(I’m already feeling sad about going home. I don’t want to. This has been amazing in so many ways. I try not to think about going home.)
Powell is, as they say, in the middle of nowhere. I think that is approximate to what it felt like. They have a downtown that reminds you of 1955. It was fantastic. There are more cattle than people in WY (I think). It seems like they said there were 500,000 people in the state. There are more than that in the Upstate of SC.
I totally loved this place. They are spread out, not on top of each other. They are appreciative of our work, which is different from back home in that nobody comes to Powell to serve them. Back home there are “one million” ministries. In Powell there are hardly any.
The fact that we would come to them impressed them, though from our point of view it was not that big of a deal in that we wanted to serve them. It really was a joy.
They heard of us from the Internet, which is (the Internet) a lifeline for them. It is, almost, the only way they can get anyone into their town, cyber-ly speaking.
Doug, the counseling/discipleship pastor, has been promoting us to the community and the neighboring towns. They had several pastors and church people come from up to an hour away. Again, folks don’t come here, so when someone does, it’s a big deal to them. They will travel.
(Met one pastor from Wapiti, WY. The main drag in his town is a highway that takes you to the front entrance of Yellowstone. We stopped at his church building today, which is one of three buildings on the main drag. That’s it. Nothing else.)
I spoke on Sunday AM to a nearly church-wide Sunday school class. Then I spoke on Mon. and Tues. nights for two one-hour sessions each night on biblical counseling.
On Tuesday they had a meal for everyone, which was also great.
On Sunday we were invited to a family’s home, which included the extended family. There may have been 25 people, counting us. It was a large gathering. We stayed late into the day. They did not seem to be in a hurry, which was normal practice with all of them.
They also carry guns, which is like drinking water. Nearly everyone is “pack’in” though I think only one person had a gun at the church meeting; he was the former sheriff. It was real cool to get their perspective on that.
After the meeting on Tuesday night I was answering a few lingering questions, and I told this one couple about how I was counseling a teen once upon a time, and how I intentionally did not talk about God because he was ready to “jump me” on that.
What I actually told them was that “he had his hand on the trigger” ready to pop me if I mentioned God. It was a figure of speech, but not in WY. They thought, “Wow, he had a gun in counseling? Wow.”
Now that was funny.
I love those people. There was no pretentiousness about them. They were real and alive. And they love Jesus. Attentive, teachable, and hungry. They asked me a ton of questions about the “redemptive use of technology,” which is a core piece of our ministry. They, too, want to grow in how the use technology in telling others about Jesus.
We stayed at the home of Dave and Joanna Marquis. They moved to WY from Mass nine years ago. Long story. They had a full basement, and they appealed to us to stay a week, a month, two months, or longer. They were amazing.
He has an “Uber” type business where he drives people to their destination. E.g., he will drive to Brooklyn, NY to drive a couple to Charleston, SC. So, he goes from WY to NY to SC. No lie. He drives all over the country to pick people up to take them where they want to go, and his home base is in WY. Stunning.
It was so much fun to be in Powell, WY. Too many stories to put in this blog post, but a lifetime of memories in my heart.