After one week 750 miles south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I boarded a Greyhound bus headed to the West Coast; Los Angeles, California. It would take me 2.5 days, uncomfortable sleep, spiritual encounters and a long walk up a steep hill, but I made it.
The trip to California was long and the bus was two hours late getting there. I traveled to Cali in the same faith walk as I did driving to Mississippi; the problem is, I was going where I knew 2, maybe 2 people. I was challenging myself as I could have easily turned back around and went home; home to Milwaukee. It was my aunt (in the pictures above) that encouraged me with a few short words:
I am excited for you.
Ministry is not what people think it is; very different getting dressed up for Sunday service and serving meals at Thanksgiving, ministry means moving as God says. Headed to California, I met people in the bus stations during the layovers. A woman headed home to see her children after visiting her deceased sisters children for a few weeks; a young lady going back to Texas after living in Virginia for so long, and then there was Taylor and Jay.
A bus station musical group was formed by a hello and a lasting friendship was created by blessing someone who blessed us with his voice. I can't even tell you the fullest extent of my 'visit' at the Dallas Greyhound station, but I will share my encounter with Jay and Taylor, coupled with 'security' and a wonderful worker I'll call Shay was a blessing to my soul, as I was available to serve.
God used someone to minister to me on the route from Dallas to California (note: a bus ride has many layovers); God used the women pictured with me below to share some words of encouragement that kept me going:
You're going to do great things.
On that same ride, I answered questions about relationships and working for God; I wasn't ever ashamed that my journey was not about me but FOR ME FOR OTHERS (I hope you caught that because it's very important to our futures. lol) I shared parts of me I thought I never would. I finally told someone, as the wife, I played second to everyone. Many knew it; I knew it. Yet to tell someone I learned something of great value from THAT EXPERIENCE, I have no bitterness about it, was a stepping stone for me in so many ways.
I believe my hotel in California was used as the Bates Motel in the movie. I will never go back. Yet the community I was in, I would love to go back and visit. I must say, I am the only person I know that travels out of state and rides the city transit to get around. I have memorabilia from a great "subway" ride.
As I write this I'm asking myself why wasn't I scared? Because God didn't give me a spirit of fear. As the ministry leader of Faith Bureau of Investigations International Ministries and CEO of B.A.D. I was on assignment, and, actually, I still am.
I had a little over 8 hour wait at Union Station for my bus to Vegas. I purposely bought a ticket for the late bus so I could sleep on the way; funny how we went through some mountains (never again!) While waiting on my departure time, I had a great encounter with another lady, whom God used as well, to encourage me. She blessed me with a cup of coffee and said:
You motivate me.
I was glad. I blushed. I was thankful. I praised God.
There is nothing like reaching the people where they are for the assignment you're on and staying focused on the task.