Back in Oregon

We just made it to Central Point, OR this afternoon!  Big Buster is parked on the side yard of Andy’s parents house and we have nestled into the idea of being in familiar stomping grounds.  It is a bit surreal, I think I am still in shock that we are back in Oregon.  Mustard Seed Ministry has made it all the way around the States!

The kids are in heaven, playing in their regular spots at Gramma and Panka’s (that is Grampa) house.  Andy and I are enjoying being with people who know us, love us and love our kids.

While we are here, we will be connecting with the Rescue Mission in Medford, connecting with community members who are also reaching out to the poor in this area, and then working with the Community Bible Church family.

Our time in Central Point will last until June 11.  We will be speaking and sharing at 9-10:15am and 10:45-noon on June 7 @ Community Bible Church.  If you live in the southern Oregon area and want to say hi and/or hear some of our story, please come!!

We covet your prayers as we transition and continue to minister as God leads!

The Homeless Church

Evan and April Prosser had a vision fifteen years ago.  That vision led them to the pavement of San Francisco living on the streets in a converted bus they had bought for $1,750.  Their vision was not one of ministering too the poor, but rather living amongst them, they moved into areas of town where many homeless folks lived, where other mobile-homeless lived in their cars and run-down RVs.

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The Homeless Church bus

P5200012inside The Homeless Church bus

The Prosser’s started The Homeless Church of San Francisco which is not a service to the homeless, but a church that the homeless can be a part of.  Homeless men and women become regular attendees who worship with Evan as he plays the violin, and listen to Pastor Evan as he shares a message from the Word just like any other church on a Sunday morning, except his pulpit isn’t in front of the baptistery and drum set, but is next to two huge head sculptures near a busy downtown San Francisco street.

P5170001The Homeless Church @ Embarcadero Ave.

There is no paid staff at The Homeless Church, and all donations and proceeds are used to make meals for the Sunday services, paying the utility bills at their transitional home, and doing other services for the poor throughout the week.  The most amazing thing I may have witnessed on our entire journey was when Pastor Evan took an offering towards the end of the service.  I thought to myself, “how are these people going to give anything, they are poor, they are destitute.”  Countless men and women walked up and put whatever they had into the hat.  I sat back in teary-eyed amazement in the power of our lovely God.  Back at the transitional home that the Prosser’s now live at called the Grace Healing Home, I nearly started to cry again as Evan explained the world map on the wall of their dining room that had pictures of missionaries with yarn stretched to the location of their mission in the world.

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The Homeless Church supports eight different missionaries on four different continents.  The Homeless Church pledged to support one missionary in the Dominican Republic with $200 a month.  That would be about $50 a week.  For a few weeks Pastor Evan encouraged the congregation to collect cans and bring them to the service.  The first collection they took they collected $14 (not in cans, but cash!) for the missionary, the next week $29, then $51.  They are now collecting over $100 a week for this missionary, which if you do the math is over $400 a month – much more than the $200 a month that was pledged.  How many churches in this “economic crisis” are giving more than they pledge to give?

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

The Prosser’s obedience has allowed the Lord to work through them in powerful and yet simple ways; bringing boxes of food to homeless camps under the bridges; having a church service on Embarcadero Avenue on Sunday mornings and another on Mission Avenue on Sunday afternoons; opening the Grace Healing Home where homeless men who are sick (medically as well as spiritually) can come to find peace of mind in Christ Jesus; Nightstrikes, where a group goes downtown to serve soup to about 70 homeless living in cardboard boxes and next to dumpsters; as well as a multitude of other small and seemingly insignificant things that in our eyes have little impact, but have a huge impact on the Kingdom of God.  You see, Evan and April believe that the fire of God is on the streets, not in the four walls of the traditional church.  It is time to get out of the walls and go meet the lost and the broken where they are at.  Although Jesus spent some time in the Temple [even though most of the time was spent with a whip in hand], most of His time was spent on the dirt roads of Galilee, the 1st century version of Embarcadero Avenue.

