What's Happening?

Life on the road is never boring! Whether it's a birthday party or a fall outing, read these articles to hear about the recent fun the team has been having.

Moving in

movinginwhMoving in. It's a process everyone faces at some point. With three families moving into Salt Lake City at the same time, we were willing to help in any way we could.

Reba and Sarah helped out Jonathan and Sarah Albright by watching their kids as Sarah organized her new home without distraction. Jonathan Jarrett was crowned "Demolition Man" as he gutted two showers in the Counterman's house. John Baker was the electrician for the week at the Countermans, changing most of the outlets and light switches. John Moon, Laura, and Josh did a lot of the painting in the Counterman house. Friday was the big move in day as we all helped unload the Penske truck full of the Counterman's boxes.

The big lift of the week was Liesl Counterman's Baby Grand piano. It took a lot of brains and muscles, but the guys all worked together in getting the piano successfully in the living room without a scratch.

-Laura Kennedy


San Fran

sanfranwhLast semester, the Lord allowed us to have an extended stay in Folsom, CA due to some winter weather up in the mountains. Our plan was to leave on Saturday for our next church, Grace Baptist in Elko, NV, however the snow on I-80 at Donner Pass set us back a couple days. We wished we could have gotten over to minister in Elko, but the singles on the team decided to make the best of our unexpected days off by taking the 2 ½ hour drive down to San Francisco for an afternoon.

We had a blast driving and walking around seeing the sights. It was a clear, cool day. A perfect day to be in the city! We parked by Pier 39 and strolled passed many street performers, restaurants, and gift shops on our way to the end of the pier. The smells of the ocean mixed with the aroma of some good food made it even more fun to be there. At the end of the pier, we could look to our right and see Alcatraz and to our left and see the Golden Gate Bridge. It was neat to see some sights that we’ve always heard about. After Pier 39 we walked up to Ghirardelli Square and Lombard street, the curviest street in the world. For supper, we went to Boudin Bakery and had some clam chowder in bread bowls that was so good!

We were thankful for the unexpected time that we had to get away, see some sights, and have fun as a group of friends. We are so thankful for the friends that God allows us to travel with. I know that these friends will last a lifetime!

-Matt Reid


Joshua Paul Roland

joshwhaThis past Tuesday was a very special day--it was my husband's 28th birthday! I have been privileged and blessed to be married to him for almost two years, but friends with him for many years before that. I may be biased, but it's hard for me to imagine anyone meeting Josh and NOT liking him--he's just one of those kinds of people. Over the years I have learned some interesting things about Josh--so, in honor of his birthday, allow me to share a short article on interesting facts about Joshua Paul Roland.

First of all, many of you may not realize that Josh is Christy's younger brother. There are nine children in the Roland family--Christy is #3 and Josh is #7. Seven of the nine are boys--Christy and Shannon were the only two girls amidst their brothers, and they are second and third in the sibling line--so Mom Roland had her hands full by the time Ben (the ninth) came along. One of the first things I learned about Josh was that he could literally master any skill if he set his mind to it. We met in cello choir at school--he just decided his senior year of college to take cello lessons, and was actually good enough to join our choir! Thankfully he didn't stick to cello too long (although originally, before I was to travel on the team, he was going to play the cello...oh my). I say "thankfully" because I have at least one thing in life that I am better than him at. :) In middle, highschool, and college, he was a great musician--he started out as a piano performance major at college, but because he could play by ear and didn't really enjoy reading music, he decided to switch to just a music minor. He was also apparently quite the euphonium player. Since joining team, he has completely mastered the bodhran (Irish drum) from watching youtube videos. He also picked up the bass for bluegrass and I still don't quite know how he manages all the runs and licks that he does.

Music is just one talent--I could list many other things that I have been shocked to find out over the years that he is very good at (like the time he made me 12 origami roses for our anniversary). As of last year, he has been in all 50 states. He has eaten ants in the Philippines and walked on inches above red hot lava in Guatemala. In highschool, he was in a home economics class, where he decided to pick up crocheting. He crocheted a rug that actually won a prize at the state fair, and which his home economics teacher asked to keep.

These are just a few random and interesting facts about Josh. Hopefully he won't kill me for writing this article--just thought I'd share of few of the things that have made me laugh as I have discovered them over the years. Happy birthday, Josh!

-Caroline Roland


Sequoia National Forest

sequoiathumbLast Saturday, the team had an awesome time going up into Sequoia National Forest not far away from Porterville, CA where we are serving this week. The singles and Galkin family loaded up in our van and made the 2 hour trek up into the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. Our destination was the giant forest where the biggest trees on earth are located. The snow capped peaks that we saw along the way were breathtaking!

Our first stop, we took a short walk on a trail that winded it’s way through many of the unbelievably big Sequoias. There was even a good amount of snow still on the trail. The white stuff was beautiful to see and also pretty fun to throw! David and Lilly really got into throwing snowballs. They pretended like they were Indians and tried to ambush the rest of us as we walked through the woods. This was a much needed time of fun and relaxation for all of us.

