July 2016: Month Three
July is here, and we are ready to celebrate the fourth of July in Burlington! On Saturday afternoon, Mitzi and Bob headed for Illinois for a family wedding. The following day, we attended Journey Church. Though the main pastor was on vacation, we spoke to the youth pastor, who was extremely interested because his grandfather was a Jewish man who put his faith in Yeshua while maintaining his Jewish identity. We gave him our brochures so that he could give them to the main pastor, but he said that he wanted to read them first. So many Jewish people don’t realize that they can have their Messiah and their Jewish faith. We had a great time on the fourth of July with family members who live in Burlington and also those who drove in to see us.
From Burlington we went to Schaumburg, Illinois. Schaumburg is a town filled with corporate headquarters, and so there are office buildings everywhere. With that, of course, comes the traffic. But this area, called Chicago Northwest, is full of things to see and do. One such attraction was a Weber Grill restaurant, where all the food was cooked on Weber Grills. They even host grilling classes right at the restaurant! The hotel had one hundred and twenty eight rooms spread out over four floors. Because of this, the lobby was never empty. On Saturday, we went to Rock of Israel, a Messianic congregation in Long Grove. It was a congregation in transition. We were able to tell them what we do on the Sabbath, and we can only hope that they will take our suggestions.
On Sunday we went to Northwest Assembly of God in Palatine where we were greeted by so many people interested in the Jewish roots of their faith. Several people opened up their wallets and pulled out money to give to us because they wanted to bless us and to be a blessing. That evening we went for a time of prayer at the church, and once again we received a blessing. We were able to return the favor by providing encouragement as they saw our walk of faith. God had spoken to us and said that He would provide for us, and He definitely has over the last several months.
The week was not a typical week. Due to the size of the hotel and the great number of people, it made it difficult to reach people because at times the lobby was very congested. We did manage to speak to many people, however, and we heard their stories about their lives—some who needed God for the first time and some who needed encouragement to go back to living for God. And once again we were able to help someone with car troubles.
God not only gave us the names of towns, but individual places to go to, and it was based on those places that we ended up going to the towns they were located within. The place God spoke to us was Meineke Park in Schaumburg, which is why we stayed in Schaumburg. God has had us going to many parks—Cinder Park in Altoona, Robin Park in Madison, and now Meineke Park. So we went on Friday, but we had not been there very long and it began to pour out. Even though our timing may have been wrong because of the rain and we did not have a chance to speak to anyone, we knew that God had us here in this town for a purpose.
On Saturday we went to Temple Shalom Yisrael. This is a Messianic Congregation, and we found many people with interesting stories of how they found the Messiah and their prayers for the Jewish people to find Yeshua (Jesus) their Messiah. We had a nice time of Oneg (fellowship) after the service, which consisted of lunch, not just coffee and donuts. They invited us to come join them for the High Holy Days if we were back in the area at that time.
Sunday we went to a mega-church called Evangel Assembly of God. Once again the pastor was on vacation, but we were able to speak to the associate pastor. He was a little bit familiar with the Hebrew roots and was excited to learn more. As is the problem with many large churches, the people tend to clear out quickly, but we were able to talk to a woman who had attended a Seder, and she was interested in reading our materials. We were also able to hand out some of our Sandiegrams.
After two weeks in Schaumburg, we were headed back for a week in Burlington. But upon leaving the hotel, Mitzi had a nice talk with one of the managers, who grew up in the church but needed to return. She said that she had been feeling very discouraged and prayed that God would give her an answer, and just after that Mitzi came up to the desk. The woman said that the experience was what she needed and it made her day.
Driving back to Wisconsin I saw this billboard, and so a picture tells it all:
It was nice to be back in Wisconsin, and since we had just stayed in Burlington two weeks ago, we had the knowledge of the town. We stopped at Wehmhoff-Jucker park for lunch and a little stroll while we waited for check-in time. God blessed us at the hotel with two suites instead of regular rooms. The extras included in the suites were a kitchen, a bedroom, and a living room. WOW! Our cat didn’t know what to do with all the room, and we had a chance to enjoy some home-cooked meals once again. The week was very hot and humid, and we did not find too many people out and about because of it. One day when we were out we stopped at the Chamber of Commerce/Chocolate Museum, and we found out that you can have a great conversation about something other than just what is happening in town. The woman who was working there was going to switch over to attending the Journey Church, which we had attended earlier in the month, and so we were able to encourage her.
On Sunday we went to First Assembly of God in Union Grove. We found that the pastor was very interested and we talked to him for a while. He was excited to take our literature on vacation with him to read. Since he lived right next door to his church, he had an RV hookup put in on the church property for anyone who was traveling through. What a great idea! He told us if we get back this way with our RVs someday to stop in and spend the night. We hope we can take him up on that offer someday!
Now we were leaving for Mequon to finish off the few remaining days in this month and to begin our fourth month. Mequon is in Ozaukee county, the county which we left only three months ago. We were greatly looking forward to going to our storage shed to swap some things out. Our storage sheds are now our point of reference as far as home goes. It is strange to think that way, but otherwise where is home?
Wednesday night we went to North Shore Assembly for a Bible study and received a warm welcome. The pastor was very interested. Through our journey we have met many missionaries, some leaving for the first time and others seasoned veterans who have come home for a leave. The former case applied at North Shore, where a young couple was leaving for Egypt as soon as they reached their fundraising goal. Missionaries are usually the forgotten ministry.
Since the time we set out, we have written and printed three new brochures, all of which you can find on our website under brochures. Feel free to make a copy, along with our newsletters, teachings, and of course our Sandiegrams. We also wrote and printed four handout cards, which offer a brief introduction to the Biblical Feast Days. Join in on the conversation or feel free to ask any questions on our contact page.