Life at Fairhaven Baptist College–Senior Year

Where shall I begin?  Most of the events I’m going to describe happenend less than a year ago, so they are fresh on my mind.

To start things off, I have to speak about last summer.  After I got back from a missions trip to Canada, my family moved to Kalamazoo, about an hour and a half from Lansing.  The m0ve was different for me; yet I knew I wouldn’t be at home much longer either.  Plus, that put us an hour and a half (it cut the driving time in half) from college and of course: Andrea.  In the last days of June, Andrea arrived back from Mexico for good.  She had been gone for almost a year, yet we still did not completely know eachother as much as we wanted.  Thankfully, I had the same two days off in a row every week at work, and the driver distance was now half of what it was.  That all translated into me being in Chesterton two weekdays a week for most of the summer.  Our relationship truly grew into love that summer.  Andrea’s mother, Mrs. Leslie, was becoming weaker, but she was still able to enjoy the blessings of God very much.  I really got to know Mr. and Mrs. Leslie very well last summer–the rest of the family too.  I am truly greatful to God for giving me that time to spend with Andrea and her family before school even started.

So Little Time

In early August, I received a call from Andrea who was at a Fall Push bus meeting at my bus captain’s home.  There she told me that I was going t0 be leading a bus for the month of September.  “Wow!  Me?,” I thought.  It was quite overwhelming to hear all of that, and know that I would be responsible for a bus full of children from a depressed inner-city.  At the same time, I was very excited.  What an incredible learning experience that was going to greet me when I moved back for the school year!

And that it did.  I was able to head up Bus #95 for five weeks: Fair Day, Skate Day, Candy Drop Day, Zoo Day, and Patriotic Sunday.  I have a ton of stories from each week, but I’ll highlight a few here.  Fair Day went extremly smooth for us (they had changed the name from Circus Day after 30 years of it being that).  Skate Day is a story and a half!  It downpoured for three days straight, and Sunday was the worst of it.  But, praise God, all of the busses had a great week despite the flooding that made nation-wide news.  Anniversary Sunday was a lot of fun for everyone, and no real obstacles came about.  I think I had 12 parents ride my bus that day too.  Then their was Zoo Day–our biggest day, and with no lost children at city zoo for the third largest city in America!  I am grateful to God for giving me a ministry oppurtunity last September where I was able to see new familes accept Christ and become regular attenders.

Coming swiftly at the heels of the Fall Push is the actual season of fall (ironically, the Fall Push is mostly during summer).  In late October–one year ago–the engagement event was starting to be in play for Andrea and I.  We went to S6303544-1an apple orchard together with her family, while enjoying all of the sights, smells, and treats of the season.  Then on November 1, I took a day off of school to visit my parents…as well as buy a ring!  Then on November 14, we were engaged.  Some of you may wonder what the “whole story” of our engagement was, but that’s not what this post is about.  This is supposed to be about college!  But after we were engaged, life began to move extremely quick.

In late November, Christmas lights came and went.  Andrea and I went with my junior year roommates and their respective others to the Weber Grill in downtown Chicago.  It was there that I discovered HUGE pretzel rolls with cheddar cheese spread.  Glory!  Anyways…  Something else that determined where Andrea and I are at now  happened that same night.  I had an interview with Assistant Pastor Chris Starr of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Brogue, PA about working at the church as an intern.  I had heard great things about Mt. Zion from plenty of people at Fairhaven, so I felt confident that this could be God’s will for us.  Pastor Chris is now one of the biggest mentors in my life (whether he believes it or not!).  God would pave the path plainly over the next few months.


Early in the first semester, I had the opportunity to preach alongside of one of classmates at Fairhaven Baptist Church’s New Years service.  I was so nervous, even if I didn’t look it!  God led me through that whole process!  It was such a blessing for me to preach about having a thirst for God in front of the church which I had grown to love and admire.  It was one of the highlights of college–not just because I was able to preach, but because God had changed my life through men behind that same pulpit I was preaching from.  I remember listening to men like Bob Kelly as  a sophomore in high school from that same pulpit.  It was then that I knew that God wanted me at Fairhaven.  And then I was somehow preaching to the same church.  What a humbling experience!

