In conjunction with the UMJC Sally is teaching a class this morning on God’s love and reconciliation.
In conjunction with the UMJC Sally is teaching a class this morning on God’s love and reconciliation.
Your 2019 A Tour Of Roses Team
(L-R, Front) Sunny Lehman, Stephanie Weaver, Yara Panther, Ammi Carranza, Sally O’Connor, Lura Olander (L-R, Back) Dave Panther, Jurgen Schmutz, Joan Appleton McBride, Christine Matchum
SALLY: Over the weekend as we were hastily cleaning, preparing, and carding the last thousand or so roses a random woman in the hotel knocked at our door asking if she could come in. Priscilla asked if we were the people handing out rose, which it became obvious we were. She said she had a song to sing and asked if it would be ok. I cautiously said yes. She sang over us in the most beautiful Hebrew the Aaronic Benediction (from Number 6–The Lord bless you). It’s on the back of our hoodies and t-shirts for ATOR.
Christine: I got 2 hours of sleep the night before. And I don’t even remember most of worship or morning devotions. Stephanie prayed for me and they prayed that I would have a renewal of energy for the rest of the day and that’s exactly what happened. Lura also prayed with words from the Lord. So then we went to the market and passed out roses there. Me and Jurgen went to all of the vendors and passed out roses to most of them.
After awhile me and Dave were sitting near the entrance to the farmer’s market and passed out roses. We had a lot of fun sitting around, joking with each other and passing out roses. I loved passing out roses to people and saying, “I would like to give you a gift today?” And a lot of people said, “A gift or a donation?” And I said, “No. A Gift.”
Christine – I finally got outside and passed out roses. I felt kind of like a sniper. Like, where are the people. There’s someone. Let’s go get them! So I passed out some roses. It was a lot of fun. I like seeing people shocked when I ask them if I can give them a gift. Because when they see you on the street, they try to run past you because they think you are selling roses.
We ran into a woman that I have been praying for the last few days. She told me that the testimony that I gave last night really inspired her to a new tenderness to her own daughter that she had never had before.
Yara: Today we went to two schools and were allowed to leave roses with the staff. The elementary school worked on the Hearts of Hope project, placing encouraging messages on paper hearts all around Kenora. So it was neat to hear when Sally and Jurgen came back from the District Office that they people in charge understood that the roses were about reconciliation. And that they gave us permission to give them to the administrative staff and to the teachers and support staff at both the elementary and high school campuses.
Then we drove down the road a little ways and saw a First Nations School. So we parked and Jurgen and Sally went inside to ask permission. Lura and I prayed in the truck for favor. And they came out saying, “Come in! Bring some roses.” And we were able to give roses to the staff and the students. They were very happy. They asked what it was for. We were able to tell them, “It is a gift for you—to say that God loves you.” Praise God for that! Then we went into town by the Sunset Grille and had a lot of fun giving out roses to people in cars by the waterfront. It never gets old to see a person’s reaction when you say, “It’s a free gift!” They seem very surprised and they also seem surprised it’s not for a donation even. You can see their face change when they find out it is absolutely free, no strings attached.
As promised, due to circumstances Tuesday beyond our control we are combining the reports of Days 6 & 7 into
ONE BIG MEGA SPECIAL
(With a cherry on top)
Lura: Spent most of the day cleaning roses, but it was good. Got to visit with Christine and Amy. And went to Casey’s restaurant and handed out a few roses. There was one older couple I handed roses to and the lady thanked me and then the man said, “Oh, for men too?” I said, “Yes. God loves you.”
And then tonight we went to the First Presbyterian Church. There was a lot of spiritual warfare in the beginning. A lot of contradictions between what you see, like with pictures on the wall, etc. And then the reality of where the people’s heart are. But Christine did a beautiful job with worship tonight. Really felt the presence of the Lord and I danced to a song I never danced to before. And I appreciated the young man, “Sir Lyle” and his passion for music. I felt the Lord draw him through his music and it was very touching to have him singing with Sally. And I feel that maybe he might have really connected with the Lord. Had a great day. Had some great prayer, but please keep praying.
Don’t let the shades fool you. By morning these gals are ordinary florists.
By afternoon they’re ladies of the light.
