Pasadena Ministry Trip part 1: The Journey Begins

For this year’s spring ministry trips with IHOPU, I had the privilege of going to Pasadena, CA with a team of 52 students and staff! As I wrote previously, it was a ten day trip partnered with the Pasadena House of Prayer that culminated in a Onething Regional conference at the end of the week!

But first, we had to get there.

1668 miles, approximately 30 hours.

1668 miles, approximately 30 hours.

We left IHOPU at noon on Friday, April 10, crammed into four 15-passenger vans and towing a U-Haul trailer. We passed the time by filming music videos in our vans and posting them on Facebook. Other trips were posting videos too from their own vans on the road to places like Atlanta and New York, so we all enjoyed challenging each other!

We arrived late that night in Amarillo, TX, where two of our girls are from. Their church and families were gracious enough to host us that night and feed us breakfast the next morning. We were on the road again around 8:00 the next morning.

We drove all day Saturday and were hosted that night by an Assemblies of God church in Needles, CA. Needles is a small town of about 4800 people in the desert on the California-Arizona border. Reportedly it is the second poorest city in California. We had never had any previous contact with this church at all, but we needed a place to stay and just started making phone calls. This church was the first one we talked to and they immediately welcomed us! They let us sleep on the floor in their classrooms and fed us a massive breakfast of bacon and eggs the next day.

We were all amazed at how generouly this church welcomed us. They had never met us, but we were brothers and sisters in Christ and they welcomed us warmly as family. Before we left, we all prayed for them, and then they all prayed for us. God definitely knit our hearts together.

Romans 12:10a, 13 “Love one another with brotherly affection… Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”

Our team Saturday morning with our Needles host church!

Our team Saturday morning with our Needles host church!

On Sunday, we finished our drive and arrived in Pasadena mid-afternoon! We stayed in beautiful dorms at the Venture Center, formerly known as the U.S. Center for World Missions. This 17-acre campus is home to 12 separate ministries living in community together, including the Pasadena House of Prayer. The campus was beautiful, and had plenty of palm trees to feed my palm-starved CaliGirl soul.

Suffering for Jesus in sunny SoCal.

Suffering for Jesus in sunny SoCal.

That night we did a bit of exploring on foot downtown on Colorado Blvd and shopped at Forever 21 and Target. I hugged a palm tree, because I wasn’t kidding about the palm-starved soul thing.

For real. This CaliGorl needs her fronds.

For real. This CaliGirl needs her fronds.

We also had a team meeting and shared what our individual goals were for the week. One thing that I shared with the team is that I was so excited to be back in my home region with my IHOPU family. Pasadena is about 40 minutes from my home in Rancho Cucamonga; in fact, we drove directly past MY exit on MY freeway and were less than a mile from my front door. To be able to bring all of them to see and serve my Southern California was a dream come true. I told them that my goal for this week was to recruit them all as intercessors. They won’t all be called to move to California (though some of them may be!) but I hope they all catch God’s heart for the Golden State and continue in prayer for it for a very long time.

Jesus loves Southern California. He really, really does. As Dave Sliker pointed out at the conference later in the week, God has repeatedly visited Southern California in a unique way, from the Jesus Movement to the Azusa Street Revival. I am convinced that He has unique plans in His heart for my home state, and I am so honoured and excited to be a part of it.

Journal prayer Friday, April 3, at our last ministry team intercession set in the prayer room. Song lyrics by Jake Hamilton.

Journal prayer Friday, April 3, at our last ministry team intercession set in the prayer room. Song lyrics by Jake Hamilton.

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