Philip called it the "Oddity"
(It was sort of embarrassing to drive around in, but was Really easy to find in parking lots!)
We drove all the way in one day and has a very pleasant trip. We listened to some great audio books and counted over 80 hawks on the way!
We checked into our hotel that night, had a good sleep and a delicious breakfast and then made the short (barely a mile) drive to the conference location to drop Philip and Keenan off to set up the Via Christi booth.
GMHC is a huge conference where thousands of people who are interested in healthcare missions gather to hear fantastic speakers, pray for direction and see what God is doing around the world! There were over a hundred organizations represented and it was an incredible atmosphere to be in to see and hear about all the ways God is working and we can be involved! It was also somewhat of a "reunion" of people we know who have graduated and moved away, so that was super fun as well.
The facility that has hosted the conference for the past 22 years at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville. It. Is. Something. As of 2013 it was the SEVENTH largest church in the US!
Looking one way in the lobby (that is a Cafe and coffee shop under there, with a book store behind it
Looking the opposite way - doesn't it look like an Airport??
The sanctuary (you can't really see it, but there are two balconies above the main floor also
After they set up the booth, we headed back to the hotel for lunch and a swim. We went back to the church to pick up our registration packets and decided to tour the Samaritan's Purse Field Hospital before it got super busy. What a cool thing that was!!
In the triage area
In the ICU
In the OR
What it looks like from the outside
It's Unbelievable how much equipment they have and the capabilities they have in such a small facility. I couldn't get over how they are able to maintain such a Clean environment inside what is essentially a giant Tent!
The kids inside a huge granite glove
We were able to get tickets for the tour starting in 15 minutes and it was super interesting! I wasn't allowed to take any photos in the factory (huge bummer!) but it was still awesome! We learned that their factory uses trees (mainly maple and ash) that are at least 80 years old to make their bats. Bats used to be hand turned on a lathe, but now they use machines that can turn a billet (the long, wooden cylinder cut out of the middle of a tree) into a bat in just 30 seconds! The machine is programmed with hundreds of settings for the various preferences of major league players. Their factory produces over 50 tonnes of sawdust a month!
At the end of the tour, everyone got a mini bat!
Funny posers in the museum:
This was Caleb's idea and the other two followed suit!
They also had a cool LEGO display room with multiple baseball stadiums and players, etc!
Wrigley Field, Chicago
Miller Park, Milwaukee, WI
(the roof of the model actually retracts)
I loved the little LEGO baby! =)
Inside view of that stadium
This piece was my favorite. Not only is it so detailed it looks like a photo...
...but it has the raised lyrics of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in it as well!!!
An impressive portrait of Derek Jeter
Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, OH
Outside the front doors is the world's largest bat! It is 120 feet tall and weighs 68,000 pounds!
I had to back away and practically lie on the ground to get it all in the photo!
The "Bat Vault"
This contains bats designed by all the greatest baseball players
Over the weekend, Philip and Keenan were able to attend All ten sessions (4 plenaries and 6 breakouts). I knew ahead of time that a lot of them wouldn't pertain to me, as they were aimed at health care professionals, but was able to sit in on a few Great sessions with Caleb and Moriah (I didn't expect them to sit through more than two a day). I made it to all the keynote speakers but one, as well as three other sessions: One called "Effective Cross Cultural Communications" was a bit of a let down, but I really enjoyed an intensive three hour session on ministering to Muslims and another hour long one titled about the importance of reading your Bible which was so good that I didn't even mind having to sit on the floor for this session.
In between sessions we hung out at the hotel....sometimes in the pool:
Isn't that hilarious?? It was Not a small pool!
Drawing pictures to go in with a thank you letter to Great Grandma Eberts
Doing some school work
They also watched a little TV. I wasn't impressed with most of the kid's programming, so they found themselves quite happy watching cooking shows! =)
A well-timed nap during my first session
Here is the Via Christi crew who took turns (minus Caleb, Moriah and I) manning the booth over the weekend! What a great team!
(That's baby Joia and her parents at the back left!)
On the way back home, we decided to stop at Mammoth Cave National Park. I was excited for the rest of the family to see it, since I had been there with friends over 20 years ago!
We were just in time to get (FREE) tickets for the last available tour of the day. The tickets were free to everyone because it was Veteran's Day. What a nice surprise for our own veteran! =)
While we waited, the kids filled out junior ranger packets and took silly pictures:
Moriah, ready to go spelunking
Caleb apparently has four arms ;)
Doing their Junior Ranger pledge
The tour we did was not the same one I had done years ago, and not as cool, as it didn't have any stalactites or stalagmites. Without being allowed to use flash, pictures didn't turn out very well either.
The black spot in the middle of this picture is a bat
Coming out of the cave
Another National Park for their list!
When we left, we took this weird, one way back road... it was an adventure =)
Shortly after, we stopped at the spot where the Mississippi and Ohio rivers converge. It was pretty cool! It was also pretty COOL... so I took pictures and scurried back to the van wile the rest of them lingered and looked for a geocache...
Our three goofballs with the rivers joining in the background
(Ohio on the left Mississippi on the right)
Looking back up the Mississippi
Back up the Ohio River
Quick family shot on a huge fallen tree
I love this one of Caleb watching a Massive barge come down the Mississippi
By Sunday evening we were back home with full hearts and lots to think about as we seek the Lord's direction with what he impressed on our hearts over the weekend.