Monday, June 29, 2009

A Vision of God's Beauty

As we climbed higher in elevation, the trees became more dense and stood tall and proud, like sentinels guarding the entrance into Shasta county. Occasionally we were delighted by the snow-covered tops of majestic mountains proudly calling attention to their superior height among their Sierra-Nevada neighbors. Our drive was at times slowed by a logging truck or an alfalfa-hauling flat-bed, two primary exports of the area. This caused us no particular irritation because this elongated our opportunity to soak in the picturesque landscape. Although like Micronesia, this area was sparsely populated, the comparison ended here. We couldn't help but imagine how our students' eyes would bulge in amazement at the vast amount of open space and seemingly endless miles of land. Ultimately, we were greeted by a valley situated at 3500 feet. Wild rice paddies, acres of alfalfa, strawberry patches, and fields of mint presented a mosaic of verdant hues abutting one another in no discernible pattern. Nestled in the midst of this sat a steepled country church ministering to the Fall River Valley community of 3500 people. It was to this location, located six hours north of the San Francisco Bay Area, and two hours south of the Oregon border, that we traversed to share the work God is doing in distant Micronesia. The parishioners were extremely friendly and eager to meet the missionaries they have been praying for the last two years and we were enthusiastic to meet those who had been praying! After we both shared in the Sunday school class and Eric preached at The Glenburn Community Church, several of us went to the Fall River Hotel (built in 1935) for lunch. After sharing and dining on dishes flavored with wild rice (a main crop in this wet part of California), we toured the picturesque countryside and loaded our memory card. Beyond rejoicing in the beauty of God's physical creation, however, we rejoiced in the ministry partners He has raised up all over the globe. Our deepest thanks go to Rev. Bill and Shelly Myers, old college friends, who treated us like royalty and provided us much-needed relaxation and meaningful conversation. They are a picture of something as beautiful as the landscape: faithful servants and cherished partners in ministry. (Our next blog will feature some of Bill's award-winning photography).

1 comment:

Dave Owen said...

I can't find Fall River Valley on the map but I am guessing that you were pretty close to a lot of Micronesians that live in that area - fairly large Palauan and Chuukese communities.