Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I know that God had this dream before we even thought of it. He knew what would happen and what wouldn't. Therefore, I find joy in knowing that He didn't need us but chose us for this mission. I find peace in knowing that He has a "watering pail" and a "harvester" for every seed that was planted. This whole experience has given me a new perspective on "storing up treasures in heaven."
Ultimately, I am deeply grateful that our Father was walking with us, protecting us, providing for us, talking to us, and willing to use us throughout our journey. He alone deserves all the glory, honor, and praise for it all! It's all because of His love.
Now that we're home and back to the familiar, the ordinary, the routine...
this is where the joy ride begins,
P.S. Dani and Kiersten, words can't even express...
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
What words could I possibly write to fully describe this experience. Praise Him! He is so good. And I have come to believe it more and more.
I have to say at the beginning of the trip it was hard to balance things like buying food, going to the bathroom, getting gas... with the actual treasure hunting. Yet, slowly they began to become one. It's kind of insane. I found myself going to the bathroom... and constantly being consciously aware of everyone in every stall, what they were wearing, what they were saying, and what God was speaking. We would sit down to eat, and there would be someone around us that was the treasure or needed prayer. It's like if I wanted to escape it (which I don't!), I never could.
How awesome is that? I know that this thing we call "treasure hunting" doesn't have to have clues. Or a title. It is simply a lifestyle. It's a lifestyle of listening to what God wants to do through you... and actually doing it. Not to mention it happens to be incredibly fun :)
God has taught me to rely on Him. For everything. I'm not sure what else I could add to that. I can't rely on others... they are looking for something to rely on as well. I definitely can't rely on money, that runs out quickly. And I surely can't rely on things... ahem... Abravan (or our GPS - Sarah). Haha. God is my source for LIFE/living/joy/purpose/peace itself. That has become so apparent.
I think that we sometimes only see with our physical eyes when God is calling us to see through spiritual eyes. What is someone really needing when they only ask you to pray for their finances? The man in the Bible that asked Peter for money really needed a miracle in his body... to walk! If anything, God has taught me on this trip to question what others really need though they ask for something different on the surface.
You are due all credit for what happened here. You taught us how.
DaniB and Brookie:
Let's continue--- every. single. day.
I hope this trip has shown you how real our God is.
I also want to write this to Brooke and Kiersten:
You two have become two of my closest friends. I am so glad that I finally found two great people to do something radical for God with me. I feel so close to you two and I will never ever ever forget the times we had together. You mean so much to me and I love you girls with all of my heart.
What will God have me do next? :)
Monday, June 28, 2010
Yesterday we went to church with Lindsey...let's just say we white girls were the minority and it was awesome! Cool thing about the sermon is that Pastor Walter preached on meditating on the Word at all times, and they passed out some of the Bibles that we were able to donate. After church we said good-bye to Lindsey and all of our new friends and hit the road again.
We drove all the way to Mississippi where we spent the night and did some treasure hunting today before continuing to Nashville, Tennessee.
- Last night at dinner we got to talking with a big group of people sitting near us who encouraged when they saw us praying over our meal. Turns out they all had just come from church and matched some of our clues! Ten treasures in one place at one time...sweetness :)
- Prayed for Heather and her twins Logan and Eli. This encounter was really cool because she was a Christian and asked that we pray for her light to shine even greater as a believer. She was encouraged that God had brought us to her, and she wanted all the prayer we had! I (Kiersten) also began to pray over her that she was not forgotten... later realizing that FORGOTTEN was a word on our list God had given us.
- Norma and Kay were walking towards us in a store when we stopped them. Norma had her right arm in a sling (all of which was a clue). She also was a believer and told us she had so many people praying for her that she said she knows it is healed! Yeah!! And she also mentioned that she thinks she's God's favorite :)
- In a bookstore we found Jennifer, and told her how much God loved her... after talking she wished us the best on our journey.
- A lady (who's name we didn't get!) in Maurices.
- Justin, probably 14 years old, was wearing a jersey with the number 14 (both that number and his name were clues God gave us!)... he was all smiles.
- When we got to TN, we went to get a drink... as we were walking out I (Kiersten) saw a girl sitting down with her friend. I noticed some kind of bird tattoo on her shoulder but I wasn't positive of the bird. Then we walked a ways down the road, turned around (haha), and went back. Turns out it was an OWL tattoo... and owl is a clue! Brittany (with the tattoo) and her friend Kaitlyn were especially curious about out trip and purpose. It was great :)
- Last night was HOT...hotter than the first. We decided we had entered the fiery furnace.
- It's a blessing to bless others with what God gave us.
- The South was a blessing...very friendly and receptive.
- Dani and Kiersten had a hand puppet show in the van as we roasted in the furnace.
- We had a great discussion last night at midnight, which included topics such as the end times, worship, Church Alive, and C2.
Matthew 10:39 "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it." We believe we have only begun this journey, this joyride. All praise, love, and thanks to Jesus Christ for everything that happened here.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
After leaving Fort Worth, we drove to Arlington (where LINDSEY FREELS lives!!!). We were so pumped to see her, so we went straight to her church. There we met her pastors, our new friend Brittany, and Lindsey's roomies :) We were so excited because we were able to give ALL THREE boxes of our Bibles to the church! That was a huge bonus for all of us... including Abravan who is now 60 pounds lighter! Or something like that.
