Wednesday, November 30, 2016

An Evening of Fun With Brian Free and Assurance

Hi, it is Odie and I hope you are having a great Wednesday. I am still on the hunt for my deer. We got a lot closer yesterday but no victory yet. I am having a fabulous time. 

For today's post I want to back up to Friday November 18th. My cousin Lisa Isaacs and I enjoyed a fabulous evening of music in Bellbrook, Ohio. It was great spending a fun night with Lisa. 

Hamilton Road Quartet started the wonderful night of music. They are a quartet based out of Columbus, Ohio. I had never heard them sing before but they have a great sound. 

Then it was time for the highlight of the night, Brian Free and Assurance. I was super excited to see one my favorite groups in concert again. 

Brian Free and Assurance is a top group in southern gospel music. I have enjoyed their music for many years. Their songs have great messages and their singing is fantastic. 

Brian Free

Bill Shivers

Mike Rogers 

Brian Free and Assurance 

Southern gospel legend, Jim Hill attended the concert. It was great to see the man I have heard and read many things about. Jim Hill sang with with the J.D. Sumner and The Stamps, The Statesmen and other groups. He also has written some well known Songs. 


It was a fantastic concert and I look forward to seeing Brin Free and Assurance in February. Before ending the night a couple members of Hamilton Road Quartet joined Brian Free and Assurance on "As Long As I Got King Jesus." It was a great cap to the concert. 

Thanks to Hamilton Road Quartet and Brian Free and Assurance for a wonderful night of  gospel music. Thank you to Strictly Gospel Ministries for bringing southern gospel music to the community. 

Thank you for stopping by today. 


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Hunt Is On

Hello from the woods, this is Odie checking in from Ohio. I am having a great time here at home. Yesterday was opening day of gun season for deer. I spent the majority of the day in the woods. I am still only a deer hunter but we hoping that changes today. 

Yesterday the weather was working against us. In the evening we saw a couple does but I could not get a shot. I was ready an waiting. It was exciting to see them and get in position. 

My Papaw Danny and Uncle Danny Morgan have worked had to make it possible for me to hunt. I am so thankful for their support and help!

I need to close so I can go back to the woods. I am enjoying the hunt and time spent with family. Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Wild and Woolly Weekend Woundup and Weview

It has been a wild and woolly ride this weekend but all is well that ends well I supposed. Our nerves sure got a workout along the way!

I knew it was going to be a complicated weekend when the Lufthansa pilots announced on Thursday that they were continuing their strike through Saturday. However, I checked Friday morning and the Saturday night flight was still scheduled.

When we arrived at the hotel from the services on Friday afternoon, we had an email awaiting, telling us the flight Saturday night had been canceled. It was completely expected but it was still terribly disappointing.

It is not easy at all to reschedule airline tickets in Nigeria. The planes fly in and out of Lagos at near maximum capacity every day. With three nights of flights canceled, I knew the next few days were going to be a madhouse.

The only way to reschedule usually, is to go to the airport early in the morning and just wait in line. Wait in line some more and wait in line some more. Talk to everyone you can talk to, then when they say no, talk to them again.

That is why it was amazing Friday night when I received the email telling us that they had rescheduled us on the Saturday night Air France flight. It was awesome but I was afraid it was too good to be true.

All that we could do was go on with our Saturday morning service as planned and then go to the airport. That is exactly what we did.

God blessed in the last service of the Ministers Conference in a Mighty Way, Saturday morning. I loved every moment of it. We were all praising God for the Word we heard, the miracles we saw and the encouragement we felt. 

Once it was over, we needed to get moving as soon as possible. I changed into my traveling clothes, shook glad hands with the brethren and then headed south. 

The men below are some of Bro. Shobanke's Pastors in Abeokuta. He has eight plus himself. 

We arrived on Saturday at the Lagos airport before 4:00 PM. We left Abeokuta after 2:00 so we made record time to the airport.

We were among the first 50 or so people in the Air France line. All the workers were there, and a huge line of people waiting, but for some reason they waited another 90 minutes or so to open the line.

After they opened, It took us about an hour to wait in line to weigh our bags, wait in line again to have our passports checked and our bags completely searched and finally wait in line a third time to approach the ticket counter. 

On approaching the ticket counter my fears were confirmed. Air France had never heard of us or at least that is what they told us.

The ticket agent told me to go to the Lufthansa ticket counter or to visit the Lufthansa ticket office. I explained to her that we had already been hours in her line and we did not want to start that process over.

