Saturday, July 29, 2017

Reformed Youth Convention

This was the first year Russ and I have ever been a part of the Reformed Youth Convention.  Although the convention occurs every year, our church traditionally only sends the youth group when it is on the West Coast.   This year it was at Biola University near Los Angeles. After a 15 hour drive (yikes!) we were treated to a week of solid teaching in five main sessions on the five solas of the Reformation and five (our choice) of twelve different workshops that were offered.   Russ and I were also privileged to each co-lead a Son-Rise group each morning for devotions.  Every evening we enjoyed touching base and debriefing with our own youth group for Son-Set devotions.  Other highlights included the volleyball and basketball tournaments, talent show, praise and worship time, and, of course, the day away to Knott's Berry 

The pretty part of the drive

Arriving at Biola University.  Russ had to go to the bathroom for the last couple hours, but we were unable to stop due to LA traffic.  When Glenn missed this entrance thinking that the sign said "RV Entrance" rather than "RYS Entrance" Russ couldn't take it anymore.  When we pulled into another part of the campus to turn around Russ jumped out of the van and found some bushes to relieve himself.  We laughed pretty hard later that evening when Biola security talked to conference attendees and let them know "there are cameras everywhere on campus. Everywhere."

Everyone was given a RYS towel as a gift.

Here are a few of the speakers from the sessions and the workshops answering kids' questions.

My Son-Rise group

Meeting with our youth group for Son-Set devotions.

3-on-3 Basketball tournament.  Russ' volunteer job was refereeing basketball games for 3 hours on Tues and Thur afternoon.

Volleyball Tournament

Waiting to play or just watching the teams.

Late night swimming.  On the first swim night one of our guys accepted money to belly flop off the high dive.  It totally started a strange trend, and you could hear the cheers from the pool all across campus.  

All 800-some of us wore the same t-shirts to Knott's Berry Farm. It made quite a stir across the park.  The park workers often mentioned to us that they had never seen such a large group and "where were we from?"  Great opportunity for our kids to share what was on our shirts!

Thursday, July 13, 2017


By Anna Herman

Where I’m From

I am from a pink Bunny, from ­­Pizza Ranch, and games.

I am from the two houses with the cracking Locust pods and the wild jungle.

I am from the Snow Mountain, the Holly Hocks who created the princesses that danced in the wind at the balls.

I am from a Lake and glasses, from Laura and Russell and loving, trying siblings.

I am from the readers and competitors.

From all the way, right away and cheerfully.

I am from the prayers, sermons and nightly devotions, from Christ came to save me and I live for Him.

I’m from Orange City and the Dutch community, pies and fresh apples.

From the moves across the states, ‘See What a Morning’, and the Teacher’s candy stash.

I am from the photo albums kept in a closet that contain the
happy and sad times,
the moves and travels,
the love and comfort,
that makes me who I am.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Trip to Canada--Part 4

Sunday we attended Free Grace Baptist where Micah's father is the pastor.  We enjoyed great teaching during Sunday school on saving faith from the London Baptist Confession followed by a worshipful service and sermon from Matthew.

From church we drove to Abbotsford, BC and, thankfully, were able to check into our hotel early.  As the kids got settled at the hotel, Russ and I found a grocery store and picked up a rotisserie chicken and a loaf of crusty bread to add to the veggies and fruit we already had with us for a yummy Sunday dinner.  After cleaning up our lunch we left to attend the 3:30 service at Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church in Abbotsford.  A family from this church recently attended our church service in Boise while they were camping/vacationing in the States.  They invited us to worship with them if we were ever in the area so we took them up on their offer!  The pastor had been very ill and was worried about losing his voice.  He even told us later that he felt so weak while preaching he had broken out into a cold sweat.  If we had communicated we were coming, I am sure Russ would have been asked to preach (which he would have gladly done.)  We had a fun time of fellowship after the service since several in the church have connections to Dordt College or other churches/people we know.  When we returned to our hotel room we all changed and spent some time in the pool.  It is always a treat to have the pool area to yourself.

Monday we were up early to eat breakfast and to make sure we had plenty of time to drive to Vancouver to make the ferry trip to Vancouver Island.  This was one of those last minute decisions we are glad we made.  Although a tad chilly, the kids loved the beauty and novelty of the ferry ride.  

This bald eagle flew right in front of us with his catch!

After we landed on the island we found a quaint restaurant that served great pizza right by the ferry terminal.

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the island and hiking along the coast.  Before we had to get back to the ferry terminal we ate a picnic supper by the water and even explored a couple of antique/used bookstores.

The ferry ride back to Vancouver that evening was hard to capture on film.  The splendor of the sunset on the water combined with the snow-capped mountains in the background...well, let's just say we all enjoyed the beauty of God's creation.

Little porpoises swimming by the ferry

Awesome reflection in the ferry window

Seth had a quick last swim after we returned to the hotel (everyone else was too tired), and we all slept in the next morning.  After breakfast at the hotel we made the long trek back home to find our dear pets!