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Updated: Monday, July 3, 2006
On the Road
Well, we are half way through our tour and we are finally starting to get our bus legs (after 6,319 miles). Each bus is a "bushold" and we are actually functioning like a community on wheels. We are learning better communication skills between the buses (we haven't left anyone yet, and we aren't losing each other quite as much). The kitchen people are getting more organized with the "chuck wagon" (refrigerator and food truck) and we take turns or pitch in to prepare veggies and fruits for meals. The greatest lesson we are presently learning is there is no parking lot too empty, no Wal-mart too big, no street too deserted looking, or no itinerary too strict, to find a sensitive person with a heart to love and be loved.
It was an inevitable .....we finally had to stop at a Wal-mart for a few things...all four buses and the "chuck wagon" truck.
"Let's be quick, we need to get back on the road to be in Chico by 1:00," someone exhorts us. Oh... it feels like such a distraction and seems like we sit in the parking lot forever (even though it's only 45 minutes - not bad considering there are 53 of us).
The pragmatic mind could get impatient....... But, is it really a distraction from our purpose?
"You people look so happy.... are you all brothers and sisters or something?" the Mexican lady at the cash register asked, seeming to discern our spirit.
"Yes, we are happy and we are family," someone replies.
"I can see it in your eyes..." she said and then with a questioning look. "Do you all pray?"
"Yes,...yes, we pray."
This sweet woman poured out her heart about her life, her hopes for her children and her frustration of not being able to be with them more (she is a single parent with two jobs). She said, "I want to teach my children to pray."
It was only a few minute exchange in a Wal-Mart shopping line, but we left the store with her saying she was going to visit the farm in Valley Center as soon as possible. It was no distraction.... we are learning to be flexible.
We stopped in Chico for only an hour or so, but long enough to meet a young man who is studying Church history. His curiosity was aroused when we spoke to him about the origins of the First church and how they actually lived a common life according to Acts, chapters 2 and 4. He wanted all our literature.
Mt. Shasta City - May 8th
As you get further up into northern California, the landscape changes as the end of the Cascade Mountain Range comes into view. Mt Shasta is an imposing (14,162 foot), snow covered, dormant volcano that stands majestically alone. Our scouts had met people in the town of Mt. Shasta City, which sits at the foot of the mountain, who were interested in the caravan coming to their town. This is a very alternative place where many "new age" people live to draw from the 'energy' from the 'Spirit' of the mountain. After playing music and dancing in a park (at the headwaters of the Sacramento River, and having supper with lots of guests), we were invited to park our buses in the driveway of a 'spiritual' community of about twenty. The community is only a few months old and some of the residents are seeing the limitations of their flesh (and their spiritual beliefs) in getting along in the same house. We were able to tell them the secrets of our love. We also had some interesting conversations about how people need to have sustainable relationships before they can have a sustainable life. This town was not on the list of scheduled stops, but we were thankful to meet many sincere people... people who haven't given up on the deep desires of their hearts.
Ashland, Oregon - May 9th
We were so excited to meet a fourteen year old girl in the downtown park we had met last year.
"I can't believe it...it is so great to see you again," she exclaimed.
The young women who met her last year responded, "We have thought a lot about you since last year."
"Yeah, my life is better than it was last year. I'm much happier...I'm on Prozac."
"Oh, Prozac...that is so bad..." replied one young disciple.
"Yeah, but I have suffered with depression for years.....I have a really bad life."
"You were created to be happy without something that alters your brain like Prozac......" began the disciple.
Interrupting her, the young girl said, "I would like to be happy like you..."
"You can be happy.....it starts with forgiveness," we replied.
During the day several different 'baby-boomers' came and sat on the buses and opened their hearts to us about how their marriages of 30 and 40 years had recently ended. They allowed us a brief glimpse of their suffering and devastation, but then their guard would go back up and they would philosophize about change being good for people; "My wife needed to 'find herself'," ... "My husband felt confined by our relationship and needed more space".... and all sorts of horrific reasons for breaking their covenants. It is so sad to see people trying to survive dysfunctional relationships in society today by trying to find some 'inner strength'.... really all they can do....until they meet a people living a life of love and restored relationships.
Eugene - May 10th
It never ceases to amaze us how our Father allows us the best parking spaces right on the main streets near loads of people. The kind policeman, whose beat was next to the buses, confessed to being an anti-war demonstrator during the 60's, but had a change of heart and became a policeman in 1971. He told us he knew we were coming to town the next day so he had looked us up on the web site the night before 'to check us out' (he said we were 'Okay' and he liked what he read).
Eugene is near the late Ken Kesey farm (of the Further bus and the Merry Pranksers) so we meet lots of people who were active in the Movement during the 60's. Many people have bus stories.....they were born on a bus, they live on a bus, they are converting their bus into a home, or they have one in their back yard they will fix 'someday'. Even the most conservatively, well-dressed, businessmen are drawn to the buses and ask questions, eventually revealing their past involvement in the 60's and their fond memories of envisioning a possession free life (they all got a Hippiecrit paper ).
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