This past weekend we had a wonderful time with the folks of Valley Bible Church in South Windham, Vermont. It was our first meeting in Vermont, but like many other churches in New England, Valley Bible Church is packed with history and unique features. Pastor Griffin showed us the original documents of the church which dated back to the early 1800’s (the building was originally owned by Baptists; that church closed and the building was given to the folks of Valley Bible). We pored over the pages and read the lists of names of individuals who were saved and baptized during the Second Great Awakening, the dates of the lists only days apart. Although today Vermont is not known as being conservative, at one time the state contained so many Baptists that the two highest offices in the state were held by Baptists. Another unique fact about the church is that they only got indoor plumbing a few years ago – up until then they had outhouses. And apparently that is not an uncommon challenge with churches in Vermont.
But although the history of the church is interesting, the highlight was the people; we appreciated their friendliness and enjoyed their fellowship…and their cooking (and no, they are not the same) – at Valley Bible they have a potluck on the grounds every Sunday, just like our sending church does. Pastor Griffin and his family very graciously invited us into their home, where we spent hours (and hours!) in fun and edifying conversation.
Our hosts were also wonderful, and we enjoyed our time getting to know them. They make their own Vermont maple syrup (yummy!!). Their daughter Liz was quite an encouragement to us. Although she is blind and because of that faces certain limitations, Liz looks for opportunities to help others and praise the Lord. Before we left, she played “Amazing Grace” for us on the keyboard. What a challenge to us to take advantage of every means we have to serve God!
We saw some beautiful scenery on this trip, including a number of covered bridges. We also came along I-91…on an old dirt road in the middle of the hills!