Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Working on the art gallery ...

Wow, what a day!  Things are really starting to happen – tomorrow Bethany (she lives in Medford and used to help us with the ministry in Lithia Park) is getting here to help with our business, to be my business partner – my brother is moving her up here and bringing me my stuff from moms.  I’ve been without all my art stuff for months!  We ended up getting 5 gallons of white paint real cheap at $12 a gallon from Metro Paints, through a place in Coos Bay – recycled paint, but it’s perfectly good.  The walls are finally covered.  We’ve been operating on a shoestring budget, like I’ve been telling everyone, and the shoestring is broke!  But God always ends up providing all that we need.  William got some gold paint which is too yellow, so he’s going to do a faux finish with some brown stain over it to tone it down.  We still need a second gallon of burgundy paint – that part still isn’t done mainly because last weekend was a terrible storm with lots of rain and it poured in from above the middle windows – we collected a ½ bucket of water from that!  Anyway, the outside got caulked yesterday, so William, once we can get the other burgundy, will finally paint that front wall and hope it doesn’t leak any more.
William painting the gold on the stairs

We’ve been in the Word a lot lately and boy has God been speaking!  We’ve been in Isaiah a lot (in the 50’s and 60’s), Habak. 3, Eccl. 2 & 5 – God’s timing is amazing.  We’ve had several prayer meetings here and are already getting a lot of positive support AND some opposition.   We have no fear since God has established this venture.  Anyway, today turned out different than I thought – several people have been coming by lately, intrigued by our upcoming opening and what I’m offering here (I’ve had signs out on my windows advertising several upcoming classes).  Kathy Cooper came by and we had an awesome talk about several things, including decorating.  She’s got several great ideas and wants to help.  We prayed together about some things.  Then Velma (I met her in Rotery club, which I’ve been attending every week) came in and brought a couple pieces of cake – she loves to bake and wants to help at our open house.  Anyway, her and I talked for well over an hour.  Seems like her and I have a lot in common.  She’s going in for surgery tomorrow, so I prayed for her.  A couple other people stopped by, asking about my upcoming classes, very excited by my opening soon.  Kathy the Mayor came by and introduced me to a friend of hers, and on and on it went.  Very busy day.

What’s especially cool, is that the local newspaper ran an article about what we are doing and I got a call from Barbara, whose husband is a sculptor – an awesome one at that!  She said that God let her to us and asked if we would like to see the sculpture she has at her place (she has dozens and dozens of pieces, from small soap stones to very large wooden ones (myrtle wood, curly maple, etc.).  We went there and were flabbergasted!  We took well over a dozen pieces in – some were extremely heavy!  God has really blessed us with our first artwork!!

A piece of alabaster sculpture
A piece of birdseye maple sculpture

I have a feeling things are going to go very well with this place – much faster progress with getting people in than I had in Fountain.  The other thing that’s helping is the weather – it’s been mostly sunny, in the 70’s and today was in the 80’s (except for that bout of rain over the weekend), for several weeks and looks to continue for the next week or so.  That brings a lot of people out and since this area is the hub of the town, a lot of people have wandered by!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

God's House of Vision - Coquille

Wow, a LOT has happened in the past week.  We now have a storefront in downtown Coquille to do an art gallery/studio and ministry house again, just like we did in Colorado!
Our storefront – windows covered in paper while we re-model

God is amazing in how He works; here we are almost penniless, living in a small RV in a RV spot in Coos Bay (we plugged in the middle of Sept. after having had a very difficult summer, homeless in a tent, moving from place to place between here and the Rogue Valley - a RV-less summer since it was broken down), so when I got paid from Taylor Univ. the 20th of $586, we paid ahead for the month of Oct. to park there.  In the mean time, William is working for a guy in Coquille at $50 a day, demolishing a double-wide trailer in the hopes of putting in another double-wide when this job is done.  As we have gotten to know this guy (Max, an awesome Spirit-filled believer), he decides he wants us to live on this mountain top, in the double-wide he hopes to put in there, at only $400 a month!  William has the place only half demolished at this point and we are still looking for another to put there – for free – we are hoping to find one that someone no longer wants and only wants us to haul it away.  It could be soon or it could take months.  We are believing God for bringing us a 40’ or larger double-wide to put there and/or to tell us what He really wants us to do.

The double-wide - this place is REALLY gross!