We were able to go hang out with the youth group last night (Friday night) which ended up being such a blast. We played volleyball and soccer in the rain! We got reallllllly dirty. The kids are all crazy as can be which made the experience all the better. Not to mention we fit 12 girls in ONE vehicle.
So on to today... we woke up to the smell of Lindsey's African grandmother (who feeds her cow tongue once a week) cooking something wretched-smelling. We got to try plantains... enough African food for now. Grandma is quite the amazing woman, and definitely marches to the beat of her own drum :)
We then went with Lindsey and Brittany to the ghetto to find some treasure! After the exciting ghetto stores and hospital, we went back to Lindsey's church to listen to worship practice for a while. Tonight we went to a place called "Prayer Mountain" which was some serious God time. It was really awesome... and it seemed so parallel to the Garden of Gethsemene. We encountered treasure throughout all of these crazy adventures.
- We talked to a man and his daughter who had neon green shoelaces (clue)
- Approached two women, one of which had a snowflake on her shirt (in the middle of June).
- Talked to Ashley who had twin boys.
- Dallas who was wearing orange Converse All Stars (a clue that came in a dream!)
- Two more women in Body Central.
- A mother, daughter, and son in Wal Mart...they said "God loves you too." We know :)
- We spent a good amount of time talking with Elenore. We prayed for healing in her knee (a word of knowledge that came in the form of physical pain in Dani's own knee.) and she asked us to take care of our bodies by wearing shoes with support.
- Prayed an overall blessing over Gayner.
- Talked to a girl who asked for prayer for her mother, Erika.
- At prayer mountain a guy overheard us talking about our trip and came over to ask questions about it. After explaining it all to him he started walking away and said, "By the way, my name is Felix." Whoa, whoa, whoa...clue! We informed him it was a clue but he merely said "no way" and just walked away. We yelled after him that God has him on His heart since He gave us the clue but he just kept walking.
- While riding in Lindsey's car we decided to just let our bodies go limp and move with the flow of the vehicle....weird, crazy, silly...whatever you want to call it, it was fun! We dare you to try it :)
- Also, busting out in a good ole belly laugh is good for the soul. Just laughing as hard as you can is very therapeutic.
- While swimming, a giant roach landed on Lindsey and we all proceded to scream as she frollicked in the pool trying to get it off.
- Grandma. Enough said.
- You know how we said that we played volleyball? Yeah, well, that happened without an actual volleyBALL or net. We used a soccer ball and had no rules. Add ten crazy kids and you have a recipe for pure joy.
Tomorrow we are going to church with Lindsey and then we're hitting the road again.
Peace out, homies.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
We met Marge, who had a family of 6 with her! She got emotional as she said we could pray for her and her large family. It seemed like there were some rough things going on.
Next was Tessie, who was so happy to be a treasure, and she wanted prayer for her teeth and a dentist that was affordable.
Blanca and Elissa were also incredibly surprised to be treasures and asked that we pray for them over all. Blanca said anything could be prayed for.
As we were driving through the DESERT, we literally stopped at an oasis... called Chevron :)
It was the only thing for miles, and we had to pee. After purchasing drinks, we got in the van back onto the interstate and Dani realized that our receipt said "Your cashier: Paul." Well, PAUL is a name God gave us yesterday!! I (Kiersten) whipped Abe around, and we drove right back to the gas station. We had to! What are the odds of an oasis, with Paul, in the middle of no where. FOR REAL. This all equals God. So we went back and talked to two of the employees... neither of which was Paul (because he wasn't there yet apparently). One of the guys was his brother... so he will be relaying the entire story to Paul, he said. It was sweetness!!
That's all we can write :(... Barnes and Noble is closing RIGHT NOW! AH!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Sears diagnosed the problem this morning but couldn't fix it so they referred us elsewhere. All in all, we were in two different shops from 8 am until 3 pm. All of the people were very nice and helpful. Since we were stranded we had to walk to get something to eat. Do you want to know how hot it is in Arizona? 110 degrees. YES 110!!! SO HOT! They finally got Abravan fixed and we went in to pay and they started asking us if we were just on a road trip or something more. We proceeded to tell all of the people a little bit about our trip. They all thought it was great, gave us tips about Arizona, flowers, and wished us luck. We even got invited to church tonight but decided to get out of Arizona...by the way, there are a lot of cacti. They look like Larry the Cucumber with arms!!!
God blessed us so much with not having to pay for towing or for the diagnostics at Sears. We even paid less than what we thought to get it fixed in the end. We may not understand why this happened, but God got us through it. He is good...ALL THE TIME...even in the desert. :)
Getting out of AZ as fast as we can...
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
- We found a mom who's one daughter had mickey on her shirt (clue!) and the other daughter was holding pooh bear (clue!).
- Sonja at the mall, who was totally touched by what Brooke said to her and even gave her a big hug :)
- We went into a dog store, where I (Kiersten) was just talking with an older lady about the dogs and where she was from. I finally saw that there was a dalmatian (clue!) on her purse and she had a mickey watch on. Her name was Darlene, and she was awesome :)
- Family of 3 with tons of clues on them... and stood by these signs that said "Sold Out" which was a clue.
- Family of 3 coming out of Best Buy
- We were walking and talking about how one of our clues was coffee beans... just then we passed a lady holding a place mat covered in coffee beans...
- Felix was a name we had on our list, and we finally found him in Walmart!
- We have the clues 4 and Oreos, and passed a Muslim family in Walmart with FOUR BOXES OF OREOS in their cart.
- Late that night as we were going to bed we talked with Jennifer, who asked about the writing on our van, for a while about what we were doing. She had lots of questions for us.
