Saturday, August 11, 2007

3 Weeks Down, 3 To Go!

Hello All,

There are times when we say that we are busy. Then there are times when we are too busy to say that we are busy! These last three weeks have been just like that, especially these last two.

The first week was our VBS at Calvary Laguna. While I did not have direct, daily involvement, in a church our size, you cannot altogether avoid it's impact. We had about 70 kids come and participate in the week long event, ending with a Friday night barbecue. Our children's ministry, led by Stefanie Bammer, really outdid themselves and put on a great week for the kids.

Then came Family Camp. The plan was to rent an SUV, be on the road by 9AM and get to the Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia National Forest by 6PM. That plan quickly was thwarted by the fine employees of Enterprise Rent A Car. It went something like this:

8AM - Frank shows up and asks for his rental. He is asked for his major credit card. Frank looks bewildered and says, "I don't have one!"

8:15AM - A plan is set in place whereby Frank will be allowed to rent if Dan Finfrock will simply fax some information to the rental office. Sounds simple enough...

8:30AM - Fax arrives in Dan's office, only to realize that Dan's Fax has run out of ink! Getting the ink into the fax machine appears to be a bit of mystery for a while. When done, the fax successfully sends from Redlands.

8:45AM - It's reported to Frank that the fax has not come, even though it was sent 15 minutes prior. Hmm...Frank calls (I love writing in 3rd person!) and not only has Dan left the office, but has shredded the document containing all of his credit card information!!!! The loving Father-In-Law that he is, he heads back to the office to receive another fax.

8:50AM - Frank about to roll himself into fetal position, wondering, "Is the Spanish government running the Enterprise Rent A Car office?"

9:00AM - Dad re-faxes the document.

9:05AM - No document is found at Enterprise.

9:08AM - Nylinda Taylor, Dan's secretary re-sends the document again.

9:10AM - Still no document!

9:15AM - Fax machines are checked on both sides. Frank now begins to limit his vocabulary to words that come directly from King James scripture so as not to get into trouble!

9:20AM - Someone gives me an Enterprise Rent A Car card, I still don't know why, and it has a different fax number on it than the one that has been employed...

9:23AM - Enterprise Rent A Car employee of the month embarrassingly apologizes.

9:23:30AM - Frank considers the 57 different ways that he can end said employee's life!

9:25AM - Fax finally comes, drama ends with no body count and I am driving an SUV!

In the meantime, the kids are driving Lela insane! Somehow they think that running around screaming in a small house is socially acceptable! Long story short, we leave at 1PM, get there in the dark by 8:30PM!

Now, setting up a tent that has been borrowed is hard enough. Doing it in the dark is another proposition altogether! I THANK GOD for the merciful souls that came alongside us that night, men of valor and renown in my book, and set the tent up for us. These men from Calvary Laguna are indeed camping warriors and saints!

The rest of the camp experience was fine. It was sort of funny because we had borrowed everything and the entire week, a good amount of the compliments were toward our grill and equipment! It was a shame that I had to tell them it was all borrowed.

We enjoyed the time with our fellow Calvary Laguna-ites. Campfires, roasted marshmallows and some neat times of worship were the order for the week. Our kids enjoyed the dirt, finding a way to allow it upon every crevice of their bodies! But the kids were oblivious to it. Renae loved it so much that she cried that we had to leave! I don't know why. Our dirt at home is just as good! And to think that she wondered how I could be so joyous on such a "tragic" day!

Then came our third week, which was our Prayer And Fasting week. This was an additional, late add on to the calendar. It was a matter of urgency in the heart of Pastor Chris, so we went for it. As always, there is this resistance in the flesh, but by last night, it was seen that the effort expended was well worth the minor cost.

The results were surprising, even though they probably should not be. I chose a fast where my commute to and from would be solely dedicated to the Lord in prayer. Usually I will turn on my iPod, get the radio going, or get some phone calls happening. Instead, I prayed and found just how much I needed to come to the Lord to clean some things out.

