Where are they now? John and Erica Rinehimer

Q: You are no longer in Uganda and you have had a new addition since we last saw you out at camp. Tell us a little bit about Louisville, what it’s been like to be parents and how the youngest Rinehimer is getting along.

A: Louisville is great! It may be a surprise to most Jersey people but this part of KY is actually not that much different than home for me. NO beach & it is hard to find a really good sub shop, but it is great. It has been a nice place for us to come back to since returning from Uganda. It is actually very difficult coming back to the States. People treat you very differently so it was nice to have Erica’s family here to help us get settled again. Jesus’ timing on our return was perfect too. Erica was 5 months pregnant with Jackson when we returned. We were able to travel & thank our supporters, have time to be together as a family & learn how to be parents all before starting my job at Southeast Christian Church. Jackson turned one in March and is a great baby…very easy going and is already working on his v-ball & b-ball game:) Being parents has been better than we could have ever dreamed of, so much fun & so many lessons to learn about how God loves us as little children.

Q: John. I understand you’re working at Southeast Christian. What’s the job like and how is it different being in ministry in Louisville, Ky., compared to serving in Uganda?

A: I am the Young Couples Pastor, which means I work with couples in their 20s & 30s who are newly married & learning how to grow in their walk with Jesus & with each other. I disciple about 20 small groups & their leaders, and teach on Sundays & sometimes Wednesday night too, plus lead a small group & still get to lead some worship about once every 6 weeks or so. It is a great place to work & I never thought I would work at a mega church. So yes it is pretty funny going from preaching in a hut in Uganda to working at a “mega hut.” Southeast really does aline with a lot of our teaching & heart to see people walk daily with Jesus & live a holy life. Ministry anywhere takes time to develop relationships, and this is true in Uganda & Louisville. We are still getting plugged into life here, but things are progressing nicely & in God’s time. We for sure miss our pastors & other friends in Uganda. It is nice to be able count on having power & water and be able to speak the same language, which are all things that were regular challenges in Uganda. The simplicity of life in Uganda was so refreshing though & after a year of living their it felt like we had always lived there. We loved life their & anticipate how God will connect our ministry at Southeast with our ministry in Uganda.

Q: Looking back, what would you say was the biggest blessing you experienced during your time in Uganda. Was it hard leaving?

A: Leading our Kenya Swahili teacher to Jesus after 4 months of language school & lots of soccer together. Also seeing how Jesus worked out the pastor training near the border of Congo & Sudan… there was no way we could of planned that out the way He worked it out. Those pastors were a real blessing & we loved serving with Billy & Joanna Coppedge too. It was a great blessing to serve with our best friends. It was very hard leaving Uganda because of all the relationships we had built; especially our pastors. They all wanted us to stay, but understood Jesus was calling us back to America for now. They often said we should leave so that we could return sooner. We miss Uganda a lot, but know this is where God has us for now.

Q: John, you started going to Delanco a long time ago. How did you end up going for the first time and what kept you coming back.
A: JD asked me to fill in as a lifeguard when I was 16. After that I was hooked & was on permanent staff for 6 summers. What kept me coming back was the people I met. I saw real life holiness in action..it was not just a myth; it became a reality for me. I also was exposed to great preaching & God really used these two factors to shape my heart & life. It was out at Delanco that I told Jesus I would go anywhere & do anything He wanted me too…there would be no zip code on my calling to follow Him.

Q:Erica, you were introduced to Delanco later in life but this question is for you too – what impact has Delanco Camp had on your lives?
A: Honestly I was a little surprised at the condition of motel the first time I came to stay & a tick on me; but once I got past that… I began to experience what John had talked about. Also everyone made me feel like I was part of the Delanco crew even though I was new & that made me love it even more & be even more thankful for how God has used Delanco to shape John’s life & calling. I really see the value in a place like Delanco & I only wish I would have had a place like this when I was growing up where I could practically see & learn what it meant to be a follower of Jesus day in & out.

Q:What’s your favorite Delanco Camp memory?
A: Playing volleyball with Wally, Thad & the rest the staff…. Not so spiritual but the truth☺ Also playing guitar with Bill Blair & leading worship & of course night games… like only Delanco can pull off…pretty sure most stuff we came up with back then would get us thrown in jail or sued now.☺

Q: What advice do you give to young people who are interested in getting involved in missions both locally and globally?
A: Don’t be afraid; it is amazing to see God provide & to see Him make a way when you follow Him will all your heart. Also if you know God has called you don’t let others discourage you with their fears, bad experiences or lack of courage to trust God to provide.

There is a reason the Holy Spirit is called the comforter; if you don’t live life fully dependent on Him what is there to comfort you from? Live on the edge where you have to trust Him to come through…best place to live!

Q: What’s one thing you can tell us about Louisville that isn’t related in any way to the first Saturday in May?
A: People love basketball!!! They do where shoes & it is actually pretty similar to South Jersey, just no board walk or Wawa!

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