“And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren . . . .” (Acts 15:36)
At this point, the Lawrenson men’s two-month vacation has come to an end. It was a joy to be able to visit friends and family Stateside during the past two months. I would like to express a great thank you to all of those who gave generously of their time and their hospitality to help make our vacation the opportunity of a lifetime for my boys and me.
Some of the highlights of our vacation included a visit to our former home state of Virginia. There we visited with Pastor Andrew Logue; he was a bus worker with me when we both attended the East Coast Baptist Church in Virginia Beach years ago. Brother Logue has recently started the Suffolk Bible Baptist Church. During our visit with Pastor Logue, I was also thrilled to see a former primary Sunday school student, Gary Robinson, who has grown both physically and spiritually over the years and is still faithfully attending church. Our travels allowed us to visit Pastor Hice and his family at the Center Street Baptist Church in Salamanca, New York. While in Salamanca, I had the honor of teaching the Sunday school class, and I also had the honor to preach both the morning and afternoon services. My children were thrilled to be able to sing specials for both of the Sunday services. The Hice family gave themselves to take my boys and me to see Niagara Falls, a wonderful memory that helped my boys see some of the natural beauty of America. We were also able to visit our home church, the First Baptist Church of Hammond at the beginning of June. It was an honor that Pastor Wilkerson was willing to give some of his time to visit with my children and me on Thursday morning; it was a time that my children will greatly cherish. Our visit with Pastor Navis in Pound, Wisconsin, was a delight, as we put our hands to some mechanical work and fixed a truck on Friday night, went soul winning on Saturday, taught Sunday school, and preached the morning and afternoon services. My children had the delight of singing a music special with the Navis children for the Sunday service, followed by cliff jumping with all the children at a camp on Monday morning. The cliff jumping is certainly an experience that will be engrained in my son Stephen’s eight-year-old memory for years to come. Our visit with Pastor Chisgar in Smyrna, Tennessee, was also memorable, as we packed in working at the church, riding dirt bikes, having a cookout, and preaching the Wednesday night Bible study all into one day.
The time we were able to spend with family will be greatly cherished, especially in years to come, understanding that our visit to my parents and my in-laws’ homes could very well have been our last visit. The past six years that we have been on the field have also been six years that our parents have met physical challenges. The memories that my children will have of time they were able to spend with their grandparents are more important and impacting the sparser those precious times are. My children were able to enjoy a trip to the zoo and a Golden Corral buffet with my parents. They were also able to spend time with Kim’s parents, working on a sun deck and going to an indoor shooting range with Grandpa Dean.
Zechariah, my oldest son, stayed in the States to prepare himself to attend the Commonwealth Baptist Bible College in Lexington, Kentucky. Josiah, Stephen, and I are back in Dumaguete now. I am putting my hands to the ministry plow again; the children will begin plowing through their school paces later this week. It is a joy to be able to serve here; however, it was a special pleasure to be able to take some time to “visit the brethren.”
Serving the Lord with gladness,
The Lawrenson Family (on the field)
Stan and Kim
Bethany, Josiah, Chloe Anna, Stephen, and Luke