Jul 7, 2009

Our Trip to Hartwell, Georgia

This summer has been one of my best yet! Not only have we been blessed with being back in our home, we have also been blessed by getting to take a trip to Georgia. Skip is the Creative Arts Pastor of Real Life Fellowship which gave us the opportunity to head over to Hartwell Georgia this past week. RLF has a beautiful campus there and Skip and I were honored to see what a huge impact this church is making in the hearts and lives of that community. The people there are amazing! There were smiling faces and hugs all around. Skip led worship on Sunday with some very talented musicians and was able to watch what hard work this awesome group of people in Hartwell put forth. It was great to see that week after week God is all given glory and honor by what the people in Hartwell are accomplishing.

Here is the front of the church which is actually a historic home in downtown Hartwell. It was renovated and this site launched in January of 2008. They normally run over 200 people a weekend in a town of 5000 people. God is good!

Here is an inside shot of the auditorium where they have morning worship service. There are two large screens which show a pre-taped message each week of our Pastor Micah Davidson.

Thought this was a fun picture of their bookstore! The entire historic home is such a gorgeous place for a church. Lots of talented people put in hours and hours of time to make it so awesome.

Here is some of the congregation having fellowship time before service began. Lots of donuts and coffee were on hand. I went for the sweet tea every time we came on site. Love that Georgia sweet tea!

During our stay, we visited the Alpine Village of Helen, Georgia. What a precious place! We walked around and visited tons of little shops and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. You can see more about Helen here.

While in Georgia Skip and I stayed with a friend from the church Skip had met the year before. Adam was a great host and even showed us around the University of Georgia campus in Athens. Go Bulldogs! I think every room in Adam's beautiful home had something from his Alma mater. This picture of Skip and me was taken on the beautiful grounds of University. Skip even rang the Chapel Bell a couple of times. Thanks to Adam and his sweet girlfriend Laci for the tour and the fun visit.

Skip and I were able to spend the most time with our pastor's sweet parents who are the campus pastors of RLF Hartwell. Bill and Alice Davidson have more energy that most 20 year olds I know and have such a huge passion for the people of their community. They introduced us to just about everyone in town and lavished us with southern hospitality. Here is a just one picture of their beautiful yard. Alice is a master gardener and let me join her in picking tomatoes, blackberries, blueberries, squash and a few strawberries. She and her husband live on beautiful Lake Hartwell and the scenery literally took my breath away.

Here is Skip with Pastor Bill in front of Gumlog, a popular landmark restaurant in Georgia. They serve up a great basket of catfish, flounder and shrimp that Skip and I shared. Oh, and lots of sweet tea too!

Here is a shot of Lake Hartwell just an hour before the best fireworks show I've ever seen in my ENTIRE life started. The fireworks were about at the Disney level and it was literally right over our heads. Wow, what a show!

Even though Skip was there to do some ministry work, I truly felt like this was a great time of rest and refreshment. Can you tell with my feet up here? Thanks so much to all the people of Hartwell for blessing us with your love and encouragement. Thank you to Pastor Micah and Lori for giving us the opportunity to go and see firsthand what is God is doing, and lastly to my awesome in-laws who watched our kids for 5 days with no break. I love you both so much and don't know what I did to deserve such wonderful grandparents for my kids.