The youth service in Budapest with the unplanned testimony of the young woman had been another of my encounters with the Church under communist persecution that had increased the dilemma I felt I was in concerning the differences I saw between it and the Church in the West. I had spent many hours seeking the Lord about the differences and had studied Scripture to find the answer. It looked to me like the persecuted Church was a truer representation of the Biblical Church as shown in the Book of Acts than that in the West. Furthermore, every pastor brought in to the East to visit and minister to the brothers and sisters in communist countries would come away sobered by the experience and their comment seemed always the same: "We're playing games in the West," they would inevitably say. God's presence in the East was very much stronger than in the West, the leading of His Holy Spirit like the fire by night and smoke by day. Jesus seemed to be with His suffering Body in the East in a way that He was not in the West. Many years later as I write these words I am as keenly aware still of those differences. Especially so after recounting these various events and reading the article in March 2001 Charisma magazine, "The Abnormal Gospel." In America it seems "the rubber meets the road" for us here as Christians in the form of the rights we enjoy as American citizens. For our persecuted brothers and sisters who have no such "rights" they can claim, "the rubber meets the road" in the fact that they are forced by the society they live in to walk the same road their Lord Jesus walked (Luke 9:23; Phil. 2:5ff; 1 Peter 2:21-23 etc.) An example of the difference is found in the often "frothy" joy of the brethren in the West which seems so superficial, as compared with the deep joy of the brothers and sisters in the East which is rooted in their sufferings.
Near the end of my stay in Austria, a young couple came to live and work with me from the "Happy Church" in Denver, Colorado. They were exuberant and friendly, had two small children with them, and I enjoyed their company. I wish I could remember their names. What I do remember is the wife sharing with me the disappointment and even depression she experienced when her friends at her church reacted negatively as she shared her happiness that God was opening the door for her and her family to come over to Austria to join in the mission work. It was only to be for a brief time, but her friends tried to discourage her from doing it, telling her it was "dangerous." She had been so excited about telling them and their reaction was such a disappointment. In pain she cried out to God about this and God told her, "I call so many, but so few respond." When I heard this, I was shocked and my heart grieved. This does not pertain to the lost, does not refer to "the broad way that leads to destruction" of Matt. 7:13. "For many are called, but few are chosen," Jesus is recorded as saying in Matt 22:14. "Then He said to them, 'The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.'" (Luke 10:2) But it seemes that the "laborers" are not responding to God's call.... I cannot understand, have not ever been able to understand, the lack of response of many even "Spirit-filled" Christians to God's call. "It's OK, God, to ask me to serve You within the limits of my comfort-zone, my own backyard." I've heard talk of the "Can't seem to get around to it..." mentality among Christians. But what makes me want to fall on my face before God and cry out like Moses did for "mercy" is when I hear "Christians" say, "Don't wanna...." ...." ("Don't wanna speak in tongues and God won't make me." Or, "Don't wanna be too committed to God or He might send me to Africa!" I've heard both of these statements!) It's an honor to serve God wherever or however He wants to use us.
How can we treat so casually such things when it took the death of Jesus to make them available to us? It's hard enough to understand the lack of response among the lost to the clear call of the Gospel. But it's impossible to understand the lack of response by the "saved" to the call of God to service. Apparently as there is a "way that is narrow that leads to life and few (lost) there are who find it" (Matt. 7:14), there is also a narrow way that leads to intense involvement in ministry and few (believers) there are who respond to God's call to enter (Isa. 6:8). The blessings involved in responding to God's call here are so wonderful - including the blessing of a closer walk with Jesus that does not seem possible otherwise. I wonder - how can we call ourselves by the wonderful name of Christ if we do not respond to God's every call? We are part of His Army, and He is our Commander-in-Chief. Read the centurion's dialogue with the Lord Jesus for a further understanding of this (Matt. 8:9-20). But then so many that Jesus called personally made excuses also - or later "fell away" (John 6:66) God's love for us is unconditional - our reponse to His every call should also be unconditional.
