So, there are a lot of cool things God did in the last 8 days to share about...
It first began on Sunday, April 20th, when we had a joint service with the Goleta Vineyard, our new blessed support and provision of "parental wisdom & encouragement." It has been such a God thing, this joining together of fellowships... It is not a merging of churches or anything like that, it is more a group of older people who are willing to come alongside us and bring us wisdom and encouragement and relationship as we seek to be a fellowship that goes out on the front lines and contends for the redemption of Isla Vista. It is such an answer to prayer, as we are obviously a group of fairly young people, and now we have some people willing to be some mothers and fathers to us. During the service, Jason shared some about IVC and our history and our call to IV. They presented us with a really nice bbq tool set for the Jesus Burger ministry. One of the overarching themes really seemed to be God bringing about the generations for the furtherance of His Kingdom & the Gospel and a more complete expression of the Body of Christ. Dan Hodgson, the head pastor of the church, is a very wise and experienced man of God, and shared a profound statement that I think in many ways summed it all up -- that God is linking us up with one another, bringing together the zeal and passion of youth with the wisdom and experience of age. What a blessing! Thank You God!
Then, the following Friday (April 26th) Jason and I went down to Jubilee Church in Camarillo (about an hour south of Santa Barbara) for the 7th night of a conference they had been having down there all week. Jacob and Kimberly Reeve (our founding pastor & his wife) have been getting more and more involved down at this church and Jacob is now on staff part time. The night was about the younger generation, and Jacob was hosting it, along with other people from our generation. Jacob had asked us to come down and share briefly about IV. The night was really amazing as it quickly became obvious that God was doing a significant work of again, restoring the generations, and teaching us about honoring one another. A number of young people (in their 20's) shared about different things, but what it seemed that the Spirit was really saying was that our generation is hungry to know God in a deeper way, and hungry to see Him move in a way that has never been seen before! Amen! There was a very obvious theme of LOVE -- that God is taking us all into a place of a deeper love relationship with Him, out of which will flow love for others and ultimately, a revolution of love that will sweep across this generation. At one point, Jacob brought up people from the younger generation AND the older generation and we had a time of prayer and repentence and acknowledging our need for one another. One of the themes was how at one point Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were all dwelling together in the same tent. And that God is a God of generations, and we were never meant to be isolated from one another. So, it was so cool to see this theme come up again right after we had just had the service with the Vineyard and God had brought forth the same revelation of our need for the different generations to come together as part of what God is doing on the earth today.
Then, the very next night there was a unity event called "The Body" in Isla Vista (in the IV Theatre) that was a coming together of many of the different campus ministries for the purpose of worshiping together and fellowshipping together. Jason was one of the main speakers at this event. It was a blessed time of worship and sharing. We got to hear from most of the different campus ministries as a representative from each got up and shared some things God is doing in their fellowship and prayer requests they each have. It was such a blessing to hear how God is moving across campus and to get a pulse on what is going on amonst the students. Then Jason shared his testimony and gave a brief but stirring call to pray and contend to see Isla Vista changed by God. He called me up and I very briefly shared about some of the vision the Lord has given me for IV, and that I believe it will take 1. faith, 2. humility, 3. prayer, & 4. unity and community to see this vision come to pass. The students seemed encouraged by the night and by what we shared.
Then on Sunday, the next day, we had our first 4pm service in the front yard at the DP Houses. It was a blessed, warm day and God was faithful to meet us. Jason shared a reminder of some of the promises God has given us, mostly from Joshua 1. And he shared about how as we refocus on IV, we want to be able to really begin pouring into the college students and equipping them to be the ones to really reach the other students. Again, he brought me up and had me share about some dreams I've had over the course of about the last year about camp counselors. Basically, it is an analogy the Lord has given about the role our fellowship is to play - as "camp counselors" with "campers." The campers are the new or younger believers the Lord brings to us, and we play a role of encouragement, guidance, and support to these "campers", though we are not much older than them. We also get to engage in the fun with them, but have a level of responsibility and authority that they don't have. We then had all the students come into the middle of the group and share what school they went to (most go to UCSB, but there are some City College students too) and prayer requests. Then those of us not in school washed their feet and prayed for them. It was a powerful time for all of us.
Thank You Jesus for all You've done in this past week!