- So it was really neat because with Campus Crusade we were given this cool sheet that let us approach people on the campus to say we were taking a "survey", but then the questions would lead to deeper conversation about Christ. We split up, and Josh came with us around campus. I was telling him the story about the anchor tattoo when literally not minutes later we pass a kid with an anchor on his shirt! Haha... God's so good. Josh pointed to him and we got to talk with him. We told him he was the treasure that God loved. He (John) said it was the most interesting presentation of God's love he had ever heard in his 23(?) years in church.
- Next we came across this girl reading, and started to ask her if we could take a survey. She said another group had already approached her. We started to walk away, but Josh asked her what book she was reading. She said it was by Laura Penny (CLUE!) and that it was a mystery novel. As she said that I realized... on our list we had the clue "someone saying the word mystery" and this girl SAID IT. So we proceeded to tell her the whole treasure-hunting thing, and she was super happy she was the treasure.
- We went to the bookstore to find oreos (clue) and a man asked Dani a question. She answered him, but then realized that he had asked her a question... which was a clue! Someone coming to us and asking a specific question! He started to walk away, but she realized he was the treasure.
- We had the number 55 as a clue, so we went to building 55. Brooke and Dani were able to talk with a Muslim girl about the survey. They spoke about all the different beliefs, and they listened to what she believed. The cool part was that she told them in their religion they get to heaven by doing certain acts, and Dani/Brooke talked with her about grace.
- While they were talking with her, Josh and I got to speak with Omar. He was sitting on a bench actually reading scripture on his phone when we approached him. More than anything he touched our lives. He found out we were Christians, and told us how much he loved Jesus. He explained that God had saved him over a year ago, he was completely set free from the life of drugs, being in a gang, jail, etc. He told us how he went to church with his mom one Sunday and lifted his hands surrendering everything to God. Now he's in college, in his first class, working towards being a parole officer. His faith and love for God is something so indescribable. What a guy. We got to pray with him... it was probably one of my most memorable experiences on this trip. When talking about God's love, Omar said, "it's the kind of love a mother can't give you, you know..." So awesome.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday we went to church with the Davis family and were able to share about our trip with various members of the congregation, including Jesse (one of Carol's "guys" out on parole). He shared with us about his walk as well and we were able to pray with him. Another highlight from church was praying with William and Bob before we left. Once we left church Carol took us on an "errand" to Sam's Club. While there, we figured we would go to aisle 8 and pray for Carol since that was what happened in the dream about her :) Carol really did have to go to Sam's to get a watermelon. Also, the Davis family and Jesse were able to witness treasure hunting first hand as Dani talked to a girl with yellow shoes!
From the Club we traveled down scenic Highway 1 - we had no idea what we were getting into. The view was indescribable but we were very unprepared for the terrain. We were really livin' on the edge. Abravan was faithful to get us through but not without a lot of motion sickness along the way. Thankfully we didn't have to drive along the highway in the dark - that would have been so much worse. After twelve hours of driving we finally ended up in Oceanside. Praise the Lord!
- My (Kiersten) little sour patch child lost his life on the highway yesterday. I dangled him, threatening that if Brooke didn't eat him he was a goner. Poor guy never had a chance, as we all denied consuming him.
- Also, I burnt 12 taste-buds off by eating the patch children... and proceeded to place a Ritz cracker on my tongue to soothe it.
- Dani and I have discovered we have foot moles! Brooke almost puked.
- We stopped at the ocean, SO STOKED to see waves! But then they bombarded us and we were soaked... toe to knee.
- On highway 1: pebbles dumped out of my jean cuffs, we saw a mountain man, a naked man, drove over a deteriorating bridge, Dani continually said, "I'm gonna puke. I'm gonna puke" as she stuffed crackers in her mouth, and laughed the hardest we have yet. It was awesome :)
- The next mountain we drove through, I was driving and Brooke had a panic attack as she was experiencing de ja vu and couldn't see the road.
- We are blessed that we all get along SO well. It's true, and we thank God for it :)
- We didn't run out of gas in an hour long traffic jam.
- God's hand and angels MUST be surrounding our van.
- Blessed with beds, showers, food, laundry, and fun by the Davis family.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
- Once again we had another encounter at breakfast. We were sitting there enjoying our food when we saw a little girl with Mickey Mouse on her shirt. The crazy thing about this one was that her family was Muslim. We knew we were supposed to talk to them, but we just didn't know how to go about it. We sat there for about 20 minutes debating who was going to do it. We were all so nervous. We really couldn't believe it. Finally Brooke approached them and we realized that there was really nothing to worry about. They just sat and smiled at her and we feel like the wife really accepted it. They also asked for prayer for safety as they traveled.
- We talked to a lady at Kohl's who had 3 clues surrounding her.
- We had a clue that was a full brace on the left leg. While in Wal Mart we saw a lady who was in a wheel chair and had A FULL BRACE ON HER LEFT LEG. When we asked her if she needed prayer for anything she said NO. Obviously she did so we prayed for her later anyway. :)
- We passed a woman with feathers all over her shirt and she encouraged us to keep doing what we are doing.
- We talked to a man with every shark (clue) on his shirt.
- We approached a lady with a stuffed dalmatian (clue) in her cart.
- While standing by the fish bowls (clue) a lady with feathers (clue) on her purse entered the aisle.
