Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Aunt Maxine, Mrs. Mabel, and Hank

In our 3 weeks in Missouri, we've been doing a lot of visiting.  Visiting church members, visiting neighbors who aren't church members, visiting whoever will let us talk to them basically.  We've met a lot of people and thankfully been able to share Jesus with lots as well - pray for open and receptive hearts.

Last week, we visited two of our church's oldest members - Aunt Maxine and Mrs. Mable.

Aunt Maxine is the Aunt of head deacon, Jim.  She is a spry 93 and is quick to tell you she's the church's oldest member.  Never married, she still lives by herself and drives herself wherever she wants to go.  The people are seriously hardy in this neck of the woods y'all!  And she is full of stories.
During our visit she told us about the history of the church (during her lifetime).  A favorite was how her Daddy volunteered to give up land from his farm for the parsonage way back in the 1960s.  She also told of her life.  The middle of 7 children, she started school early (only barely 5 in first grade) and loved school so much she became a school teacher herself.  She was a young 18, only a year out of high school and a year into college, when she was called to teach 4th grade at the local school.  She taught school until she retired in her 70s.  You can tell she must have been an amazing teacher, the way she talks of her love for the classroom and students.
Aunt Maxine also loves to play cards.  We played a rousing round of Skip-Bo, which amazingly James won.  We had heard that Aunt Maxine is quite the card shark so we feel she took it easy on us - haha.
Even though she's 93, James has encouraged her to help him minister by going with him to the local nursing homes.  She's been such a blessing to do that.  She's able to introduce him to her friends, church members and not, and basically be a person of peace for us in the community.
Visiting with her is so fun.  It's a little challenging because she doesn't hear well, which seems to be her only ailment.  Sweetly, she has given Hudson and me nicknames.  I am "Missy," typical nickname for Melissa.  Hudson is "Hank!"  I love it!

Later last week, we went to visit Mrs. Mabel.  Mrs. Mabel is a young 84.  Widowed in 1991, she still lives alone, drives herself, and mows her own grass.  Mows her own grass, people, at 84!  See what I mean? Hardy people!

Mrs. Mabel is famous in the community for her quilting and general talent in anything sewing-related.  When we came to visit her, she was watching the news and working on a cross-stitch lap quilt.  The church has a wall hanging of a cross-stitched "Last Supper" she did which is simply amazing.

Mrs. Mabel had one son, Leonard who had one son who now has one daughter.  Sadly she hasn't seen them in several years because they've moved far away.  That makes me sad for her.  Hudson and I had a conversation about how even if he moves away as an adult, he better keep in touch. 

Mrs. Mabel and Aunt Maxine are great friends.  They get together once a week to play cards, usually Skip-Bo but sometimes Rook.  And believe it or not, but Mrs. Mabel was once Aunt Maxine's student.  Remember how Aunt Maxine taught 4th when she herself was barely out of high school?  Well Mrs. Mabel was in that 4th grade class.  She also was Aunt Maxine's student in high school for English Lit.  It warms my heart to think how they've grown from a student-teacher relationship to a friendship.  It makes me look forward to hopefully having that kind of relationship with some of my former students.

So that's what James, Hank, and I have been up to primarily these past few weeks.  Getting to know and falling in love with the people here!

We loved you so much,
that we shared with you not only God's good news,
but our own lives, too.
1 Thessalonians 2:8 NLT

Only almost a month late

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Goodbye KY

I hate good-byes.  There are so many people I didn't get pictures of/with that I'm not sad about, but hopefully that just means that those people will have to come to MO to see us!

With "Aunt" Rachel

With Aunt Sharon

Grandaddy's Boy!

Grandma's sweet baby

With "Aunt" Kay

Happy to be with "Aunt" Kay and "Uncle" Marvin

With the sweetest Nursery Sunday School Teachers Ever!
Minus Mrs. Gloria who was busy with the Children's Choir.

With Ms. Joy and Mrs. Linda

With Darrin

With the best Sunday evening Nursery workers - Mrs. Sherri & Mrs. Ruby
With Mrs. B and Noah
This one's technically not a "good-bye" but more of a "hello!"
Hudson meeting "Aunts" Penny & Jenny for the first time and now we live several hours closer to them!
Again, so many people I failed to get a picture of...it makes me sad.

While I don't necessarily miss Louisville itself, I do miss all my friends I left behind.  Trusting the Lord to provide friendships/relationships here in Williamstown that will fill that void. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Small Town

I’ve been trying to figure out how exactly to convey just how small of a town is Williamstown.  The term  small town doesn’t really do it justice.

Here are some stats
State: Missouri
County: Lewis
District: Lyon
City: Williamstown

Stop lights: 0
Four-way Stops: 1
Grocery Stores: 0
Gas Station/Convenience Store: 1
Gas Station (without convenience store): 1
Schools: 0
Churches: 1 (Yep, that’d be us at Providence)
Population: about 10,000  in the whole county; only a couple hundred in Williamstown
Cattle: way too many to count - seriously, thousands
Acreage: a little over 500 square miles in the county as a whole

We live about a mile and a half from the intersection of State Highway A and State Highway E which is considered “downtown” Williamstown.  The town was established way back when (think pre-civil war era) in the hopes that the transcontinental railroad might come through, sadly that didn’t happen.  Presently this area consists of four or five run down buildings that were built in 1911.  Our closest neighbor, either direction , is a half-mile away.  We are surrounded on all four sides by corn fields. There is a pretty large Amish community of several homes rather close together about two miles to our East, but other than that we’re fairly removed from other people. 

