After our wonderful, perfect wedding Sam and I headed to a little cabin in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee for our honeymoon. We just relaxed for the first couple of days, then Sam told me his vacation was over and he needed to start working on a sermon to preach the following Sunday.
Since my sister Olivia is getting married just seven weeks after us, Sam and I are staying in the States until just after her wedding, which is a bit longer than we originally planned. Sam wanted to stay busy and keep preaching while he was away from the work in Romania, so he contacted various people and congregations and before too long we had a full schedule with preaching opportunities every Sunday.
We traveled to Barberton, Ohio for the first Sunday after our honeymoon, and then Sam preached in Florida, Mississippi, and Texas/Arkansas the following weeks. It has been such a blessing to travel together to so many places and visit and meet so many people who are a part of God’s family.
Sam often begins his sermons at each congregation expressing his thankfulness to be present and regret in the brevity of each visit. However, we can all look forward to the time when we will all be together forever, and there will be no good byes. All of these brothers and sisters are truly a blessing and we look forward to all worshipping God together someday forever!
After our honeymoon in Tennessee we drove to Kentucky for a short visit with Sam’s family. We enjoyed visiting with the family, going out on the boat together, swimming, jumping off cliffs, and running. From Kentucky we made our way to Ohio, where Sam participated in a preaching internship the past two summers.
We stayed with our dear friends the Tenneys, who have truly been a blessing to us throughout our relationship. We enjoyed getting to visit with their family, though we would have loved to visit much more! Saturday night the congregation at Barberton met at a member’s house for a shower and surprised Sam and me with a wedding shower! We were made a beautiful bride’s and groom’s cake (which we cut and fed each other!), given many thoughtful gifts and cards, and we all played fun shower games, including getting marbles out of ice water with our feet or dropping clothespins in a glass jug. We all had so much fun and felt so loved, and getting to visit with so many people we admire and love was wonderful.
Cutting the beautiful cake
Cards and gifts from thoughtful friends
Fishing marbles out of ice water with bare feet!
On Sunday Sam preached for both the adult Bible class and during the worship service, giving a report on Romania and presenting a lesson on personal evangelism. In between services we enjoyed lunch with some of the members and visited a member in an assisted living home. Sam preached again for the evening service and afterwards we were able to enjoy another meal with more of the members.
The trip felt much too quick and we would have loved to spend much more time with many people, but we were so thankful for the time we were able to spend with the brethren in Ohio.
Florida Welcome Center
The following weekend we headed off again, this time to Temple Terrace, Florida. Again, getting to stay with and visit with our great friends was a highlight of the trip. We attended Temple Terrace for the morning worship service and had lunch with the Keenan family. Sam’s suite-mate while he was in college, Solomon, made the trip to come be with us all day and hear Sam preach. It was encouraging for Solomon to be with us, and a pleasure to get to visit and catch up! Sam preached and taught the Bible class at 58th Street, which is where we both worshipped while in college at Florida College. Immediately following their afternoon service we headed to Temple Terrace, where Sam preached a sermon on Romania and personal evangelism for their evening service. Afterwards we visited the local mosque to visit a friend Sam met and studied with in college.
It was great to spend the day with Solomon!
Visiting Sauda at the mosque
Both trips were quick, but filled to the brim with quality time spent with amazing people. It is amazing to travel to such different parts of the country and meet so many different people who all have a common goal in life. Being a part of God’s family is a blessing indeed!
~ Julie Peters