The Atkinsons are not "angels" by any stretch of the imagination, and I hesitate to use this verse as any sort of reference to our little family.  With that said, I must take a moment to quote Hebrews 13: "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

We have been the undeserved recipients of several acts of extreme hospitality in the past few weeks that I must mention.

Picture
Two Rivers Church
Two Rivers Church in Knoxville, TN welcomed us, gave us a tour of their new facility, and let us park for the night.  Our friends, the Kemps, with Feeding God's Children attend church here and arranged our stay for us.  They have an awesome Youth Room with outdoor activities and frisbee golf!  Max and Joe played a few rounds!

Picture
the youth room at Two Rivers Church
Picture
From Knoxville we headed to the Washington DC area to do some educational sightseeing.  Joe found Wallace Presbyterian Church online, and decided we should visit there.

We arrived on a Saturday, and they were having a Fall Festival for the lilttle ones.  We just showed up and made ourselves useful.  Emily was introduced to some girls her age and that was the last we saw of her!  She now has some new facebook friends and some experience in turning strangers into friends.


The deacons of the church invited us to park and "plug in" Buster to the church for the night.  Everyone we met was friendly and welcoming. 

We've learned a lot through these stays...sometimes you have to put yourself "out there" and take a risk.  It's a risk to show up at a place (even a church) without knowing anyone.  They don't know you.  Will they talk to you?  At both of these churches we were shown kindness and hospitality and for that we are grateful!  We are also reminded to be aware of how we treat "strangers" in our midst, whether it be at church or on the street.


On a practical note, as we head into the winter months, this southern Arizona family will be looking for places to park that have ample wattage so that our heaters work well.  It's getting into the low 30's and sometimes even into the 20's at night!  Brrrrrr!  We'll be spending December in the Charlotte area, and then we'll likely be heading to Florida to escape the cold.     
 
 
On Nov 2 we headed to Chattanooga, Tennessee to attend Mission to the World's 2010 Global Missions Conference.  The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) always puts on a great conference, and this was a big one!  MTW has a global conference every 3 years, so when there is a conference, everyone comes!  We ran into missionaries that our home church (Catalina Foothills Church) support from all over the world.  The general sessions and the breakout sessions were all great.  There was quite a selection of Business as Missions seminars, and we met a lot of people that God is using in this area. 

One group we met with was the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College.  Check out this great ministry.

Picture
We ended up spending about a week in Chattanooga, so that we could meet with some people after the conference ended.  What a cool city.  The weather was great, so we spent quite a bit of time outside.

Picture
the Head of the Hooch Regatta - Chattanooga was happening
Picture
We took a tour of Covenant College located in Lookout Mt., Georgia.  Emily says she could possibly maybe sort of see herself going to school here.  
Picture
Picture


We drove to Knoxville to meet with some great folks who run Feeding God's Children.  This group's mission is to "help change a generation for Christ, one child at a time" through feeding programs and other health/life improving programs and all in the light of the love of Jesus!

 
 
Picture
The Billy Graham Library is more than a museum.  It is a sermon that testifies to God's faithfulness and power.  It's no surprise that the Library uses a lot of video to tell it's story.   And Billy Graham preaching a sermon in front of thousands should be played more often.

Picture
Max in front of Billy's childhood home.

Picture
Max and Joe trying not to laugh at the animitron talking cow.  Billy apparently grew up on a dairy farm, and so the cow welcomes you to the Library singing "He Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills".  One of MY all time favorite hymns, but all Joe and Max could think of was "Give, Bessie, give...the baby's gotta live"  from our Young Life days.  Many a times, this song was sung (or shouted) in our back yard.

 
 
Last week was spent going back and forth, back and forth...North Carolina...South Carolina...NC....SC...it can get a bit confusing.  Not to mention the winding roads.  After 10 days I could finally navigate my way between well traveled points without the use of a GPS device.  Of course the trees were turning colors and leaves were falling all around, so the surrounding beauty was not lost on us.
Picture
We parked about 10 minutes away from the Haley's house at an RV park on the old PTL Club property (of Jim Baker infamy).  It was a pretty nice park, although a little overgrown from lack of use.  A large, abandoned, outdoor amphitheater was in view, a reminder that what man builds can become ruin overnight.  


Hundreds of acres of property that was once to be a "mecca" of sorts now sits unfinished, run down and vacant.  




Picture
Emily has been working with her new camera
Picture
The Johns




Halloween on the cul-de-sac...great neighbors and kids a-plenty.  Max was a happy camper.

Picture
Picture