Vacation and Answered Prayer


Dear Church Family, 

     It was such a blessing to share with the folks on the retreat and with the folks who stayed in town the message this past Sunday. I do not remember feeling His anointing any stronger in my life than I felt it while preaching on Sunday. I will confess however, I was quite tired by the time I got back to the campground. I stayed there for four days to just rest and spend time alone with the Lord. It was a wonderful quiet time and I felt as though his angels were ministering to me. I feel completely refreshed and ready to continue serving him and his church. Thank you for your prayers. The Sacramento Mountains have become a very dear place to me. I look forward to visiting them often this summer. It is a wonderful place to pray, study and get to know him more.  
     I began to wonder if I could find a little place up there to just leave the camper so I wouldn't have to drag it up and down the mountain each time I want to get away for a day or two. I spent a couple of afternoons driving the back roads between Sacramento, Cloudcroft, Timberon and Pinion looking. I did some research online and talked to some real estate agents and land brokers. I found nothing that came close to fitting my needs. Those whom I talked to said it was nearly impossible to find just a lot or acre of empty land anywhere in the area. This morning, I decided to just leave it in the Lord's hands. I have found he knows better than I do what I need. He even knows better than I do what I want. I threw up to heaven as an afterthought that if he did provide a place, and if it had a dog too, that would be especially cool. 
     It was with a great deal of peace and contentment that I packed things up, hooked up the camper, double checked the hitch, since I have had trouble with it in the past, and headed towards home. I got to the first cattle guard just east of Weed when trouble hit. The camper jumped up off the ball and down onto the road. The chains kept it attached to the truck and I was able to come to a stop near the edge of the road. Nothing was damaged but it meant I would have to jack up the camper and get it reattached. It Is about a 30 minute job. 
      I was just thinking of getting started when a man stopped to see if I needed some help. I told him I was fine and thanked him for stopping. Then as I considered how impossible it seemed to me that the camper came undone, since I had double and even triple checked it, I began to wonder if God was involved. So I introduced myself and then  blurted out, "You don't happen to know where there might be a little piece of land for sale up here do you?" You see, I was just certain God knew my needs and was probably already working things out. 
     The man shook my hand, told me his name was Robert and then told me he only knew of one place for sale in the area and it was ten acres and had two houses on it. I explained I was just looking for a place to park the camper. I told him that sometimes I get tired and just getting alone for a day or two up there really refreshed me. He paused for a second and then asked, "Do you mind if I ask your occupation?" I told him I was a pastor. He let out a breath that I didn't realize he had been holding and said, "I have a place right here where you can put your camper. I need to run to the store real quick while you get hooked back up. Then, I will take you to show it to you." I asked how far it was and he told me his fence line runs right up against the horse corrals of the Methodist camp I had just left. I thought, "That's perfect!"
     Then he began to share with me a dream he had of providing a bed and breakfast for pastor's to use to rest. He said that his wife had passed away five years ago and after several years of mourning, he became a truck driver. He said he was driving through El Paso one day and was listening to the Christian radio station; not K-LOVE but the other one. I said, "KELP?" He said, "That's it." Anyway, He said he heard a man talking on KELP about how many pastors were leaving the ministry because of burnout. Right then he began thinking of how he could provide a place for them to get away. He had already begun working on it and wanted to show it to me and maybe get some ideas from me of how best to proceed. He got his stuff from the store, I got the camper hooked back up and we both headed up to see his dream. 
     Just as he said, it was just east of the Sacramento Methodist Retreat and Conference Center where we have our church retreats. When we pulled into the driveway, he led me to a cute little oak grove that the camper would fit in perfectly. He led me up to the house he was remodeling for pastors to use and right there was the cutest, most friendly dog I have ever seen. His name is Yoshi. I fell in love with him immediately. 
     I was absolutely amazed as he gave me a key to the gate at the end of the drive, the keycode to his front door and the password to his wifi. He said I could leave the camper as long as I wanted and could come as often as I wanted to camp out and enjoy the solitude. I was welcome to stay in the house if I wanted since he was usually on the road.  I mean, I have seen God answer prayers but this was beyond the pale of imagination. 
    For him, it was beyond the pale as well. He kept choking up as he thought of how God had brought us together and he could see the firstfruit of his dream coming true. I got the camper unhooked down in the oak grove as he called his son in law to tell him the good news. 
     As I walked back up to the house, I saw tears in his eyes as he looked at the camper. He told me that he had planned to be done with the remodel and be open by June. However, his daughter had been diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. She receives treatment four days a week in Alamogordo. He hadn't been able to work on the house at all as he was taking care of her. But now here it is June, just as he had hoped for, and here was his first guest. His face showed how touched he was that God would remember his desire and make it happen. I am sure my face showed just as much wonder as I continued to pet and cuddle the dog I had hoped for. 
     I drove home, without the camper, and couldn't wait to tell Grace all about it. As I shared the story, Grace said she was getting goosebumps. Then she told me she remembered me talking on the radio program about pastors leaving ministry because of burnout. I sent Robert an email asking if it could have been our program, Prayer and Answers, he had been listening to. I told him we air at 1:30.  He said that since his daughter has been ill, he only drives through El Paso on Saturday afternoons. It must have been our program. 
     Ok. Ok. Wait! Just wrap your heads around this folks. Months ago I mentioned and prayed, on the air, for pastors who were exhausted. Those words were used by God to move Robert to begin making a place available for them to rest. Months later I am exhausted and go to the mountains to rest. I tell God I wish there was a place that I could use more frequently. My camper jumps off the hitch at the exact time that Robert is going to the store. I met the man that heard my words and I became his first client in answer to his prayer request. Now come on! Who is like our God? Who can fathom His ways? Who is faithful to hear and answer all his children's needs like our God? There is no one like Him! 
      Please give God praise and thanks for this. Please keep Robert's daughter in prayer. Her name is Amella. Please keep Grace and I in prayer as we head to San Antonio tomorrow. Keep me in prayer as I prepare and deliver the Father's Day sermon at our sister church there. Grace and I will return on the 26th. Until then, I remain as ever...
Your Servant
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