The closest Grocery Store (County Market) is about 20 minutes away.  The closest Wal-mart is in Quincy, Illinois, a quick 40-minute drive.  We’re about 15 minutes from Monticello,  the county-seat, where there’s a post-office, court house, jail, bank, USDA building, health department, and DMV; all along the same street. 

Williamstown is not just a small town in size, but also in personality. 

James and I went to the bank this week to open an account.  Because we’re silly, we didn’t bring with us the proper documentation to open an account (Social Security card, Proof of Residency, etc…).  Joy, the cashier who was working our account, said, “It’s no problem we’ll do what paperwork we can do today and you can stop by tomorrow with the rest of the documents.”  Then Donna, a church-member who works at the bank chimed in with, “If you want to bring that stuff to church tonight I’ll bring it into work tomorrow for you.”  So we seriously gave her both of our Social Security cards in an envelope, trusting her not to steal our identities.  Such events would never happen in Louisville with people you just met.

And this is just one example of several: the U-Haul people came to us to get the truck since it was needed in a neighboring town thereby saving us extra mileage and time, the mail carrier will sell us stamps from her car, and the internet guy totally hooked up other technology for us even though it wasn’t technically part of his job description.  I’m not even sure people take such care of their neighbors in my small hometown of Joelton, which looks like a thriving metropolis compared to Williamstown.
A shot down the Main Street of Monticello.

Tonight we spent several hours this afternoon hanging out at the Community Center.  They were having an open house complete with farm-raised BBQ (yummo) and other snacks.  We met several families, learned a little more of the history of the area, and were able to share with some people.  It was sweet to see people just sit and talk with one another.  Time moves slowly here.

James is loving it.  I think I’ve lived in Louisville too long and got used to the conveniences and speed of a big city.  Not saying that I’m not enjoying being here; just that my adjustment is proving to be a tad slower.  People here are definitely people-oriented, not time-oriented.  Had you asked me two weeks ago I would have swore to you that I, too, was people-oriented but I’m seeing that that’s really not true.  I like to move quickly when running errands.  It took two hours from leaving home to returning home to set up our bank account and that’s simply because people chat, they get to know you as they’re working on paperwork.  And our apparently foreign accents lead people to chat with us longer than usual as they ask why we would move here.  But that’s been a wonderful question to be asked as it’s allowed an open door to share about Jesus, so I guess I’m thankful that people think we have talk “funny.”
A shot down the Main Street of Williamstown.
The building on the right, with the kids at the Pepsi machine, is the Community Center.

Not only is Williamstown a small town, we apparently live in a small world.  James has already met a family that amazingly live somewhat near us that are from … wait for it… Logan, WV.  That’s right they are from James’ hometown.  The husband actually knows James’ father.  Tiny, tiny world we live in. 

And because no post is complete with a Hudson picture.
Hudson was totally intrigued by the baby chickens at the farm supply store.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Breaking the Fast

A lot has changed for the Lackey family in the past 40 days.

First, we praise the Lord in opening a full-time ministry position for James as pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Williamstown, Missouri. 

Second, as you can probably guess from the previous announcement, we are have moved! 
New church, new city, new state, new home - there have been lots of transitions for our family during this past Lent season.

There's a lot I could write about how the Lord orchestrated all these events, but I know all people really want are pictures of the baby ;) so here you go:

First, his 9 month stats (10 months will be published soon)

Providence Baptist Church

Providence Baptist Church

The view from the kitchen window (about .10 mi away)

Easter Sunday.  Not the best picture, but it was freezing cold and windy so that's all we got.

Refusing to look at the camera.

Excited about his basket from Grandma and Grandaddy. 
He also had gifts from us, Granna & Papaw, Aunt Sherry, Kay & Marvin,
and Mrs. Darlene (his nursery SS teacher at PBC).  Can you say spoiled?

MO Sunset.
Right now we're just busy unpacking, learning our way around Williamstown, and busy trying to minister to our new community.  Ways to pray for us:
* Hudson traveled to MO like a champ! He slept through the entire state of IL and even when awake, he played quitely in his carseat. 
* Hudson has transitioned to his new home well and after just a few days of interrupted sleep he's back on schedule.
* James faithfully preached from Acts 1 Resurrection Sunday morning.  We had lunch with the L-family and went to a neighboring church for evening service with our congregation.
* Unpacking.  Living in clutter and disorganization stresses me out.
* Various transitions: new driver's license, new bank, new car insurance, etc... lots of decisions to be made in the coming days/weeks.
* James goes tomorrow morning to the Monthly Associational Pastors' Breakfast - pray for connections and friendships to be made.  Encouragement from fellow ministers is of great importance.