Okay! So, here we go. I’m finally getting around to writing a post here to let all y’all beautiful people at home and wherever else know what’s going on in my life here. This’ll be a long one, for sure. Gonna pretty much include every detail from my arrival until now. And I remember a lot. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Ready, set, go.
I arrived in Redding Wednesday the… 7th? Yes, it was the seventh. And while it was a long journey in my chair in the sky (CHAIR? IN THE SKY? PLANES ARE AWESOME) flying across the US, I enjoyed every second of it. Most of it I was just dying of anticipation. To finally get to this place I’m going to call home for the next nine months. Really the flight wasn’t too bad at all. Entertaining more than anything. From Charlotte to San Francisco, I had a window seat. There was a woman who sat to my left and would keep looking out my window with this confused look, sometimes seeming amazed or just bewildered by what she saw out the small window to my right. It was hard not to look at her expressions, and she caught me doing so, and took that as an invitation to ask, “That white… is it snow?”
She obviously had some sort of accent, and didn’t speak English very well, and I laughed, thinking she was joking. But of course I proceeded to try to explain that they were clouds. And I would explain that several times throughout the flight when she asked if the clouds were snow.
Beyond that nothing too noteworthy occurred other than the fact that I was constantly marveling at the creativity of our Lord. Flying over some of his most beautiful creations was just pushing me that much further to dancing in the aisle of the plane with excitement.
After an extremely short flight from San Francisco to Redding in the smallest plane I had ever been in, I was here! Walked across the runway with a handful of other Bethel students I met on the flight to enter baggage claim, which consisted of three Australians, one Kiwi, and one girl from Boston. Waiting with another man in front of the baggage claim which seemed to have claimed our baggage for itself, we looked at each other, at the empty conveyor belt, and then to a woman’s head poking out of a door next to the baggage claim.
A few blank stares shared between the airport employee and myself and the other man who was bag-less was interrupted by her rather harsh voice declaring briefly, “That’s it.” Well that was a pretty discouraging thing to hear. I mean, I had clothes in my backpack that I carried on the plane, but that still wasn’t the most encouraging thing to hear at the time. After talking with a woman at the desk I learned my bag just never left San Francisco. I was thankful it got that far, and even more thankful for the possibility of having the bag later that evening. I didn’t expect to be able to have it recovered so soon. So I wasn’t too downtrodden about it. Especially because I was soon thereafter picked up by my roommate Spencer, and his friend Christopher! And that quick drive from the small airport to Bethel to check out the outside, and then to my house was thrilling. So nice to just see this and be able to think that I’m going to be here until May!
Whew. That was a mouthful. And that was just getting here. Getting home, there wasn’t much to unpack as I didn’t have my suitcase yet, so it was straight to meeting my AWESOME housemates and checking out my place of residence. Rest of the day. Made spaghetti to eat for supper with Spencer, and went to none other than Spoon Me that evening! Which is this preeeeetty sweet froyo place. Before that we met a lady from the airport who had my bag. She called me and told me, “I don’t normally do this, but I have your bag and can drop it off at your house or meet you somewhere.” We ended up meeting her in a Walgreen’s parking lot. As shady as it may seem, I got my suitcase, thanked the lady, and we were on our merry way to Spoon Me.
So far the theme of going anywhere is that I’m going to meet awesome people. Spoon Me was no exception. Awesome people were met there! So that was my first day! Spaghetti and Spoon Me! And incredible people all around!
I’m going to go ahead and put in here why everyone here is beyond awesome. My roommate probably put it best. It’s just that pretty much any and everywhere you go, people will put on this front, some kind of fake side of them to try to impress or fit in. But here, it’s just everyone’s genuine personality coming through. And that’s the best part of every person! So basically, everyone here is just the best!
Moving on to Thursday! (What. All of that was just one day? I’ve got to get better at this.)
It was a pretty chill and unpack day. And some awesome conversations with my best friend Jesus were going on. It was a day where basically I could not go any amount of time without thanking Him for this awesome blessing it is to just be here. He gave me this sense of peace, and that I’m exactly where I need to be. This is my home?! What?! Yes. Awesome. Praise the Lord, man. That and great conversation with the housemates giving me just such an area of peace and restfulness. That I can be here knowing I am doing the right thing, and that so much is going to come at me in this next nine months, and I welcome it. So ready for what the Holy Spirit is waiting to throw at me and reveal to me all throughout the year here.
