In Cave Junction, Oregon, there congregate an awe-inspiring group of people who seem to defy all odds in our day. It was these very people who became my inspiration to follow my dreams—or should I say, the Lord’s dreams for me!
It was in Cave Junction when we were still rather shyly hanging out in the background at church that somebody decided to put on an interesting seminar about recognizing your spiritual gifts. The children and I decided it would be fun to attend. We filled out questionnaires to evaluate ourselves based on some set criteria, and I ended up with a very high score in what seemed to be a rather odd place: “Pastoring”. My first response was along the line of “Okay; whatever.” But God encouraged me to give it a second look. That is when I saw that you don’t have to be a “Pastor” to pastor. “Pastoring” is leading or guiding a group under your care—is that not what the Lord had been doing through me all these years through nannying, and teaching Sabbath School—and even guiding my own precious little flock?
Well, one year, a sweet lady by the name of Kathy asked me to take on the enormous responsibility of assisting her in prayerfully arranging Vacation Bible School for the Cave Junction Seventh-Day Adventist Church. We felt God’s blessing was upon the endeavor and we spent much time in prayer and talking together, and then we set to work!
What an experience! The further in we got, the more excited I got! I was doing all my favorite things: drawing, Bible study, writing, working with my own children and the children of the church and the community, singing…I am getting all excited telling you about it! God is so good!
The next year, I was asked to lead VBS altogether. Kathy was still there by my side, my mentor in the highest sense. God Himself was my Strength and Guide. By His grace, I was able to prepare the entire set of Vacation Bible School materials from scratch. My grandparents who, remember, had funded my art school years ago, and who never stopped believing in me, encouraged me to copyright “VBS—Superstars for Jesus” and even provided the funding.
No less awesome was the encouraging response the program received. I believe children and adults alike were inspired and encouraged to grow spiritually. I even thoroughly enjoyed leading out in the closing program. This is none other than the direct working of the Holy Spirit. This is the shy girl who hoped she would not be called on in class—not because she did not know the answer, but because she did not want to hear her own voice in public! To God be the glory! What awesome things He wants to do in little towns and mammoth cities, one heart at a time, around this whole earth! Let’s be part of it together! This is how we Hasten Home to the max!
So now, where does the store fit in to all of this????…