- We saw a woman who was on a motorized scooter surrounded by clues (monopoly, legos, etc.) but she was on the phone so we couldn't approach her. We then saw her again a little bit later and she had dog food and dog bones (both clues) in her cart. We also just happened to just pass by the clothes pins (clue), rubbermaid containers (clue) and a shark (clue) leading us to her. We told her what we were doing and right away she proceeded to tell us that she is a christian and is going to be homeless in 4 (now 3) days. We prayed with her and were able to bless her.
- We talked with Jim and Tori in Pier One who both had necklaces with keys (clue) on them.
- We talked with Lisa and Kathy who had a giraffe purse (clue). They had just had an encounter earlier that day. They were really encouraged by us and Kathy new that God was trying to get her attention. :)
- We tried talking to a lady with a sky blue shirt with white polka dots on it (clue).
- We talked to a lady in Big Lots with a giraffe purse (clue). She said to pray for people who don't have jobs.
- We saw a guy with Mickey Mouse (clue) on his shirt. He had twin (clue) daughters who both had paint splatter (clue) purses.
One of the reasons we came back to Redding is because God made it clear we were supposed to be at the Friday night service at Bethel Church...now we know why. Lou Engle was the guest speaker and his message was about The Call Sacramento which will be happening on September 3 (none of which we knew ahead of time). His vision for this event is to have people from every state come and collectively cry out for freedom in our nation. They chose Sacramento because of the SACRAMENT of Jesus' blood flowing over our nation. Funny thing is that Kiersten had a dream a little over a week ago in which a little girl gave her the clue blood (we think it ties in here). Also, we think the encounter with Carol three days ago when we prayed on the steps of the capitol in Sacramento for 200 prisoners was symbolic/foreshadowing of what God wants to do through Lou and his ministry in September. So after service we found Banning (director of Jesus Culture) and he brought Lou to us so we could tell him all about how God is preparing Sacramento even now for The Call. Also, one of our clues yesterday was quail, and Lou talked about a dream with Dan Quayle in it - who is from Indiana. When we mentioned the clue to Banning and Lou they said, "You know that's the state bird of California, right?" NO WE DID NOT. Crazy. We just know that God has been planning these things and has even bigger plans for our trip and The Call than anyone can imagine.
- Please pray that our treasures would be more open and honest about their needs for prayer. It's awesome to get to tell people that they are God's treasure and He loves them but we really want to minister to people through prayer, and everyone just says "Nope, I'm good" but we can tell there's something.
- Continued low-ish gas prices.
- Sweet sleep and DREAMS.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Whoa whoa whoa... well, we found all the crazies. They're in San Francisco :)
Haha, we only kid. Kinda. It was quite the hunt.
Last night, we left Redding, drove to Dixon and stayed the night. As we were driving last night, I (Kiersten) was sitting in the van just thinking about where we were supposed to go. Hospital in San Francisco came to my mind, so I meant to write it down in my phone and wait for it to be confirmed. Not twenty minutes later, Brooke says, "I think we are supposed to go to a Hospital in San Francisco." Props to God for confirmation!!! Woo! It happens like this a lot.
So today we drove to San Fran, and let us just tell you how difficult it is to drive Abravan in 2 inch wide streets. Okay... we exaggerate... but still. You should experience that.
Aaaaaaaaand I had to drive him up a 60 degree angle street!!! I almost puked.
Then Dani saw gas for $3.39 and almost puked. Brooke never puked.
We drove to fisherman's wharf, and right as we got there I saw a sign that said "Russian Treasure". That was kind of odd, but God made sense of it later. We went into a store with anchors all over the front and a penny press (clue!) outside. Inside was a guy in a pink shirt and a girl with orange hair walking around together. They matched our clues, so we told them about our hunt and their part in it :) and guess what... they were Russian. SO CRAZY.
Then we went to the Golden Gate Bridge (how could we not!) and then the general hospital in San Francisco. At the hospital, it was much more than we expected to see. We experienced the less fortunate side of San Francisco there. I'm not really sure how to describe all that we saw, but the conditions were heart-breaking.
Again, may you keep all of San Francisco in your prayers.
Powerful side-note: On our way to the Bridge we passed a corner shop that said "Black Magic and Voo Doo Lounge." From that point on we pumped up the song "Watch Out Heaven" where the lyrics state, "I'm taking back, taking back my authority..." and we were.
Now for the twist...
We had a plan that God has so politely ruined. :D
We have turned around and are now BACK in Redding. God has made it clear through numerous people that we are supposed to be back, at least for another day. Who knows what will happen tomorrow :) Funny thing is, while praying this morning, Brooke said to God, "ruin our agenda and may YOUR will be done." Thanks, God. No, but really... we follow wherever You lead. If that means backtracking, suhweet!!
- We got gas before the disgusting gas prices! Score!
- We thought we saw a patient escaping the hospital!
- Driving on the streets of San Fran, we accidentally upset a cyclist... who proceeded to let us know he was very angry.
- This adorable little Asian mailman made our day. He was so happy and dressed in gangsta gear.
- God has been giving us clues through other people and sometimes they're the same!!! Like, God gave us feathers... then a friend text us with the clue feathers!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Today we are in Redding, California, and have discovered that we are no longer hunting treasures they are finding us. Many of our treasures just popped up right in front of our faces - God made them very obvious :)
- First thing this morning, while eating breakfast, we heard a lady whistling (clue!) behind us. Weird thing is that she initiated conversation with us by asking a question about something on television. From there we explained what we're doing and how she is God's treasure. We talked with Laura for thirty minutes about our trip, our beliefs, and her beliefs. It was a good start to the day!
