I love to go on field trips, school, church, whatever. Today we had a doozy. We went all the way to Warford (at least that's what I think the town was), which is on the Licking River on the West Virginia border! We were gone from 8 this morning until 6 this evening, much of which was spent riding on our small church bus.
There was a great group of eight ladies who went, plus two nice-enough men. The women were members of our church's Baptist Women organization, and we went to Martin County to visit the Haven of Rest. Our youth pastor was our driver. I believe Quint (the other man) was there to give him moral support, and to give us someone to pick on!
Haven of Rest is a ministry founded by Eileen M several years back to minister to families of prisoners at the maximum-security federal prison near Inez. Eileen has a building there where the families can stay on weekends while they visit their family member. They are in the process of building an additional building on their property, which will give them, I believe, a total of 24 rooms for the families. As it stands, they have five rooms. Considering what we saw in the immediate area, that increases the number of overnight lodging rooms to...FIVE. Not very many rooms, when you consider the prison houses over 1400 inmates! Do I need to tell you this is a hugely needed ministry? Since this is a federal facility, some of the families have come from as far away as Puerto Rico and Jamaica, let alone the East Coast, California, and Spokane, Washington!
Eileen says she is already booked for Labor Day weekend, for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. She anticipates that there will once again be folks sleeping in their cars in the parking lots. In addition to a place to sleep, there also is a nice lodge-type living room, dining room, and kitchen area where families can prepare food for their meals. There is a small chapel, which looked very familiar to folks from our church--it is furnished with some of the pews that were removed when our sanctuary was remodeled several years ago.
After a quick tour of the facility, we enjoyed a really good meal at a local restaurant, Cloud Nine, which is located directly across the road from the airport. Yes, despite the fact that there are very few touristy places around the area, there is an airport! However, I don't believe they have very many jets landing there--most the air traffic we saw was helicopters. The highlight of the meal for me was a dessert called Clouds and Sunrise, an orange butter cake topped with orange sherbet, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. I shared with Eileen--and Geneva, Emma, Kate--and seems like somebody else! Large serving!
After lunch we visited the thrift shop which helps to fund the ministry. We had donations that we had brought from home. Some of us cannot go through a thrift shop without making a purchase or five or six! I bought two brand-new silicon baking pans, a loaf pan and a 10" square pan, The Sneetches and other stories, and a talking calculator. I guess you'll just have to wait to see who ends up with my goodies.
One of the humor highlights of the trip: Imogene had made apple-nut bread for us to eat on the trip, but didn't remember to bring a knife to cut the stuff. Gloria improvised with dental floss, which worked pretty well until she hit a really big nut. She ended up with a lap full of crumbs, but all who wanted some got to eat it and said it was good.
That was a good bunch to travel with. I'd do it again, but maybe not tomorrow, since my stomach is just now starting to settle down! (Mountain roads are not a lot of fun, if you're riding on the back of the bus.)
Love to all, and God bless.