Monday, September 16, 2013

Fishing at Monterey

I stopped to shoot this mural painted on rough cement in beautiful Monterey, California. Two men are attending their nets quite like they did 2000 years ago when Jesus gave a couple of guys like this a boat full of fish.

Pastors Leonard and Gloria Trembley are God's fishers. They fish for little kids in Monterey and in the process their parents get snagged in the net.  

Several years ago God gave them a burden to reach the children in this area. They went house to house (and still do) and discovered that most of the families were Spanish speaking.  The Trembleys were not trained in Spanish, but immersed themselves so totally in their "mission field" that they now defend themselves quite well.  Most of these Latins want to learn English and their kids already speak it.  Their worship is in both languages and preaching is usually translated.  Today they are reaching scores, probably hundreds of kids and many of their parents! 

Little kids are memorizing scripture every week.  Those that have done their homework come forward and whisper last week's memory verse correctly in their teacher's ear and each then are able to choose a prize from a pile of very nice gifts.  Monthly a brand new bicycle, donated by Costco, is given away to the child that brings the most new kids that month!  

And... they listen with fixed attention to the message preached.  

I ministered with them for my fourth time last Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday 10 AM is a full-fledged church service especially for children.  I am not good at translating for myself, but prefer that to an interpreter, which sometimes feels to me more like an "interruptor"... ha. I did my best and Felipe cooperated.

Prayer time is reverent and serious.  Several little kids come forward for special prayer.  Sometimes their request is for their parents to know Jesus.  And God has answered that prayer so many times that the adult church has grown big enough that Leonard has quit his secular job to attend to the business of serving as pastor.  

But don't be deceived.  Their secret is not toys and bicycles, but the little four letter word "Love".  This couple pours out love to every kid and parent.

After Saturday "Kid's Church" helium filled balloons were given out and a sack lunch was served to each child.  I shot a photo of this happy group waiting outside for their transportation.  

I was impressed to see that the instant the little kids went upstairs to eat, without a word several teenage boys started cleaning the church, even vacuuming the padded pews when necessary.  In 30 minutes it was ready for Sunday service.  Then I noticed after the kids ate, the teenage girls were cleaning the "eating hall" upstairs.  Hey, they are raising up faithful workers for Jesus. 

Now hear this: The Trembleys heard that my bicycle had been stolen out of my garage and surprised me with a brand new 21 speed NorthRock bicycle compliments of Costco!  

I took it to Felton where my son Ron, and his Argentinean wife, Elisabet live in the Santa Cruz mountains and enjoyed my first ride on mountain trails... while Elisabet rode her horse, "Solo", and Ron and I rode our bikes. What fun!  God just blesses the socks off me! 

Thanks, Leonard and Gloria for a wonderful time, a generous offering and a brand new bike!  And best of all for your love and passion for the lost and needy!  It's no wonder your fishing boat is filling up and will soon be overflowing!