I'm in the air again - off to St. Paul to visit Chad and Christie Brewer. This is my first time out since Sandy came to visit.
Two weeks ago I was in Evanston, Illinois visiting Luke Meidema. Brent Harriman will be supervising Northwestern University from now on, and he was there, too. It was a good time with Luke and Brent, and I'm happy that Brent will be helping Luke from now on. This is Luke's first full-time year, and he's doing very well. Pray for him to settle in well at Northwestern.
While I was in the area, I had a chance to get dinner with Peter, Megan, and Elijah. Elijah was just good enough to be delighful, and just bad enough to demonstrate that he is a healthy boy.
I left Evanston and drove to Lansing to visit Shawn and Jami Newsome at Michigan State. This was my last visit to the Newsomes, as they have taken a church in Perth, Australia. Pray for the Newsomes as they pack up and move to Australia.
Friday of that week was our Mid-Atlantic staff meeting. It was a good time of prayer and sharing, and I did some teaching.
The New England staff were supposed to meet on Monday, but we cancelled the meeting in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy's arrival. I worked in the office as the rain and wind steadily picked up. The power flickered every couple of hours until it finally went out completely at 10:00 pm.
Tuesday emerged (dawned is not the right word) from the hurricane dark and silent. There were no lights or sounds anywhere in our neighborhood, but the rain and wind had abated. Ruth went walking and I went for a jog in the gloom. I saw so many trees down, I went back and got my camera and took pictures, and you can see them on Facebook. While out, I saw someone with a Sheetz cup (a convenience store here). Sure enough, she said there was power north of Rt. 22., so Stephen and I went in search of WiFi.
Those establishments that were open were mobbed, with few open seats and overloaded WiFi signals. Finally we tried the local McDonald's and found success. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were damp and cloudy. We made coffee with a French press, ate leftovers, and snuggled under blankets. I spent much of each day at McDonald's catching up on my email backlog. On Thursday we heard that power would come on at 11:00 pm. Ruth felt she could handle things at that point, so I set off for New England to visit Jeremy Mullen at Harvard and Eddie Park at Brown.
I planned to get gas in NJ where it is cheaper, and that would take me to Rhode Island. I never got gas. All stations were closed due to power failure or no fuel. By the time I reached Somerville I realized that I did not have enough gas to make it to New England - so I had to turn back. On the way home I saw two open stations, but they had lines a mile long. I had to cancel my New England trip entirely.
If you've been following the news, you know that New York City and the Jersey shore have been badly damaged by Sandy. Most of the debris has been cleaned up in our neighborhood, and all but a few thousand people in the Lehigh Valley have power now. We should continue to pray for the areas harder hit.
This week I'll be in St. Paul until Wednesday, then visiting Rob and Jenny Ilderton at Millersville.