Dear Hayden, We Finally Made It To Klamath Falls

RMlogo Adam and Hayden Palm and Rick Thomas

I missed seeing you, though we did go to your grave. I blubbered; it’s what I do. I cried when I walked into your parent’s home. It was even weirder for Lucia and me to sleep in your bed. I felt like royalty when I was in your childhood home.

Adam took us to your grave. It’s still surreal. I know you’re not there but it was as close as I could get and I wanted to pay my respects, as they say.

Monday

The week in Klamath Falls was fantastic. Dan and Ann picked us up in Medford. It was an excellent two-hour introduction to the rest of our week. That was Monday. That night I went to Gordon’s home and had dinner with most of the elders and their wives. That helped a lot as it set my mind on what I needed to do for the week.

I don’t like pre-scripting a week of meetings before I arrive. I want to get to know the people, and then begin the process of asking God for the best words to say to serve them well. Of course, I had been prepping before arrival, but I did not want to assume I knew God’s mind before I got here. Meeting Dan, Ann, and the elders helped me in the process of getting to know the folks.

Tuesday

On Tuesday I went to my first ladies Bible study!! That was a ton of fun. I always wondered what you women did in those things. It was supposed to be from 1 to 3, but it went until 4:30. Janet said that she was on the edge of her seat. I think that meant she enjoyed it. It was all Q & A, which permitted us to cover a lot of things, the things they cared about and wanted some input.

Before the Bible study, I met with Steve for an hour or so to cover some things on his heart. My hope was to meet with as many folks as possible, whether individually, couples, or groups. I did all of those things.

Repeatedly.

All week long.

Tuesday night I met Adam. I must say that I might have a “man-crush” on him. I see why you said, “yes” to him. He’s a good one. We hit it off. In fact, after the conference on Saturday, he and I went to Starbucks for about 90 minutes, if not longer. I like him, but I need not tell you about that. You know.

I also met the rest of your family that night. Of course, I had already met Rob and Alisha (great hosts), and Chandler (Sis) came by that morning, so I got my hug in then. Then Alec that night. And, of course, Elise. She’s a sweetie.

Wednesday

Wednesday was amazing. Triad and Hosanna Christian Schools came together. I spoke to about 200 kids, parents, and teachers. That was so awesome. So much unity. Taylor asked why I came from South Carolina to talk to them. It caught me by surprise. I cried. I did tell her that I was a teenager, and I wished someone would have helped me through those years.

After that meeting, I met with the Student Council for Triad Christian School. That was another 45-minutes of serious (and funny) interaction. Those young men and women are fantastic too. These morning sessions went into the afternoon. And to top it off, several teens came to me asking personal questions. Just wow!!

Alisha took us to meet Barney and Rhea at their place. We ate at that lodge. This time was perfect as we needed to spend some time with them, and it was a double-bonus because we met Barney too. He’s understated and brilliant, all wrapped in one. Rhea is beautifully missional, and more.

That night, Lucia and I went to Sweetwater Church where I spoke at their Wednesday church meeting. I met Char. And I talked a long time with Anthony, another highlight of my week. The good Lord is doing some good things in his life, and I think you would want to know that. 2017 was a hard year for them, but he’s doing well as he’s making his plans while trusting in the Lord to order his steps.

Thursday

Thursday, I was up at 6 AM for a Bible study with your daddy and Glen. It was good to meet Glen. That was nice. He sent me a note as we were leaving, thanking us for coming. He encouraged me.

Then there was a sound check at the BBC building at 11 AM. We got things squared away for the big conference on Friday and Saturday. I left there and met with Chris and Shawna for lunch. It was a good time getting to know them.

The Huertas showed up during the afternoon. It was a big surprise, which Brandi wanted to do to bless your mom. And it was a big surprise. We have it on video.

Thursday night I went to IBC to speak to the college and career folks. We had dinner and then I talked for 90 minutes or so. They were loud and interactive. They laughed a lot, which was great. You never know what you’re going to get with any group; they were terrific. I made a lot of good memories that night. Malea was there, rolling on the floor laughing. I like her. She was at the school meeting on Wednesday as well.

Friday

On Friday, we went with the Huertas to within one mile of Crater Lake. Big sigh right here. The one-mile path was snowed covered, which is an understatement. I was disappointed that we couldn’t see the lake, but God knows these things, and that is okay.

We did make it back in time to take a power nap before the conference that night.

You’ll be glad to know that 147 folks showed up from a half-dozen churches. It was way cool for Klamath Falls. They came from Colorado (Huertas), Portland, other towns in Oregon, and California. Amazing.

I thought it went well.

Saturday

On Saturday we were back at it early, which took the entire day. I had lunch with Jim Turner, the author/speaker from Oregon. We connected. After the conference, I went out with your hubby, which was good for me.

I made it back home just in time for a three-hour meeting with Bob and Tanya at their home. It was a joy to serve them. I got home at 10 PM that night.

Sunday

Sunday morning I went back to BBC and spoke to Gary’s Sunday school class. That time was unique and amazing. I wished it was longer. I’ll just leave it at that, but it was perfect.

From there, we high-tailed it over to IBC for their church meeting where Bob preached, and they baptized Claire as well as Paul’s son. It was a beautiful meeting from beginning to end.

We had to get a couple of souvenirs, so we were late to your parent’s home, but we were able to make it for an hour or so before we headed out with Steve and Wendy back to Medford for a night in a hotel before wheels up at 6 AM.

Monday

The wheels just touched down in Greenville, SC as I finish this post. Perfect timing.

I just wanted you to know what we did this past week.

It was all because of you! God is still using you, but you know that, right? Enjoy your “stored-up” treasures from last week; there will be more coming your way.

See you soon!!
Rick

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