Here is the last installment of our “May Road-trip”…. a truly incredible city, Washington D.C.
On our way down, during the first few days, we’d seen the signs for Washington and thought… “Hmmmm… I wonder if…”, however we had a definite time frame and wanted to be neither rushed nor late to visit with the Mitchells in Montgomery so we just kept driving. On the way back, however, we had no definite plans so I tossed the idea out to Liz and she agreed that it’d be a neat stop. The kids had done some U.S. history this year and would be able to relate to and understand some of the things that we’d see there.
We left St. Louis early on a Thursday morning in hopes of making the entire trek to Washington in a single day; no small feat as that represented over 800 miles or 1,300km. We were motivated. Why spend time driving two days when you can cram lots in during one, then have more time on site at the destination?
Off we went… Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania… West Virginia (again), Maryland and finally, very late at night (thankfully… can’t imagine driving there during a weekday. Madness!) we arrived. The next day we slept in a bit but then, shortly before noon, set out to explore what is, without question, one of the most important cities on Earth.
Pennsylvania Avenue and beyond…
Our hotel being in Georgetown, we only had a short walk before intersecting with Pennsylvania Avenue. We turned left and followed the street, knowing that it would eventually take us to the White House. It was Friday so besides the tourists, there was still a great deal of hustle & bustle coming in and out of places like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc. As we walked, there was a real sense of being in a seat of power… a city that breathes world-wide influence. Whatever your political persuasion or ideological viewpoint – whether you agree or disagree with the direction of that influence, there is no denying that it is there.
We arrived at the back entrance to the White House… well not literally the back door…. the back, heavily guarded gate. We walked to the White House gift shop and dropped a bit of cash at the till in exchange for a few souvenirs and then headed to the south lawn of the White House, over to the Washington Monument down past the War Memorial and on to the Lincoln Memorial (collectively our favourite).
Rev. & Mrs. Jerry Staten pastor the church in Washington and we connected with them upon arrival. We were able to join them for their “Evanglize D.C.” prayer-focus meeting on Saturday morning where some 40+ people had gathered. Later that day, we joined them for their Spanish service “Esperanza Viva”, and of course for church the next morning.
What an incredible church! Extremely multicultural and very warm & affectionate. We felt very, very welcome with these folks. Under their leadership and that of their leadership team, there are over 20 small groups that meet throughout the city and the idea is that eventually, they will form the foundation of daughter work churches.
During the Sunday morning service, they sang a special number in 7-8 languages and there were three people baptized in Jesus’ name, including one in a wheel chair… their sins washed away. Awesome!
Thank you, Bro. & Sis. Staten for your time and the warm welcome we felt in D.C. at Living Hope! The name is truly appropriate!!
If you’re in the D.C. area and looking for a church family, you can find Living Hope UPC at 1200 1st St. S.W., Washington D.C. 20024. Their phone number is (301) 481-7926.