Jenna, Chelsea and Gina (There were about a dozen grads from BVBC this year...almost all of them graduated with honors).
Me and Joe
I did finally make it home. I arrived in Gulfport last Wednesday morning and killed time most of the day by seeing Prince Caspian. Later that evening I managed to sneak onto the floor at the Gulf Coast Coliseum to see a bunch of the Gulfport High School Grads lining up prior to graduation. The last few years I was a youth minister in Gulfport I was always able to score "Teacher's Passes" to sit on the floor with the Band and the Faculty and Staff. Longevity has it perks. So does being sneaky I guess.
The next day I got a much needed haircut and went shopping for a tie to match the Bridesmaids dresses for the wedding. On Friday I saw the new Indiana Jones movie. Definitely not the best; but not bad. It was fun. Friday night was the wedding rehearsal and dinner.
About the wedding: Her name is Amy and the lucky guy is Stevie. Amy grew up in another church in Gulfport but started attending "605", our Wednesday night student worship service during her 10th grade year in high school I guess. She later joined Bayou View Baptist Church where I was the Student Minister. Amy graduated near the top of her class which says something about her maturity and drive and seriousness. When I met her she exhibited those same qualities in her pursuit of a meaningful relationship with Christ. Week after week I would receive non-verbal (and oftentimes verbal) feedback from her as I could see in her face that "she got it". She has always been that kind of kid. She is soft spoken and beautiful and sweet like nobody's business! My wife Kim adored her. I think she met Stevie pretty early in her college career. He's a great guy. A youth minister. He has an amazing gentle and compassionate spirit. After the honeymoon this week, he'll return to First Methodist Church in Clinton (what a cool name for a town) and she'll begin Medical School!
Amy & Stevie
Me and Allie...notice how well that tie matches!
Performing weddings has been one of my favorite functions as a minister. It's all the more special when you get to watch someone grow up in so many ways. I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend than to have the best seat in the house for their wedding.
After the wedding, I hightailed it north to Vicksburg where nearly ALL of my family was gathered for Memorial Day/Birthday get together. It was pretty fun to see everyone. I've been hanging out with my family since then.
I took a small road trip yesterday. How's this for productive: I had lunch with one of my former youths that now works for the MS Baptist Convention Mission Mobilization Department yesterday. I also got registered to be on Staff for MS Super Summer- the best camp ever! After that I drove up to Yazoo City and visited with my friend Kathy whom I had not seen in 25 years! Then I drove back to Jackson and saw Marissa (another former student) at the Coffee Shop that she works at. Finally, I had a late sandwich and Sweet Tea at McAllister's with my friend Camille (An MC student that was in Greece with me back in March) and her boyfriend Andrew.
Today I drove down to Pineville, Louisiana to visit my niece and her family and to retrieve my Bicycle (it's been living here since I went to Eastern Europe.)