Monday, July 28, 2008

Anamosa, Iowa

Amanda and I had an amazing trip to Iowa for the annual UPC Deaf Conference. It was a week of fun and learning that we will never forget!

Tonya, my long-time friend and maid of honor drove over with her husband to see us Sunday night at my parent's church. I was so honored.

My dad lent us his convertible for the week, and this added a very fun aspect to our trip. We drove with the top down almost exclusively, and we have burned foreheads to prove it!

A few of us went to visit the state park, and took some pictures on the bridge. Some of the brave girls explored the ice cave. We had a beautiful afternoon getting to know each other better. The best part?? Amanda and I were the only hearing people in the whole group!

Here is a picture of all the Texas registrants. Bro. Wesley Swanson, the Texas Deaf Director,(standing above me) was the special speaker Thursday night.

As always, the Deaf Choir was the highlight of the week. About 60 Deaf people comprised the choir this year. The anointing that fell on them while they were ministering was overwhelming.

Sis. Libby is one of my all time favorite people. I hope one day I can be like her. An added bonus that I was not expecting was to see my very first ASL teacher/mentor, Esther Henry. It was so cool for me to introduce her to my present teacher/mentor, Amanda.

What I was not expecting was when on Wednesday night, one of the leaders turned to me at the altar service and asked me to relieve the current interpreter. I was wearing a black suit, and apparently, that is all the qualification I needed. With Esther pushing me on one side, and Amanda pulling me on the other side, I walked as in a daze up to the platform and did my best. I had Amanda feeding me signs from the floor, and Esther taking video. You can't imagine the intimidation of being a beginning student, signing in a room full of about 100 skilled interpreters!

This must be the most beautiful working prison I have ever seen, right in the middle of downtown Anamosa. We opted out of the tour.

These are our new friends, Melody and sweet Luke, the pastor's daughter and grandson. Doug and Melody opened their home to us, and their hospitality made us feel at ease. I thank God for allowing us this opportunity. The church services were poignant, the fellowship was sweet, and the presenters were knowledgeable. So many more things happened that I won't detail here. Suffice it to say that it was certainly a rich experience.

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