It was refreshing and difficult, but I feel confident that the Lord did some wonderful work amongst us. One thing that did happen that really spoke of God's power to each of us was the healing of Pastor Chris' wife Tatum. She had awakened Tuesday morning violently ill. She drove herself to the hospital and they discovered a blockage in her intestine. During that day, we were all waiting around to find out what was going to happen to her. The word "surgery" was thrown out quite liberally and we were all expecting the worst. What we didn't expect was that that very night, after several X-rays were taken, God would answer our prayers and the doctors would confirm that they saw nothing on her X-ray. They could not find a single thing!

Come Wednesday morning, I came in expecting that I was going to have to take over responsibilities. Shortly after, I heard the report and my first reaction was doubt! Here I am, a Pastor, in the middle of a Prayer And Fasting Week and my first thought is, "Are they sure!? Have them check again!" It reminded me of that story in Acts where the church is gathered together to pray, likely for Peter. Rhoda goes to the door, sees Peter miraculously released, shuts the door and runs back to report to the prayer group. Then in great faith they tell her that it must be Peter's ANGEL!!! (Acts 12:15) I used to laugh at them, but now I understand their position!

It was God! He showed Himself strong on our behalf and healed Tatum. It was almost as if to say, "Hey Calvary Laguna: You will find me when you seek me with all your heart!" And we did! It was a great experience.

Now with just 3 weeks to go in Summer, we are gradually slowing down as a Church. This summer was the busiest summer I have ever had in the ministry, but it was fun. And as we come to September, and things get back to a routine, this September we will be found in Ladera Ranch. We will be moving on the weekend of the 17th of August. Toward that end, if there are any Inland Empire types who want to help us get the moving van loaded, your help will be most appreciated. On the 20th, we will ask our OC friends to unload us.

It's been a difficult 3 weeks, but it has also been rewarding to watch God move in our midst. He is so faithful and truly good to us all.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

6 comments:

josh-char said...

Frank it was joyous to catch up on what is going on in the Sanchez household.

It was even more joyous listening to josh read your enterprise car rental rendition. you definitely have a knack for humor...which is a breath of fresh air...in our Kentucky humidity.

smiling from ear to ear
josh-char

Frank & Lela said...

Josh & Charlene!!

So good to hear from you! I have been checking in on you guys over at your site. You guys have that site looking great!

I am glad that I am able to laugh now. At the time, it was not even remotely funny! Thankfully, the Lord has created time as an agent of healing and all the murderous thoughts I had toward that guy have dissipated!

Here's looking forward to the fall...will it be less humid there then!? I'll hope with you!

Blessings,
F.S.

Carrie said...

Ummm, there is a revision needed in Franks blog...
The "men" who set up the tent in the middle of the night when Frank strolled in...was also helped by the WO-man...Carrie...for about an hour...yes, she missed s'mores for that...

;)

Frank & Lela said...

Carrie,

I stand corrected!!! There were actually a FEW Women there! One such woman of valor was Carrie Allen! She is a peach of a person, with great wisdom! Yes, Carrie, you, Simone, Bammer were all a integral part of the "tent days!"

Blessings,
F.S.

Patty said...

So happy to hear that your camping experience turned out to be a success. Like you, until a couple of years ago, our idea of roughing it was getting a hotel room with no cable TV or mini frig. The first year we camped we borrowed everything too. We had so much fun that the next year we bought all of our own stuff! Now all I need is a shower and a bathroom and I'm set. I guess that's not truely roughing it but it's as far as I am willing to go. I can picture the kids having a grand ol' time making dirt stuff for dad.

Our prayers are with you Sanchezees as you take on your new life in a new location. Don't forget about us Packinghousers as you become officially part of the OC scene.

hasta la pasta with lots of blessings,
patty

Frank & Lela said...

Patty,

Let's define the word "success!" I am willing to negotiate the word "survived" but success might be a bit of a stretch!

And the terms "next year..."Well, let's not be so hasty!!

Now remember: The OC is not that far! There are already two Packinghousers that are going to come to our Men's Steak & Study next Thursday night, soooo...maybe the Lord will give other intersections!

Blessings,
F.S.