Monday, September 29, 2008

We're official

So, we finally became official residents of California. It took us 4 1/2 hours at the DMV, a vehicle verification and smog test, and taking the California driver's test but we can finally call ourselves Californians. At least that's what the license plates and driver's license say. We had a miracle take place on the way there! We have had a check engine light that has been on for several months, had it fixed several times, and keeps coming back on. We could never figure out what is causing it. We were going to go get it looked at again before going, because in California, you can't pass the vehicle verification and smog test if you have a check engine light on. When we turned the car on to leave - NO LIGHT!!!! It turned off by itself - which it has NEVER done, and has not come back on since. We were amazed! God is good, huh! But, back to the DMV, let's just say that the DMV system in California is no different than in South Carolina. It was a long wait in several lines, and I CAN'T BELIEVE they made us take a written driver's test. It was HARD! I hope none of you ever have to do this... and if you do, make sure you know what the legal blood alcohol level is, how old and how heavy you have to be to ride in the front seat, when you can turn in a bike lane, rail road crossing signs, etc. Just be prepared! whew. It is really weird to see the California license plates on the car, and we had a small ceremony of sorts, because in here you have to have front and back plates (in South Carolina, you only needed back) and I had a fun license plates that said something along the lines of Carolina Girls being the best in the world that had to be removed. Archie was sure glad, but I am going to miss it.

On Saturday, we went on a date to Santa Cruz. It is a small beach town about 30 minutes away that you have to cross through the mountains to get to, but it is really fun. It looks like an old movie. It has an amusement park on a boardwalk right up to the beach, and mountains surrounding it, and boasts to be one of the top 5 places to surf in the world. There were a lot of surfers out that day. The homes in the area were really cute, very cottageish and everyone rode big beach bikes around. We took Capo with us and just went for a walk on the boardwalk. It was a nice change in pace to having things to do and such. Here are a few pictures.

On Sunday, we held our first Launch team meeting. It was here in the apartments, we had it at one of the clubhouses. We prepared for it all week, and were praying for 20 people to attend. We had been inviting people to come for several weeks - some from the church who is supporting us in Fremont, some from meeting them at the Art and Wine festival a few weeks ago, and some just from meeting in the community. As we got ready yesterday, I can't say all of us weren't a little nervous about what kind of turn out, if any, we would have - thinking it might just be us families. :) We were blown away with 29 adults and 8 children!!!! We were so excited. It was a great time of meeting too. We shared dinner together, and were able to talk to everyone, had a time of worship (which Archie led), and then the three guys (Andy, Filipe, and Archie) shared their testimonies of how God had brought them to this place so far. Andy also shared the vision of the church and what we had planned for the next several months, and how each of these people, if they were interested, could become involved in the launch team. What an amazing answer to prayer. It was so exciting to meet people and talk with them and find out how they came and how they want to be a part of what we are doing! Praise God. We are just praying that God would use each of them and speak to them about how they can become involved and that if this is what they are called to, they will join us for such a time as this!

Just wanted to update quickly also, that Andy met with the vice principal from the school that we asked everyone to pray for, and he sounded very positive about us meeting there. He made it sound like if there was nothing on the calendar, than there would be no problem. We are still waiting final approval from the application process, but it sounds very very promising!
Here are a few quick things you can be praying for:
- Our first launch team meeting this Sunday after sharing the vision with everyone and asking them to commit. Pray that everyone who came last night will come back and we would have an even bigger crowd this week.
- Pray for the friendships we are making, that God would be in the midst of them, and allow us to shine His light on every person we come in contact with. We are only human! We want to be God's light to this community.
-October 11, we are having a family day in the park for everyone on our launch team, anyone they invite, and we also invited anyone who signed up showing interest in the church from the Art and Wine Festival (about 90 people, 20 of those expressed interest in being part of the launch team). Pray that we would have a good crowd, that it would be a good time of fellowship and ministry.
We are beginning to finally sort of learn our way around - today, I went to the grocery store and didn't have to use the gps on the way back! :) haha, well in my defense I took a different way to get there (and got lost even with the gps), so it was pretty good that I could remember how to get home from the next city over without any sort of map or anything. This place is huge! There are at least 4 major interstates and several smaller highways and expressways to get through cities. It's hard people!
We love you all and miss you all. Remember, you always have a place to come visit!!! ;)


Patrick said...

I have to confess that for most of my life, I've never been that quick to recognize when God has really opened doors, rather than just seeing it more as "things just working out," especially when it just seems like a "little thing."

But watching everything that's been happening in the past year -- in my life and in yours -- it's never been more clear. I've never seen so many things, big AND little, coming together so quickly. He is good!!

While it makes me a little sad to know that you're no longer "officially" South Carolinians, it's awesome seeing what kind of reaction you guys are already getting. Can't wait to see it coming together in person! :)

Miss you two! You're the best!!

Unknown said...

Sounds so exciting! Reading this makes me miss my "salad days" in southern Cali. Thanks for the update! But I do have one request, that you make TRADER JOE'S your official grocery store. THEN and ONLY THEN are you TRUE Californians! ;}

Unknown said...

Brandon and I understand completely about the driver's tests... When we lived in Illinois, we had to take a written test... then when we moved to Indiana, written test. When we moved to Kentucky last year NO written test, just 20 bucks and a signature. Now, we are back in Indiana. We plan to pick up a driver's manual this week to brush up on our knowledge of the roadway's do's and don't's. (The first time I took the written test in IN, about 6 years ago... I failed! How embarrassing! Especially since I've been driving over half my life!!! So, to avoid that... I read thru the manual!)