Today, in the morning, Jon picked us up to go to his church for breakfast. This is something they do once every few months and we happened to be there that time of year. So when we arrived we ate and got to meet the pastor of the church. He was excited to get to meet us and for us attending his service. The breakfast was awesome and they kept trying to get us to eat more and take left overs. They were very serving. After breakfast we went to attend the service. The teaching was very good and sound. When the service was over we talked to a few people and thanked Jon for all that he helped us with. We then walked a bit to a McDonald’s where we met a man who needed money to get to Nashville Tennessee. He served in Vietnam back in the day. We got to minister to him and encourage him, he needed it and God moved. We then went inside McDonald’s and relaxed there for most of the day. We got to Skype Jonathan’s family while we were there and it was great getting to talk and see their faces again. We look a lot different apparently to their eyes. From there we walked to the nearest inn. When we got to the Holiday Inn we were not expecting to be blessed. There a room was very expensive and we were on a budget. Thankfully, a lady who was leaving gave us her room key. She bought a room there just to take a two hour nap from traveling and did not need it any more, so she gave it to us. Got a room for free and it was super nice! I just don’t understand why God just keeps doing this! He is so much more than you will expect.
Today we left our room at the Econolodge and went outside to read the bible. After reading we started walking to Abingdon, VA. It was a very rainy day and we were pretty soaking wet. When we just about arrived into the town we felt God leading us to a church called Pilgrim Baptist, and it was a pretty cool name since it is kind of related to what we are doing. Conveniently when we arrived there was a banquet going on for a school’s basketball team. Jon, one of the people in charge of the banquet invited us in for dinner. It was a potluck feast! God lead us there just in time before they started to pray for the food. While we were there we talked to a bunch of the coaches who were interested in what we were doing. Jon blessed us by paying for a stay at a really nice Quality Inn that evening. Also Jim, one of the guys we talked to gave us tickets to see the movie God’s Not Dead. So when we got to the hotel Jon took us to the movies. The movie was really good and inspiring. Of course there was only a little bit of cheesy acting because it’s a Christian movie, but it wasn’t a lot. It was actually pretty good. After the movie we walked back to the hotel and worked on the blog, pictures, and videos of the trip, and then went to sleep. God always provides and cares for his children when you least expect it.
In the morning one of the ladies we met at the church bought us breakfast; biscuits and chicken. After eating we had to wait till ten for Kara to pick us up and take us back to Subway, where we left off yesterday. So we read the word and spent time with the Lord. Kara came and picked us up and took us back to subway. She was really encouraged and uplifted us before she left and we did the same for her. She was glad that we got to run in to each other on the road. It was a blessing. From Subway in Chilhowie we walked to Glade Spring and stayed at an Econolodge for the night.
God bless America. In the morning Mariam cooked us up some breakfast, and we talked for a while. She and her husband took us back to Food City where they picked us up the day before. They were an amazing family and very Godly. God has really used them and will continue to for his glory. When we got to Food City, we walked to subway up the street. We called Kara from Chilhowie Christian Church, whom we met yesterday on the road to see if she still wanted us to stay at their church for the night. So, she came to pick us up. She also bought us dinner, some pizza and salad. We got to talk to to her and the youth pastor Josh about our testimonies. After dinner we got to hang out with Josh and some of his youth students. It was a youth night where the teenagers would come and hang out at the church. We got to play some basketball with Josh and the youth students and also hang out with them. It was a fun time. Kara gave us the kids/youth ministry room to rest in and provided two cots and an air mattress. It was a God blessed evening.
From Marion we walked to Chilhowie, VA today. Mariam, a lady we met the previous day, wanted to have us for lunch and spend the night once we got to the town. Along the way a lady stopped by the side of the road and knew about A Church Of Us. It was pretty funny because at first she stopped at the side of the road thinking we were hikers on the Appalachian Trail and asked if we needed a ride. We told her that we didn’t and she drove away. She then came back later realizing who we were. Her name was Kara, and she found out about us by randomly coming across our page on Facebook. She is a youth leader at Chilhowie Christian Church and offered us to stay at the church for a night. We told her we would let her know. Once we got to Chilhowie, Mariam and her husband Randy, picked us up at a Food City grocery store and took us to their house for lunch. Mariam feed us real good and we got to hang out with the rest of her family. Later, we went with her son Nathan to their church’s youth group and got to meet their youth. The leaders there prayed for us and they very awesome and honorable men of God. When we got back to Mariam’s house the guy who drove the youth van, Albert, prayed for us and the journey ahead. He was very encouraging and a bold brother of Christ. Mariam had dinner ready when we came inside. It was homemade and delicious. After some good fellowship with Nathan and Mariam we went to bed.
