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.

Meet Cosette

cosetterolandYou may or may not have had a chance to meet the newest member of the Galkin team. She joined our team (and family) on June 5th. She has short black hair, and came to us weighing 8 lbs, 9 oz, and 22 inches long. Over the past 3.5 months she has turned into a smiley bundle of fun that the whole team loves. Her easy-going personality has made her a special blessing (especially to me! :) and her adoration of her 1.5 year old big sister leads her to ignore things like toys in her bed and her head being sat on.

Her name is special too! You may or may not be familiar with the story from which it comes. Cosette is the heroine of the Victor Hugo's novel Les Miserables. The character is an illegitimate child who is ransomed by a man who adopts her and takes her as his daughter. It's a beautiful picture of the redemption we receive as children of God, but we were mostly interested in the meaning of her name. The name is taken from the French word for "Victorious People", which aptly describes the story of the French Revolution in the book. But, it also described a promise that our family needed to remember during a difficult year of life. Cosette was born to us after struggles with faith, with the promises of God, and with His will for our lives. We have been reminded through Hebrews 12 and a hymn we sing on the road, By Faith, that we are victorious people through our faith in Jesus Christ and His work for us. So we always hope that when we look at little Cosette we will remember the promises of God and live a life of faith.

-Caroline Roland


The Fair

teamfairHave you ever seen Charlotte’s Web? Remember when Templeton the Rat sings that song about the fair and says, “The fair is a wonderful smorgasbord?” Well, Templeton was right.

At the Utah State Fair in Salt Lake City, they had just about everything to eat, ride, see, and buy. Everything from funnel cakes to spinning dragons to high divers to magnetic pockets. Now, sadly, this is written only from a single team member’s perspective. I’m not quite sure what all the families did, except I do know that we all ate as much ice cream as our stomachs would allow in the $3 all-you-can-eat-ice-cream tent. And John Moon may or may not have had six scoops. . .

I was brought back to my childhood fair days in Fayetteville, North Carolina as some of us decided to ride the Starship 4000. This ride is basically a giant saucer shaped capsule that spins so fast that your body gets stuck to the inside edges. I couldn’t manage to flip my body upside down like a few of the small children inside the ride, I just screamed and laughed as I experienced the 4Gs of centrifugal force with Jonathan Jarrett, Sarah Roe, and John Moon

The last half hour of our time at the fair was spent with the farm animals, and it was surprisingly fun! We saw chickens with mop-head hair, friendly goats, a sheep show (like a dog show but with sheep), and a cow about the size of our team van!

All in all, the fair was a spectacular time, especially due to the amazing fellowship of friends.

-Laura Kennedy


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


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