I was watching a guy on the sidewalk here at Joe’s tonight with his new little dog which had been a stray from the street. This man has a speech impediment and doesn’t always smell like daisies. He was also my first friend at Joe’s. “To have friends, you have to be friendly,” he says.
This man now has charges of animal cruelty because of his living conditions. Though he loves his pets, they were taken from him because he lives in a very small, very dirty camper.
But that’s where I start to get confused… “Oh, I’m sorry sir, your living conditions aren’t fit for animals, so we’re going to make sure they are given an opportunity for a better dog life and we’ll leave you here by yourself. On your own. And take you to court.”
Yes, I’m thinking maybe it’s time for a better way…
This picture describes how I felt about Nomads this year. Nomads is a big gathering we have on campus. Beautiful Feet has been holding this event for about 10 years. It is a mobilization event, so we knew that someday Darrel and I would be given the reigns to run it. John Zumwalt, our founder, began giving us a leadership role earlier this spring. He didn’t give great detail of what the responsibility really entailed but just a large list of tasks that needed to be assigned and followed up on. Darrel was given another large task so I took on the oversight role. Little did I know that John had bigger ideas in mind. (Imagine a parent telling a child to just get on the bike. It’s ok I’ll hold it.) The week of Nomads came and we had many volunteers come help. I found myself running the meetings and assigning more task that needed to be done. John was in the meeting making sure I covered all that needed to be covered. (Now the parent is holding on the seat running beside the bike.) Friday, around noon, all the tasks for the weekend were either done or assigned. So I went to John and reported that everything was finished, assuming I was done and I could help with registration and mobilization for the rest of the weekend. Oh, no. John’s plan was just beginning. He looked at me with the straightest of faces and declared that I was running the whole weekend. (Imagine the parent letting go of the seat but still running beside.) Part of the job of running the weekend is to give John the announcements for the group before each main session. Saturday morning, I texted John to tell him what I knew but the response I got was unexpected, I was to do the announcements as well. (parent no longer running but watching many feet back) Oh my.
The weekend was a whirlwind, with many unexpected details that came up and many parts that needed to run smoothly. Our people really do an amazing job with food, atmosphere (even the flowers bloomed on cue), the sessions, the concert and, of course, the chai was delicious. The thing that made it all worth it to me were the baptisms on Sunday after the last session. Many people from Joe’s, our coffee shop, made a first-time decision to be recognized as a follower of Jesus. Many others, who came just for the weekend, want symbolize their desire to die to their own dreams and ambitions and follow Jesus to the ends of the earth. Darrel and I have been walking with some of these over the last year. What an amazing experience to see fruit in the work we have just begun.
Our Boot Camp graduation was Saturday night and to be honest, I was a little sad. I have been to Nomads for many years dreaming of the day when my family would be sent out by God to the ends of the earth and here we are being sent out, knowing that we would be heading right back inside to our beds. Raul, the director of our Boot Camp in Mexico, stepped up to pray and challenged the audience to trust John Zumwalt, and Eric Guthrie, our missions director. He challenged them to take the next step of obedience and come to Boot Camp and allow God and these experienced men to find a place for them. God just spoke to my heart and reminded me that this is what our family did just a couple years earlier.
We have been placed in Oklahoma City. We still desire to move off the continent one day but while we are being obedient and staying it is amazing to be able to see the first fruit of our labor.