When the murder hit the news on Friday, I was heartbroken. That's not unusual, of course, since I've been involved in First Responders, and know that the next important appointment will be at the murder site. But this time, since it took place only approximately 3-1/2 blocks from my house, it really hit my heart strongly. I was quite relieved that the FR time would be on Saturday afternoon at 4:00. Would be MUCH warmer than if done on Sunday... 50s on Saturday, 10s on Sunday. Because of the warmth, more of us would come, more family and friends of Tristan would come out, For the first time, I walked down the street. A good way to make it; a sad reason to make it.
When I arrived, a few minutes early, and saw the front of the house, I took a photo. According to the news info, that shot was made after Tristan's murder. The murderers had gone up the steps and shot through the door. He was on the couch, and the bullets hit him, killed him. THEN, when driving around and about afterwards, laughing loudly, they shot more and more bullets at the house. That's when the window was hit.
The amazingness hit right before we started praying and connecting. I met his dad, Carl, and he said that Tristan was a Christian, and is in heaven. Carl told me how happy he is to know that his son, even though murdered, will be in heaven, waiting for him and other family and friends. During the prayer time, the main leader began. When Bruce finished, and said the next person could continue, Carl immediately jumped in, prayed over and for his son, and worshiped the Lord. His pastor arrived and prayed. One of our main prayer leaders in town, Barb, prayed [heard on TV report]. A couple others. And I prayed. My prayer was basically explaining the sorrowful that hit me about the murder, and the joyousness in my heart now because Tristan is in heaven. I actually spent a few minutes with Carl. I also was touched much by watching the family and friends. We would see them crying. I always try to keep some tissues in my pockets to pass along when at one of the FR situations. Well, did it then, too. Helped about 3 of the family. One of my biggest blessings was that I was next to Carl when we were praying over and around the family and friends, so I was able to lay my hands on him.
Carl, his wife, and a niece
A couple hours later, after our FR ending, in the early evening, I went to the house again. I wanted to leave our name, address, phone number so Carl and his wife could get in touch easily. Have invited them to visit. When I walked to the front door, I was shocked. The storm door showed the metal sides... but all the glass was gone and I needed to just step over the metal. Inside, one of the tallest, nicest fellows I met that day, Jerry, his dear friend, greeted me and showed appreciation. Carl came out of a room when one of the folks knocked and said a lady was to see him, he was very nice to me. I was able to give him the info. The only funny moment was when he said we [him and I and the group] are all family. And I know we smiled a bit because I was the only white person. I'm looking forward to time with him and his others. [AND the house was Tristan's; Carl and his wife live about 1/2 mile away.] Again, this was one of the saddest and most glorious murder sites. He's not the only Christian who had been murdered. In the 5-1/2 years I've been involved, a few of those murdered were killed through a gang situation... sometimes they had left it and were aimed to death by their "friends" and, a couple times, murdered because someone drove by and shot at the house and someone just happened to be there. One thing we've sometimes agreed on is that it's better for Christians to be murdered than these others who wouldn't have a chance to turn to the Lord. So that, hopefully, will open hearts. Mine truly is.
Today I began to watch a movie I've liked for many years. It is called The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. The actress, Ingrid Bergman, plays the English missionary for China, Gladys Aylward. She did a good job. According to what I've read over the years, portions of the movie are truthful. Portions are fictional. I have read stories of this missionary a number of times since I've been a missionary-oriented person for many years. The movie was made in 1958. One of the responses I had a few years ago was that Gladys was in the Taiwan area after the communists took over China and many people had to go to a safe place. She continued teaching. She died there January 3, 1970, just a few weeks shy of 68. I was told by someone that when Ingrid went to Taiwan to meet her, and discovered that Gladys had died, that she knelt by Glady's bed and prayed I hope Ingrid's heart was nearer and nearer to the Lord. As I said, I had read about her in missionary books several times over the years. She was one of my missionary heroes. Hope to meet her in heaven! Another amazing thing is the reason I had this hit my heart today and felt the Lord wanted me to share it with others, In March, 2009, the Lord laid it on me to drive out to San Diego to attend the Joel Rosenberg conference. On my way west, after spending a couple nights on the road
areas, I was heading for a blessing. One of our friends who is involved in drawing Hollywood to Christianity in many ways, did a gift for me. Shun Lee found a room for me at a Pasadena Christian college. I'd be there an extra day, and then getting to his work place right near the Hollywood Blvd. It felt nice as I was walking into the dorm, Must have been a bit of a break time, because I didn't see very many people. When I walked down the stairs of the dorm, and turned to the entry lane area, there was a picture on the wall of my favorite missionary, Gladys Aylward. I was absolutely amazed that God had put me in that place where my heart could be filled with rejoicing. While watching the movie, knowing what is truthful and what is fictional, I'm absolutely living in her heart. If it didn't come through properly in the movie, I knew that much of her heart was planted to reach out to people, pouring the seed of God, the love of God. Many came to the Lord through her and through many others who poured their missionary hearts. I've read SO much about the Chinese missionaries connected to J. Hudson Taylor, my forever truthful hero. Just now, on the movie, watching the Japanese planes dropping bombs in her town, being forced to leave soon with many, MANY children... at least 100 ... and walking many, many miles over mountains to a town that wanted them -- and that's truthful The end response of her AIN'T true. Not romance... they processed that on movies then, on movies now. According to reality, she collapsed for quite some time when reaching the safety town with the kids. NOT running back to that portion of China to be with her movie-fiance. I know this has nothing to do with Christmas... in terms of the time-zone... but it does have much to do with Christmas, because dozens, hundreds, thousands came to the Lord in China, because of Jesus' birth.
