I have to admit, when our friends, the Weavers, asked us to go camping with them for a full week, I wasn’t entirely sure they knew what they were getting themselves into. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into either! This dear couple are missionaries who travel the US and Canada helping various missions with their computer systems. When they are home they attend our church and small group and invest in our children through a homeschooling science club. The trip was to include not only our family, but also Mr. Weaver’s parents and brother (to be known as Mr. and Mrs. Mr. Weaver and Mr. Mr. Mr. Weaver, respectively!)
But after months of planning, our trip to Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio, was finally upon us last week.
And you know what? I needn’t have worried: it was the best week ever.
Here is a whirlwind photo tour:
Tuesday consisted of a walk through Old Man’s Cave and riding bikes around the campsite.
Wednesday was one of the loveliest, fullest, most amazing days the Lord has ever handed us. Our friends had arranged a private tour of one of the missions they serve, MMS Aviation, including airplane rides for all of us, three at a time. Afterwards, Mr. Dave the pilot kindly opened up his home to us, where his wife took each of the kids for a ride on their horse! Our big girls coined a phrase years ago that has stayed in our family vernacular: a Squeeze Day is a day that is so wonderful it must be squeezed at the top of one’s mental list of best days Ever. This day was surely a Squeeze Day of Squeeze Days for our children.
In the middle of his tour, Mr. Dave pulled a tiny rivet out of a drawer and held it up for our children to examine. He then showed them a small plane covered in thousands of identical tiny rivets. “You wouldn’t think one of these could be very important,” he explained to them, “but no plane is allowed to fly unless they are all in place, holding the whole thing together.” Then his face changed, his eyes teared up and his voice broke a bit. “That’s how it is,” he continued, “with the body of Christ. Every single person, no matter how insignificant they may feel, is so important that the body cannot function without them.” He shared some of his own story with us, how God has used him to fill some behind-the-scenes needs at the mission to free the other mechanics and pilots up to do their jobs. He handed each of the kids a rivet to take home, a reminder of an amazing day but more importantly of how precious they are to our God. Marvelous.
This precious girl almost didn’t get a ride. She wouldn’t have asked for one or objected to being left out, but we knew she would love it. Mr. Dave graciously and unhesitatingly offered to do one last flight so our girl could have her moment, too. She was delighted beyond words with every minute of it!
The next morning, after Pippa helped Mr. Mr. Weaver with breakfast, we took our little gang for a special playdate with a family I know from an online moms group. When our eight met her nine, they were fast friends.
Our last day was another day of cave exploration. I have never seen so much beauty in such a small area. The photos really don’t even do it justice.
And that was our trip! Four fantastic days sandwiched between two nice long drives on which to chat with my favorite guy in the world. It was a pretty amazing week, all things told.