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Updated: Friday, September 15, 2006
The community in Nelson, B.C. has a warm and busy café called the 'Preserved Seed Café' that is located on a hillside near the center of the downtown.
They also have a hostel a few doors down. Situated a few miles outside of Nelson, nestled against Mt. Sentinel, and off the main highway, is their small, rustic farm.
The community has made many friends over the five or six years they have been in the area and were eager to host a festival where all were invited to see and learn a little more about their life.
Besides all the wonderful food and drinks, the focus of the day seemed to be the social life under the circular tent. The children sang songs to us and played music.
Light-hearted, yet pointed skits were performed and our guest participated and drew close in songs, dancing and open discussions about things important to us all; what constitutes truly sustainable living, what constitutes truly sustainable relationships and what are the solutions to the divisions between men and women in today's society.
The atmosphere was stimulating, yet warm and comfortable. It was encouraging to see some of the friends of the Nelson community catch a little glimpse of the magnitude of our emerging culture.
Leaving the Merrymaker bus and our friends was very difficult but we were thankful to go on knowing they would continue to grow and represent our life in Canada.
A little story illustrating God's kindness:
After coming back into the States from Canada, we made a brief stop at a gas station on our way to Sand Point, Idaho. One of the women gave a freepaper to a young mother and mentioned we would be at the Sand Point town beach later on in the day (an unplanned stop).
We stayed at the beach for an hour or two and left for Missoula, Montana. We have barely gone five miles when the lead car, followed by a blue Bronco, pulled the caravan over. One of those pragmatic thoughts came to us, "Oh, no, another stop, it will be two in the morning before we stop for the night." But we remembered how divine appointments are not pragmatic and were thankful to greet the occupants of the blue bronco. It was the young mother, her little boy and her husband. She had read some of the freepaper and called her husband home from work saying, "We have to meet these people. They are at the town Beach in Sand Point!"
He came home and they raced to Sand Point while the young woman read from the freepaper to her husband as he drove. Amazingly enough, they caught up to the caravan as we were leaving town. Not knowing how to stop us, they called the Twelve tribes 800 number. Whoever answered gave them the lead car's cell phone number and they were able to reach him. The lead car was amazed to see them in his rearview mirror! So, we all pulled over.
This precious young couple told us how they had been praying for God to show them what to do with their life.
We spoke with them for a little while longer, but sadly we had to go on. But armed with more freepapers, directions to our communities, love, hope and the encouragement that it was no accident we met, we sang them a song,' A New Life is Blooming' right there on the side of the road.
We were only able to stay a few hours in Missoula because we had a long drive to get to Jackson Hole the next day. But, our faithful scouts had again done their job well, and we had parking spaces right in front of the city Courthouse. We danced and played music on the Courthouse lawn right smack in the middle of the down town.
The police had reserved the parking spaces for us by bagging the parking meters and locking the bag. They gave us the key to the bags to return when we were ready to leave (space for the three buses, six hours ..... fifteen dollars!)
We don't take these generous deeds for granted and are very thankful, for sure.
One interesting conversation happened between our Spanish brothers and sister and a woman environmentalist from Columbia. She and her friends were traveling in a small caravan trying to make people aware of the need to 'save the earth.' She told them she had had a dream just the night before about meeting another bigger caravan coming into Missoula. She said the people in the caravan had said, "Come, join us!" Recalling her dream, her response was, "Let me get to know you better first."
Among other things they told her we do care about the earth, but what we really care about is our fellow man. They exchanged addresses and said she wanted to learn more about what we believe and would stay in touch.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
After a long drive over the plains of Montana, we could begin to see the Rocky Mountains as dusk was falling. Dark, swirling clouds were overhead, but parted to reveal the most incredible sunset. As rain fell sporadically across the foothills, a swirling pink mist hung over the hills as the last rays of sunlight broke through.
The next morning we drove through the Teton Pass to Jackson Hole. Some of us had never been through the Rockies before so it was exciting to get the first glimpse of the majestic Tetons. We anticipated Peacemaker I's engine would probably overheat over the 10% grade pass, so the men bungee corded the doors to the engine compartment open so the engine could get a little cool air. It was a little humbling for our loyal ole' bus, but it worked. Unfortunately, the brakes got hot and smoky so they needed to pull over for a half hour to help them cool down. But the worst was over as far as mountain climbing was concerned and we were able to pull into Jackson Hole by lunchtime.
Jackson Hole was in the midst of their annual elk antler auction so the town was full of people (mostly tourists and elk antler dealers). We had a great parking spot right along the park in the town center. This was normally reserved for regular transit and tour buses but the chief of police graciously made provision for us and the bus people were willing to use the space behind us to pick up and drop off passengers. We were very thankful for their kindness. After two or three hours of meeting many people from many places, it was time to give the spaces back to the bus people.
We told the policeman, "Thank you so much for allowing us to be here today."
Their reply was, "No problem, it was great having you. Thank you for sharing with us!"
It was a long ride to Colorado and we were thankful to pull into the Boulder County Fairgrounds at 2 a.m. (off in a field where we hopefully didn't awaken any campers). The brothers and sisters from Colorado had arranged to have a festive gathering in a park in Boulder where we could play music, dance, serve food and maté, and have open forum discussions. The event had been advertised, but some of us went down Pearl Street (the brick walking street) to invite people to come over to the park. We had a wonderful day although there weren't mobs of people. This was definitely a 'quality not quantity' event as we met many sincere people who opened up their lives and hearts to us. So many people are lonely, whether they look like it or not and there were so many who said they have met us before.
"I remember this bus....it was at a Grateful Dead show in 1988," someone remarked. "You helped get glass out of my friend's foot."
We were thankful to sing songs to them at the end of the day. Several people stayed the entire day with us and it was hard to pull out of Boulder and leave them behind, even though they promised to visit our Manitou Springs community.
More pictures coming soon!!!
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