God says in His Word, we are to “go out and make disciples” (Matt. 28:19). We take that literally.
The winter 2014-15, God called us to disciple a very special person—Methias. He came with us (in his own truck) from Colorado to Oregon. While we spent the winter living on the beach, he ‘lived’ with us. Due to a variety of circumstances and issues, his wife took his 3 kids (she was pregnant with the 4th) and left him (Aug. 2014), then he was evicted from his apartment (he was our neighbor in Fountain). Being homeless, he started living in his truck in the mountains outside of Colorado Springs. When winter started setting in, he started freezing (since his truck had no heat), so we took him in. He was depressed, suicidal, very angry, and claimed not to believe in God.
We just did like we usually do when we hang with someone or take someone in – talk about God all the time. We do this when it’s just the two of us, so we don’t change when someone is around us. At first it bothered him, he constantly tried to argue, but we were patient and kind and didn’t let what he was doing intimidate us. God was in this the whole time, winning Methias to Himself. We lived, struggled, had our own issues with our own circumstances, praised God, studied His Word, and sang through it all winter (like we always do, no matter what, when, how, or where).
We witnessed his struggle and growth and praised God continually for his salvation. By the time he went back to Colorado to win his family back, in March 2015, he was a believer in Jesus Christ! It took him a few months, but by August, he had his own gutter business in Denver, got a house, and got his family back. He calls us periodically and says he thinks of us and our time on the beach. He (and his wife) say they love us very much and miss us. WOW! How awesome it is to be a part of someone’s life to such an extent that that much of a difference was made in 6 lives! Thank you Jesus!
The same with Justin—such a testimony to God’s Grace. We met him on the streets of Ashland in 2011, William took him in. At that time, he was 35 and had been on the streets since age 14. He ended up being a heroin addict (among other things), ended up in prison by the age of 19, where terrible things happened to him. By the time we met him, we had quite an attitude. After so many years working with him (he lived with us several times, sometimes a few weeks to a few months), and never giving up on him, he is finally set free and a dedicated follower of Jesus! Every time he got to ‘the bottom’ and would call us up and say, “please help me”, we would always take him back. He would always ask, why we never gave up on him and we would say, “God never gave up on us, so we won’t give up on you. God’s got a plan for your life.”
After an episode in Feb. 2014 (our rule was, if you go back to drinking or drugs, we have to kick you out again, but we will always love you), we kicked him out and he ended up in jail. We visited him regularly and when he came out, we took him in again. After another episode, he was back in jail and ended up going to this wonderful ‘New Life’ program – a Christian rehab farm in Ft. Collins, CO. He graduated in July 2015 (after being in 13 months), got his CDL license (first license ever), was given a car and money to start a new life – what a miracle! He has told us that was the best thing that ever happened to him – he actually praises God for that last episode that happened, that set this change in his life in action. But the best of all, he spent several months going to various high schools, talking to the kids about staying away from drugs/alcohol/violence and giving his testimony! Praise God! He now works at an airport in Texas, drives a truck for them, has his own apartment, and is living a clean life. He was also restored to his family. He says he wants to come back to Oregon to join us in the evangelism efforts!
These (and many other stories) are why we are out there, giving our lives for the souls of others! Thank you Jesus for this opportunity to serve you!
|Methias and his dog Buster on Bastendorff Beach|