Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.

(Matthew 21:33) NKJV

On arriving in Champaign, Illinois, in August 1988 our group of three from the University of Wales, Bangor, were taken to an apartment where three Sorority girls had offered to let us crash until the dorms opened. They were Tri Deltas, ΔΔΔ, although we had no idea what that meant at the time.

The apartment building was behind the Wendy’s Burger place on Green Street. Our first full day ended with our first social event, a meet and greet organized by the Director of the Study Abroad Office. We met her daughter there. She was bubbly, vivacious, beautiful and blonde. Out of our league.

We spent a few days hanging around with the other exchange students who were part of our incoming group, but we really wanted meet Americans. We drifted away from the Aussies, Pommies and Germans and found our way to the coffee shops and bars.

One evening shortly after the start of classes we went to Green Street to get something to eat. It wasn’t late but as we made our way south afterwards, towards our dorm, we changed our mind and went back to Green Street. We really wanted to find someone to talk to. We walked into Murphy’s pub and who do we see but the Director of the Study Abroad Office’s daughter. She was with a friend. She saw us and invited us to sit with them in their booth, beside her. Another fellow joined us and kept us lively entertained with sleight-of-hand coin tricks with UK 50 pence pieces which, he said, were the perfect size and weight.

Our female companion sat so close that our legs were in firm contact for the whole performance. We didn’t really understand it, but we appreciated her affection. We began to see quite a bit of each other, going on dates which weren’t really dates because she was seeing someone, but it was nice to have company when we went out to eat.

We became part of a little social group and we would go to places like Les’s Lounge and the Home Stretch. One night our friend decided to take us to see the movie Pumpkinhead.

Pumpkinhead 1988

After a tragic accident, a man conjures up a towering, vengeful demon called Pumpkinhead to destroy a group of unsuspecting teenagers.

It wasn’t that great a movie. But it’s a fond memory. Our experience in Champaign-Urbana was overwhelmingly positive and it kindled in us the desire to return to the USA more permanently once our undergraduate studies were completed. 32 years later, it’s quite wonderful to see what we’ve accomplished compared to the tragic condition that the world is in.

Happy Anniversary! – Navigation

1Happy Anniversary!1 Timothy 1:15
1988: The Year Donald Lost His MindLuke 15:13
PumpkinheadMatthew 21:33
2Matthew 2000Isaiah 58:1
3Weaving the Cultural Fabric of Our TimeMatthew 28:19-20
4Matty’s Paradigm LLCHebrews 12:1
Next StepsNehemiah 1:3
SalvationRomans 10:9-10
– Navigate your way around our Anniversary.

August 15th – Happy Anniversary

We’re celebrating our anniversary today: in 1988 we arrived in the USA. We were 19, lost, and filled with zeal for the theory of evolution which we thought was the antidote to God.

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