We were super psyched after meeting with the three JF’s (Jesus Freaks) the day before and we wanted to visit Elaine Stedman on Monday; however, the trip is a long one (over seven hours to Medford Oregon) and we were a little apprehensive because she is pretty old and we’re quite the posse. But Elaine assured us we were welcome (she cooked for us the day before a multicourse meal) and we figured it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity so off we went.
We went up the direct route through the middle of California. The drive was long but there was great fellowship and many cool sites. We went by Mount Shasta – a large volcanic-formed mountain which still has a glacier on it. Mark got many great pics. We made it to Elaine’s at about 1:00 PM – right on schedule. We were greeted with overwhelming warmth. In addition to Elaine were three of her daughters, Lynn, a former elder of PBC and Ken (from Michigan) a worship leader who currently teaches on worship at Pacific Bible College. We were well fed and had great fellowship. There were many interesting discussions surrounding Ray, the early days of PBC (F), living by the New Covenant, reaching the lost, the worship service, the importance of buildings… to name a few and not without some healthy debate. We were all sort of amazed that we all came together like this and definitely figured the Spirit is behind it. We stayed at Elaine’s for probably four or five hours and on our way out visited Ray’s grave with Elaine and her oldest daughter Sheila. It was a beautiful late afternoon and we enjoyed a good time of prayer at the gravesite before we headed west to the coast. Though pretty old, small in stature and with her voice failing, Elaine was warm and possessed a spiritual depth that compelled you to listen. It will be hard to top the visit with Elaine at al.
We then went to the coast to take the scenic coastal way home and stayed overnight in Crescent City CA, just south of the Oregon border. The coast there looks like something out of a calendar with a rocky coast, waves crashing, and light house. Unfortunately it rained on the way home so the scenery was diminished somewhat, but even so, the redwood forests were quite amazing as well as what we could see of the coast. We made a stop in Arcata, which had a “hippy” community, to look around and get some lunch. It was a bizarre place which extolled the use of marijuana and multiple pagan beliefs. It felt absent of life – very similar to the feel at Berkeley. It was a stark reminder of the world we live in and why we are here. A stark contrast to the heavenly fellowship we experienced the day before. We eventually got back to San Fran late that night – the scenic route was a rather long route.
One theme that seems to resonate in all our discussions so far is that God is up to something. There is a sense of unrest out here amongst these veteran revolutionaries, similar to what was sensed back in the seventies. The world is messed up, there is no purpose, and only the Lord holds any real answers. It really is amazing to see the hope and sense of expectation in the eyes of these older revolutionaries and then to think that perhaps the Lord wants us to have a part in it. As we look for open doors we turn today to Sacramento and the JFs. We are hoping to meet with them in the next couple days to see the lay of the land and discuss the spiritual forces for good that seem to be aligning themselves there. Stay tuned.