By now there were several hundred people in the line. I told the ticket agent I would leave my luggage right there with my wife and I would go to the ticket office.

I tried the ticket counter and they could not help and so I went in the back to the ticket office. One of the supervisors explained what was happening. 
He said Air France knew I was booked with them but they would not issue a ticket to any of the Lufthansa customers until they were sure all the Air France customers had seats.

We had ticket numbers, we had confirmation numbers and we had a confirmation email but they would not acknowledge us until all their customers were seated.

He had been round and round with their office people but he went up to the Air France office one more time to go round and round again for me.
I really appreciate this man helping me. They had hundreds of people trying to leave and I know they were able to help very few. 

He came back and told me to go and try again. I did and after much hand wringing  and praying and discussing, they were finally to able to issue boarding passes.

After nearly 4 hours of standing in line, we finally had our boarding passes. Bro. Shobanke and his men stayed at the airport until this point. I tried to get him to go home but he would not. 

I appreciate him taking such good care of us. When KJ was standing at the counter alone, his men stood behind the rope line about 50 feet away watching her. They were a great blessing to us. 

It took another hour to go through customs and security but we finally made it to the gate. We had a long wait there as well but it was fine. I would rather wait at the gate than to be running to the gate at the last second as som had to do. 

Some of those folks running toward the gate at 11:30 probably arrived at the airport well before 8:00!

The overnight flight was great. We were so hyped up that we did not even try to sleep. There was no need.  

We arrived in Paris, made a sprint across the airport and through security again. Then the adventure began again. 

We discovered at the gate, we were flying "standby" on our next flight. Wow! Thankfully they had two seats open. 

This happy picture was taken moments before we found out we were not guaranteed seats on the next flight. 

At our final destination our hotel shuttle did not show. When were finally able to communicate with them, they had no record of our hotel reservation even thought KJ had sent emails back and forth several times, including Friday

What in the world?

We forwarded the confirmation to them and we finally checked in almost 29 hours after we started Saturday morning. What a fun ride! 

Here we are 31 hours into our day and still going strong!

Hopefully the next few days of rest will go  a little easier than the last few days. Whew! 

No complaints though. It is All in a day's work I guess. It could be much, much worse. I could be Pastoring a church!

Kelly Jo's reward for stringing two days together and handling it like a pro!

Thank you for reading. 


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Praise God!

To make a very long and complicated story a lot shorter and a lot less dramatic, Kelly and I are now in Paris waiting for our connecting flight. It is 6:55 AM. 

There will be time for details later. Thank you very much for praying for us. We will update you more when we can.



Saturday, November 26, 2016

Friday In Abeokuta

The only way to describe the two services at the Ministers Conference Friday is to say, "You should have been there to see it for yourself!"

It was awesome to see God working in lives and to feel Him working in our lives as well. It really was amazing.

I am thankful Bro. Shobanke invited us to be here to be s part of these meetings. It has been a great blessing to us. 

Today will be the final service and then we plan to leave for the airport. We are ready to go but it is sad to leave our friends behind. 

This is Dorcus. 

I have told you about her before. She is the handicapped lady that dragged herself to the altar in the Gospel Crusade in 2009. She has become a special part of our lives and we always look forward to seeing her. 

She gave us a special treat yesterday. She presented each of us with a set of clothes. She even made a set to send to Odie. I will be wearing mine to preach today. God bless her. 

This is Pastor David from Lagos. It is always a treat to see him. 

Evangelist Samuel came yesterday. I have been looking for him. 

Sis. Rachel is the seamstress that made Kelly Jo's new clothes this year. 

Sis. Mary Adelani is our beautiful friend. 

After another great meal with Bro. Shobanke and prepared by Sis. Rebecca, we were back at the hotel befor 5:00. 

We planned to spend the whole evening getting everything packed to leave this afternoon. That is when the drama began. 

If you read the updates to yesterday's post, you already know the story. Our flights were canceled due to a pilot strike at Lufthansa Airlines. We could not find another way to get out of Lagos before midnight Sunday night. And even that looked very doubtful. 

After a few hours of back-and-forth, prayer and confusion Lufthansa finally booked us on an Air France flight leaving tonight about five minutes to midnight. We will know for sure when we sit down in those seats in the big engines take us down the runway.

First we will enjoy the final service and then say goodbye to our friends until next time. Afterward Bro. Shobanke will take us to the airport and we will begin the next leg of our journey. I hope you have enjoyed the pictures. We will have a few more later.

Thank you for reading.