One of my last trips into the East before returning to the US involved a week-long teaching seminar at a farm in Czechoslovakia. The pastor at whose farm we met declared the Scripture God had given him for the week was, "O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD." (Jer. 22:29) It was an incredible week, culminating in a Sunday worship service with an "underground church" meeting at a farmhouse. They had to change their location every week to keep hidden from informers. The farmhouse was packed with people jammed into rooms and up stairs. I was given the opportunity to preach, and while I did a man sitting right in front of me stared with obvious fascination to my right and I wondered what he was seeing. At the end of the service he came up to me and said, "Did you know there was an angel standing next to you?" I didn't, but it was very comforting to hear. A visiting teacher from Sweden felt so awed by the experience he was having that he removed his shoes, being impressed that he was on "holy ground." We were told that Christians all over the country had been praying for this week of teaching for three months - 24 hours/day - before it took place. There was such intense, vibrant enthusiastically worshipful joy during the entire week. I was very glad to see that "revival" had come to the homeland of my maternal heritage. Unfortunately, I later was told that the pastor was apparently arrested due to the fumbling efforts of another mission. This was particularly unsettling news as we felt impressed by the Spirit not to pay a return visit.
I remember making one last very lengthy trip into the East alone during the winter, being thankful God kept me safe despite one close call in my car on an icy road when my car spun out of control before an oncoming bus. I was thankful for God's angels watching over me and the apparent careful driving of the bus driver. Upon returning to Austria I picked up a German friend, then drove all the way to Denmark. (I had previously traveled to Sweden several times to visit another mission office, once to attend a seminar given by Derek Prince on "Spiritual Warfare," another time to attend an ECL meeting.) But this time we traveled to Copenhagen to attend an International meeting of the Full Gospel Businessmens Fellowship hosted by Demos Shakarian. The real highlight of the trip for my friend and me was meeting a young woman from Poland in a walk by the sea, witnessing to her about Christ and telling her about a young man also from Poland who was a featured speaker at the FGBFI meetings, and inviting her to come. She became so excited that she told a taxi driver also, he went and got his family, they all came to the meetings, met the man from Poland and in the process got saved! There I also met Bob Curry who told me of his many missionary adventures into various parts of the world. I decided to resign from ECL and go with this brother to Finland where we had hoped the Lord would open a door for us to minister. But I later learned from the Lord that I had been hasty in doing this and in fact the "door" we had hoped would open in Finland remained closed (due in part it seemed to a surprising lack of vision and trust in the Lord on the part of some of the Christians there). However, I remember the hospitality of the Finns, some of their strange ways, and particularly a very wild ride well over 100 MPH in a Volvo on a narrow two-lane country road to keep a dinner date with an attractive blonde. I remember being in the rear seat and crawling down behind the driver's seat during the ride, while calling mightily on the name of the Lord. We did make it there without mishap, had a nice dinner, and then conversed at some length in the parking lot afterwards. I was frustrated because it was all in Finnish, which of course I could not understand, and I was asking the Lord why He couldn't give me an interpretation as if they were speaking in "tongues" when the blonde lady turned to me and told me in English that I was to speak in tongues and she would give the interpretation. I was flabbergasted at that, but began speaking in tongues and she did commence to give an interpretation - in FINNISH!!! I determined never again to try to tell the Lord what He should be doing. We returned to Sweden, from where I phoned Paul Popov and told him of my decision to resign. He received it with surprise, but acquiesced, and I drove to Austria to make final plans for returning to the US.