Wedding planning seemed to dominate the second semester of school.  I was finally beginning to realize that college was not going to last forever.  There is a life outside of Fairhaven Baptist College.  Reality really began to hit when I met with Dr. Voegtlin about what I was going to be doing after graduation.  He told me that Pastor Starr was probably going to be asking me to come to his church, and that I should prayerfully consider.  His words to me were, “I don’t know of a better place for a church planter to train and minister.”  Just a week or so after that meeting Pastor Randy Starr called me–another huge mentor in my life now.  I accepted the offer after truly finding God’s will in the whole matter with much prayer and seeking God.  My new bride and I were going to Pennsylvania in early June!  Then there was even more preparation…

Classes during my senior year were eventful to say the least.  Two of my “interesting” ones were Articulatory Phonetics and Second Language Acquisition Methodology.  Both are linguistics courses for future missionaries that help develop tools for language learning.  We all had a great time in those classes, and learned a lot from them.  My favorite though was Systematic Theology.  I just loved digging into the Bible and seeing all about God and his plans for us.  Especially the doctrine of salvation–we learned about all of the terms: justification, sanctification, redemption, adoption, atonement, regeneration, etc.  It all can sound so complex and “deep” to the average Christian.  And it is true that salvation is very deep.  The greatest truth I learned from that teacher is that salvation is so simple that a small child can understand and be born again: not even knowing what one of those terms I just mentioned means; but also so deep that we can enjoy our “so great a salvation” even more the more we discover the richness of God’s love.

In the process of discussing our wedding and honeymoon plans, Andrea and I decided that she could go back and visit her friends and ministry in Mexico once more before we were married.  The airfare was fairly cheap at the time, so it seemed worth it to both of us.  However, Andrea’s mom was becoming extremely weakened through her battle with cancer.  We all knew that it was terminal, which made us give this little trip for Andrea a second thought.  After gaining some wisdom about the situation, we decided that Andrea should still take the trip.  Looking back now, we realize that God was in that whole process, even though it may be hard to explain to someone not directly involved.  So Andrea left the Tuesday of Volleyball Marathon, and was going to be back the following Thursday.  That Friday because there was no school, I took a trip home to visit my family.  It was  early that Friday afternoon in March that I heard that Mrs. Leslie had passed away.  I knew that my main responsibility was to get Andrea back home as soon as possible.  She was able to be back the following day, praise the Lord.  The funeral was uplifting, to say the least.  It was joyful: how a funeral should be.  It was the kind of joy where some sadness was shown, but overall God received all of the glory in the life of a  sold old Christian servant: twenty years as the “dorm mom,” with countless  “daughters”  serving God with their husbands all over the world.  The college girls sang “So Little Time” and “Let the Lord Have His Way” as two specials for the service: perfectly fitting for Mrs. Ellen Leslie–now my mother-in-law in heaven!

As my final year was coming to a close, God continued to work.  Preaching Conference came at the end of April as normal, and spoke to my heart about something.  David Cloud preached a message about the “Emerging Church” and the effects that it already has had on fundamental Baptist churches.  After the sermon, Dr. Voegtlin challenged all of the graduates of Fairhaven Baptist College to stand.  I believe it was sad to him that some graduates fall into the temptations of changing things and making churches more like the world, and less like Christ.  What a message!  I think I am going to write an article to summarize all of this sometime in the future, and what it meant to me…

Graduation was speeding up on us!   Cap and gown fittings, graduation testimonies, finals, and rehearsals were all common words during those last few weeks.  Then one week after that, I was going to be married.  And two weeks after that I was moving 500 miles away to “Countryville”, PA–fully involved in the ministry in which I was trained for.  Exactly six days before graduation, myself and another college student were soulwinning on our bus route in Gary.  We knocked on one door when a lady who looked extremely familiar to me answered the door.  I couldn’t place her, though.  She said that her children used to ride the bus to Fairhaven every Sunday.  But both of her sons were killed in a car accident about 2 1/2 years before.  Then it all clicked to me…and her!  This was Joseph’s mother; the boy I had led to Christ during the Fall Push of my sophomore year!  That’s why they had suddenly stopped coming to church!  She told be that he and his brother were riding in the bed of a pickup when they were rear-ended on the corner of 23rd and Garfield.  They both died instantly.  She couldn’t stand to be in the house where they had lived with her only two children, so she moved to where we knocked on her door that afternoon.  I knew that he was saved, though.  He was in heaven!  Because of me?  Of course not.  God had miraculously led our paths together so that Joseph could be redeemed!  Praise the Lord!  I told his mom that, and she started to cry tears of joy.  She said, “He told me that he was a Christian all the time, and knew that he was going to go to heaven some day.”  This was all of the Lord’s working!  “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”

