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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Longview and The Conference

We originally only planned a week long trip to Alabama to visit Jenny and her family, but a few days before we left, I got an e-mail about Bill Gothard's new book and it included information about his regional ATI conferences and an invitation to them. One of them was located in Big Sandy, Texas, where we would be passing by on the way home from Alabama and started just a day after we would be there. Somehow, both our schedules had cleared, and we decided that some spiritual renewal and christian fellowship would be a good investment of our time. This is the new book as well as the theme of the conference.

After every conference my husband visited the book table.

Big Sandy, Texas is 24 miles north of Longview and is the headquarters of ALERT Academy. The academy is a very interesting project of Mr. Gotherd's and you can goggle it if you would like to learn more about it. It is for young men over 17 and they teach search and rescue. The campus is ginormous (to quote my grandchildren) and it was a work-out for us to walk to the meetings and meals.

The famous East Texas azaleas were blooming on campus.

The pretty, but very long sidewalk to meals.

A better view of the library. This campus is the location of the former Ambassador College which closed in the 1990's. This is the library where some of the meetings were be specific, the 7 am meetings with Mr. Gotherd for dads. Some advisers (who shall remain anonymous) told me the first morning that it would be OK for me to go with my qualified "dad". One of them even assured me that they had checked with "the people" in charge. There was no meeting for ladies at the time and it was a 30 minute drive to Big Sandy, so, I arrived late with "dad", got off the elevator in the middle of the room and was the only non dad in a room of about 250 men.

The first building you see when arriving on campus. I dug in the back of my closet and found some dresses to wear, but there was no hiding my short hair and lack of denim jumpers. The ATI families are a little strict about women and their appearance. (Which is fine, just saying)

The entrance and gate house. We enjoyed the conference and heard some great and inspiring messages and met some very interesting people. Jim Bob Duggard was there. He said Josie is back in the hospital with intestional problems after only being home 2 days.

We walked around the much advertised historic downtown Longview and took a few photos of some pretty buildings. I saw a lot of interesting churches on the trip, but didn't have time to stop so I got my church photo fix here.

The Methodist church has bells every 30 minutes.

This beautiful 100 year old house is now a lawyer's office.

And the courthouse.

There was a hiking trail near our hotel that we enjoyed. We felt like we were walking in a forest, but could hear the traffic to the left of the trail.Clover, all over the roadsides of East Texas, Arkansas and Alabama.
Honeysuckle was all over the places we visited, too.


Wendy said...

No picture of Jim Bob?

Camezi said...

Did you visit the Watsons? It's too bad you didn't pack your denim jumper. Where can you buy those anyway? Hummm.

Michael said...

I know what they are called! I looked them up in a wild flower book in a Smoky Mountain gift shop. They are clover. We have a bunch of them here. I love them, purple, raspberry and more.