Arriving back in the US at the beginning of '82, I found ample opportunity to speak to churches on the west coast. Initially though I spent six weeks in Vancouver, B.C., Canada with the church (Marineview Chapel) that had contributed so much to my support in Austria. (As a matter of fact previously during the time of the Olympics in Moscow they had also indicated to me they would be willing financially to support me if I decided to go there to evangelize. They stipulated that they would contribute 50% if I raised the remaining 50%. When I later told them I was unable to raise the remaining 50% they responded that they would be glad to pay that but as it turned out President Carter decided the US would not participate in the Olympics. What an incredible church Marineview was proving to be! Would that more churches had the spirit for missions they did!) During my six-week stay at Marineview I visited their "Home Cell Groups," giving talks and showing ECL's film, "Let My People Go!" (A film in the making of which I had been very much involved, starring of course the mission's founder Haralon Popov and having as its guest narrator Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.) The results, as everything the good Lord does, was well beyond my expectations. (Eph. 3:20) I spoke between fifteen to twenty times in the church community and other places. A number of people there developed a burden for the Suffering Church in the East; one dear sister especially taking it upon herself to try to move heaven and earth on behalf of some Russian Christians known as the "Embassy 7" because they had sought refuge in the US Embassy in Moscow. The result of her efforts was that Marineview's elders officially wrote Christians in their government urging them to pass a resolution officially inviting the "7" to Canada as an alternative to the USA. The church stated it would be glad to support the "7" for a year after they arrived. Copies of this letter were sent to the various applicable agencies including the Kremlin in Moscow. Fifty thousand signatures were also gathered on petitions for this cause. A number of Christians in the various "Cell Groups" of the church dedicated themselves to being "Prayer and Action Groups," with one of the brothers I contacted agreeing to function as official "Coordinator." He was to permanently monitor the groups and channel information from ECL to them.
While I spoke at the various "Home Cell Groups" of Marineview and showed the film, interesting questions would surface. After one presentation, a young woman arose and asked if the Christians in the East ever expressed anger against God because of their suffering. That question greatly surprised me, but after a few moments consideration I had to reply, "No." Thinking there might be something personal involved in her question, I suggested we discuss it further after the meeting was over. She assented, and later she explained to me that she had been engaged to marry, and she and her fiancee were agreed on a vision to be missionaries together in Africa. However her fiancee had suddenly run off with another woman and she had been left desolate, finally turning her anger upon God and blaming Him. She was a very attractive woman, and while talking to me did not express bitterness or hard-heartedness, but she was obviously suffering from extreme feelings of rejection and felt God had also rejected her. I subsequently spent quite a bit of time counseling with her, consulting others at Marineview who also met with her and eventually we saw her delivered from her condition, healed and restored to her proper position in God's love.
Another interesting encounter occurred while attending a womens group in the church. One of the ladies shared that she had perplexing encounters with a woman who would come to her home but would sit and talk about non-essentials for a period of time and then leave. This woman seemed depressed and would always leave seeming never satisfied with their conversation. The Lord gave me insight into this situation as I listened and I told the this sister that the woman was being demonically hindered from talking about what she wanted to share. I said the next time the woman came over to her house and began talking that this sister should address the demon, whispering softly so the woman herself could not hear, and bind the demon and instruct it to cease hindering the woman from saying what she wanted to say. The following week when the womens group again met I attended also and heard this woman excitedly share the Lord's victory in this matter. She told us that woman had again visited her, had talked for a while as before till the sister remembered what I told her and then bound the demon as I suggested. The woman immediately reacted in surprise and happily began talking about some serious things she had wanted to share but said she had been unable to before. So she had been freed and her need was met when she was able to share what she wanted and the sister was then able to help her. My heart was of course gladdened when I heard this, and I thanked the Lord for giving insight.
