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Year 2017 continued




Stopped at Ohio Northern University in Ada to take photos of some of there green energy stuff. Afterward I interviewed ONU Professor Terry Keizer. He said the universities three large wind turbines and 16 acre solar field make it the "greenest university in the state." 


Stopped in Ottawa, Ohio where I learned this town has only one of eight statues dedicated to volunteer firefighters -- in the country!  Given these men and women risk their lives, and such, as purely volunteers, you'd think there'd be thousands of these statues around the country.


Stopped at Apple Creek in Wayne County, Ohio. Amish country.  Over the years, I have done research in multiple Amish communities throughout the Midwest. I find their approach to life tremendously sane and balanced. Their primary focus is on God, family and community. Through prayerful discernment, the Amish determine what will enhance all of the latter, and what won't. What's more, they take, for instance, environmental stewardship of God's earth extremely seriously. The research I've done around all this is woven into a good number of our position papers, and such.


I did an article on Bluffton's first "columbarium."  Its a burial place for cremation ashes near the entrance of First Lutheran Church. The average burial plot in Ohio last year was $1,213. The average headstone was $1,400.  One spot for ashes and an engraved name, etc., in English Lutheran's columbarium is about $225.  A Habitat for Humanity home in many Third World countries cost, on average, about $2,000. Going the columbarium route, think of how much more help we could bring to the world. See our position on poverty.


I interviewed Bluffton's Assistant Village Administrator Jesse Blackburn about The village's push of late to become as walkable and bicycle friendly as possible. Sidewalk improvements and additions are going on all around town. And the Lions Club is backing getting interconnected bike paths all over town as well. It's actually pretty impressive and very much in line with our transportation position. (The more walking and bicycling friendly a town is, well, the more people will walk and bicycle.). 


Our Jonathan, 14, (and at the head of the table) gave a fundraising talk to my Wednesday night Bible Study group at the local McDonald's. He raised $300 this evening for some lights for an outdoor basketball court at a "Youth for Christ" outreach in Lima, Ohio, called Rally Point.


When I wasn't working or touring on the weekends, I was at a good deal of our Jonathan's Bluffton High School soccer games.  While only a freshman, he got in a good deal of playing time with the varsity. And the varsity won the District Championship this year (in a Sudden death Shootout no less)!  It was all pretty exciting.


I did an article on First Mennonite Church's Casket Ministry in Bluffton. "Carpenter hobbyists" make quite nice caskets. And they ask a donation of $350. If you don't have it, it's: whatever you can afford. A current on the market casket these days averages $4,000. Think what that savings could do to help the poor!


I did an article on the local Silver Sneakers group at the Bluffton Family Recreation Center. These are active seniors who regularly exercise here and get together once a month for a breakfast. This morning two Bluffton University students, who were majoring in nutrition, put on a seminar for the group on healthy eating. Our healthcare position paper has a significant emphasis on prevention, at any age.


I went to Alaska, China and Mexico without leaving Bluffton. During Ebenezer Church's Missions Week, I attended on an evening when three speakers from these various places talked about their work. The man in the photo coordinates missions in Alaska and is a bush pilot, of sorts, covering a territory in Alaska that is the size of Ohio. He said in the last 30 years, he's crashed three times. What's more, he said he's not afraid to keep going up in service to the Lord, "...but, admittedly, other people are a bit afraid to go up with me," he smiled.


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