Our thoughts are everywhere right now. But we will try our hardest to put them into sentences because we need you to understand...we need your prayers.
The Lord is so big. He is so famous. But there have been so many rumors spread about him that are not true. People are confused in Manitou Springs, Colorado.
We walked the park earlier this week looking for people who needed to see his love. God pulled us down towards the creek where we found a lady sitting on the rocks. Her back was facing us but we could see that she was holding a baby in her lap. As we prayed over her, we could see that she was holding some feathers. She was wiping the feathers over her baby's body. Soon after she sat the feathers down, she started lifting her hands up as if she was worshipping. Eventually, she started acting as though she was pulling something invisible from the air onto her head. God was pulling us towards her. So Stacie went and sat with her while Jenna walked away and interceded.
Disclaimer: We will now try to explain the beliefs in Manitou Springs. Please understand that what we write does not even come close to fully explaining who they are and what they live for. We cannot put in a short blog the beliefs that these people spent years forming.
The ladies name is Fairlight. She said that she had just been meditating, trying to replace her negative energies with positive ones. Fairlight does this through her imagination. She pictures a light coming from the sky and then tries to pull it down into her head. Along with the light she pictures and pulls down different colors...she says that all of the different colors mean different things. She meditates on various quotes, some of which she hears at her church (Religion Science or something...). The church reads from things like Quran, the bible, and book of Mormon and quotes people like Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and Jesus.
Soon after we met Fairlight, we began to meet numerous other people who hang around the Manitou area. Dillion, Josh, Ben, Steven, and Brooke. They are all fans of this type of lifestyle. The majority of Manitou is made up of shops that sell all natural foods, medicines, and various meditation accessories like incense. The majority of the people smoke pot in the open and talk of other drugs that they do on the side. However, they only choose the naturally made and grown...healthier drugs. They hate everything conformist and try to live the simplest form of life. They love each other and help each other at all costs because they say, God is love. When we say God created the heavens and the earth...they say the "literal translation is..the gods created the heaven and the earth." When we say "Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life," they say, "Jesus is a way, a truth, and a good example of life." When we say, "Jesus is the only one to ever rise from the dead," they say, "We all rise from our own metaphorical form of death when we choose good things..things that will better humanity." They fight to live in peace and harmony with one another, with mother earth, and with the God that we have within ourselves. After a conversation with Josh he said, "Be warned, the people here hate Jesus."
The only belief in the community that seems to counteract with them all is called the Twelve Tribes. They run a local shop that sells all natural teas and matas. The women all wear long, very baggy dresses and the males all have beards and pony tails (that they call tie backs). They try to imitate the disciples in Acts 2. They share all of their belongings with one another.."Distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need." In order to become a part of their community, you have to sign a covenant. In order to leave the community, you condemn yourself to hell and lose everything that you had....including your job (because it was given to you from the community). Their beliefs are thick. They are filled with just enough truth to disguise the lies. As Josh said, "Every lie is built up with just enough truth...or else people would not believe it." Some people believe it. The rest call them a cult. Regardless, this is the closest to thing to Christianity that they see and it is pushing the majority away.
Starting with Fairlight and ending with Josh, we exhausted ourselves listening to them rant and argue about their passionate beliefs while simultaneously trying to share with them the truth of Jesus.
Then our van broke. Transmission.
So we spent a sleepless night on the streets of Manitou. Our blankets and pillows were at Mallory's apartment in Colorado Springs. We laid in the van, cold, lonely in our beliefs, and discouraged in our ability to spread the Gospel.
"...In toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure...And apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches." 2 Cor. 11: 27-28
We want them to know....we want them to taste and see that the the true Lord is so good. But it seems that no matter what we say, they do not hear us. It is a heavy load to bear...physically and spiritually.
Today we woke up and called for a tow truck who carried us to a mechanic. We learned that it will cost anywhere between 800-2500 dollars to fix. Depending on what they find. Our van is barely worth that much these days.
We left the van with the mechanic asking if he would hold it for the weekend while we sought the Lord's guidance.
We are sitting at the McDonald's beside his shop.
Longing to break through to the people in Manitou, we can't even get to them now.
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but the the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Cor. 4:16
We do not know what the Lord is doing right now...but we are fighting to keep our eyes focused on Him and His plans. Please pray as we seek to learn what decisions we should make right now. We could use them now more than ever.