Our other big stop of the day was at the General Sherman Sequoia, the largest tree in the world! This 274 foot tree has a circumference of 102 feet at the ground and weighs in at about 2.5 million pounds! We were thankful that we could make the trip up to see the giant tree. It’s wonderful to be able to see God’s awesome creation as we travel across the country. One of the songs that our team sings, Across the Lands, says “all creation holds together by the power of (God’s) voice,” and “the skies declare His glory, and the land and seas rejoice!” God, who is the masterful creator, made so many beautiful things, large and small, yet He cares about us! As Psalm 8 says, who are we that God is mindful of us? I’m so thankful that He loves us and has made a way for us to have a relationship with Him! As big as that tree was, it is nothing compared to God’s love for us!

We’re thankful for nature, for friends, for fun, for relaxation, and how all of it at the end of the day makes us thankful for our great God and the love He has for us!

-Matt Reid



rebsaddictionsThe team members are all human, as you know (although sometimes when I hear Reba blaring Orange Blossom Special on her accordion, I'm sure she's sent down from accordion heaven for us mortals' enjoyment), and since we are human, we all have our soft spots. Some call them addictions, but soft spots sounds better.

As I observe the different team members, I get to learn all about the things which make them tick during the day. Let's take for example my beloved sister-in-law and fellow mother, Christy. Christy probably does more and has more energy that any other mom of five I have ever observed. BUT, I have noticed that when she starts to lag, Diet Coke can usually cure her ailments. In fact, just today I was able to watch her chase down a peddler pushing a cart outside the church gates, just so she could buy a diet coke from him. Most of the team will go to great lengths for a good cup of coffee. Every morning I brew some very strong, dark, good stuff, and my most faithful customers are always the girls on the team, mainly Reba. Reba loves coffee. She is actually the one who forced me to start enjoying coffee, during all those days she would drag me to Starbucks during our first year traveling together.

Jonathan is a running addict, or at least, that's what he leads us to believe. I, personally, cannot understand how ANYONE would be addicted to running--running is usually what I need to do BECAUSE of my addictions. Matt is probably the most obvious in his addictions--he's addicted to his fiancee, Annie (and all the females say "awwww"). If Matt has a free moment, he can usually be found texting or talking to his fiancee, planning his honeymoon, or looking for jobs in their future home, Salt Lake City. Even the children have addictions. Those usually come in the form of electronic games, like Temple Run (which Eliana is scarily good at) or something to do with Star Wars legos.

I was recently reminded by a friend to not treat my time with the Lord as I do breakfast--I know it's good for me, and I do it when I can, but if I skip, it's no big deal. Rather, I can treat it like something I LOVE--like an addiction. Isn't it wonderful we can enjoy our "addictions", but in the end, we as Christians can enjoy God more! It makes this life worth living! (supplemented by lots of lots of caffeine, of course ;)

-Caroline Roland


It's a. . .


With our second baby due in June, I was looking forward to finding out the gender and starting to think of names, clothes, etc. However, due to scheduling and Josh's three week trip to Israel, I found myself sitting all alone at the ultrasound appointment where they would tell me the gender of our baby. I had debated how to tell Josh...it would have been fun to FaceTime him at the appointment and let us find out together...but thanks to Israel's time zone, that was not an option. I thought about finding out, and waiting to tell him in person--over the phone just seemed so boring. But, I knew that I would NEVER be able to keep it a secret. So I had the brilliant idea of letting them write the gender on a piece of paper and sealing it an envelope until Josh got home! Little did I know how hard it would be to not look into that envelope! After all those weeks of waiting, I thought it would be fun to make it even a little more dramatic. So, since Josh was getting home on Saturday night, and our first team party would be the following evening, I decided to have a cake made at WalMart that would surprise us ALL with the gender of the baby.

After explaining the whole process to the cake decoraters and making sure they knew NOT to tell me when I came to pick it up, I handed over the special envelope. The were going to make a baby cake, but the inside layer of frosting would be the color of the baby's gender. Now, both Josh and I were SURE it was a boy. This pregnancy has been easier than Evi's, and with so many boys in the Roland side of the family, it seemed very unlikely we would be having a girl. However, when I asked my facebook friends what they thought, lots said girl! So I had no clue what to think. The night of the party arrived, and we had pink and blue ribbon, and everyone got a bracelet with their "vote". Thirteen people voted boy...3 voted girl (Reba, William, and I). I had boxes of candy for the winners of the vote--I made sure we had lots of them since it seemed the boys would come out victorious. Josh cut into the cake and...well, you'll just have to watch our latest video called "The Revealing" on Facebook to find out what we saw. :) Let's just say Evi was not impressed...

-Caroline Roland


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