And I’m off again! Well I was home for about 6 days. I had some time in the office to catch up with the guys, work on my sermon, sit in on some church plant stuff with Wes and help out a bit with a funeral. It was a good week. I got to see my friends and talk with Logan a little bit about his trip to Jamaica, which was great. It was so good to hear about the seeds that he and his team were able to plant over there and listen to the growth that he experienced in his faith. So my time at home was very relaxing.
Now I’m on the road again. I’m currently staying in a town that I can’t particularly remember the name of currently, but it’s right outside of Cannon Falls which is where one of the three church plants is that I’m going to be checking out while I’m up here. Mike Armbrust picked me up from the airport today in his stylish jeep wrangler with the top down. I rode with Mike back to his house and had lunch with him. While we were at lunch I asked him how he and his wife met. I’m kind of a romantic and so I always like to hear how people got hooked up. His story was very interesting and I think you all will enjoy it because it’s a bit unconventional. It may be one of the most odd and awesome stories that I’ve ever heard. Are you ready for me to tell it yet? Good! So Mike was doing campus ministry at the University of Minnesota where he and some of his friends decided to make a commitment that they were no longer going to date any girls. They would be friends with girls, but they kissed dating good bye. (like my cheesy Christian book reference?) They were fed up with the way America was doing dating and so they decided to place their trust in God. Later then, Mike was out in the woods praying and fasting and he said he heard a voice, apparently audibly but not with his ears (weird right? That’s what he thought), telling him that he was going to marry Debbie whom he said he knew as good as he knows me. So he thought that’s just like Satan to try and tempt me with this girl while I’m trying to pray. So he rebuked that thought in the name of Jesus, but the voice came back and said the same thing again. So he rebuked it a second time and then there it was again. Mike said that he knew that he had power over Satan and so it must not be him. He concluded that it must be God. Mike kept these thoughts to himself, but started to pray that if God truly wanted him to marry Debbie, He would bring it to pass. He then told his pastor about it and his pastor simply asked, “if God can talk to you don’t you think He can talk to Debbie as well?” So Mike started to pray that if it was God’s will He would tell Debbie (good move Mike!). He went on and said that one night while Debbie was studying for finals she kept thinking about marriage and finally she broke down and prayed that if God really wanted her to get married He would show her. Well right after that she, herself, audibly said “Mike Armbrust” again who she knew only very little. She then went to the Pastor’s wife and told her about it who then told Mike. So one night after church Mike asked Debbie if he could talk to her afterwards. She said yes and so they went for a walk and Mike asked her to marry him and she said yes, and they were married within 3 months!! They have been married for I think he said 20 some years and they have 3 kids. Crazy! I thought that was a very cool testament to God’s faithfulness and provision if only we are willing to place our trust in Him.
So I did lunch with Mike and then went back to his house where I met Bill Davis and his wife. Bill is an ex-bank robber who was sentenced to prison for 9 years. He lived in a cell next to Charles Manson! Anyways to make a long story short, he was converted and now he travels the world sharing his testimony and speaking to people. He and his wife live off of a little support from people, love offerings, and faith. Neat people! I hung out with them and Mike for awhile until Willy showed up. Bill described Willy as “crazier than a bed bug, but rock solid for Jesus.” (that gives you a little picture of what Bill was like as well as Willy.) Willy is one of the church planters who works with Mike. Willy picked me up from Mike’s and showed me around Cannon Falls where his church is and then we grabbed a bite at the local coffee shop and now I’m just chilling in his basement. He seems like a really great dude. It looks like I’m in for a treat up here in Minnesota as well. I’m not really sure what God has in store, but I’m excited. It’s going to be a great learning experience again and I get to meet a lot more sweet people. Good stuff!