- While at Michael's we were all looking through kaleidoscopes (clue!) when a lady came over and picked one up as well! We couldn't pass that up.
- We literally almost ran into Beverly as we were walking through Sears. We told her that she is God's treasure and she kindly replied, "I know." :)
- We also went into a candy store where we found gummy worms, gummy octopus, a snowman with a snowflake around its neck, and a girl with a green hat - all clues! She denied a need for prayer but we planted the seed nonetheless.
- Lynn was in Hot Topic with her granddaughter when we found her and explained to her how God pointed her out and treasures her.
- We talked to Ruth in Fashion Bug and prayed with her for her brother John who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has a six-month prognosis. Please pray for miraculous healing!
- Talked to Danelle as we were exiting Target and told her she is God's treasure.
- As we went into some kind of sportsman's store, we walked around for a while, but our legs were hurting (haha... we are babies) so we sat down. I (Kiersten) was sitting on the ground, but as I stood up immediately a mom, grandma, and baby walked by. The baby had clues all over :) So I approached them and told them God gave us the clues to find them. As I was talking the grandma interrupted and said, "I've talked to you before, and I don't want anything to do with it..." but we told her we weren't from around here. They just walked away as we again repeated that God really loved them and they were His treasure. This one is so significant I think because the mother wanted to listen. The grandma pulled them away... we don't know their names, but pray that a seed was planted and God will use it mightily in all their lives one day. We are only more set to find the ones that sometimes don't want to be. God loves them too.
- Two boys in Officemax spinning globes (clues!!). The mom, Emily, needed prayer for her husband John who lost his job. After we prayed, with tears in her eyes she said we made her day.
- Free breakfast
- God has given us direction on where to go next, but it's a surprise. :) hehe DUNNN DUNNN DUUNNNNNNNNNNN!
- We met Elmo's (the duck) cousins.
Today, we woke up at Walmart in Sacramento, CA!! We made it!
We weren't going to Sacramento, actually, but then we felt really pulled to go. It was God. Once we did our daily routine of teeth brushing and face washing in the Walmart bathroom this morning, we headed towards downtown Sacramento. When we got there it was definitely somewhere we didn't want to be. Lots of homeless people... scary ish. I (Kiersten) sincerely felt like God was saying that we needed to stay downtown, so as we were getting ready to leave, we turned around. We went to the downtown plaza, parked, sat in the van and listened for a new list of clues. I was really impressed that we were supposed to go to the Capitol building, so we wrote it on our list. Then we stood and prayed in the parking garage, and I said, "today is going to be different." It was :)
We headed towards the plaza/mall area, found some people matching clues. It was great, but I kind of think God was distracting us for his perfect timing. We then went to Old Sacramento and walked around, finding nothing and no one. At this point we headed towards the Capitol. We were hungry, but funny thing is though we passed tons of food places we never stopped. When we got to the Capitol, there was a group of people in front. A man was playing the guitar and singing. It was awkward because we didn't know what was going on, but I DID know we were absolutely supposed to be there. I felt like I was burning inside :) Tons of people were wearing livestrong bracelets... one of our many CLUES. I went and asked a random man and woman what was going on and why so many were there. They said the Foundation for Children with Cancer was hosting an event for Team Will. Basically, a group of cyclists were going to come through riding for cancer. The event had begun because of Lance Armstrong and his testicular cancer (A CLUE!). We were shocked. I told the lady why we were there, and she said it was a divine appointment. Fo sho :D
I saw lady with a daughter that had a tinkerbell shirt on, so we talked to them, they were great! She has been healed from cancer!! Her name was Mindy and her daughter was Sophie :)
As the cyclists rode in, Dani saw a woman standing close to us with a sun (clue!!) on her shirt. She was talking to people for a while, and I was thinking, "Okay maybe she's not it, we already found a treasure." But Dani was pretty sure. We finally went over and told her she matched the clue and that she was a treasure. Dani asked her name and she said "Carol."
I asked her to repeat it four times I was so shocked!
Then I started crying and told Carol we had been looking for her! God gave me the name, then a dream with the name, and then the name in the sand... read earlier blogs if you don't remember!
I showed her the picture on my phone of the name in the sand (she is probably reading this... Hi Carol!!), and she said she was there representing 200 male prisoners that she teaches and has a missions program with. By the end we were all holding hands in front of the Capitol as she prayed for us and we prayed for her. We are hoping to go to the prison to hand off a box of our Bibles soon.
Please be praying for all those prisoners and their relationships with God. That they would grow deeper and deeper. Many are actually fasting for the cyclists that are riding across the country in the fight for cancer.
As we left the Capitol, the guy playing the guitar sang "what happens next... I dare you to move."
GOD. IS. AWESOME.
- I(Dani) and Brooke dub Kiersten the "Human Sponge" She drinks so much water...it's crazy!
- "470,000 unexpected treasures" - A billboard as we entered California. We saw it TWICE.
- While driving to Redding, CA (yeah...we finally made it :) ) we passed by a girl who was smiling and waving at us. She had read our van and obviously thought it was really cool. We get to reach people through the writing on our van!
- We didn't run out of gas in a traffic jam.
- Talking with Mindy and Carol.
p.s. We did have other encounters, but we figured this blog was long and good already :)
Monday, June 14, 2010
Well, yesterday (day 15) was bitter sweet. We woke up and had the BEST BREAKFAST of our lives... thanks to Uncle E-dog :D staying with him, we decided, was the highlight of our trip so far.
