Our oldest son (Erich) left yesterday for a 9-week medical mission trip in Kenya, Africa. 

He will be flying out of Indianapolis next Tuesday after a week of training.

I remember the day I finally gave in to Erich’s heart for missions.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Erich was in high school when his spiritual mentor, Bill Leamon (who had led several trips to Mexico that Erich had taken), was tragically killed in a car accident just several hours after Erich had been visiting with him in his office at his job.

Bill was one of those men who treated everyone with passion and love.  Erich adored him.  He looked to him as a second father.  The night after Bill was killed our church opened its doors so that people could come together and share what Bill meant to them and just be together in their shock and grief.  I remember standing up and looking at Erich in front of the crowd and telling him that I supported his passion for missions and that whatever God called him to do, I would be there for him in whatever way I could.  Life suddenly seemed so fragile from any perspective.  Who was I to try and “overprotect” Erich’s life that was already so sold out on mission work.


Well, many years have passed since that sad day.  Erich has been on several short mission trips since then.  Now he is preparing to enter his senior year in nursing at Kentucky Christian University and part of his dream is to do hospital work in foreign countries.  I know that Bill is cheering him on from Heaven.and I know that Nick and Adrienne are too!! And so many others who have gone before him.  I took a little “photo journey” through our day yesterday…


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Olivia left for school before Erich woke up!  Look at Erich!  He slept in his clothes, on the couch, with his glasses on, after staying up til nearly 3 finishing his last college paper for his summer class!!  Olivia was saying  “bye” before she headed to school!

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Not the greatest quality photo, but this is my sweet, little Erich’s first Easter!!!

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Erich burning one last CD of music for the long flight!!

2009-05-0280008 resized          Tim and Erich2009-05-0280016 resized  Tim, Erich, Me, and Evan (our second-oldest son)2009-05-0280014 resized  Erich and Me (I tickled him to make him smile this big!)2009-05-0280015 resized

Erich and Michael Johnson (one of his best buddies from KCU)

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Erich and Andrew (another great buddy from KCU)

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Look how hard it is to get a “normal” picture of Erich with his brother!!!

2009-05-0280011 resized2009-05-0280012 resized 2009-05-0280010 resized 2009-05-0280009 resized2009-05-0280013 resized   FINALLY!!!! (Except Evan is tired of smiling by this point!)

2009-05-0280028 resized This is Erich and Evan the way I remember them!!!!!!!!!!!!2009-05-0280018 resized  Erich turns around and grins and says, 
“See you in August!!” 2009-05-0280019 resized

Erich can’t believe I’m still taking pictures!!!!
He’ll enjoy a break from my camera, I’m sure!!

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Tim gives him one last piece of “fatherly advice!”  2009-05-0280021 resized

  Got it, Dad!!2009-05-0280024 resized By now, Erich is saying, “Mom, enough already!!”2009-05-0280027 resized

Erich heads out of our driveway and into a big adventure…


We’re praying for you Erich!   We miss you already!!