4.20.2018

Wrap-up From the Winter Tour!

Our three month winter tour began on January 15 and ended on April 12. The last 3 1/2 weeks of our circuitous journey took us through 11 states--Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, and finally sweet Iowa. This post tells the story of the last leg of our trip. 
After an eventful border crossing, we traveled through Texas and New Mexico into Arizona.
While in Arizona, we sang in Tuscon, Phoenix, and Flagstaff. 
Some friends from Bible Bee took us on a scenic hike.
On our way from Arizona to California, we drove through Grand Canyon National Park. As we drove into the Canyon before sunrise, we watched golden rays of light steal up through the darkness, bathing the Canyon in splendor. Though we had seen pictures, we were awe-struck by the massiveness and spectacular grandeur of the Grand Canyon, a majesty impossible to fully comprehend until witnessed firsthand.  
We hiked part ways into the Grand Canyon. 
Joshua and Cassidy viewed the Grand Canyon on Joshua's 21st birthday. 
Inside the Kolb Studio, we learned the fascinating story of the daring Kolb brothers, 
who came in the early 1900s to photograph the Grand Canyon.
After Arizona, we headed to California for 2 1/2 weeks.
In the midst of a busy singing schedule, we visited Yosemite for a day. 
While we did go on quite a few hikes, we spent most of our time singing. Unfortunately, most of us were too focused during concerts to take pictures. Hence, the scarcity of concert photos in this post. 
Almost any place works for Denver to teach history to his voracious students.
We reconnected with these friends we hadn't seen for about nine years.

Sometimes it almost seems that every day is laundry day. Not quite.:)
Another famous hike. We have to find some place to exercise!

Practicing music in front of Walmart.
With friends in Oregon after a concert.
We were blessed by the incredible hospitably of many friends along the way.
Allison and Reebs posing before our last concert in Oregon.
We sang hymns and praised the Lord for 1 1/2 hours with these friends.
Smiles.:)
Work, ice cream, coffee, and heart to heart conversation constitute an excellent recipe!
After our last concert in Colorado, we drove straight home to Iowa!
Josh and Cass have enjoyed diving back into home life.
The dairy barn provides many opportunities for exercise, reflection, and industry. 
After using scattered laundromats all across the US, doing laundry in one place is a blessing!
The cooks of the family have been enjoying an immobile, spacious kitchen. 
We'll be hitting the road again on June 9. Stay tuned to see our full summer tour coming next week!

As we reflect on the tour, we're thankful for God's goodness along every step of the way. We're also thankful for the many people who encouraged and blessed us in countless ways. We're thankful for God's grace, a rich grace that allows us to fully complete the duty that He calls each one of us to. 

We're also reminded how much we need revival. "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14). We must humble ourselves, pray, seek God's face, and repent. True revival begins within the church, as individual Christians humbly surrender all to the Lordship of Christ and strive glorify Him in every thought, word, and deed. 

If we are to experience another Great Awakening, it must begin in the church. "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep..." (Romans 13:11).

May we all pray that God would revive our hearts. May each one of us daily become more grateful to Him for who He is and what He has done. May we live our lives by His Word alone. Only eternity will tell the results of our faithfulness. 

"Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men." --Psalm 31:19

5 comments:

  1. So nice!!! I am sad we couldn't make it to a concert....

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  2. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us! I know that I enjoy it. ;)

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  3. Thanks for the update. How are two pregnant ladies doing? Would love to hear an update on them.
    Blessings

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  4. Hi! I noticed that in one photo, the younger Bontragers were playing Skip-Bo. Our family also enjoys that game!! being in Australia, it's interesting to see your amazing national parks 😍😍😍. Wish we could come visit you guys!!
    Love, Anna xxx

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  5. Will Carson & Carolina be sharing their love story on the blog sometime soon? I'd love to hear it!

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