A couple of weeks ago Noah and I helped some dear friends move to Salt Lake City, Utah. Noah and I will hopefully be driving the same trip again sometime between October and December. Yep, we are moving to Utah! Why would anyone move there? Good question. The answer is because God said so. : ) One of the pastors from Imago moved down there to start a church a couple of months ago and now people are following him one-by-one. You can hear more about the church plant here.
The night before we left Portland, Nash and Kora (our friends we helped move) stayed at a friend’s house after saying good-bye to their apartment. They had a moving truck and their family van which carried their mac computer and other expensive valuables. They parked the truck and van in front of their friend’s house on the side of the road for the night. Before bed, Kora told Nash she really felt a burden to pray and ask God to protect their belongings and so they did. The next morning, they walked out to leave only to find that the neighbor’s car (parked right behind their family van) had it’s front window smashed and the inside of the car vandalized! Some may argue that it was a random hit but I know Nash and Kora have experienced too much of God’s protection as a result of prayer. To say it was just luck, would just be plain foolishness.
Salt Lake City is really a beautiful city and nothing like what I imagined it to be. On Sunday we got to see the church plant and meet some of the people. Pastor Kyle spoke on worship and what that looks like in our every day life. He encouraged us to look for opportunities with the people of Salt Lake because the way we live our lives is what’s going to cause the Mormon people to notice.
The next day, a bunch of us walked to Liberty Park to enjoy the sunshine.
Random fact: Did you know that in SLC the sun shines an average of 237 days a year?! Why, yes, I live in Portland…why do you ask?
Noah and I strayed back to take a few pictures and while we were walking to catch up with our friends, there was a young lady with her baby, following us. I wanted to ask her why she was staring but then thought might kind of rude (and embarrassing for Noah) so I tried to ignore the obvious. She finally broke the awkwardness and said, “I’m sorry I”m being creepy but can I ask you something? What are you doing here?” Now, I don’t know about you but isn’t that a strange thing to ask completely strangers…and in a public park?? We found out that she grew up Mormon but left the church. We told her about Pastor Kyle and his vision. She gave me her name to look her up on Facebook. We walked away wondering what that was all about.
The next day, I was outside with Bellie (N & K’s daughter) when the neighbor next door walked right up to me and before introducing herself asked me “What are you doing here?” I thought, “okay, either this is the way Salt Lake people do things around here or this is God opening a door!” I talked with her for a bit before taking her to meet Kora. Kora and the woman talked outside for about an hour. Kora found out that the lady grew up Mormon but didn’t feel like it was for her, so she left. “The only thing that really intrigued me was when they would talk about this guy named Jesus” the lady told Kora. “Is that what you guys are into?” Kora told her that was a great place to start and invited her to the church plant the following Sunday.
Please be praying for the Salt Lake team as well as Noah and I as we wait, trust and obey! Be praying for the people and the city as well. There is definitely a spirit of pride and spiritual arrogance in the tall, big, beautiful buildings downtown but how exciting to know that our God is bigger than all of it. This trip was a reminder that only through Him will this city be freed…only through Him will I be set free. The way we live our lives, (not our spiritual words, Christian living books, music, bumper stickers, etc) is one of the most powerful tools we have. Live it well, friend!
As promised, here is a glimpse of our trip!