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Letter Feb. 14, 2013

Benjamin Gardner
7918 N Holly Drive #12 Kansas City, MO 64118

(816) 377-2183 · benthegardner@gmail.com

02/14/2013 Dear Brethren:

Last February saw the inaugural edition of these missionary updates, which related how we were busy embarking on the initial stages of our deputation and its attendant traveling.

Exactly one year later, we are happy to relate that deputation is complete after 26,837 total miles traveled. Given that the earth is 24,901 miles in circumference at the equator (from pole to pole, it’s 24,859 miles), we have circled the earth once—with enough mileage left over to drive from Kansas City to San Diego for an In-N-Out burger.

Throughout these 26,837 miles of travel, we have seen the Lord’s Providences on a daily basis, and we marvel at the hospitality extended to us by the Lord’s people. Thank you for receiving us, for praying for us, and for supporting us financially!

It was also a great blessing to travel with Stephanie during this past year of deputation. Over the miles, we memorized Scripture together, talked extensively, sang along to the radio, played the alphabet game (forwards and backwards) ad infinitum, and chewed our way through nearly 75 feet of Subway sandwiches. At the end of deputation, I have come to appreciate—and thank the Lord—for her patience, courage and grace so much more than I did before. I’m not sure I could have put up with me for that long, but she did!

Now that we have finished our deputation, we are happy to report that we have purchased our tickets to Brazil. We will be leaving Kansas City for São Paulo on April 9th. We have consequently dedicated the rest of February and March to getting our belongings packed for travel and storage, tying up bureaucratic and procedural loose ends, as well as engaging in the infinitely more difficult task of saying our goodbyes.

Given the rigors of being groped and/or irradiated by the TSA, followed by 15 hours of plane time, and finishing it all up with our personal belongings being unpacked and examined by Brazilian immigration, we aim to have a private, quiet departure from Kansas City. While we appreciate the sentiments that have brought several people to express an interest in seeing us off at the airport, we would much prefer to say our goodbyes before then. If any of you are in Kansas City on or before April 7th and would like to see us, give us a call, and we’ll do our best to get to you. Also, I plan to be at the conference at Covenant Baptist Church, Broken Arrow, OK on March 1st through 3rd. Along with being benefitted by the preaching on the theme of Biblical Evangelism, I look forward to seeing quite a few dear brothers and sisters again before our departure—and I’d love to see you, if you can make it!

In Christ,

Benjamin Gardner