Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not quite a surprise

11:59 a.m. Today's project was to clean the house preparatory to a new friend coming over for a facial. Annette has had a lot of personal trials lately, so I hope to share the Lord with her today, and be a witness with my considerate and helpful demeanor.
Steve is finally making headway on removing some stubborn bolts from the RV, so we can install a new step, and I am very pleased with his focus on the project. Similar tiny signs of the leveling off of his Alzheimer's symptoms have been apparent lately.What is the Lord doing? I'll keep praying.
Last spring, Steve, Steven and I joined Pastor Raul Ries' "Somebody Loves You Crusade" as field counselors after attending training at Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley. We all felt a pleasant surprise at Steven's sudden interest. I don't know why! He's always been a little evangelist, taking friends to the Harvest Crusade each year--friends that went forward! As Steven has grown up, he's been an active participant in youth groups and Christian clubs at the public schools he attended. The Lord has given him a real boldness in sharing with his LA fitness clients as well. Last summer he began seriously studying God's Word on his own, and asking lots of questions--I was delighted!
After the altar call at the Twenty-Nine Palms Marine Base, as we got ready to get back in our RV to go home, Steven said, "I don't know what the Lord is going to have me do, but I'm gonna do something!" Amen, guy, Amen! The next morning when he went out to go pick up a friend to take to church, Steven discovered that his Jeep's side front window had been bashed in, and his personal gym bag stolen! The perpetrator had left an iPod on the seat--this was personal. Steve's trainer bag had some specialized items in it, not irreplaceable, but not cheap either. We cleaned up the glass, and went on to church undeterred, knowing this was an attack from the enemy of our souls, satan.
Ministry opportunities continued. As fellow Christian students at Riverside Community college discovered one another (because of bold questions they asked in different sections of a biology class!) they formed a meeting group and went through Focus on the Family's Truth Project. Steven and his friends said, "We want 80 souls a year!" Evangelism activities included filming passersby on Venice Beach answering the question, "What happens after you die," a project that earned Steven an "A" from his unsaved "Death and Dying" professor. The guys also went street witnessing.
In August, Steven moved up north to Fresno, to fulfill his dream of rooming with his Christian friends Robert and Joe, and finishing a degree in kinesiology as a Fresno State Bulldog. Even this goal had a momentary delay, when he found out that the math class from RCC didn't qualify him for entrance as a junior to Fresno State! Moved all that way for nothing? I suggested that he apply to local private universities, because they are always seeking students and can enroll much later than the cash-strapped Cal State system. So Steven applied to Fresno Pacific University, and had three days to write all of his Christian experience, philosophy and character essays, and a week to get 3 letters of reference. He worked with all urgency, and got accepted! It's amazing how when God shuts one door, he opens another! Why are we so surprised? Maybe that's so we can take delight in our Father's doings, and share His good works with more enthusiasm.
Steven took his time visiting churches. He found a very big fellowship, ironically, the one in whose parking lot Steve and I had camped in our RV overnight on a previous visit. The custodian came upon us the next morning and said, "If I'd known you were here I would have hooked you up to our electricity and water!" We thanked him for his graciousness, but we had arrived about 6:30 the night before, when no one was around. Don't you love God's people? The reason Steven picked that church is that despite its mega size, the people welcomed him with open arms!
Now he is helping out with the high school ministry, and just texted me that he has an appointment Thursday with the lead pastor to become one of the leaders of that ministry. I am in tears considering the goodness of God and His faithfulness to those whose hearts desire to serve. No one can predict what Steven's eventual ministry will be, but I know he is ready for the call. II Chronicles 16:9 says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him."
Not bad for our "surprise" Baby Number 5!

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