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La Jolla Cove, CA - April 2008
The Merrymaker's Caravan is taking the witness of the Kingdom to the nations. We have to go forth with the love, joy and hope that we have to share it with those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.
We were recently exhorted to continue the Caravan in whatever measure we are able, according to where we are at in our development as a people, and as a tribe. This was confirmed when we were given the Peacemaker II to pair up with the Garden Bus for the Caravan. And even more amazing, and very essential to putting these buses to work, we were given Anak and Azarah (along with Anak's amazing imma, Rinonah and his son, Yalad) for a season to be set apart to steward the buses.
Thus far we have gone to the Earth Day event at Balboa Park in San Diego for the 6th year. We danced and hand out papers, and the Hippie Bus was flooded with guests. The Peacemaker II went to Fallbrook Avocado Festival on the same day.
Then we took Peacemaker II on the following Tuesday (which is the official Earth Day) to Temecula where a group of college students were hosting an Earth Day Gathering on campus. They had been to our house to earnestly invite us to come and bring the Merrymakers. We couldn't resist as they are so sincerely trying to make a difference in their world. (They have a cook out once a week for any homeless people or students or anyone who wants to come. They make a big social gathering out of it.) There were about 60 people at the gathering -- mostly young people without much vision for life who said there is NOTHING to do in Temecula. We think we might be seeing some of them soon.
We took Peacemaker II to the Farmers' Market in Ocean Beach on Wednesday, where we had a major demonstration with our music and dancing, along with our Mate Factor booth and Morning Star Ranch produce stand. We went together as a tribe to La Jolla Cove on First Day. We plan to have our First Day festivals like this for a time in public places with the buses. This weekend the bus is going to the San Francisco Bay area for some special events there.We are making cookies and tea continually, and we are already having a greater influx of guests to our communities from the Caravan events.
Santa Cruz, CA & Santa Rosa, CA - May 2008
It's been a busy month for the Peacemaker II. We heard in our council that we shouldn't plan what we couldn't maintain (that thing about starting and maintaining could also be said of dreaming and even starting). So with our little bit of faith, a very large bus and a great burden for the lost sheep in this downtrodden part of the world, we decided to have a festive occasion with even both buses on First Days, and many people from both our households. That's how we went to La Jolla Cove last month. This month we sent the bus to Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa on one weekend (that was to support the household there with a picnic they were hosting for the Job), the following weekend to Griffith Park Observatory, LA and this weekend we were on the way to Missouri, stopping off in Phoenix for the Public Farmers' Market. The Hippie Bus went with the Peacemaker to the Carlsbad Street Fair, where 100,000 people come every year, and a good number squeezed into the buses.
The other part of the plan we heard as to take the Peacemaker with a small hospitality crew from either one of the households on Tuesdays or Thursdays. We thought of some congenial places where we could be engaged in a good number of meaningful encounters as a counterpart to being an attraction at such a big event where we can't often talk to people.
So the bus went twice to Escondido for the Friday Night Street Fair of antique cars, to Oceanside pier, to Carlsbad Green, to Tamarack Park and, sure enough, we had the most amazing meetings with people. Over one eight day period we were out seven days with the Peacemaker!
The next week we took the Peacemaker II to the Oceanside Sunset Market which is on Thursday evening, and we were immediately struck with the realization that maybe our Father wanted us here, closer to home.... Most of the people we meet in OB say it's too far to travel up to our places to visit us, and it's true that very few have actually ever visited. But in Oceanside, every person we meet lives in our area....So last week we told everyone it was the last week. Most reacted as you might expect, just wanting to know where they could buy their mate now, but a few said, "Man, now I am going to have to visit you!" Many people spoke kindly to us and expressed that OB wouldn't be the same without us. Right at the end, we all got together and sang "Do you remember that He said" and other songs. People stopped on the sidewalk and came out of the stores. They weren't spectators (as they have been in the past), but rather they were listening in a way that was participating with us. They were opening their hearts and receiving what our Father was saying to them through those songs. I was in awe. It was like watching the spiritual realm open. I went back to the mate booth and people came to ask me about the songs and who we are... one day we want to come back to OB and see what will happen, but for now we are going to Oceanside and Escondido markets, our neighboring cities.
Santa Barbara, CA – June 2008
Santa Barbara is on a peninsula, about 4 hours drive from Vista, CA. It's special for there is a welcoming atmosphere there and the people love their town, passionately. We've been there many times on different trips, usually staying for an afternoon and sometimes the evening, hosting people on our buses. But, I think, this is the first time we have had a bus in town over a series of days. We went up for a concert on Wednesday and stayed for a local street fair and parade on Saturday.
The event was low key but plenty of local people attend. It's their own homegrown event and they loyally support it. We met so many precious people from every strata of life. There were plenty of people lining up to tour the Peacemaker Bus, but unlike some other events, many people were in no hurry to get through to the front door and out again. It was a heat wave and the bus got pretty stuffy, but they still stayed. Even if there was not seating at that time available, people would take their stand in the aisle and get into very deep conversations. Or they would come back later -- sometimes two or three times. They weren't satisfied with just knowing the model or fuel consumption of the bus; they wanted to know who and why. More than one person began his conversation with "why."
We were warmly and enthusiastically invited to spend the night on a mountain property, and to spend the day walking to the waterfall with the family and their friends. The bus couldn't make it down the treacherously steep and curving road, but stayed up on the crest of the mountain, near the main road. Plenty of visitors came to the bus, and those of us who did go to the waterfall met some amazing people. (For example: two Israeli men who had never been to the property before but who just happened to be there. They surely had a surprise too, to be talking about God and love, in the middle of a mountain stream).
The next night we had been invited by another couple, sweet and sincere. We stayed there for two nights and spoke the gospel with compelling clarity. They asked if they could have some time to think about all that they had heard, so we came home. But we still hadn't followed up the invitation from the owner of a bed and breakfast who wanted us to stay there also. We are planning on a festival in Santa Barbara sometime soon, bringing both the Peacemaker and the Garden Bus, dancers and musicians, and some families. We are quite excited about it, as in all the time of touring and visiting towns with our buses, this is the most response we have seen. We can't say there is an open door there yet, but we have a sense that a door is starting to open to an extensive network of people in the area.