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Our plan was to start driving back to Arizona from Alaska on Saturday morning. We still had a lot to do before we could leave, and we ended up not starting the trip until 9:00 PM. The truth is that we didn’t finish everything that we wanted to do, but it was time to go. Sometimes we need to trust/accept that God will use other people to do what we are unable to do.

The first leg of our journey was very short. We went one town over–less than an hour away–where we camped for the night. This was not my original plan, however, God worked out the details. A day later, and the campground was booked solid. Saturday night, though, there was room. Even better, we have friends who we have known for 25 years who were camping at this campground through Sunday morning. They had food waiting for us, and we visited until late in the night. In recent history we have been blessed to see them in three different states.

As I’m writing this I’m appreciating those that we get to journey with. This includes family and friends, and some friends who become family. Sometimes the journey is for a brief amount of time,  while other shared journeys can cover decades. I’m grateful that God didn’t put us into this world alone!

Our 22 foot motor home is limited on how many people can be a part of the journey, but during the journey called “life” the number of people who touch our lives is huge! If we look at the whole span of our lives, how many people does this involve?

I’m especially grateful for all of the people that are involved in ministry. This number goes way beyond pastors. In the South District alone, there are incredible ministries happening! I’m looking forward to learning more about these ministries, and to be able to help share the stories.

One of the things that we can do to strengthen the South District is to get to know more people outside of our own church who are a part of our United Methodist ministry/family. Our journey in ministry is made easier and more creative by working together. We have the opportunity to encourage, strengthen, and inspire one another. It is harder to do this if we don’t know each other. One of the best parts of my new role as a District Superintendent is getting the chance to get to know so many people from a multitude of churches and ministry settings. I want you to know that I appreciate getting to do this journey with you!

Your brother in Christ, Mark

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