My class graduated on May 14, 2009 at 7:00pm.  Pastor Wilbur Unger preached the commencement–the same pastor who I had helped for two weeks the previous summer.  He preached a message on standing and working.  Everything seemed to be perfect that night…except college was completed for me.  It seemed a little sad to me, believe it or not.  There was going to be no more living in the dorm, Christmas Lights, cafeteria dining, snack shop, college basketball, passes, chapel…now its on to real life, I guessed.  It’s hard to believe that all of this was just five months ago–to the day, actually.  It seems so long ago.  I can’t even express in words how much I love Fairhaven Baptist Church and College.  I owe so much to God for leading me there.  Andrea and I both have huge responsibilities also, to stand and to be instant. We have been given far to much to just throw out and say, “Well, yes, we graduated from there, but let’s not talk about that right now.”  Instead, we owe a huge debt, spiritually speaking.  In any ministry we are involved in from now until the day we die, God’s Word must be the cornerstone.  We are not to be pleasing men, the world, or ourselves; but the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are to be zealous and hardworking in everything that we do, defending the faith in every step.  That’s what I got from Fairhaven Baptist College, and that’s what Andrea and I will continue to stand on.

Something Money Could Not Buy…Part 2

Well, I began babysitting Ella (Five years old, adorable, very smart, and a little sassy!) and Harrison (Four years old, and very cute in his “chicken hair”, and very energetic!).  We did lots of things together, from seeing the Healthworks Museum in South Bend to nature hikes, to riding bikes, to eating in the cafeteria at Fairhaven and attending Little 665A0468Lambs class on Thursday night also at Fairhaven.  I strove to be a good disciplinarian and yet love those children and their family.  I saw the community of Ogden Dunes, Indiana, and more particularly, the house at 1 Woodland Trail as my mission field, and knew the Lord had led me there.  You see, I don’t believe in this “hit and miss” theory about jobs, meaning, pick up one here for a week, drop it, and try something else.  I believe that God wants us to be diligent and hard-working, and therefore, He has a particular job out there for ME, where He wants me to earn money to live and serve Him, but more importantly, where He wants me to be a shining example and witness of Christ’s saving power.  And that is the true reason God put me in the Deporter family’s life.  Katie Deporter allowed me to take the children to Little Lambs, a children’s class at Fairhaven Baptist Church, and to tell them Bible stories, and teach them things about the Lord.  I explained to her that what I believe is the Bible, first and foremost, for that is the only thing in the whole world which will endure FOREVER (Matthew 24:35).  And I went further to say, as is true, that Fairhaven Baptist Church also only teaches the Bible.

Well, as some of you may remember, my mother’s cancer had come back with a fury, and somewhere in February or so, she really took a turn for the worse.  It was a tough time of praying, caring for mom, spending nights in the hospital, and trying to fulfill your other duties as well, along with finding peace from God amidst the trial.  Many dear friends from church spent long nights in the hospital with my mom, and made delicious meals for us back at the house, cleaned for us, sent cards, and in so many other ways, demonstrated their true Christian friendship.  And I firmly believe in that kind of local church, brotherly love in ‘bearing of one another’s burdens’.  Well, my mother passed away on March 13, 2009, and although difficult, I saw God work in amazing ways which alone afforded me much comfort and peace.  I invited Katie Deporter to the funeral, and she was there.  Preacher gave a wonderful message where the Gospel was clearly explained.  I called Katie later that day, and asked what she thought about what the Preacher had spoken of.  We talked, and although she did not understand everything about salvation, she had been under conviction, and it would continue.  We had several talks about salvation since then, and we still do from time to time.  I pray for them often to trust in Christ as their only Saviour from sin, and thus be genuinely born again.  It was not a mistake I received that job…but the result of the infinite love and mercy of God on one family.  Since seeing firsthand that God had placed me there for a purpose, I felt great responsibility to accomplish that purpose.  And still today I continue to pray for them.

Well, once again, I was earning an income.  I continued to give what God had laid upon my heart, and began to see God’s blessing upon simple faithfulness.  Every month there was the exact amount to give, and every month there was plenty and more than enough for any other needs I had.

Now I was in earnest with the wedding plans!  Bridesmaid dresses, and flowers, the cake and punch, hairstyles and attendants!  (Wow am I glad all of that is over!…Everyday married life is far better than any frivolous ceremony! –for all of you future brides!)  But where do I begin to name the blessings from the Lord?