[Oh, and BTW, the Lord truly did lay this on me today. I had thought of sharing this for quite a long time and didn't. But it hit me this morning. Not just because of the movie I was watching, but because of the joyous gift God had given me... about 3 months after Christmas, '08 ... while "seeing" her.]
WOW!! I had gone to northern Minnesota to visit my dear friend, Susan. I was below zero while heading up and increased the cold while there, pushing into the 20 below range a few times. I didn't go out and about much from when I arrived on Monday afternoon, the 9th, and left on Friday afternoon, the 13th. BUT did go out to the nearest town, about 4 miles away, twice... and both times it was to share the "The Grinch" and "The Innkeeper's Daughter". What a surprise and what a treat. First, however, Susan had planned to have her family and a friend come over to her home and let me do it on Thursday
evening. WELL, life changed. They showed up about 5 on Monday with pizza, and after eating it was my acting job to take place. We were in her living room, me next to the Christmas tree, and I got the job done... very happily. They smiled, sometimes laughed. [And I did, too. Especially when Jay wore my "Cindy Lou Who" hat when Susan was taking a family/friend photo.]
Her son, Jay, who works as an art teacher in a local school that covers all the grades, said he'd talk to the principal and see if I could do it there. I assumed that if it would work out, I'd do it by Thursday, since I was hitting the road on Friday afternoon. Life changed again. I heard nothing very soon. On Thursday, however, I went to the home where friends were staying over the winter. The owners were in Texas and the chance to stay in a home in an easier location than theirs, re: snow and zeros, worked out well for them. After lunch, Nathan hit the road to pick up some other homeschool kids. The total of the kids from the two families came to 9. I did it again. They liked it. When I got back to Susan's about 3:30, she told me that Jay had called and said that the principal wanted me to do it on Friday morning. I needed to be there about 10:00. I knew his class would be watching but wasn't certain sure who else and/or exactly the ages. I just had to show up, then would find out. What a TREAT!! The classes were 9th to 12th grades and were connected to his art class and a musical class. AND, even though it was a public school, I was told I could do Innkeeper's story also... which is very good, and also plants the seed of God into hearts. I used to be able to do it at public schools, and was invited to do both stories fairly often. A few years ago, though, it was no longer acceptable. Kids and teachers who were connected to other religions or NO religions would be offended or filled with anger to hear a Christmas story, and it was not OK. This event on Friday truly was a blessing for me, and, I believe, for them, too. As I was watching while acting, I saw some teens smiling and
looking happy and some flat-faced and looking down. But, I know that my God-job is to plant His seed in the hearts of people. The seed can grow later... maybe years later ... but it's there. The principal was not able to be in the class, although Jay said she wanted to be there. I met her later, while leaving the building, and she was very sorry not to be there, but had to deal with some kids and couldn't leave her office. We had a nice talk. I heard later that she told Jay that I was a very nice lady. I had another blessing. When I finished, and we were in the music classroom, I was given a gift. Jay told me that they were going to be singing for me. It was a huge treat. I took piles of photos, I laughed, I clapped, I thanked them. It was connected to a song about "The Cat in the Hat"... so I did Dr. Seuss re: The Grinch and they did this song for me. Do I remember the song? No. But I was so excited while watching them sing and dance and run around, and all I could do was LAUGH!! What a blessing.
Now I'm home, I expect that now I'm done. Until next December. However, these 3 times up north were new times. Susan had mentioned the possibility at her house before I left mine, so I took the costumes and the stories. I never would have anticipated doing it more than once. Now... this week cleaning the house, doing laundry, reading the Word, writing words, doing dishes, grocery shopping, physical therapy, dentist appointment.... reality is back in. And that makes me happy, too. I love to treat my husband any possible way. PS... I hope you like the photos... worth a grin!
I was blessed beyond belief on last Friday night, December 13. I was staying with a husband and wife pastors. I was hitting the road on Saturday morning for home, but they were about 80 miles from when I left Susan's that afternoon. I wouldn't have as much travel difficulty in the cold, snowy, freezing phase of life. When I arrived on Friday afternoon, I immediately met their guests from Canada. Spiritually intense, visionary, strength-of-the-Lord people.
I love Craig and Sonja's church!
Before I arrived, I knew I needed some special prayer time, for health and for a battle to the enemy. Amazingly, they did it, all in agreement when they didn't discuss any of this about me. But Craig and Sonja have known me for a few years when I'm up to Minnesota and going back and forth. Been dealing with historical and otherwise spiritual issues together.
Anyhow, Friday night, I was told specifically by all of these people that I have been dealing with orphan spirit issues [which I'd never thought of; now reading it] and that God loves me especially as His daughter. I was filled with joyfulness as I was leaving for home. Filled my heart all day. Still is. Today, when trying to share a poem or song I've written in the past, this one jumped in. I wrote it about 32 years ago, when at a church here, and I felt strongly that it was good then. NOW?? It's truly perfect. My heart wanted it to mean this long ago, and felt it did. Now it truly does!!! Would love to have the song sung again. Sure will be in my mind, heart, soul, and spirit now... for a LONG time!
Every time I hear His name I’ll love Him more. Every time I hear His name, I’ll worship and adore Him. For He gave sweet life to me, And through all eternity Every time I hear His name, I’ll love Him more.
Oh, He is my dearest Friend, He came to me. He saved my soul from sin, He set me free. He hears me when I pray, He guides my steps each day, So, every time I hear His name, I’ll love Him more.
Oh, He’ll be your dearest Friend, He’ll come to you. He will save you from your sin, He’ll see you through. He’ll listen when you pray, His promise says, He’ll make a way. And every time you hear His name, you’ll love Him more.