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Day 2: A New (Southern) Name

July 2nd, 2012 Categories: blending... Be the first to comment

Day 2 (Wednesday 20th June 2012)

It was easy to get up in the morning after a good night’s sleep and a small amount of jetlag. After breakfast, the rest of our group began to arrive from their hospitality. Actually, one couple who had helped to coordinate the trip were unable to join us as a passport didn’t return on time from the visa office. Another sister was not joining us until later in the week, and a brother and sister had got stuck in Houston the previous evening when their flight was cancelled. (Funny story: their mother called the coordinating brother and thought they were in Dallas airport… but eventually the “rescue team”, the saints, worked out where they were and picked them up from the airport. They caught another flight to Jackson on Wednesday and joined us later in the day.

Down the Natchez Trace

In total, there are 13 of us from the UK (on this part of the trip), joining a couple from Jackson and a dear brother who used to be in Jackson as our drivers. After some introductions and getting to know one another, we hit the road, heading south to Louisiana. We drove down the Natchez Trace, stopping at Emerald Mound (the previous site of a native American Indian campground, and the current home of plenty of chiggers – more on those later!), and the Pig Out Inn in Natchez for lunch (where we also saw the Mississippi River).

Blending Trip on Emerald Mound

The time passed quickly in the sisters’ van “Big Red”, especially as we read the first chapter of Enjoying Christ as the Word and the Spirit through Prayer, and enjoyed singing many psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. We had only one songbook to begin with (later two), but made good use of our smart phones to take pictures of the words.

Below is one of the songs that we enjoyed singing together, and later taught the saints in the other vehicles, and even to saints we visited in different places. For me, the sweet part of it is that the sisters from Edinburgh had just recently learnt this from two sisters from Australia, who joined the Olympic Torch Bible distribution in Scotland the week before. This is song 2126 in the new UK songbook, so I am looking forward to teaching it to the YP in my district once I am back in London!

Our Christ is so enjoyable,
His life is so applicable;
He lives in us to cause the flow
To reach the world, His life to show.
Don’t just sit here and be idle;
Rise up! Your gift—don’t belittle;
Let’s eat and drink of this sweet Christ!

Let’s enjoy Christ to reach the goal,
Partake of Him to beat the foe,
All His vast riches we extol.
Yes, we are freed from every woe!
We may not know a lot of things,
But we are kept from Satan’s stings
By eating Christ, and Christ alone!

We all can do so many things,
But first of all to Christ we’ll cling;
Enjoy Him first, blessings He’ll bring,
His life-supply means everything!
Enjoy Him—grace He will bestow,
And we’ll be led to join the flow;
Yes, we will do all things in Him.

The brother who served us by driving Big Red shared later that he had the best radio station, with all the sisters singing. This definitely encouraged us to keep singing with grace in our hearts to God – and we thoroughly enjoyed it too!

Welcome to Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The first thing we did when we arrived in Baton Rouge was to rendezvous with the saints on the side of the road by a lake (interesting spot!) and then visit LSU – Louisiana State University. We met some of the members of Believers at LSU, who gave us the grand tour and introduced us to Mike the Tiger – LSU’s mascot.

It was during the tour on campus that most of us received our new names. In the South, a nickname is a term of endearment, and so we took to our names quickly, although some did pass through a few changes. We also did our best to share our names with the saints we visited along the way, in our best southern accents.

Here we are, with our new names, by which I will refer to us for the rest of my Blending Trip posts:

After our tour, we went to the church in Baton Rouge’s meeting hall, which is also the home of a family. We experienced eating Po’ Boys of different varieties – the catfish was most excellent. That was followed by joining the church prayer meeting, after which we shared our enjoyment so far from our first full day of the blending trip, and then met our hospitality and went home with them.

Hey Y’All and I stayed with a very precious family. We had time to sing and chat before going to bed, and I very much enjoyed getting to know the two young people, a 13-year old sister and a 12-year old brother. I hope they can come to visit us in Europe one day!

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