January 14, 2008

Washing, Filling, & a Free Apple Pie.

Yesterday morning we were determined to go to House. However, we have no car, no knowledge of the immediate area, and one rather complicated bus route map. I called a number of Houses, looked up what I thought was our route, and we headed out in a hurry... Only to miss our ride by a few minutes. Thankfully, there were a few other company people down in the parking lot who knew of a house close by that we could walk to.

Then our journey began. North on A1A Beach Front Avenue, Left on Silver Beach Road, over a draw bridge (that actually raised up for a ship to go under which greatly impressed Bright), Right on Martin Luther King Blvd, Left on International Speedway Blvd., Right on another street, then a Left, and then a final Right. One full hour and 3.1 miles later we found ourselves on the doorstep of Greater New Zion Primitive House .

I'll admit, had my wife not been there I probably wouldn't have done any of it. Don't get me wrong, Daytona Beach is a beautiful place, but we are in a deteriorating part of town, far from home, and have two babies with needs and nap times. If a person ever had an excuse to stay home on a Sunday morning it might have been us.

Feeling somewhat emotionally taxed, my heart was swelled when the doors opened and African American G Hymns washed over me. After a few songs, announcements, some testimonies, two offerings, and some more really good songs, the leader asked everyone to make sure and greet the visitors during the welcome time. Well, if anyone ever stuck out it was us.

I don't think I've ever been to a more friendly place, we were literally showered with sincere hugs and handshakes. One of Elder Laurence's main points was walking in fellowship with the HS, to not grieve Him with man-like thoughts and worries. It touched me on a number of levels, both because of our transition and to be reminded once again that a people totally unlike me can be and are full of the same Fire that resides in all Believers.

As we walked up to the local Rally's, a group of young guys walked by and said, "They in a bad neighborhood..." I might be naive, but I disagree as we have family just around the corner at Zion. In fact, as we ordered our 2 Big Buford's for $4, the woman taking our order kindly put in a free apple pie for us.

As we ate, Bright asked out of no where, "Why did we leave the car at home?" I had thought that would be a good idea and then we began the 3.1 mile journey home. Rain clouds gathered, we quickly retreated to the Walgreen's where some extra large trash bags and moving tape quickly converted our stroller into a mobile shelter. Kayla and I both felt exhausted for sure, but we also felt like we had risen to the challenge and conquered some of our own insecurities in a new place. As we came back down A1A, walking past empty building after empty building, seeing vacant person after person, the rain began to fall. And I was thankful that we belong to the One who both washes and fills.

Hopefully He'll use families like ours (the Rupp's, yours, and Greater New Zion) to wash and fill our communities as well.