Dr. Ray PritchardDr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, an Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 39 years, have three sons - Josh, Mark and Nick, two daughters-in-law- Leah and Vanessa, and four grandchildren - Knox, Eli, Penny and Violet. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
- 2007 Jul 23
This is Monday of wedding week. By this Saturday our entire family will be in Atwater, California (in central California, in the San Joaquin Valley, between Modesto and Fresno, more or less due east and over the mountains from San Jose) for the wedding of our son Mark and Vanessa Friesen. Already the westward migration has begun. This afternoon Nick flew from Birmingham to Chicago. He will be in Oak Park until Friday night for the wedding of John Mark Edwards and Rachel Glancy, after which he will take a 10:20 PM flight from Chicago to San Francisco, arriving at 12:30 AM and getting to the hotel around 3:30 AM.
At the moment Josh and Leah are in Vermont visiting Leah’s parents, George and Blanche Thayer. On Thursday they will fly to Chicago where we will meet them at Midway Airport. We will be leaving Tupelo at 3:15 AM to drive to Birmingham to make our 6:40 AM flight to Chicago. From there the four of us fly to San Jose. Alan is flying out on Thursday, I think. Andy and Betty and their girls are coming also. Plus Mark and Ruth Wolery, Dale and Sarah Wolery, and Brian and Lori Albright. And there are other folks flying in from various places.
The San Joaquin Valley is often called America’s breadbasket because so much of our fruit and vegetables are grown there. We’re having the wedding in the backyard of Vanessa’s home, in a gazebo built amidst some almond trees. Over the years I’ve done a few outdoor weddings, almost all of them memorable. Each has its own flavor. The Atwater weather forecast for Saturday-Tuesday says, “Highs 97-107.” I think that means we’ll move the ceremony right along.
We talked with Mark and Vanessa today and things seem to be going well. Vanessa’s family has been doing lots of renovation in preparation for the wedding, and Mark has been helping out. Yesterday he helped put on a tile roof. And he’s been mixing concrete, building a fence, and doing lots of other construction work. Vanessa was very proud of him, and I am too, especially since he clearly didn’t inherit those skills from me.
Today Marlene has been making the favors to give to those attending the rehearsal dinner on Friday night. She is very creative and gifted at that sort of thing, and we both liked the finished result.
I have no great conclusions to draw from all of this except to say
that things are coming together as we move through the final few days
before the wedding. Those who have been through this before know that
it’s hard to think about anything else. Mostly we’re trying to make
sure we have everything we need when we leave on Thursday morning.