Friday was a full day. Starting out at the lake. The beautiful East Beach at Whiskeytown Lake. I had heard of it, but never seen it or been there until this time. Oh my word. It is incredible out there! That lake is absolutely gorgeous and the fellowship going on there with friends and other students was incredible. Again. Meeting awesome people. The lake was followed by a short time at home and then to Bethel for an absolutely incredible service.
Pause. On the way to Bethel my roommate and I came across a few girls moving into an apartment. We quickly realized they were girls we had met at the lake earlier today, and they seemed a little undermanned, so we offered to help. Moved them all in, put together a bunk bed, got paid in form of cupcake, and again, met some really awesome people! And found out that some of these awesome people live like, right there!
Unpause. Back at Bethel! The service was absolutely incredible. Yes, we did show up a little late due to helping the friends move in, but we came in as the last song in worship was playing, and as soon as we opened the door I just felt it. That awesome encounter I’ve had with the Holy Spirit. The tangibleness of God’s Love just covering the room. Pouring out the door, smacking me in the face as I walked in. It was an immediate change in environment that was absolutely eye-opening. The Holy Spirit was well alive in this place. The room was overflowing with Him. It was literally electrifying, and pretty indescribable. Just the feeling of having God’s presence in the room is something you have to experience and I declare the same encounter to all of you. Just invite it and welcome Him in. Even though we were there for not even one whole song, I was just so overwhelmed by His Love in the room. And right there, I realized, this is going to be what I’m going to be drowning in for the next coming months here! So blessed! And before the message, the healings that went on in the room. The atmosphere of the Holy Spirit just coming down and touching us. It’s breathtaking. The message itself was also incredible! As it will continue to be for pretty much. ever. here. It never is disappointing. But the speaker brought some incredible word, and the service ended.
Oh! And Heidi Baker was there! I didn’t get to talk to her much at all. Just a quick smile was exchanged. But she is pretty hard to miss in a room. She walks in such authority of the Spirit. Her presence is pretty well recognized. Just the intimacy she was with the Lord. It’s something I’m striving for here. And every day my relationship is just growing in exponential amounts here.
After the service, a large group of us went to Applebee’s for their appetizer happy hour. And of course, that was a blast, because I continued to meet awesome people! And after such an incredible service, it’s hard not to have an incredible time with whatever you’re doing.
Saturday! C’mon guys, almost to today! Yesterday was actually pretty equivalent to Thursday, in that it was a rather chill day. Just a good day at the house with the housemates ending in a night out at karaoke night at this little diner place called Leatherby’s. And oh my gosh. I never really watched karaoke before. But oh my gosh. Talk about some good times with some, you guessed it, awesome people. Very entertaining night in downtown Redding, for sure.
And today! Here we are to today! I realize this is like. getting up to 2000 words here. So if you’ve made it this far. That’s sweet, you really care. Or somebody is paying you to read it. Either way. Thank you! But today. Oh my word talk about getting rocked by the Lord. The service this morning was so uplifting. The atmosphere is right where I want to be. Nobody has any hangups about welcoming and inviting the Holy Spirit into the room. And that’s exactly what He did. Worship was incredible and Bill brought some powerful word in the message. I’ll end this in thanking all of our men and women of the military, and those of protective services, the fire department, emergency medical services, the police department, just thank you so much. And family members of those serving and of those who were lost in action serving and protecting us and this nation, I honor you and your family’s commitment. I pray that we all can come together and pray for our nation. We all have come together in a time of tragedy and hope, but it’s rare that we come together as an entire nation to praise our Father. God’s doing some awesome things in several cities across the nation, but God has asked His followers to pray for our nation to come together, uniting under God, and to just give our whole nation to Him. We are a nation of many, many lost people, and I ask that we can include in our daily prayer for our nation to come to know our Lord as the King of Glory, and that the light of the Lord and the frequency of Heaven can be heard by all the lost and believers alike.
Well! We made it. to the end. Nearly 2000 words. It’s a mouthful, but I’ll be doing this more frequently so you don’t have to read (or choose not to read), a drawn out essay of my daily life here.
Billsatbethel and loving it!