We all prayed together and then we left Idaho. In the van we were pretty sad. It was an awesome time, and we didn't really want to leave. But we know God has purpose with His timing.
We basically drove ALL DAY, through nothingness. It was kind of a bummer because we wanted to find people, but every place we went through there wasn't a thing.
Until we got to Reno, that is :)
We stopped at a Walmart to sleep, and went inside to brush our teeth. As we were heading outside, Brooke and Dani told me (Kierstoni) that we passed a girl with a huge ANCHOR (clue!) tattoo on her shoulder. Okay, A) what 20 year old girl has a giant anchor on her shoulder and B) what are the odds we stopped at the Walmart she was at, at the exact time of night, walked out the same doors, in the same city -- Reno, Nevada!! The odds, the coincidence, is so rare. Woo hoo! So we turned right around, went back inside to the redbox she was at with her friend, and told her everything. She and her friend said she had just gotten the tattoo because one of their friends had died. She got it for the friend. Her name was Megan, she hugged us all, and said that we were going to make her cry :) it was a God moment if anything. We prayed for her and the family of the friend that died. Don't tell me God isn't personal.
Now to day 16. We spent some time in Carson City and then decided to go back to Reno. While in Reno we had a lot of encounters and by a lot I(Dani) mean MORE THAN EVER! Praise God!
- Kris in Carson City at Safeway. We prayed for her family.
- Lou in Carson City at Safeway. She was recently in a car accident so we prayed for a good deal on a new car.
- Lady with a butterfly tattoo in Carson City at Lowes.
- Mary Kay in Carson City at Lowes. We prayed for her daughter Justine.
- Lady in the garden aisle at Lowes.
- We went to lunch at this point, and let me just say... even if we tried to get away from treasure hunting, God wouldn't let us I'm convinced. I (Kiersten) looked out the window and saw Destiny and Louise, two ladies that matched our clues. So I jumped up, ran outside after them, and they were totally for it. We all three held hands and prayed for Louise (who broke her femur). They said that it was awesome God led us to them :)
- Haley and Chelsea at the mall in Reno. We told them what we were doing and that they matched some clues and their reaction was..."That is so cool!" :-)
- Lady at the mall in Reno with big red lips on her shirt...yes big red lips was a clue. Sometimes God gives us crazy clues, but we actually find them.
- Sheila, an employee in Sears at the mall.
- Jenn in the toothpaste aisle at Target in Reno.
- Shandra in Target with butterfly tattoos ALL over her body. Butterfly tattoo was a clue and from her own mouth she said she had a "flock" of them. God must have been really trying to get our attention.
- Meghan, an employee at Target with a Tinkerbell tattoo. There are a lot of people with tattoos in Nevada. It's crazy. It makes it easy for us. :)
Well... tomorrow you'll find us in California! But, who knows where...
Shout out to Uncle Eric! We miss you!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
We did a different kind of hunting today! We hunted for mushrooms!!! Although we only found 3 we still had fun. After mushroom hunting our uncle, Eric took us hiking up a mountain. Luckily he had extra boots for us to wear because we had to truck through snow. Yes...snow. We learned how to "think light." Well...we tried. We kept sinking down in the snow. While hiking Uncle Eric said "Don't tell me Jesus didn't think light." Great motivation. It was a little tough...well...at least for me(Dani). haha. Finally we made it up to the top and saw the beautiful, but frozen lake. It was a great day to relax and experience nature.
we miss you!
p.s. don;t forget to watch the video above. click on the arrow. :)
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Thursday night we entered the arctic tundra that is Idaho. Needless to say, we were very unprepared for the weather. It was windy and FREEZING - even without cracking the windows - and we only had sweatshirts and shorts to sleep in. All efforts to wrap ourselves in whatever coverings we had failed to warm our bodies. Let me give you a picture: Dani wrapped herself in a towel and blanket, Kiersten smothered herself with the one sweatshirt she has, and I covered my whole body with my sleeping bag as if I were a caterpillar in a coccoon. We didn't get much sleep at all, that's for sure.
Now we are staying in Sun Valley with Kiersten's Uncle Eric (now OUR uncle) for the weekend. We know we're supposed to be here because a majority of our clues are everywhere. After much prayer God has also confirmed to all of us that we are supposed to stay here until Sunday. From here we don't know exactly where we are going so please pray specifically for direction in the next couple days.
- Tour of the city including the fire station where Eric works and famous peoples' houses (Arnold Schwarzneggar, Tom Hanks, and Clint Eastwood), free dinner, a shower, and a bed to sleep in. All thanks to Uncle Eric.
- Dani made omelets for breakfast :)
- We haven't had to use our mace yet, nor have we encountered any crazies - Praise Jesus!
- Urtle (or Yurtle - we're not sure?) the turtle
- It hailed. On Abravan. What a sport he is.
We think the "encounter" part of our trip is a little out-of-the-box this weekend but we'll see what God has in store.
the b the d the k
Thursday, June 10, 2010
- Evelyn at Dollar Tree. We prayed for her family.
- We went to a hospital and shared with a nurse that she was God's treasure.
- Prayed for a janitor at the mall in Twin Falls for her finances.
- Prayed with Shannon for her son, Austin who is in jail and dealing with court issues.
- Encountered a 11 year old girl in TJ Maxx and told her that God loves her.
- We also encountered a lady in TJ Maxx who was also a treasure.