Before I even began to search for a wedding dress, one was offered me from Mrs. Kara Mitchell.  I tried it on, and it fit perfectly!  I did not even have to have it altered!  I paid not a cent for it, and was spared all the time and annoyances of having to try to discover a modest wedding dress in the world of today!  A friend from church made the cake for us, and while we did pay her, I am sure we got a good deal!  Other dear friends, Mrs. Gaus and Mrs. Mitchell, put together the flowers, which turned out beautifully!  Mrs. Mitchell also decorated the auditorium and helped clean up, I think.IMG_2431 Mrs. Brady, Mrs. Alvarado, and others helped decorate and set up the reception hall.  Holly Almanza, a good friend, did my little sister Lindsey and my flower girl’s hair as a wedding present, and Katie Deporter, for whom I worked, paid a friend to do my hair and the hair of two of my bridesmaids.  I must say too, I never thought of asking her to do my hair the way she did, but I LOVED it!  She did a wonderful job!  A dear friend, Victoria Campos made the bridesmaid dresses, and was available for immediate alterations!…She did an amazing job, why, the dresses were almost perfectly fitting at the first try!  She also made dresses for two of her daughters who were attendants.  Then, to top it off, she used the money I paid her to send a little girl to Fairhaven’s Summer Camp, where she would hear the Gospel –truly a blessing spoken of in Proverb 8:18 as “durable (or, “lasting”) riches”!  God is good!  So many people were asking to help, I almost ran out of things I could have them do!  two of my other friends even bought a few food items for us to take on our honeymoon!  My Dad, who is one of my heros, and one of the dearest people in the world to me, labored tediously over a brass monogram chisled out with tinsnips for the cake.  And it was beautiful!  And another good family friend offered to make peppermint patties with me for the wedding, while also offering me wonderful advice about marriage which was invaluable since I could no longer rely on my mother for that!  And I am sure there is more I have missed!


Now exactly one week before Dustin and my wedding was the wedding of Brian Boots and Sarah Swangim.  I guess you just kind of assume that your wedding day will be bright and sunny, without a cloud in the sky.  After all, no one advertises stormy weddings, or the ones where the crepe paper wilted, tore, and fell because of rain!  They never show the photos of brides dashing from the car to the auditorium amidst a thunderstorm, do they?  But that week before, it was just a thunderstorm, rainy kind of day, and it made me realize that my wedding might not be a nice day…there very well could be rain!  Well, thankfully, for Sarah and Brian’s sake, the rain did clear up some by the time of their ceremony!  But nevertheless, I tried to prepare myself for the worst!  It was true, though, that the decorations, the flowers, the dresses, and the day are not really the important thing, but just being married.  A friend said,”When the day’s over, and everything’s said and done, you end up married, and that’s what counts!”

Well, the days approached quickly, and before I knew it, it was the night before the wedding!  I was a bit stressed, and knew the next day would be full of it’s own pressures.  So I decided I needed a good, long devotional time alone with the Lord and His Word the next day.  I did not sleep well, as could hardly be expected, the night before such a momentous occasion!  But I got apart the next morning, and begged God for His help and strength.

Our Lord is so good to us, even in seemingly trivial things!  He gave me a calm spirit through the whole day, and not only that, but I was able to really enjoy the time getting hair done, joking with relatives, getting pictures with bridesmaids, and even picking bugs off my dress with the girls while taking pictures!  Then, in the ceremony, somethingIMG_2586 so comical happened as to make the day unique from any wedding in the history of Fairhaven Baptist Church, and to impress it as a precious day forever in our hearts!  Preacher forgot to say, “You may kiss the bride!”  So Dustin whispered, “Preacher, Can I kiss   her?”!!!  And he did…our first kiss ever!  What a special memory to always treasure!  And to top it all off, God gave us a BEAUTIFUL day!  It was sunny, the lake behind my house was sparkling, the sky was cloudless, and it was everything I ever wished for!  (Not that anyone with a less-than-beautiful day for their wedding is any less-blessed of God, of course, but in our case, it was one of the blessings He so graciously afforded us!)

Now, I could have kept all of my money that year for myself, and tried to buy every wedding supply for myself; I could have poured over the wedding magazines for hours, searching for the perfect idea, but I could never have dreamed up all of those details that God put together so wisely.  Everything turned out perfectly, and God showed us His hand through it, along with revealing to us the true friends we had all around.  And at the same time, He was using the money I gave to Him each month to help missionaries around the world, bless believers, and win souls to Himself.  All of the millions in the world could never buy such “riches”!