Today we woke up at the church which is called Abundant Life, and had some breakfast that Mariam bought us. Pastor Dave came and took us to the McDonald’s where we got picked up before. At McDonald’s we read our bibles and spent time with God. An hour later we left and it was snowing pretty hard so we found a nearby inn in Marion that was cheap and we felt lead to go to. As we were heading to our room the guy in the room next door wanted to talk to us once we got our backpacks in the room. So we got to talk to him for a while. His name was Danny and he has been hitch hiking across the states for about 12 years. He had many stories to tell us and we really encouraged him. It was pretty funny because he kept asking us if we would like a beer but we kept denying his offer. But he was really touched by us and he prayed for us and we for him. He was a very genuine man. It was awesome how God lead us to talk about him to this man who was hurting. He had quite the story. After talking we went back to our room and worked on the blog, pictures, and website donations and then went to sleep.
We left Freedom Tabernacle church in the morning and walked to about 3 miles to the gas station where we were picked up, by Randy the day before, to read the Bible. We also ate some subs at Subway. A lady stopped by the gas station came and talked to us while we were eating. Her name was Mariam and she wished her son was there to meet us because he would be so inspired. After she left we read a little longer and headed off toward Marion, VA. It was cool because we got to see Mariam again because she pulled over on the side of the road while we were walking. Her older son was there with her and we got to talk to him. It is awesome how God works things out with us seeing her and meeting her son. After talking for a while they asked if we would be willing if, it was alright with their pastor, if we could stay the night in their church building. We said of course! They told us that they would pick us up if the pastor let us stay. So, we walked to McDonald’s down the road and waited there until they picked us up. When Mariam and her mother picked us up, she bought us dinner and we ate at the church. We met their pastor, Dave, and really enjoyed talking and sharing our testimonies to him. Nathan, Mariam’s son, slept over at the church with us, so throughout most of the night he talked with us and asked questions. God greatly encouraged him through us. After talking we went to set up our sleeping bags and went to bed.
We left the Inn around 7:45 to get down to the gas station at 8 to get picked up for church. Randy came to meet us and took us church. We went to a church fellowship called, Freedom Tabernacle Baptist in Atkins, Virginia. We went to the early service and the pastor was super excited about A Church Of Us. It was a really good sermon. The pastor just kept encouraging us the whole sermon message. It was also very passionate southern message which we thoroughly enjoyed and were very encouraged. The pastor after the service let us stay the night at the church in a room that had a bed, cot, and a bathroom! After the service lunch was provided for at Subway and one of the members of the church, Eddy, took us there. They then took us back to the second service which was a lot more full of people than the first service. We met a lot more people that service. When the service was over a women named Debra brought us to the room where we were staying. She was very helpful and made sure the room was comfortable. So we relaxed in the room for a while and later they fed us dinner. After dinner we helped them serve their youth program where they feed the community’s teens and children. There was over a 100 youth and children all together. For the service they invited us to sing a worship song and Trevor played one of his songs. They also had us speak to the youth. After the service was over and we said goodbye to everyone, we left to go to the room. We then talked for a while before going to bed for the night. God has truly blessed us with an amazing stay with some amazing people of God who we are so thankful for.
Today we only walked about 4 miles to a gas station. In the gas station was a subway and the Lord blessed us with meeting a elderly man named Randy while we ate. Randy goes to that gas station everyday and shows and tells people about Jesus and what he has done for him. He was also a musician and plays some bluegrass. So he showed us on Trevor’s guitar some good old grassy blues. Randy also invited us to his church in the morning and to meet us at the gas station at 8. We agreed and left to go to a comfort inn right across the street. God blessed us with a discount there for a night. The Lord keeps blessing us with faithful servants of his will!