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Lots of reconnecting yesterday. Spent a few hours in the morning and early afternoon with heartflyte and family—great to see them and the kids. The little ones were real troopers considering how not-kid-oriented the outing was. Thankfully Pella has playgrounds and such; had they made the trek all the way to Eddyville, they might have been woefully restless and bored.

After a little more time at Central College, barlow_girl and I headed back to Eddyville for my class reunion. Fascinating to see how much has changed and how much has stayed the same. People are all over the map, perhaps moreso figuratively than literally—some have a relatively contiguous life from high school onward, while others of us have largely broken from that time and place. In the past, it's been easy for me to think one was better than the other, but as time keeps rolling I'm more open to seeing how there can be value or bankruptcy in each.

This morning we worshipped with The Bridge in Ottumwa, where my friend Marty serves as pastor. So great to see how God is moving elsewhere, stirring at least the possibility of people falling in love both with Him and with that city—it's neglected and run down in many patches and on many levels, but it's got good bones and will almost certainly respond to some real love and commitment, even (or especially) in faltering, imperfect steps. Also encouraging to see how Marty's come into his own—this morning he very much seemed the man for the job God's given him.

Tons to process with all the reconnecting, but that doesn't feel burdensome. This has been worth the trip.


I have heard many good things about The Bridge, considering the plant is from TRC. Chuck and I have talked about going there once in awhile. However, I still feel so connected to Ottumwa Community Church. That's where we came from and consider it our home church. Pastor Brian has helped Marty's group from what I've heard.

We lived in Ottumwa for the first 10 yrs we were married. I agree, there are many good things about the town. It was such a hub for many things back in the day. I would love to see it grow again. Chuck feels very strongly about his home town and would like to see it flourish again.

Glad to hear that you had such a nice time back in the big town of Eddyville.


Great to see you

It was awesome having you come worship with on Sunday Lee. I also very much enjoyed meeting your wife and hearing a bit of your story. Many blessings to you and I'll be sure to look you up next time I'm out West (and north)