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Updated: Monday, July 3, 2006
Los Angeles, California
The tour continues to be very encouraging and the buses are running great!... with the exception of a few minor glitches... (we've removed anything too low on the Peacemaker II - i.e. the front fog lights have been inadvertently removed by low clearance) and actually the Hippie bus is also experiencing a few problems- good thing we have mechanics on board. The L.A. traffic is putting our buses and drivers to the test!
One of the main purposes of being in L.A. is to try and meet Christians attending the Azusa Street Revival. This event marks the 100 year anniversary of a revival held in a simple framed building by a man named William J. Seymour whose sincere desire was that the miracle of Pentecost would come about on the earth again. His hope was that the gift of the Holy Spirit would enable men and women to live holy lives and would foster unity in the church. Unfortunately, this movement did not produce the fruit of the first community of disciples as recorded in the book of Acts, but rather the Pentecostal denomination...yet one more division in Christianity. But, surely there are sincere people who long to do the will of God on the earth! Our hope is to find those who are looking for the vibrant life of the first church...... rather than an emotional experience that leaves some unfulfilled after the service is over.
The revival is being held in four different locations in Los Angeles, day and night. Peacemaker I is staying at the main site: the L.A. Convention Center. The organizers of the event have allowed us to set up two tables in the passage way from the parking area into the conference center where literally thousands of people have to pass by. We have given away almost all of our Azusa papers(see below)- 20,000 English and 10,000 Spanish- and have met people from all over the world..... including the Eastern European countries, the Ukraine, Slovakia, Ghana, Chile, Argentina, China and on and on.
Trying to coordinate the Merrymaker Caravan in the busy L.A. traffic is quite an undertaking. We decided to split up as there are so many places to go and opportunities to meet people. Peacemaker I has been staying at the L.A. Convention Center with the Azusa Street event. The Hippie bus has stayed in the Vista area putting up posters and inviting people for the festival ....and answering lots of questions like, "What's up with the bus?" They went to the Ocean Beach Farmer's Market to play music and strengthen relationships we have there and will join the caravan on Friday. People came on the bus all day and everyone received an invitation to the festival. One woman already went on to visit our home in Vista.
THE NEW PEACEMAKER II AND THE MERRYMAKER!!!
Peacemaker II and the Merrymaker:
Santa Monica- April 25th
Peacemaker II and the Merrymaker parked along the beach while others danced and played music a few blocks away ......one man we met on Wednesday came home with us and has since gone on to visit our farm in Valley Center.
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VENICE BEACH !!
Venice Beach, California Sunday, April 27, 2006
UCLA and Venice boardwalk- We are meeting lots of people...
We met a wonderful Chamite man on the boardwalk in Venice who seemed interested in our life, but was apprehensive about coming home with us that night.
"Are you coming back tomorrow?" he asked.
"Yes! Of course we are!" we answered.
And we did. Upon arriving we sought him out. He, at the other end of the boardwalk was looking for us. A happy reunion - he has been traveling and staying with us ever since.
April 27th - Thursday
Peacemaker II and the Merrymaker went again to the Venice boardwalk to play music and dance after a few hours spent at UCLA.
That evening, everyone came back to the buses (parked on the beach) to eat supper. There had already been several people visiting the buses but soon word spread and the almost empty parking lot started filling up with the curious. The shy circled the buses once or twice before parking and coming over. Others just appeared and came on.... surfers came up the beach.....make more veggie wraps! Some sit and eat with us, some take a peek then talk with us outside....David is playing the guitar and his son accompanies him on the harmonica. It's a parking lot happening!
When we first pulled into town, we stopped to let people off. A man in his thirties was standing on the sidewalk gazing at the bus when a brother started talking to him. Thinking we were Christians, his 'awed' look turned to anger and he scowled at the bus. "You guys into the Jesus thing?" he blurted out in a very challenging way.... (just last week some people had preached hell fire to him)... Later he met us again on the boardwalk and we ended up having a nice conversation with him when he realized we weren't condemning him to hell. He ended up staying with us for hours apologizing... "I'm really not an angry person". He went on to tell us about his harsh religious upbringing (his father was a pastor who took him on all his evangelistic excursions) and had later died estranged from him. We hope to see him on Sunday at the festival.
We could tell so many more stories of hurt and lonely people. Some are bitter while others seem still tender.
We handed out more papers at the Angelus Temple at night- this is the Azusa Street women's revival meeting. Many have already received papers from the L.A. Convention Center. Most people are appreciative of the Freepapers and some ask for other publications. There are a few who seem threatened and want to engage in conversations defending their 'walk with Jesus' while many admit Christianity would do better to live more like the First Church.
Friday April 28th -
The two Peacemakers and the Merrymaker met at the L.A. Produce Market to meet our wonderful, kind friends who have helped supply the tribe here with organic produce. Our Spanish brothers and sisters were able to talk to lots of people who stopped their work to come see the buses. We are very thankful for these friends and the wholesome food connections we have been able to make through them.
On to the UCLA campus........ We needed more dancers and musicians so the Hippie bus has joined the Merrymaker and Peacemaker II! Unfortunately, the reunion is short lived as the Hippie bus has developed a little problem with its air lines and we have to leave the bus and a mechanic. But, grabbing all the dancers, we go on to Santa Monica where we dance on the 3rd Street promenade. So many people to talk to!
Please, stay tuned. We will try and let you know where we will be ahead of time if possible once we clear L.A. and head up the coast. You can write the website to find out where we will be next week.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org