JUDY AND I JUST RETURNED from cold, snowy Grand Rapids, Michigan. We led a marriage retreat for Peace Church, a growing congregation located in a suburb of Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids is about the size of Spokane and is the second-largest city in Michigan behind Detroit. It is the home of Amway, president Gerald Ford, and a significant Christian Reformed publishing industry. Eerdmans, Zondervan, Baker, Klock & Klock and other outstanding publishers make their home there.

The high Saturday was 20 and the wind was gusting to 30 mph. It was miserably cold.

The retreat was at the Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference center located on the east shore of Lake Michigan. It is an old, established, venerable institution. Billy Graham spoke there repeatedly before he became famous.

Lake Michigan in August

The lake was frozen solid. However, inside the conference center, the Holy Spirit warmed the hearts of those attending. Judy and I felt it might have been our most successful conference. The reason was simple. God showed up in a unique way. It was an answer to the prayers of our Sun City Bible Study as well as the members of Peace Church.

The reward for the travel and effort is always new friends. Judy and I will especially remember Travis and Suzanne Eerdman, and Tom and Dawn Wierenga. (Note the Dutch last names). Also met the lead pastor, Ryan Kimmel as well as many other solid Christians.