The last day of the clinic didn’t start until 9, so we packed our things,
had a nice breakfast at the hotel, and checked out before heading over to the ranch. The morning was so cold that Dana had gotten a little snow at her camp overnight! It was a very casual time at the ranch that included fellowship and worship. Troy and Kim gave us some final words of encouragement and a commissioning for our own ministries.
Dana’s flight was leaving that afternoon, so she left a little before us to drive to Portland. It was bittersweet saying goodbye, but we knew that her travel nurse assignment was almost over and she would be back in VA very soon.
Even though the weather outside had deteriorated to a mix of snow and freezing rain, one of the clinic participants had accepted Jesus into her heart during the clinic and wanted to be baptized. Troy and Kim were very excited to oblige and baptized her in a water trough with snow falling. It was just beautiful! Everyone was crying tears of joy for her powerful public acknowledgment of her acceptance of Jesus. It seemed that even the heavens were rejoicing with snow!
Before leaving, Chris and I got to chat with Troy for just a moment about where our ministry is and our mission statement. It was very nice to get some words of wisdom and guidance from someone who has been in our shoes. After lingering a little while longer, we got some local advice on where to go for lunch and said our goodbyes to Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch.
We drove about twenty minutes up the road to the town of Sisters. It’s a quaint resort town with lots of food and shopping. We went to The Gallery for lunch, it was delicious, and we took a selfie with the old, cigar store Indian. We even saw a couple, that we had spent some time chatting with at the clinic, having lunch there as well. After lunch, we walked across the street to a store called Open Range that had caught our eye on the way in. The store had all kinds of metal art and western décor. Things for the kitchen like wall hooks, paper towel holders, small shelves, things for the yard, beautiful furniture (not made by the artist, but gorgeous just the same), and odds and ends, like candle holders and key chains. The things that really drew our attention were the large metal cut-out animals, the horses in particular. I really tried to figure out how to get a huge one home on the plane, but it just wouldn’t work, so we settled for a small one and a key chain. When we got home, we placed it in the flower bed outside of the door to our home.
After our pleasant excursion to Sisters, it was time to head back across the state to Portland before our flight in the morning. The drive was beautiful and we took our time. We pulled over a couple of places to take pictures, we were silly, we got to talk freely (which isn’t always possible with our busy family), and we truly just enjoyed spending time together, in awe of God’s’ creation. We arrived in Portland around 6 and got settled into our hotel room. Since we had driven all afternoon, instead of going out to eat, we ordered a pizza to be delivered to our room and we watched a movie. Even though the trip was about the clinic, I think this day was my favorite because Chris and I just got to be us.
The next morning, our flight was scheduled to leave at 7:50 AM, so we checked out, returned the car, and headed for home. Thankfully, we had arranged the seating beforehand for this flight so I didn’t have to worry about being separated and it was a non-stop flight. We got into Dulles around 3:45 where our amazing friend, once again, operated as our taxi service and took us home.
We got home sometime a little before supper and arrived to a beautiful welcome home poster on our door! Not only that, but the kids had each made a sign for me for Mother’s Day.
The time zone change got us pretty good once we were home. In Oregon, we were tired early and awake early. Now that we were back in Virginia, our bodies had finally adjusted to Pacific Time and wanted to stay up all night and sleep all day!
The trip was well worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I can’t wait for God to plant us so that we can start sharing His love and healing with others through horses! In the meantime, we wait and learn from Him :-)