Trip to Florida – St. Petersburg

We are in Florida for two weeks missions contacts. We came by overnight auto train from Lorton, VA, (near Washington, D.C.) to Sanford, FL (near Orlando.)

The first part of our stay was in the St. Petersburg area.

We stayed at a condo on the Gulf Coast in the town of Madeira Beach. Here is the view from our balcony and a view of the condo from the beach.

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Nearly every day we walked or jogged on the beach. I enjoyed seeing the shorebirds – Great blue heron, Willets, Brown pelicans and the ones shown below.

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Black skimmer in foreground

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Royal terns

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Sanderling

On Sunday, January 27, we went to Community Bible Church in Sarasota, and I gave a brief report on Brethren in Christ (BIC) World Missions and interviewed the woman who is the world missions advocate in their church.

At Camp Freedom (see my blogs last year) we set up our display and literature table, and on Missions Day I spoke twice about the work of BIC World Missions.

The other speaker on Missions Day was Eric Himelick, founder and director of Victory Inner-City Ministries in Indianapolis, IN. He has a solid grasp of the nature of inner city work and speaks with effectiveness and passion about the work and the need for Christians to love their neighbors – love them in fact, not just in words or good intentions.

The web site for Victory Inner-City Ministries is: http://www.VICM.org.

Twice we had breakfast at Sweet Sage Cafe in North Redington Beach. The place has a huge number of signs and sayings. Here are a few:

It is never too late to have a happy childhood. 

Unattended children will be given and espresso and a free puppy.

I’m so miserable without you it’s almost like you are here.

Each day I worked on missions reports and other duties, and some evenings we met with friends. One evening we ate dinner with Walt and Ann Schlemmer and Henry and Marsha Barley and another friend of theirs, all from Lancaster , PA.  Another evening we had dinner in the home of Lou and Ann Marie Astuto, who just last month retired from assigned pastoral ministry and moved here to St. Petersburg.

On February 2 we drove to Shell Point, near Fort Myers, to have lunch with our friends Harold and Caroline Schmul, and then went on to Miami. For more about Miami see my next blog.

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