20 – 27 August 2014
After a week of relaxation and regeneration in Tonga, we landed in San Francisco on August 20. We were met there by Sue Landry who in her special way helped us be catapulted directly from the “resting mode” to the “work mode”. For we drove straight from the airport to a church whose pastor she knows. In this church I blew the shofar, so to say as the preparation for further “shofar actions” which were to take place before and after the trumpets. The pastor told us that they had just returned from a worship outreach in Germany – in Duisburg, the city where I was born and grew up!
From there we proceeded to the Golden Gate Bridge. We asked a young man from the myriad tourists if he would take a picture of us. He turned out to be an Israeli who had just came from the Gaza war and was visiting his sister here for several days. We explained that there are Christians all over the world who pray for Israel. Sue explained the gospel and we prayed for him. This was just the beginning of a whole series of divine encounters in the following days! It was really special to stand in the middle of the Golden Gate and blow the shofar. This bridge is not only an attraction for tourists from all over the world, but also for persons who commit suicide by jumping off the bridge. We heard several times, from various people, that California is quasi the gate to America. Or to put it a different way: It was and remains the birthplace for many “beginnings”. What is born here influences first all of America and then the rest of the world, such as, for example, votes on legal bills.
Greed for gold brought people here from the whole world. The first official Satanist church was born here. The 68-movement began here (spirit of rebellion), free love (all sorts of sex) and drug consumption – propagated as a new blessed way to live. From that the Hippy movement was born. And finally, this is the birthplace of Apple, Google and other communications giants which have profoundly changed our society world-wide. So it is no wonder that God chose this region to sound the wake-up call over the American continent from the west! And here, as in every nation, God has his people who stand before him, seek him, worship him, and intercede, praying and fasting for the land and the people.
We met many of these wonderful brothers and sisters. (Sue knows almost every one and knows about EVERYTHING which is going on in the Christian sector!) We attended several such prayer meetings and heard or read about others. One example is “The Call” in which Lou Engel called for a 50-day fast which will lead up to a prayer meeting in Berkeley (The Call Berkeley) on October 4. In the place where 50 years ago the 68-movement was born, thousands of young persons will come before God, ask for forgiveness and for a new out-pouring of the Holy Spirit. Halleluya! We were able to blow the shofar there (and to explain the gospel to a student – which the evangelist Sue does at every gas station, in shops, on the street …. O Lord, I need that, too!!!!)
We were invited to Sacramento, the capital city of California, to sound the wake-up call with both trumpets. An open-air worship meeting took place for 8 hours non-stop right in front of the government building. During that time there was non-stop prayer inside the house, led by Fred and Susan Rowe (Trumpet Ministry). Once again we were warmly welcomed as God’s messengers. They prayed for us, blessed us and anointed us for our ministry. A pastor from Sacramento wanted to be the first to receive prayer from us for this wake-up. Then I blew the trumpets with him and everyone gave a loud victory cry so that walls would crumble! With Psalm 24:7-10 we once again invited Jesus, the king of all kings.
Eleven hours later at 3:19 A.M. there was an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 in the region. It woke Regula, who looked at the clock which was just moving from 3:19 to 3:20. In that moment she received the Bible text Philippians 3:19-20 (…whose destiny is destruction, whose God is their stomach, whose glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ).
In the morning we heard and read that the center of the earthquake lay in the midst of one of the largest vineyard areas, where expensive, exquisite wines are produced, matured and sold (up to $5,000 a bottle). One sometimes speaks of “old wines”. That is exactly where the earthquake caused great damage. It is the middle of the harvest and thus most of the grapes are destroyed and many of the stored bottles are broken. At one of the greatest vineyards the statue of the wine god Bacchus fell off its base! Something is breaking open – something new is being born, in the truest sense of the word.
We continued to blow the shofar in different places. One was a worship service for the homeless at a pier next to the water. The pastor and his wife have been doing this for many years but just when we were there they met at this new place for the first time. We were able to dedicate it and bless it and their lives! What an encouragement for all those involved! They completely identify with the people whom they serve and to whom they preach. What hearts are hidden under these inconspicuous surfaces! Their love for these down-and-out persons and their humility shame me and cause me to admire them deeply. Even though they knew us only for 10 minutes, Werner was able to speak to the people about the loving father who waits for EACH ONE with open arms.
Daniel, a homeless man from Sweden, was once in Effretikon (Switzerland) on a missions outreach! And now this… His fate and his pain in prayer touched me (and him) deeply! Father, bring healing to this precious, wounded soul. ABBA, it is overwhelming to hug him and feel YOUR heart for this man!
Nearby we met Rolf, a homeless man from Duisburg (my birthplace, again) who has been here for 25 years and now lives on the street. Of course we pray for him, too. Even Regula’s last gospel card in German he carefully puts in his pocket, although at first he had said, “Buddha, Allah, Jesus, doesn’t matter. I don’t care much about religion.” How good that we were able to talk with him about a (loving) relationship!!!
If we wrote about every encounter here we’d fill two more pages. No wonder we arrived late everywhere…we punctual Swiss…
In the darkness we walked up Daniel’s Peak, the highest hill in San Francisco. The view is breathtaking! There at the memorial cross we prayed via cellphone with an Armenian woman. The topic: Turkish genocide of her people 100 years ago. Reconciliation through admission of guilt. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Healing, liberation and restoration in Jesus’ name. Honor to God.
An additional highlight is the monthly prayer meeting in front of the city hall, with believers from all the churches in the region. The victory cry filled the city center. Then the distribution of the bread pudding with an ex-convict pastor who is employed by the city of San Jose and mediates in gang wars on behalf of the police. He also officiates at funerals…From most wanted drug dealer to a walking Bible lexicon; a man of God full of fire, passion and tattoos; this CAN ONLY be God! Signs and wonders are normal in his ministry. When his wife prays with this strong, hardened fellow, both burst into tears! What a people you have on this earth, Father!
By the way: We stood in the same pulpit as Smith Wigglesworth and Aimee Semple McPherson. We hope that a portion of their anointing stuck to us!
On the final evening we’re invited to a “prophetic prayer meeting”. Werner gives the message and tells, among other things, of the Spanish-speaking Jews who immigrate to the Negev. When we prayed, a woman asked me three times, “What do you see?” “I see a spear in God’s hand – you are the spear – which he flings wide and hits the goal.” “I am a Sephardic (=Spanish-speaking background) Jewess!” “O Lord… thank you for everything!!!
What a breathtaking time we are living in! May we all become personal dwellings of God and thus bear his love and passion for persons who do not yet know him.