Monday, April 11, 2011

GEORGIA ON MY MIND...

Fun fact: This post is about our time down south in South Carolina and GEORGIA and this font is called GEORGIA. Hmm...I hope I don't cause a tear in the space time continuum. 


Molly at the coast in Charleston
We rejoice in the unique experiences we have had on this deputation. We have not only had the privilege to meet many great people across the Evangelical Denomination, but also to see a lot of interesting and fun places along the way. One of those fun places was Charleston, South Carolina. Molly and I were invited to the South Eastern Conference Pastors and wives retreat. Neither one of us had spent much time in the south and we had a great introduction to that part of our great country. We are seriously thinking about hiring Lynda Eckhardt as our own personal travel agent. 
We saw a lot of historical Charleston such as Fort Sumter (where the Civil War began), the historic Provost Dungeon where Pirates were once held captive, and we even were in some buildings that George Washington stayed in. It is amazing to see all the history of America, but it also reminded me just how young our country is. We are a baby of a nation. We're still having growing pains and learning how to walk most days. We gave Molly's dad, Kim, a book for his birthday that has pictures of "the Holy Land" and it shows all of these places where Jesus walked. Can you imagine the amazing feeling of history as well as spiritual significance that is in those places? There is a large gap between history that is 200 years old and 2000 years old. 
After leaving Charleston, we went to Georgia for a few days. We stayed in Macon where we saw some more historical places and even had a chance to go to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Our main purpose for being in Georgia was to be a part of the South Eastern Annual Conference meetings hosted at Fellowship Community Church in Lizella, GA. 

I don't know a lot about the South Eastern Conference history, but this year was definitely an exciting one. It was the 30th annual conference which is an accomplishment in its own right, but there were also some notable events. The conference doubled in size over this past year. It went from 2 churches to 4. There are now 3 churches in Georgia and one in Arkansas. We had the privilege of speaking in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas quite a few months ago (events are in a previous blog post). We also had the honor of sharing at GracePointe Church in Fort Valley, GA on a Sunday morning and then at Fellowship Community Church in Lizella, GA on a Sunday evening. We didn't speak at the other new church, which is in Roberta, GA , but we met the pastor and his wife and they threw a great barbeque for us after our Sunday evening service in Lizella. 


FELLOWSHIP COMMUNITY
It was such a joy to be able to spend the weekend at Pastors and wives retreat with Russ and Tami Bozeman. They are super great people and we love their accents. We also thoroughly appreciated their hospitality as their church hosted the Annual Conference for a couple of full days of meetings. They always made sure everyone felt welcomed, was well fed, and made comfortable while they were in their church. Russ has had his credentials with the Evangelical church for a little while, but it was so exciting to be a part of the Lizella church joining our denomination. We look for God to do many great things in this partnership in years to come. 


GRACEPOINTE
God really knew exactly what He was doing in the timing of our deputation. In our original schedule we had planned to return to the field in January and were kind of bummed when the support just wasn't raised at that time. God has since then shown us many reasons for keeping us in the states. One of those reasons was to end up at GracePointe in Fort Valley as our final Sunday morning service. This was important because GracePointe will be sending a work team down to Santa Cruz in July to work on the Tutoring Center Project. We had the unique privilege of meeting many of the team members during Sunday school time and had a great question and answer session. This is going to make the time in July that much better because we will already know some names and faces. We are so looking forward to all God has planned for this new and exciting ministry ahead of us. Along with meeting the team, our Sunday morning was so much more abundantly blessed. Pastor Clint Wood shared the story with us and the congregation of such an amazing gift. I still can't wrap my brain around the amount of sacrifice and surrender from this group. Clint shared that at a recent church board meeting they were discussing finances and ministries and the upcoming work team to Bolivia. As a church they had a large sum of funds set aside in order to plant a church some time down the line. During the board meeting as they discussed the work team the discussion quickly turned to an idea to build ministry in Bolivia first before building a new church in Georgia. Clint asked what part of the money they would want to give toward Bolivia and it was unanimously voted to give it all. "GIVE IT ALL!", Clint shouted, as he shared with the congregation. GracePointe church  just started a building project and are raising money toward a goal to one day build a new building. They are so blessed to have the need to have 2 services and are running over 200 total in those 2 services. They are simply outgrowing their existing building. Knowing that they are in the middle of their own building fundraiser makes this sacrifice even more incredible.


Here are some more pictures of our time down south. 


local potter feeding a peacock at a
plantation outside of Charleston

Inside Fort Sumter

Bryan inspecting the cannon

a "cannonball" embedded
in the wall of Fort Sumter

$4 Million Dollar Home on Coast in Charleston










1 comment:

  1. Did you know that my parents are in SC? They're in Central, near Clemson, in the far western corner of the state. Also, when we first emigrated, we lived in a town called Dublin, GA, which is just down the road from Macon! What a small world we live in. Thanks for writing this blog. I'm so intrigued and blessed by your stories and can't wait to see how God uses you two in Bolivia.

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