catching glimpses of glory

21 Apr - A Day of Contrasts

21 April 2009

The Beginning

After a sleep-in and quiet start I had the opportunity to catch up with Amy. The sleep-in came after the Compassion Dinner in Nashville where I had the privilege of sitting next to the Christian artist Eli. To be honest I didn't know who he was, but remembered his music when Mike played some on the way home. He was a very genuine person. The highlight was hearing a brilliant young woman who had been supported by Compassion. She had grown up in poverty in Manilla and through the support had been able to excel at school. Her story was inspirational. Especially as I prepare to visit Mugoya, our sponsor child, in Uganda.

The Middle

For lunch Mike drove me into the city, and after eventually finding a car park, we met Paul for lunch.Opery MotelFrom there we went to the Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel, the biggest in Nashville. This place is huge. It has four fully enclosed, interior gardens of several acres each. The hotel contains 2,881 guest rooms and 200 suites. This photo is taken inside and shows part of one of the four garden areas.

From there we went to the neighbouring shopping mall. This was almost as big as a typical Australian shopping mall, but had about 10% of the people. It was really quiet.

The End

Hey I didn't know how else to split the day up! Tonight I went with Mike, Amy and the kids to the Laity Club at their church. I was to be served up as the guest speaker for the evening. After meeting some people there were some brief formalities and welcome, followed by a meal. This seemed like a typical church dinner where people brought food to share. The challenge for me was that fried chicken was the only dish I could immediately identify. Gamely, and with some encouragement, I added salads and casseroles to my plate. I had to pass on what looked like freshly whipped, Barbie-doll pink coloured pavlova mix. The home-made apple pie for dessert was beautiful.

Then it was back into the church building for the meeting. Meeting procedure was obviously extremely important. There was a reading of the minutes, a financial report, a roll call of what churches were there and a President's joke. The joke was an internet story that stretched for about three A4 pages. I missed about every third word, either because of the accent, or simply from not knowing what the word meant. That seemed to prompt about five people to share stories. I was beginning to wonder if I had accidentally gone into the Waffle House. Finally Mike sang a song and gingerly introduced me. I showed a few photos and talked about them and about God. The Mike sang again and we finished. Now it's time for bed.

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