From there we flew 2 hours to Germany!
From the airport we had another 2 hour drive to our hotel. Needless to say, we were exhausted when we got to bed around 3 a.m.
After a night of rest, we looked out our hotel window and saw the first place we wanted to eat....Kentucky Fried Chicken. YUMMY!!!
There were several other places that we recognized - Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway (we didn't get to eat there), and Toysrus.
Friday night was a Missionary Christmas Banquet at Rhein River Baptist Church. The church was decorated beautifully with lots of lights, Christmas trees, poinsettias, and candles. The evening was wonderful with delicious food, good fellowship, singing, specials, and awesome preaching.
Ron and I in the hotel lobby waiting for our ride to the Banquet.
We enjoyed the Banquet immensly and the service the next morning was also a blessing. It was a joy to meet lots of other missionaries. Before the Banquet we only knew one other family there. By the time we returned to Estonia, we had established friendships with several other families. The greatest joy was seeing our kids in the company of other missionary kids. Email address were exchanged and our desire is that some lasting friendships may develop as a result.
The people of Rhein River Baptist Church went all out to make this a special occasion for missionaries. They were a huge blessing to our family!
It was a special treat to get reaquainted with the Shipman family (missionaries in Germany). We met them years ago while on deputation. We had a couple of opportunities to spend time with their family which was a great blessing.
Sarah and Joanna Shipman (missionary in Germany).
Proverbs 18:24 says, "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly:..." Well, Caleb took this verse to heart and was very friendly and made lots of friends.
Caleb and Mrs. Hornbeck
Mrs. Hornbeck is a fellow missionary (military in Germany) and was also one of Caleb's teachers on Sunday. He found her at lunch and visited with her. Then he found her again Sunday night after church. When I walked into the fellowship hall I found them sitting together eating dinner.
This little girl's family is also missionaries in Germany. Her mommy asked if Caleb would take a picture with her. Since it's so cute, I thought I would add it.
Caleb and two of the Shipman boys (missionaries in Germany)
Daniel and Andrew made some friends too. These boys are brothers and their family serves in England. They were able to spend a lot of time together Sunday and I am hoping a great friendship will develop between them.
Daniel and Andrew with Judah Shipman
We enjoyed doing some special things as a family too. The mall was decorated so beautifully for Christmas that it was fun to just stroll around and look.
Monday night we got to go to a Christmas market. It sure was festive!!!
Caleb in one of the shops we went into to get warm.
in another shop (didn't mean to get Caleb's head in the shot)
they were smiling even though they were freezing cold
enjoying some German food at the Christmas market
we found this little shop to wait in out of the cold. Of course, we had to try some goodies and have hot tea.
Our time in Germany was fantastic...we made lots of memories. One of my absolute favorite things about the trip was the preaching we heard. We were so thrilled to find out that Dr. David Gibbs was the special speaker for the Banquet Friday night.
Then the icing on the cake was that he preached two more time Saturday and three more times Sunday. WOW!!! Every sermon was just what I needed. Bro. Gibbs is one of my very favorite preachers. Some of the stories he told were incredible - one was about the funniest story I have every heard. Everyone was rolling with laughter. In fact, I laughed so hard I was in tears. Another of his stories was so touching there was probably not a dry eye in the place. Yet another was quite shocking and very convicting. With every single story was a challenge from the Bible on how to be a better Christian.
We are thankful for the opportunity we had to attend the Missionary Christmas Retreat in Germany. It was a blessing!