I had a very relaxing few days in Massillon last week. Mountain Vision Ministries invited me to their Saturday party celebrating sixteen years of feeding the body and soul of our Appalachia poor. So, I flew in on Thursday, Oct 30.
The flight into Akron was good with the plane only being half full. I got into Massillon about noon on Thursday, and after getting settled into the Hampton Inn I had lunch at Top of the Viaduct. After that it was a trip through Dalton up to Orrville to check out the fall colors.
I suppose about now I should explain I wanted the trip to be low key to avoid folks upsetting their weekend plans to hook up. I expect I'll hear a few words about that....I'm guessing.
We in Texas take our high school football seriously, but nothing like what I saw in town prepping for the McKinley game. This whole thing looked so much fun that I bought a ticket. It was then while talking to the gal selling tickets and a guy in front of me that the game was in Canton. Crap, there's no way I could both go to the game and make it to the Mountain Vision party. I kept the ticket and even went over to Tiger Rags to get a new hat and windshirt.
Friday afternoon was spent at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was in a small way like reliving my youth seeing the names of these players I watched as a kid.
The Mountain Vision party Saturday night was really nice. I finally met Mike Thompson, the director, face to face. We'd talked on the phone a few times this past year. After looking through photos of past mission trips and having a pulled pork dinner with some very nice people, the show started with two songs by Fran (didn't catch her last name), but I know her from her "Beautiful In Its Time" CD as Fran Zupp.
If anyone can tell Fran I left her a Facebook message, I'd appreciate it. You couldn't miss the similarities between Fran's singing on the CD and now, but what I heard Saturday was so much better. Maybe it was the atmosphere of the party, but she was incredible.
Following Fran was maybe an hour of personal testimonies from people relating their stories and experiences be associated with Mountain Vision. I know what being poor is, but I hadn't expected the stories of successfully helping families escape abusive situations. My mind is still trying to grasp the story of a man keeping his family together by locking his wife and kids in a chicken coop while he was at work. Then there was the woman who after being rescued by Mountain Vision went on to owning her own business.
My trips always have surprises and this one was no exception. During my trip in August, I arranged to meet with Sis and Ernie in Fredericksberg, and I was pleasantly surprised when Jason and Mandy joined us for coffee. This trip was no different.
Besides seeing Fran in person (I bought her CD several years ago, having to call her at home to get it.), I saw Facebook friend Karen across the room at the party. She was at a table full of people, so I didn't go over to say "hi". Then, after getting back, another Facebook friend, Candy, spotted me downtown, but wasn't sure it was me until we chatted after I got back.
I flew out Sunday morning, but not without a little bit of drama. When I picked up my rental car, the Hertz clerk told me I could refill the gas tank at either exit 109 or 111. What she didn't tell me was that 109 had both a "A" and a "B" exit. Naturally I took the one without a gas station and ended up on a highway with no turn-around. Now being lost and terribly late, I grabbed my new phone. (I love this thing!) I fired up the navigator, voiced that I wanted directions to the Akron airport, and I was there within minutes, but still very, very late.
The Delta ticket clerk must have called the plane telling them I was on my way, because they closed the door behind me.
It was a very good trip.
Next weekend I'll be in Houston for a Joyce Meyer conference. :)
The weekend after that is a motorcycle show in Dallas which I haven't decided on yet.