any state we’ve been in” as spoken by Tim in every state we’ve been in.
A Trip Favorite food for Tim: Philly cheesesteak from the original cheesesteak restaurant, Pat’s King of Steaks
A Trip Favorite Food for Dixie: Seafood all along the east coast
Favorite moment: Welcoming Tara and William back to America and spending a few fun-filled days with them in D.C.
Unusual activity: Watching the crab races in Pensacola, Florida
Weather update: Record breaking heat waves in most every state we pass through. People in states ahead of us not sure they want us to come through!
Thanks for taking this journey with us…
So…catch the vision
Feel our heart
Join the movement
As we SERVE ACROSS AMERICA!