Speckhals Wedding Video

Well, for those who were unable to attend our wedding…Here it is!  This is the video of the main part of the wedding.  Be sure to catch “The Kiss”!  I don’t think it has ever before happened in the history of Fairhaven, where Preacher almost forgot “The Kiss”!!! Just click the monogram to watch! **Some may not be able to watch this due to an internet filter issue**

En espanol:  Pues para todos mis amigos queridos que no pudieron asistir a nuestra boda,…Aqui esta!  Este es el video de la boda.  Fijense bien al ” Beso”!  No creo que haya pasado nunca en toda la historia de la Iglesia Bautista de Fairhaven, que nuestro Pastor haya olvidado “El Beso”! Haz click en las letras abajo!

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A note from Dustin:

We are very blessed to have a video of our wedding.  Dr. Roger Voegtlin officiated, while Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Mitchell sang the vocal duet.  The pianist and organist were Mrs. Sharon Voegtlin and Mrs. Jennifer Armacost respectively.  Mrs. Debbie Whitecar played the Trumpet Voluntary as the recessional.  A part that I removed from the beginning and end of this internet video (for time’s sake) included violin pieces from Elizabeth Gonzalez.  The wedding party included in order of procession:

  • Pastor Courtney Lewis: Best Man
  • Adam Murdock: Groomsman
  • Julian Balatbat: Groomsman
  • Nathan Spooner: Groomsman
  • April Newman: Bridesmaid
  • Lindsey Leslie: Bridesmaid
  • Sharon Leslie: Maid of Honor
  • Catie Murdock: Flower Girl

I can’t forget to mention the friend who captured the video either–Joe Bishop.  I asked him the day of the wedding if he could sit in the balcony and use a camcorder(last minute, I know!).  He did FAR better than I would have ever hoped for.

Life at Fairhaven Baptist College—Sophomore Year

The summer months of 2006 went extremely quick.  Except for being a junior camp counselor for a week, the rest of the time was spent saving up for the next year’s school bill.  I worked at Discount Tire Co. in Lansing, Michigan from my junior year of high school up into the summer before my senior year of college.  I appreciate all of the hours I put in there, and for the generous compensation I received which always provided for my needs.  Towards the end of the summer, I began to get very excited for the next school year.  Now looking back, I had no idea what all was going to happen in the ‘06/’07 school year.

I Shall Not Want

Like any new or returning student to Fairhaven, you enter into a whirlwind of activity—Stewardship Banquet, class registration, Fall Push, etc.  My activity seemed to be a little more than normal.  After a few relationship events in the first couple of days back, I found myself in one of those “down” times.  Now, those who know me never really see me with much emotion, but it was there a little.  I had never had a dating relationship of any kind up to that point, and I still had no clue what I was doing!  Instead of trusting God, I was relying on myself to provide.  I remember hearing for the first time an early American folk hymn called “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need”—which is a paraphrase of Psalm 23.  Most think of that Psalm as only a comfort in a time of great heartache, but reading into it I found that it is for daily living.  God will always lead me in the right path if I simply follow His leading.  That was a life-changing moment in early September.  I had no idea of what infinitely better things God had in store for me if I just relied on Him.

That fall was my first year being a room captain.  I found that I would have a bit of a challenge on my hands.  I really enjoyed one of my roommates, and the other: well…  I learned a lot of good lessons that year in Room 22.  Arriving back, I had found that my freshman class had dwindled to about half of what it was; mostly as a result of weakening standards and rebellion.  The rest of us still in college bonded until our senior year.  We became good friends.  Now we were” big, bad sophomores”, and nothing was going to stop us (we thought)!  We now had other freshman to put through the same treatment as we got the previous year.  I found that the class below us was full of very good people.  I think the classes of ’09 and ’10 have bonded pretty well over the last few years.

Fall Push at Fairhaven is their Sunday School bus campaign x10!  It includes a ton of work, visiting hours, prayer, late Sunday afternoons, and a little “getting out of yourself.”  A couple of memorable things happened during that year.  First was the second Sunday of the Push:  Zoo Day for our bus.  To make a very long story short, we did not arrive back until 9:00pm due to a few bus malfunctions.  The following Sunday, on Skate Day, I was able to lead a boy from our bus to Christ.  He came faithfully for a few months, with good behavior, and a spirit that was willing to learn.  However, he and his brother suddenly stopped coming to church one week, and we were never able to get back in contact with them.  I would not find out exactly what happened until the very end of my senior year.