- We had another prayer circle in Michael's with Cindy and Sarah. We prayed for their niece Carrissa who is having a baby and also for Cindy who has post polio.
- On our way to Twin Falls we had a long conversation about Mormonism and got righteously angered at Joseph Smith. hehe
- We still can't believe we ate an entire chicken!
- We "flew" like a pack of geese through the parking lot today (it was super windy when we got here!)
- We got cheap gas again!
- While we were in Michael's we saw a picture for cake icing and there were letter blocks "BDK" That's us!
- God frequently uses songs in directing us when we go into stores. For example one of the songs today in Michael's said "Don't go away." We didn't and then found treasure!!!!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Today we went to the temple...yes the Mormon temple, and spent two hours walking around Temple Square in downtown SLC. It was very informational and gave us a lot to think/talk/research about. One interesting thing that did not happen is we were NOT approached by any one of the hundreds of Mormon missionaries around the Square. It seemed like all other visitors were talking to a member of the church but not one came up to us. We saw this as kind of a blessing because we really were only there to look around. We saw a lot, read a lot, heard a lot, and learned a lot.
We also traveled to the not so great Salt Lake. We went because of the clues God gave us: boat and anchor. The lake itself wasn't really impressive, but this next story makes us think we went for a reason:
Yesterday, the name "Carol" came to my (Kiersten's) mind, so I wrote it down as a clue. I didn't really think much of it until I had a dream last night. In the dream we were at a Sam's Club or something similar and saw a woman. We approached her in isle 8, and we asked her if she needed prayer. She declined, but we pressed through and from what I can remember somebody asked her what was going on with her knees. She was surprised, but basically let us pray for her injured knees and then her lungs. I then (in the dream) asked her name and she said "Carol". Then she told me her last name as well, all of which were on our clue list in the dream. So back to reality, this morning I woke up and told Brooke and Dani the dream. Then we went to the lake and as we were walking, Dani was like, "O MY GOSH". Not 5 feet from us the name "Carol" was carved in the sand. It was unreal!!! So... we are definitely on the look out for Carol :) Pretty cool. God does confirm!
- Helped jump start a lady's car this morning.
- Talked with a man in Big Lots that had anchors and boats all over his shirt.
- Approached a husband and wife in Wal-Mart...both of them were wearing clues but they declined prayer.
- Also, told a twenty-something lady in Wal-Mart that she is God's treasure.
- Prayed for overall well-being for Ann, a Wal-Mart employee. She was fishing out goldfish (clue) from the tanks with a fish net (clue) and was using a ladder (clue).
- Prayed for health for Heather and her family in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
- MORE TO COME (we are about to go to Wal-Mart again. :) )
All of these encounters happened in Ogden, Utah. You could feel the depression just being in the town. It was really run down and dark. Even the weather was dreary. You could see the dark cloud over the city...literally. As we were walking by people they just looked really depressed. Being in the town was even affecting our moods. Once we realized this we decided to do something about it! We went after God's treasures and put the joy back in our joyride. :) We also prayed over this city. We encourage all of you to pray for the whole state of Utah. We feel like it needs it.
- There was a hairball in Kiersten's bed. She realized this in the morning while we were leaving. haha.
- Gas is cheaper than it was in the desert.
We love Lafayette :)
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
- Last night after we got done with the blog I (Dani) saw a lady walk by and she had a sun (clue) tattoo on her ankle. I wasn't even really looking for clues, but it just caught my eye. I hopped up and talked to her. I didn't get the chance to pray with her, but she said that their family really needed to hear that today. Sometimes the clues are right there and you don't even have to look for them. :)
- We also prayed for Lauren's boyfriend's grandma, Rose while at Wal-Mart. She didn't even match any clues! I (Dani) just felt God tugging on my heart.
- Talked to a lady in Wal-Mart who needs prayer for her health.
- Lady with two daughters in Wal-Mart
- I(Dani) saw two girls around our age with name tags on with flags (clue) underneath. I knew that I was supposed to approach them so I told Brooke and Kiersten that we were supposed to talk to them. Brooke then proceeded to tell me that they were Mormon. OF COURSE! We are in Salt Lake City! I was so nervous to approach them because I wasn't fully sure about what they believed, but I knew I was supposed to. When approaching them they were kind of caught off guard. Usually they are the ones approaching people. The tables kind of turned on them. :) It was kind of awkward honestly, but I feel like maybe it made them think a little.
- Prayed for a lady with crutches named Jan who tore ligaments in her knee. We prayed for healing in her left knee. She is having her surgery on July 1st so be praying that she won't need it.
- Saw a lady with a giraffe purse (clue) and told her that she is God's treasure.
- While hunting in Dollar Tree I (Brooke) had a deja vu moment in an aisle - which included a family standing at the end of the aisle. I knew right away they were a treasure so I approached them and they denied a need for prayer, but the seed was planted.
- This next one was pretty humorous, if you could have seen it. While in Big Lots, I (Kiersten) went to this back isle and found an employee. My original plan was sincerely to ask where the ear plugs were (because we needed to buy some to blot out the street sweepers). Well, when I approached the employee, she started signing to me, and she pointed to her ears that she couldn't hear. In my mind I was like, whoa, talk about not looking for opportunities, but they just come! Anyway, I asked her if I could pray for her ears and she couldn't understand me. Plus, she was Hispanic and spoke NO English. So I left, but then I was determined to go back. This time I wrote on paper: Can we PRAY for you? She then said in Spanish that she couldn't read English. THEN we text Dani's boyfriend, Aaron (thanks Aaron!) how to write it in Spanish, and wrote on the paper: Puedo orar para usted?? Oy. She ultimately declined prayer saying nothing was wrong in her life, and (we think she said) her ears couldn't be healed. That was sad because we DO believe they can! It was funny though because we went back 3 times!! And ironic... we were shopping for earplugs :D The lesson to be learned: take a foreign language... haha!
