Sunday morning we woke up in Hazard and headed for Buckhorn. We met a guy at the gas station (from WV) who had a story about losing his job and his wife and he was headed west (if you want to know the entire story just ask...it's sad but some of it is funny too)...
We drove down one of the most beautiful roads I have been on, curving back into the mountains. Stopping at a couple of pull offs to take pictures and eventually making it to Buckhorn KY.
I attended Sunday School and Church at Buckhorn Lake Area Presbyterian Church. I had met a couple of people from this church at General Assembly and decided that while I was down that way I should go and visit!
It was a great Sunday to visit, I enjoyed the fellowship and worship and truly felt welcome there. I also had the chance to do a lot of reflecting both on the sermon and worship service. They were installing new Elders during worship and I couldn't help but to think back to the day I was ordained/installed as an Elder. I couldn't help but be renewed by hearing those questions that I have heard time and time again. As the two men stood and were installed and the Elders came and laid hands on them, I was once again reminded of how interconnected we are as a church. How we are all called to serve one another. How we are all working together for the common good.
As we were leaving (again after a GREAT time in worship/fellowship) I couldn't help but smile, to be joy-filled, to want to stay longer. Each time I go to the mountains I meet some awesome people. So hospitable, so loving, so caring, so Christ-like. Each time I leave knowing I have seen Christ, knowing that the people I come in contact with are brothers and sisters separated by a couple hundred miles and a few mountains.
We stopped in Berea to see my friend Ethan. Ethan was so gracious enough to answer some of my curious questions, listen to my stories, and make me go buy fudge :-D! Then I headed off to Lexington to see another friend, Amy. She's been back to KY for a couple of months now and we had yet to meet up. It was great to visit her even if it was for such a short time.
In all, the weekend couldn't have been any better. I stood on the edge of mountains and as at peace. I sat on stones and peered out over miles of hills and knew that God was with me. I met new friends and old friends and saw the face of Christ shining back to me. I said "goodbye" knowing that it was really a "see ya later" because there is something or someone (God?) drawing me back to these mountains to continue building relationships/friendships that are going to last a lifetime.
I can't wait to get back to the place I've come to love.