Since last time we wrote, we have been to the very bottom of a deep valley, and now we are heading towards the top of the mountain again. I met with the young woman who lives here again, and we got to know each other for a couple hours and then I prayed over her apartment, and her, and her spirit almost immediately changed. So as of now, the door is not wide open for us to minister to her, but we will continue to pray for her, and I know the Lord will be working on her and will open the door again.
We took our poor car to the shop, and the woman at the front desk of the auto body shop is a christian, and was so very helpful and gave us the name of a good church in the area. We were so grateful for her help. So we then found a free campsite on the North side of the Golden Gate Bridge. I was so exited when the woman on the phone said it was free, because all the other pieces of land to pop a tent in the area were outrageously expensive. It was at the Marin Headwaters. That place has some amazing views of the ocean, the bay, the mountains, and the beautiful trees. I had been under demonic attack since before we got there so being in God's beautiful creation was very refreshing. It rained all night, and let up a little in the morning, just enough to pack up the tent and make breakfast.
After breakfast we drove around looking at different areas in the Bay area. The further away we got from the Big City the better my spirit felt, and the more peace we had. We then went to check out the area of Petaluma, CA, and it was nice. Much more peaceful than San Francisco. We looked at a little "granny cottage" in the country that would be in our price range but did not feel complete peace about it. We walked around Petaluma a little and decided to drive back south towards where the auto body shop was located. We remembered the church that the woman from the body shop recommended, and decided to go check it out to see if anyone was there. We are hoping there was possibly somewhere to camp on the property.
When we arrived at the church campus there were a bunch of teenage girls there but they were renting the building for a horse shin-dig. So nobody was there who were with the church. We hung out in the parking lot for a little while. Jeff played the guitar and I just sat and wondered why we had been wandering around for 5 days, God was being silent, and we were under so much attack. By the time night fall came, we were both so weary and had been arguing about ridiculous things for the last couple of days. I called our brother Ronnie back in Oklahoma, and told him what was going on. He told us to pray one more time and we would have our answer. We thought, "Seriously!! We have been praying all day and crying out to God for the last 5 days!" So we got off the phone and began to pray and our brother Ray called and asked what was going on because he felt an urgency in his spirit to call us. We told him we were weary and had been arguing and just simply not doing well, and were beginning to question whether or not God had actually sent us here. He knew something was wrong and just encouraged us to pray and get out of the car and go for a walk. As he was talking I remembered the scriptures the holy spirit was drawing my attention to the last couple days. Ephesians 5:22-25 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." I knew that my actions were hindering us from hearing from God and I was not trusting my husband to be in the position God had put him in. So we got out of the car to walk to a picnic table and I confessed to him that I had not been trusting him, and not submitting to him as the head of the relationship. We held each other and I cried and then we prayed and the enemy left and we were back on the same page again. We then walked around the campus of the church, which was beautiful. It has lots of old tall trees all around and was very serene. We decided when the two people who were cleaning up the church were gone we would pop our tent up in the playground, which was not very lit up. We thought our tent would be well hidden there and we would just get up at 5 before anyone arrived and pack up. So that is exactly what we did! We slept the best we had slept in probably a week, just not nearly long enough. We made some breakfast the next morning and saw that some people were setting up coffee and decided to partake.
The first person who saw us was one of the children's ministers, and he very genuinely welcomed us and asked us if it was our first time there. We told him we were traveling missionaries and someone told us about the church a couple days ago. He was very happy we were there. Many greeters and long time church attenders treated us in the same loving manner. We had not felt so loved and welcomed by a church in America in a long time, if ever. And if you have been following our blog for long, you know we have been to a lot of churches. After the warmest greeting ever, we heard a wonderful message that was perfect for what we were experiencing. It was out of Habakkuk. It was all about while you are in a valley of perplexity in your faith and waiting on God to guide you in the next step, what do you do? The key phrase, which Jeff and are totally living out was, "establish a presence, and serve!" We continued to meet many people in the church and they had a missionary lunch for a couple that have been living in Japan for the last few years. We were so happy to get to eat something besides tortillas and sandwich meat!!
During the lunch, the gentleman who was in charge of the lunch, John, who happens to be the missions director of the church, waved at us. I kinda wanted to talk to him, but I could tell he was busy. Later on after lunch and before the evening service, the lead pastor, Gary, saw us and asked if we needed to take a shower. I said with a breath of relief, "That would be amazing!!!!" So he took us over to the community center to take showers. Afterward I sat down to wait on Jeff, and John the missions director came over to talk to me. I briefly told him kinda why we were here and how we made it to Peninsula Covenant Church. Then he had to get to the church. After the evening service one of the pastors, Tony, invited us to come to a burrito joint with him and some of the young adults. While we were on our way there John texted Tony and told him we could stay the night at his house that night. What a Blessing!!
So.....We have been staying in the garage of John and Maureen for 8 days now. It has been great. They have 4 children and are very busy and needed a little help around the house with some handy man jobs and preparing meals and cleaning up afterward. So we kind of came at a perfect time for them. So we have just been establishing a presence and serving them the best we can, and they have been letting us sleep on a rather comfy bed in their garage.
The church does street ministry for the homeless 3 days a week and we have been serving in that ministry as well. We have made some friends that way too. We are having fellowship and bible study in our free time with 3 of the homeless people who sleep at the train station. It has been good for them. I would love to tell you more about them, but I feel this blog is getting rather long and I am ready to post it. So perhaps next time we can talk a little more about the ministry. You can look it up if you want to read more about street church. Go to http://www.peninsulacovenant.com/#/community/street-church
It is so amazing how God orders our steps. We get hit by a car in Oklahoma whose insurance was willing to let us have it fixed in California. So we get to California and go to the auto body shop and the front desk woman is a christian and she tells us of a church she has heard really great things about. So we wander around for 4 or 5 days and end up at that church and it appears that it is exactly where God wants us to be!!! God is so awesome! He is Yahweh- Jireh, "My God provides!!" There is no one above Him, no no, not one.