Our long trips start with one invitation, and the West Coast tripâ€™s birth was the Simi Valley invitation. Several years ago, we were at Lighthouse Bible Church, Simi Valley, California, for an evening of music and preaching. So, pulling back in at Lighthouse where the Simi Valley conference would be held, felt a little like being home.
The church graciously let us plug in, which saved us from running the generator. You might wonder why a bus would â€œplug in.â€ To preface this, one night, most of our family was inside a friendsâ€™ home where we were parking for the night, while I was in the bus, taking care of something on my computer. Because our bus windows were open, I overheard a conversation that neighbors were having about the bus. This part made me smile, â€œThey plugged that thing in!â€ I have to agree. A big bus with an extension cord running along the ground to a house does look unusual.
So, in basic terms, we have power in the bus because of batteries. These arenâ€™t ordinary batteries. In Steamboat Springs, on our way out West a few years ago, we had a specialized battery system installed. As the batteries lose their charge, you have two choices, run the generator or plug into an outlet. Some comfortable nights if we donâ€™t have the opportunity to plug in, weâ€™ll open the windows to save running the generator. Then, weâ€™ll set up a fan and point it to our bunk area to cool it down because it gets very warm in there. Depending on how much power weâ€™re using, we can make it a little over a day before charging.
This weekend conference did not include Friday evening due to a previously scheduled event at the church. Instead, the conference started at 9 Saturday morning. The Lord brought a wonderful group. Right before 9, we discovered credit card processing wasnâ€™t working. I called the support number and handed the phone off to Mary, because I needed to be in the first session with Anna. Long story short, it appeared they wouldnâ€™t be able to fix it. In between the sessions, I explained the problem to Dad. Dad prayed with me, and I went back to the tables. Shortly thereafter, I received a phone call from the support place. They had it fixed! Wow. Praise the Lord! Iâ€™m so grateful for His guidance in every area of our lives.
Ladies at the church graciously provided lunch for everyone at the conference. What a labor of love. Gorgeous weather allowed for outdoor eating.
Hearts were open and very interested in the sessions. On an exciting note, last night a young lady shared that the conference changed her life. Specifically, Josephâ€™s “Who Is Jesus?” session. Her family even noticed the dramatic difference! Praise Jesus. This is the second young person that weâ€™ve heard on this trip whose life has totally changed. I noticed Momâ€™s group of ladies were very interactive, which makes it nice. As we neared the end of the afternoon, Mary saw two lone questions in the panel discussion box. Hmmm. Would there be more, or would it be a quick panel? Again, it was awesome to see how the Lord worked. People filled out their questions, and when 3:15 rolled around, we had more than enough content.
We meet so many families and hear quite a few stories. In particular, on this trip, I think of two sweet single moms, who are raising their children for the Lord Jesus despite difficult circumstances. Both had incredible hearts for Jesus.
Saturday evening, a family invited us to dinner. What a special time of fellowship we had. Thank you, Ws!
Three more reports coming – Sunday and Monday evenings and our hike Monday morning.
“For ye shall go out with joy,
and be led forth with peace:
the mountains and the hills shall
break forth before you into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”