The Sunday morning alarm sounded too early, but I am happy we got out of the house when we did, because our drive to Paonia was absolutely spectacular. Little did I know that we were going to go over a mountain pass that was over 11,000 feet. The weather was gorgeous and helped set the stage for the great views we were experiencing. I said to Buzz, “here’s our worship service.”
Paonia Christian Fellowship, the church we were visiting and hoping to “land” as a receiving town was probably the most friendly church I have ever attended. Seriously. A smaller congregation of 50-60, but I believe I met almost every one of them and not just “met” but actually go to know a great number as they sought to know their visitors, not just know our names. We experienced a small Sunday School class (about 12-15 people) and then the church service.
After a long visit with folks after the service we drove to the Mills house, Mike and Holli are serving as Youth Pastor/Musicians/Admin/etc./etc./etc. It seems like many-a-hat they wear. But they are proud to do so, they love their church and are happy to serve in a variety of roles–though Mike’s official title is “youth pastor.”
We were introduced to Mike through a random conversation I had about a month prior to the scout trip with my former Appprentice, Eric. Eric is now serving as the Youth Pastor at my former church. We were talking about some upcoming scout trips I was scheduling and he mentioned that his former boss from camp now serves at a small town in CO. It just so happened to be 75 minutes away from a place I needed to go anyway (Glenwood Springs). Small world? Yes. God ordained conversation? Bigger YES!
After feeling a strong sense of connection with Mike and Holli (and family) and receiving a great homemade soup for lunch, it was time to part our ways and make the trek back over the passes in route to Boulder. We did stop off for a coffee with Jared back in Glenwood so he could pick my brain about training up some interns. Great coffee.
Here are some pictures of the drive to and from and of the church/castle in Paonia (and those who know Eric, check out Mr. Skinny who served as a groomsman in the Mill’s wedding):
We were praising the Lord for two major lands already… a hub for the Mountains and Mid-American trip (Glenwood Springs) and a community to serve for Austin Bluffs Evangelical Free church in Paonia!
Next up: Boulder and Dare 2 Share