Now, that we have taken that little side-trip to visit Angie and my conviction there, back to Sammy, the biker in our path. You see, Sammy had been locked up, had come to know Jesus and had even been to Bible College. After all that, he & his wife divorced and he had lost custody of his sons. Every time we would see him, he would tell us how he felt like Job. He had lost his wife, sons, bla, bla, bla....Well, I always told him he sounded more like Jonah than Job. He was living the old life again and running from the Lord. As our paths crossed more and more, the Lord began to bring him to the Creek. We ended up doing many things with Sammy & new wife, Laura. Sammy & Chas spent a lot of time discussing going to bikers and maybe starting a Christian bike club. They even batted ideas around about what colors we might design. Then, on Father's day of 1996, David and I took Chas out to lunch in Toccoa. We ate at the Bamboo House. To our joy and amazement, there was a couple in there who, get this, had leather vests and Christian colors. More specifically, His Blood Warriors Colors. We exchanged information and chatted briefly. Later that week, we received a phone call from one of the other members in the group telling us we were welcome to visit them at the clubhouse for Friday night Bible study. We were so excited. We went and immediately, we knew this group of people was the group for us. We were just not sure if they felt the same way. We went to a few meetings and on a particular night, we were asked to leave before business meeting. We prayed all the way back home that night, not knowing what was going on, but sensing that there was an issue within the group. As with all groups, there was & the very couple who had been at the Bamboo House and our first encounter were leaving the group. We continued to meet with HBW and go to events with them. We attended July Jam for Jesus, a Fall Festival in Gainesville, and Feast of Trumpets Rally with them. We expressed interest in joining the group, shared our testimonies and waited the required time. In the midst of all of this, we planned a church run for Shoal Creek. That night, Sammy's bike broke down on the way to the church and he rode in on it in the back of a truck. Many people at the church boycotted the event, but we still had over 100 people present. One member present, was so pleased to have all three of her children in church for the first time in years!
Just a few weeks prior to the Church Run, we had been at Super WOW with the youth. Chas came to me after one of Ken Smith's messages and said, 'We need to talk.' He said that he didn't know how I would feel about what he was about to say, but he felt we needed to go to seminary. I simply opened my journal that I had taken notes in and showed him what I had written in the margin. It simply read, 'Look out seminary, here we come.' So, we talked to Ken and he suggested that we visit a little college in Graceville, FL, which was for ministers who had only gone to high school, been called into ministry and were a little older than most who enroll in college. We visited the school anticipating to visit many more schools before making a decision. We didn't need to visit any more, we knew immediately that this was the school for us. We struggled with telling those we served and loved. We had been conducting a weeknight Bible study at the house. While it had been open for anyone who wanted to attend, only two ladies chose to do so. We had done the Experiencing God, Mind of Christ, In His Presence, and When God Speaks with these ladies. We were near the end of the last one when Chas resigned. The ladies told us that they knew God was dealing with us and they would even leave our house and go down the road, stop & pray for us. Our last Sunday there was the last Sunday in October 1996. We went on a Church Run with HBW the following Sunday and met with those two ladies on Tuesday night to have the final Bible Study. One of them even picked up Chas' favorite meal for the night...the Varsity hotdogs. We drove all night to get to Graceville and Chas slept that day to be able to begin the night shift job he had gotten. Shoal Creek was a roller coaster ride for sure. We, again, have relationships with some from the Creek that we are ever grateful for and are blessed to remain in contact with. However, like most every place of service, some thanked God & Greyhound we were gone. The best things to come from the Creek were the relationships, which we still have and our introduction to HBW.
Next post: the Graceville years...We finally PATCH OUT WITH HIS BLOOD WARRIORS.