I knew as a freshman that my bus captain would eventually be leaving to plant a church from scratch in Chicago.  Just before Christmas break, our bus was combined with a few other routes, and he began deputation to raise support for that church.  I had learned a lot from him, and knew I would miss being on his bus.  When I returned back from Christmas break, I was put underneath another veteran captain in Gary.  God was good in putting me exactly where I would learn and be able to minister the most.  I absorbed even more in the rest of my time at Fairhaven under my second captain.

The Christmas Lights activity is something that every practically every college student looks forward to in the fall semester.  Some call it a “dating activity”, but I never had a date on the activity until my senior year—and it didn’t bother me either!  I loved just walking around the city, with snow flying through the air, eating at some of the best restaurants in the world, and being with friends.  My sophomore year I found myself with a few friends, which somehow grew into a group of 22 people.  Have you ever tried to get 22 people seated in a Chicago restaurant?  Don’t try!  It wasn’t all that fun with half the college (exaggeration) tagging along!  We did eat well…Portillo’s!  We were able to Ice skate some at Millennium Park, which was definitely the highlight of the night.

Also towards the end of the fall semester of ’07, I developed a little crush towards that girl named Andrea Leslie—the one “recommended” to me a year or so before by my bus captain.  Here I was, a little sophomore, liking a beautiful young lady that was taking graduate courses, grew up at Fairhaven, and was a daughter of long-time staff members.  “She probably doesn’t even know who I am,” I said to myself.  I thought there was no chance, but it was always on the back of my mind.  Little did I know that she not only noticed me, but she liked me even before it was mutual.  Things were developing there slowly but surely.

Volleyball Marathon is something that every Fairhaven Baptist College student has experience with.  Volleyball: 24 hours a day for almost five straight days.  All are required to either play or be in the gym for at least sixteen hours during the Marathon.  It is usually in February or March, and lasts for 96 hours straight.  Volleyball Marathon is a fundraising event that helps support the scholarship program of the college.  My sophomore year was particularly fun for me: late nights, early mornings, and crazy people everywhere that are out of their minds a bit!

Volleyball Marathon--3:27am

A prominent class that year was Intermediate Greek.  It ended up being a profitable but immense workload.  Twice a week, we had a vocabulary quiz over 40 or so words, as well as some grammar questions.  The biggest thing in the class was the second semester project.  We had to pick out a New Testament passage of 8-10 verses; then translate, parse and comment on them.  All of us in the class ended up with over 35 full pages of work and a numb brain.  I have to say, though, that the passage project was the hardest project I ever had in school, but the one I learned the most from—by far.  I chose Philippians 4:1-9; and to this day, reading over that passage triggers my memory of all the truths that that passage taught: stand fast, be of the same mind in the Lord, help each other, rejoice in the Lord, let your moderation be known, be careful for nothing, think on these things, and do those things.

By the end of March, through many circumstances (which can be told in some future post), Andrea and I began dating.  About a week after I had asked permission of her dad, Andrea was at a meeting for anyone interested in missions.  There she was introduced to the idea of teaching for a year or two at Aguascalientes, Mexico.  Things worked out that she would go, and I knew I would not see her for many months.  She was to leave for Mexico in mid-July, and not return until the following June, except for Christmas.  I thought, “If God wants us together, He will make it happen.”  Follow His lead, just as Psalm 23 says.

The annual Preaching Conference at Fairhaven came in late April, and like always, finals came and went quickly.  Our end of the year activity that year was a trip to the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio.  Other than a few buses breaking down on the way back, we all had a blast.  Technically, I think that was mine and Andrea’s first date too.

Andrea and I on the "Top Thrill Dragster."  Nate Spooner is in the background there too.
Andrea and I on the "Top Thrill Dragster." Nate Spooner is in the background there too.

Soon, I found myself at home working for Discount Tire again for the summer.  Even more than the previous summer, I missed being at college.  The big event of that summer was taking a trip back east with my dad for a history/baseball vacation.  We went to an Indians game, a Pirates game, and a Nationals game; toured Gettysburg, Antietam, Bull Run, and Fredericksburg, spent a day in D.C.,  and took the world famous 100 mile Skyline Drive through Shenandoah  National Park.  I have to say that our vacation that summer was the best I can remember.  I also went down to Chesterton to see Andrea off to Mexico in July.  Looking back, it was a very good time with her, and Mr. and Mrs. Leslie.

I was already half way through college.  In just two years, I had very much adapted to and grown to love everything about Fairhaven.  The next year, my junior, was to be the most memorable and spiritually fulfilling for me.