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Before heading down to the Southern Hemisphere we stopped in Berlin, Ohio where the Global Priority Solutions offices are.  I was privileged to sit in on the training of 15 people to certify them as GPS specialists. The team consists of Jerry Anderson, Bernie Torrence, Dawn Yoder (Jerry’s daughter) and Mike. It was an interesting group to train of very educated people from New Zealand, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and the U.S. It was exciting to see people get the vision for their company, church, city or country. On the last night after dinner we moved to Jerry’s pool house where Dawn with her guitar led in a song, we had communion together and a few people asked for prayer. As things were closing up I sensed the couple from Guatemala wanted prayer but hadn’t said anything. I spoke up and asked them, they both nodded and the result was Mike leading them in prayer in Spanish and they had the experience of their spirit being born again (a spiritual birthday!) and they both began a new journey of a personal relationship with God. The man from S. Africa said he saw them with twins on a mountain trail and it turned out they have not been able to conceive so prayer was offered for that as well. This does not always happen during a training, but I was blessed to be part of this one and also have a part in introducing this couple to a new life with Jesus.

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Berlin is a unique area in all of the U.S. where the Amish live and work together with the Mennonites and others. It is a self-governed town, there is no mayor or police and the merchants leave their wares out all night. As Mike says, it’s the Disneyland of values and principles. There is a spirit of excellence there, from quilts to furniture to baked goods and manicured lawns, everything is cared for and maintained and where a handshake is still enough for a deal. We are so blessed to be apart of this community from afar and even though I don’t get here as often as I’d like, we feel at home every time we visit and bask in the peace and beauty of the area.

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This is the birthplace of GPS. The principles being written from the book of Proverbs by John Schrock who grew up Amish and was also a Bishop. After seeing an angel in his barn as a young man, he knew the supernatural was real. When he wouldn’t stop preaching about it he was asked to leave the Amish and was shunned for many years. Next he joined the Mennonites who knowing his reputation as a wise man of integrity, gladly invited him to pastor one of their churches. But after preaching the same way with them, he was again asked to leave. So he started his own church with a few followers and this church today is known as Berlin Christian Fellowship.

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John Schrock’s widow Marie & daughter  Jo Ann

With the training finished it was time to get going to Paraguay. On the way to the airport we stopped in Akron where Bernie, Dawn and Mike did a training with the head of the prisons for eastern Ohio and several of the wardens and heads of probation representing thousands of inmates. This is the first time I’ve been in this type of training and was so impressed. Bernie is a warm teddy bear, he makes people feel instantly at ease and at home, he comes across friendly, down to earth, and humble. Dawn brings the CEO expertise, she is full of knowledge, experience, and a positive attitude. Mike commands the room, he is warm and friendly but totally in control. He brings authority and at the same time includes everyone, making them feel important. I am amazed how well he does this! He sees different people types and acknowledges them and draws them in. It’s a gift! 

From here we made our way to the airport to start our long journey to South America and summer – yea! Paraguay here we come. Our flight from Cleveland touched down in Newark. What a city New York is! A carpet of lights all the way to the horizon and as far as the eye can see in all directions. The statue of Liberty standing out against the water and all the high-rises of Manhattan with their lights twinkling. Spectacular. Next stop was Brazil  before landing in Paraguay. Leaving at 4:30 am on Friday to get to Cleveland, do the training, head for the airport and arriving in Asunción at 2:00pm on Saturday, it was a long trip!

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