Coming to CBS this fall:
The God Squad.
Sunny: We gave out a lot of roses. There seemed to be a lot more native people in town. In the area we were at I would say it was kind of an inner city area where you have a lot of street drinkers and users. So people appeared to be burnt out in the morning. But most of them had seen us the other day when we were passing out roses in the area. And some of them came up to us and said hello to us and asked for more roses.
I think they were positively impacted because we smiled at them and tried to do something positive. And they responded with friendliness. Because people on the street don’t get a lot of kindness. There was a native guy who had some kind of church background. I think it might have been Catholic because he talked about his grandma taking him to church and he talked about finding pictures of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in thrift stores and taking them home to hang on his walls. And he told us he was a religious person because his grandma was a religious person and he liked God.
He took a rose from us. We went into a barbershop where the lady also refinished antiques and she showed some of her work to us and she said that she paints too, but she didn’t have any canvases at the shop. She let us love on her dog. She was pretty happy to see us.
Nothing flashy about this place. But inside this stark edifice the
building transformed and small miracles became possible on Mother’s Day.
Christine: Today we went to the Jubilee Church and we did our thing and we stood up and asked if people want prayer. So this girl came up and she asked me to pray about how she had been abused in her life because an incident came up recently that brought her back to it and she was feeling all kinds of unsafe and uneasy feelings.
So I prayed for her and I particularly prayed God would make safe where she sleeps and where her family sleeps and she was touched by that. This is the whole reason I came to Kenora—to pray with women about abuse. It was a good moment.
Click on the photo of Lura above to view a video that brings her expressive worship alive
Lura: So dancing at the Jubilee Church today was really awesome for me. There were quite a number of First Nations People and most were very open to greet and talk and connect. I feel like my dancing went well and they received it well. I was able to pray for two women at the end of the service.
The first lady, her name was Laura, and she asked for prayer for her family and her spiritual life. We had a good time of prayer. The second lady, K, is a tribal council woman, and she expressed that she wanted prayer for the council and the people on the reserve. She said there is much strife and fighting and backbiting among the people. She is a believer but she mentioned that bringing the gospel to her people was very difficult, due to colonialism and the residential school trauma. They associate Jesus with all the bad things they have been through since the church was involved in those things.
So we prayed that more indigenous ministers would come, and be able to reach the people with the message of Christ. I also prayed that she personally could connect with the other Christians and they could strategize on how to minister to their people. I spent some time encouraging her and letting her know people were praying for her, that she wasn’t alone and should keep going.
Morning devotions and worship lay a strong foundation for the ministry ahead this day
Lots of adventures and divine appointments today in the town of Kenora. Yesterday the team ventured out once, using most of the day preparing the lush and beautiful roses. As the team has virtually moved into town for almost two weeks today was really “Meet The New Neighbors Day.” Here are some visual and textual snapshots of their close encounters:
Sunset in Kenora as the team arrived Thursday evening
Just after lunch the team wandered out into the town and, as is often the case, instantly became a local curiosity. Here are some of the stories:
Lura: I had so much fun. I had forgotten how much fun it was to just bless people with roses. And when they would ask why, I just got all jazzed about saying, “God loves you.” The best highlight for me was the man we saw outside the grocery store (Safeway). He came over to me and I thought he wanted a rose, but he said, “No, I already have a rose. I know I got a rose, but I don’t know why.” So I told him, it was because God loved him.
Lura and Sunny share God’s love with a six-pack toting man
So then he asked where we were from and we said CA & AZ. So then he said you’re stopping in Kenora and then where are you going next? And I said, “No. This is it. We just came to Kenora.” And he said “Why?” And I said, “Because this where God told us to come to bless people.” And so he said, “I own a restaurant on the shoreline called Sunset Grill and I just love this and I want to know if you would come and bring my people roses.” I said, “We’d be happy to do that—tomorrow.” “Oh great! Come tomorrow and share your joy!” And then he said what hours he is open—11AM to Sunset.
Sally is leading a dedicated missions team from the US, Canada and Germany to share the extravagant love of God through the gift of long stemmed roses to the First Nations people–and all God’s children of Canada.
This trip begins May 9, 2019 and extends through May 20, 2019.
For more information on this trip please follow this link.