In the mean time, Max, William, me, and two other on-fire believers are sitting in a restaurant in Coquille having a prayer meeting, sharing time, having an awesome time in the Lord, and talk came about how we had a ministry house in Colorado and we had noticed two storefronts across from this restaurant were for rent.  We spoke of how awesome it would be for us to rent one and start such … this was on Monday, Oct. 3rd.  That day, just on a whim, I go ask the owners to look at these two shops – one was 2500 square feet and no back entrance and he wanted $1450 upfront and $600 a month.  The other was 3000 plus square feet (he didn’t know exactly) with 3 lofts, a back door entrance, and tons of window space for no down and $500 a month.  The next day, we were talking with Max and he gave us $500 to go put down on the store front, saying he believed we were an answer to his (and many others’ prayers over the years).  So I did – the landlord is awesome and loves our ideas for the place.  So, the evening of the 4th, we moved in.  Today,  we are going over to get our RV from the RV space and bring it back here – and I hope to get most of our $$ back from paying for Oct.   God has really blessed us!

Anyway, I get another Taylor Univ. check of around $600 the end of this month, which will pay for next month AND I was finally given 2 new classes from Indiana Wesleyan Univ. (I taught my last one in July/Aug, haven’t been paid since Aug.), which means I’ll be paid from Nov. thru Dec., which will pay the rents through those months!  Wow, God is awesome!

So, on Friday night the 6th, we invited some on-fire believers  to have a dedication prayer service over this place and we realized several things: God has totally had His hand on this whole thing:  I arrived in Oregon exactly 10 years ago (Oct. 3rd or 4th I think), met with William in the park Oct. 7th 2007, and started working with the ministry.  Not only that, but this building number is #10 (God has a thing about numbers) – so 10 years ago, the 10th month (Oct.), and the address of 10!!  What really tripped me up, was that right before Max and Kathy arrived, I dug out some fabric I knew I had (I bought it at a thrift shop several months ago, not knowing what I wanted to do with it, but it being high-quality muslin for only $20, I bought it) and had measured it out – exactly 31 feet long and 6 feet wide – exactly the length and width I needed for curtains going across the front of the building!   Who would have figured!  God is awesome!  We had just decided the day before we wanted a curtain to go from one end of the building to the other to be used during prayer meetings or special meetings, so that people couldn’t look in from the outside, since most meetings like this will be held at night.  Since there is a large area between that and the windows, it wouldn’t affect the display area, which could still be viewed from outside.  Real cool.

We’ve been holding prayer meetings here every night this week (mostly with Max; Kathy came again another night, sometimes Dale), seeking God for the souls in this town/valley, that thru this art gallery/studio and the things we do in that area, that the ministry aspects will affect the people around us, funds to get started, supplies/equipment we need, etc.  We hope to open in November.  In fact, believing for all these things, I have already scheduled and began advertising classes beginning Nov. 6th!
Our first prayer meeting group

This whole thing has been amazing – like that verse says: “Without vision, my people perish …” Prov. 29:18 – anyway, we’ve had a vision of a place like this for a long time – a place where we could run a business, influence the community in some way to make life better for people (through the arts), but most importantly, a place to hold prayer meetings, classes (teach about the real history of this country, creationism, the Gospel, etc.), invite area ministers to speak (as God leads), discipleship training, evangelism training, etc.

We also want to find musicians (all types and styles: bluegrass, Christian, chamber, etc.), so that we can host music nights for the community – family friendly, maybe serve coffee, tea, koolaide, etc.  Just so there is an alternative to bars for people to hang out as a community.  We will be having our Grand Opening/Open House on Friday, December 1st,  complete with live music.  And, in time for “Christmas in Coquille” on December 2nd, we will be hosting a “Make your own Christmas Card and Label” during that day, to let people know we are a new business in town.

What’s real amazing is that the shop next door is run by the mayor of Coquille – Kathy – she’s taken a real liking to me and is making sure I meet all the right people.  She has me scheduled to go to Rotery (both in Myrtle Point and Coquille), Kiwanis, and Lion meetings to talk about what I’m doing – the ‘who’s who’ in the community, so that the word gets out.  I made a lot of good contacts today, printed out all my class schedules, hung them on the window … a lot of people have been stopping and looking at what I put in the windows.  A couple of teenagers stopped by on their way home from school and thought what I was doing was real cool … they’re looking forward to me opening.
William earned $50 from Max (we haven’t had any cash since last week) today and on the way home, stopped and got our first paint!  He’s going to paint the walls white with accent walls a burgundy color.

William painting one of the accent walls