Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hospitality: Hope Style!

TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2009

The rain did not deter a very sizable crowd from coming to watch All About Us.  I must give a lot of credit and thanks to the kind parents of my Charlotte friend, Helen Kimbrough, for putting the word out around town about our screening.  

Helen's parents, Rev. Dr. & Mrs. Winfred Hope, are a very distinguished and simply wonderful couple of Athens, GA and Rev. Hope is also the long-time pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church West.  Rev. & Mrs. Hope invited me to stay in their home during my visit to town and what a delight it was to spend so much quality time with them.  In addition to all the insightful conversation, rich laughter and special visit to the "Prop Room," Mrs. Betty Hope found time to cook and prepare me some of my most memorable meals of 2009.  I love to eat great home-cooked meals and I was truly spoiled (and stuffed) during my stay at their peaceful home.  I thought I was at a restaurant for a moment because Betty Hope had TWO cakes from which to choose for my dessert!  By that point I felt completely "at home" at their home and I had a slice of each!  Who needs to choose between two cakes while on tour?

The next morning after a slamming Hope-style, Hope-cooked breakfast I attended a noon-time Bible study taught by Rev. Hope, received a personal tour of their church which was undergoing a major renovation and Mrs. Hope gave me a driving tour of the massive University of Georgia campus and downtown Athens.  

When I hang out and talk with wonderful Christian couples like The Hopes I always leave with renewed encouragement and focussed purpose.  The Hopes have already traveled the road on which I'm just now getting up to speed (enjoying marriage, raising children, navigating life, serving Christ) and I left the Watkinsville-Bogart-Athens area with more wisdom and insight than I had when I rolled into these southern parts of Oconee County.  For that, I say much love and much thanks to Winfred & Betty Hope.  -Michael Swanson