Here’s an account of John’s work at churches and universities during his stops in Texas on his Grand Tour last month.
I had a great time out in Texas on this trip. Of course, I have so many contacts there that it was impossible to visit with everyone. It was good to spend some time with a Wayne County boy from my home Church in Waynesboro, Taner, as well as his wife and son, who just turned two (they’re expecting a daughter in May). He was able to introduce me to some people from his Church, which are good contacts for the future.
The logistics of my time in Texas were changed due to circumstances beyond my control. First, my host family (above) came down with two positive COVID cases in the home, while I was away for a night; so, it wasn’t possible to return there. I remained negative for COVID. Second, there was a freakish ice storm and really cold spell (well below freezing each day), which made travel much more difficult and even impossible for a day and a half. However, in the midst of all of that, I was able to speak with a Church in Round Rock, Texas, preparing an international meal as part of the festivities (I had great volunteers from the Church to help with the preparations). I was invited to stay with one of our former colleagues in Wales, Will Bowden, his wife, Carly, who also served in Wales, and their two, delightful sons. What was going to be one night staying with them turned into two (because of weather), then five nights (compounded by the COVID situation I mentioned). I was originally invited for a night there to speak at the Baylor University BSM (Baptist Student Ministries) weekly meeting, where Will is the BSM director. Due to weather, we were unable to meet in person, but we were able to have a meeting with several of the students via ZOOM. During that time, I was able to meet several students and others, who are good contacts for future ministry possibilities.
While in the Belton area, I was able to speak with the Milam County Cowboy Church in Rockdale, and the following day I was also able to visit the campus of UMHB, where I had served as the Missionary-in-Residence during Fall semester 2016. While in that area, I was even able to spend a little time with my good friends and former missionary colleagues, the McIntoshes.
The time in Texas was busy, but fruitful.