The End

The end of home service - leading up to my trip to southwest MO and northwest AR - was peppered with a few more local engagements; it all came to a close with a day trip to Columbia, MO, on Sunday, April 28. 

My colleagues Rev. Herb & Markie Burch (Belize) joined me for Meet the Missionaries Night at Lutheran Church of the Webster Gardens. It was the very first presentation of their home service; ahhhhhh, I remember those days...

Mrs. Mindy Hanke invited me to share with the Kindergarten class at my alma mater, St. Paul's Des Peres; my mom is her aide!

My first introduction to Trinity Lutheran Church was 2006, when they shared a servant event week at Ysleta Lutheran Mission with my home congregation. Besides Rev. Brian Thieme, at least one other member of Trinity's Ysleta mission team, who also happens to be a fellow Drury University alum, was in attendance the day I visited...19 years later.

The Sunday school had been collecting offerings for me for several months, as evidenced by the weight of the basket I'm holding. I got to greet and thank the kids before my Bible class presentation.

...and that's a wrap on home service 2024. I had the opportunity to talk more with Pastor Thieme and his associate, Pastor McCalley, over brunch at First Watch before I drove back to St. Louis and was really and truly done. And yet, I didn't fly out (to Uruguay...more soon) until the following Saturday, which afforded me almost a week of physically and mentally decompressing and shifting into short-term volunteer mode. I don't recall intentionally building that in, but I just might in 2026 ;)

Until next time, blessings in Christ!