P5220011Avery with Grace Healing Home residents Cameron, Alfredo and Pastor Evan

P5220012April and Serenity

Time is short in Frisco

Our time in San Francisco has been amazing!  We feel blessed with this being our last city.  Unfortunately, because of the lack of parking accessibility in the downtown area our time is being shortened.  We have been parked on the street since yesterday and our spot, being right across the street from the Grace Healing Home, is perfect.  However, because we can’t find a place to plug in and park for an extended amount of time, we will be leaving tomorrow.  We know in our hearts we will be back here someday.  The connections that we have made with The Homeless Church are so significant; there is much to glean from these saints.  Our next post will be all about our time here.

Please pray for us as we travel North to see more of Andy’s side of the family near Eureka, CA and then eventually land in Central Point, OR to reconnect with Andy’s parents for a couple weeks.  We are looking forward to ministering in a familiar town (Medford and Central Point) and working with a familiar church body (Community Bible Church).  CBC has been a faithful body of believers that continue to follow us and support our journey across the States.  We will be sharing stories, pictures, things we have learned and some understanding of what God wants to do with us next on June 7 @ 9-10:15am and 10:45-noon at Community Bible Church in Central Point.  We plan to be back in Hubbard, OR (in our own house!) by June 30, after we take some time to reconnect with my side of the family.

One man we met yesterday:

Roger:  We met Roger at a church that had a food sharing time.  He was a thin man with big huge headphones around his neck that kept the noise out.  He didn’t want music, just quiet.  After talking with him for a little while, he asked Andy, “So, who are you guys anyways?  People in San Francisco aren’t this happy!”  I guess he got us on a good day but it opened up some more conversation.  We found out he has struggled with depression, anorexia, and homosexuality.  Most likely these things have taken him to the streets at one point or another; at the moment he has a roof over his head.  Roger knows Jesus, is a kind man, and wants to find freedom from these struggles.  Freedom is in Christ but this revelation must come from the Holy Spirit and the decision is ultimately Roger’s.  Please pray for more confidence in the power of Christ in him and courage to believe he is worth it.

Our day in pictures

P517000120 weeks along

P5180007our dining room table

P5180017bubbles!

P5180015more bubbles!

P5180025stuffed animal dance party

P5180031Alameda County Fairgrounds sunset

P5180032Big Buster ready for bed

Holy Hotness!

Our thermometer is reading 102 F degrees in Pleasanton, CA.

Air-conditioning in Big Buster is heaven after a long day of public transportation, walking, meeting new people and figuring out San Francisco!  We have decided that the BART train is definitely the most expensive public transit nation-wide.  But as we were reminded by our son, Avery, after getting frustrated with some of the BART workers, “They are just trying to do their job.”  Ah, wise words out of the mouth of a six-year-old.

We met up with Evan, pastor of The Homeless Church in Frisco, and joined their service in the morning.  They meet outside at the Embarcadero, near the Ferry Building.  Anyone is invited to join and sit, listen and eat breakfast after.  We are looking forward to meeting more of them at their Grace Healing Home this week.  Very sweet people who love Jesus so much!

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Next stop, Cornerstone Church in the Mission district and very yummy real Chinese food for lunch.

By 4:30 we made it back to Big Buster.

Two men we met today:

George who is homeless that had a cold and was convinced it was because of the smog.  Once again, our kids brought him joy as they ran around and picked flowers while Evan gave the message at the Homeless Church.  George has been hardened by the streets and needs Jesus to speak Love and Tenderness to him.

Tom who we met at the bus station.  We don’t really know his real name because he claimed he didn’t know it (and I believe him).  I asked him jokingly at first if his name was Tom and he said, “yes”, so we will stick with it.  Tom is mentally ill, like many folks we meet.  I cleaned his glasses for him after he rooted through the garbage, looking for a napkin to clean them with.  Tom is a man who is lonely, only concerned with the basics of life, and needs the Kindness of Jesus.

We meet people on a daily basis like this but we don’t always write about them.  Just little snippets or moments.  Today I felt compelled to.  They are important and worthy of being written about.  Children of God, just like you and me.

It was a Holy Hotness day, thank you Jesus!

San Francisco

We made it to Pleasanton, CA (a town east of San Francisco) last night to stay at an RV park for a few days.  The weather forcast is predicting 95-100 F temps for the weekend, so we are glad to have a good hook-up system that allows us to use our AC!  We will plan to head into San Fran tomorrow on the BART.  Please keep us in your prayers as we navigate this town and meet people as we go!