The people in my Bible studies were starting to refer to me as their pastor, and the head of the Bible school where I taught told me to start a church, and that he would pay the rent. Someone found a hotel for us, and we rented the restaurant. Since it was off-season, we could have it till summer. The already combined Bible studies made up the membership of “The Glorious Church.” We met Sunday and Tuesday nights for services and prayed on Thursday. We called Tuesday nights our Ministry to the Lord, and Ivan led us in some of the greatest praise and worship I ever participated in.
Without warning, upon arriving for church services one Sunday, the hotel owner informed us he had decided to close his hotel for the winter as he was losing money. Overnight we lost our church home and had one week to find another nest. Then the best happened. The owners of the restaurant where we held the “Gospel Night” opened their establishment to us. Their meeting room, with the little stage and tiered seating, made a perfect little church. They gave it to us for free, which was a good thing because the head of the Bible School stopped paying the rent to the hotel after the second Sunday.
The next day, I entered the bakery, politely waited my turn, and asked the girl at the counter if I could talk with Marcel. He came bustling out of the back, shook my hand, and in front of quizzical customers I explained I was a Protestant Missionary and would like to talk to him about working together. You could have heard a pin drop. He asked me to come back later when he wasn’t busy, like after dinner.
That evening I headed for Marcel’s bakery, trembling in great trepidation. Closed for the evening, the houses lined the streets like cliffs, carrying me down a deserted canyon. My thoughts churned. Yes, I had prayed to work with the Catholics, but not to embrace them! All the hair-raising stories I had ever heard about them came flooding into my head: levitation, bloodletting, chains, whips. . . . Maybe I should turn back, maybe they really were the enemy. As I walked alone down those shuttered corridors, I had the distinct impression of heading for the gallows. But I knew I had heard from God, so I pressed forward.
Writing has been in my blood, so to speak, but when I surren-dered my life to Jesus Christ and He told me to write, all my trepidations rolled away and I began in earnest! After all, if God Almighty says it was His idea that I be a writer, who am I to stand in His way? My hope is that you not only like what I write, but that your life is moved by it, and that your party to Jesus and with Jesus turns your life into days of Heaven on Earth.