- Talked to a lady in TJ Maxx and she asked for prayer for her personally but not right then.
- Approached and prayed for another lady in TJ Maxx that she would sleep better and have more energy for each day.
- In Kohl's we found a teenage girl and just told her that she is God's treasure.
- Finally, we encountered two women in Ross and told them that they are a treasure.
- The graffiti on our van constantly reminds the world of God's love and purpose for them.
- We accidentally walked into a Mormon bookstore...and promptly left.
- We fed a duck in the middle of a parking lot, whom we now affectionately refer to as Elmo. Kiersten and Dani quickly became attached - and then horrified as we drove away and saw his brother and sister squashed in the road.
- Quote: Kiersten - "When was the last time we showered?" Brooke - "Saturday...it is now Tuesday." The streak is now over.
- We got to drive through some gorgeous mountains this morning :)
Monday, June 7, 2010
We made it to day 9! There was once again a street sweeper and a very annoying bird at 6 this morning. We will probably get used to all the noise...hopefully. We drove through downtown Denver today. Brooke says she will never again do that. It was kind of stressful. Then we drove on I-70 through the Rocky Mountains! I(Dani) was the one driving. It was very different from driving in flat Indiana. It was truly captivating though. Just driving through all of the mountains was amazing. I still can't get over the fact that God made those. He is the best. We then stopped at a cute little town called Eagle because eagle was one of our clues. How cool is that?! We are guessing that everyone knew everyone there. It sure seemed like it. We then drove to Rifle, CO. Yes...Rifle. It is very small too. God is bringing us to some amazing places.
- Met Kate at the library in Centennial and prayed for her son-in-law whose dad just passed away.
- We then went over to a little post office so that I (Kiersten) could buy a stamp... which was also a clue we had, and mail my family a postcard! And wouldn't you know it, the treasure was the post office man. He was surrounded by clues that we had such as "eagle", "balloons", "flags"... and the one that really stood out to me, the "Simpsons" on stamps right next to him :) He thanked us for telling him he was God's treasure and that He loved him. I love this simple kind of stuff. You never know where that could take him...
- Talked with a teenage girl at Pier 1 in Denver. She didn't want prayer but we just told her that she is treasured and loved by God.
- When we stopped in Eagle, CO, we found the "Nearly Everything Store." Inside was nearly all of our clues, including one of the hardest - Dumbo the elephant. We talked with the two cashiers, Sandy and Cheryl, blessed the store and carried on.
- As we walked inside the City Market grocery store in Rifle, we specifically asked for a clue ON somebody rather than just around them. As we left we saw a young girl wearing a Tinkerbell shirt, approached her mom, and told them of their value in God's eyes. They were in a hurry so we didn't even get to ask for prayer but we all got a hug so we think it really meant something just for them to hear that they're a treasure.
- We have resorted to Fiber One bars for regulation and baby wipes for cleanliness.
- It was a huge blessing to see God's handiwork in the Rockies today :D
- Dani and I (Brooke) are daily blessed with vocal performances by Kiersten.
- The cashier at Wal-Mart didn't charge Dani three cents she was lacking for a toothbrush.
- Pray against stomach aches in all our bodies in the mornings as well as headaches throughout the day.
- Pray for super gas mileage and low gas prices as we enter the $3/gallon region.
- Energy for every day (we wake up at 7 a.m. and don't go back to sleep til 9 or 10 p.m.)
I (Kiersten) had a dream a week before we left for the trip. Our van was driving on jello, and we weren't going anywhere. We turned around and came back the 9th day. IF YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED... it is the 9th day. And we are pushing forward with perseverance because greater things ARE coming on the 10th day :D WOO! We really, sincerely, and faithfully declare it. It can only get better from here.
Tell us about your treasures at home!!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Just so you know we JUST wrote yesterdays blog (Day 7). Make sure you read it! There was some great stuff.
Today was the day of rest. We went to New Life Church. It is humongous. We went to to morning and night service. Between services we went to a place called Garden of the Gods (pshhh.), we like to call it the Garden of the ONE TRUE GOD. I mean, HE made it. We went on a lot of trails and got to see some amazing scenery. We encountered God a lot today. Just seeing the beautiful mountains that he created was astonishing. It is amazing to just think about how our God created them.
At the service tonight the message was completely meant for us. Dr. Steven Todd talked about how the kingdom of heaven is in us. Just take a second and really think about it. It's awesome...right! God has told us that we will heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, and cleanse the leper. It was really encouraging.
WALKING BY ORDINARY OBEDIENCE, THE EXTRAORDINARY KING COMES ALONG SIDE AND MAKES IT SOMETHING SO MUCH MORE. That's the kingdom of God being near.
We are so humbled that God has used us (so ordinary are we :) to bring encounters to people with Him.
Love you all!
p.s.: SHOUT OUT to my good buddy Bert (Brittney Heise).. it's her birthday today!! You is a treasure my friend. Also to Cody Dalton. We know that you would have looooved to have taken pictures at Garden of the Gods.