Finally my time at Marineview came to an end and I left there with very "mixed feelings." What a joy to be part of such a church whose members were so committed to be involved in the furthering of God's work. I wondered about all the churches I had been part of over the years during my travels and pondered the unanswerable question: "Why is a church like Marineview so much the exception and not the rule among churches?" Furthermore, "Why can't there be a church in the US I can be part of as I was Marineview in Canada?" It had been so easy to be part of things there - there weren't the restrictive requirements there that were to be found in so many other churches. Discussion was easy, especially facilitated by the many "Cell Groups." And everyone seemed so "open" to the things of God - no matter what their position or function (or lack of) within the church. Especially incredible was having been singled out for support on the mission field - for which I never even had thought of asking. It made me think of the complicated way so may mission boards work - and God's very simple call to service as expressed in the opening verses of Isa. 6. But then of course, God is well able to see into the motivations of our heart. (Hebr. 4:12-13)
I made a number of stops along the coast on my way back to So. California. One stop was at my cousin's home in Eugene, Oregon. I was invited to speak at a businessmen's breakfast meeting there. They told me I would be allowed five minutes. I asked God to give me the ability to speak very fast and be intelligible while saying what He wanted said. He answered, and the words came out of my mouth like bullets from a machine gun. My cousin, who was in attendance, later told me he could understand every word I said. In Monterey, California I stayed with a Christian brother with whom I had become acquainted when he was a well-known Christian radio DJ in Orange County. I had written him a letter in response to something he had said over the radio and later we had found ourselves sharing a house near Disneyland. We became good friends. Now he was married. His wife said something incredible to me later when the Lord moved me to Monterey. She thanked me for talking with her. When I asked why, she explained to me that her own father, who was at that time living just a few miles away, had never acknowledged her presence during her lifetime, had never even spoken to her. She thanked me for being an older man who spoke to her and thus helped (unconsciously) to bring some healing into her life. I marveled at this. She was a dear sister, a very humble precious soul with whom I enjoyed talking. I had told my friend that he had made an excellent choice of a wife. Another of life's unfathomable mysteries faced me: "Why would a man act in such a manner to his own daughter." But then I remembered that my own sister had once expressed the fact of a similar lack of relationship with her (our) father.
During my stay at my friend's house in Monterey (which I consider the most beautiful meeting of land and sea in the world - with the possible exception of course of Hawaii, though I have never been there) I perused the "Churches" section of the Yellow Pages and called several churches. The local Calvary Chapel was being pastored by an old friend I had known while at Melodyland School of Theology, and he invited me to talk there at a Sunday service. The pastor of the First Church of God in Pacific Grove invited me to his office for a talk when I phoned his church and we quickly became very good friends. I found that he and his wife were very wonderful examples of God's love and we have remained friends over the years, though we moved apart, we have remained in touch. I truly thank God for Don and Debbie Bergstrom. Don now pastors the Houston First Church of God in Houston, Texas. He and his family will be part of this testimony again further on. He also invited me to speak at an evening service of his church.
Arriving in the Los Angeles area, I tried to find employment that would help me develop an income supporting me on the mission field. I was never able to do that, but I had some interesting adventures trying. Initially I became involved with an MLM business that has been very successful for others, but it wasn't for me. I even tried to do some door-to-door selling. That led into an interesting involvement in the lives of a young unmarried couple who were living together. They were a very attractive couple, and friendly, with two small children. The young woman was only nineteen and seemed sad when I talked with her. One day I called on them and found her alone with the children so I had an opportunity to talk with her privately. She told me of plans she had to visit her parents in Oregon. Her relationship with the father of her children was running into problems. In talking with her I discovered she had a basic belief in God and greatly desired to get married, but she felt quite sure that her man would not be interested in talk about God. Nevertheless when he arrived I purposely sat him down and had a talk with him, reading relevant Scripture to him, including the Eph. 5 passage concerning the relationship between husbands and wives. As I talked with him, he in turn expressed doubt that his wife would be interested in this. She was in the kitchen, so I called her in to where we were sitting in their living room, and I prayed with them both as they invited Jesus to be their Savior and Lord. After we were done praying, when they discovered that I was ordained, they asked me to marry them! As it turned out, though, when the groom's mother heard that her son had decided to get married she insisted the marriage take place in the family church with their pastor officiating. I was glad to be invited to be their "guest of honor." At the reception afterwards, I met the groom's mother. She turned out to be a lovely Spirit-filled Christian lady who very happily informed me that she had for years been trying to do what God used me for in her son's life. "He was too stubborn to listen to his own mother," she said. "But I'm very glad he listened to you!" These many years later, I still have the photographs I took at the wedding. If you look at them, you will see that the groom is a handsome African-American, the bride is a beautiful Mexican, and me? Well, I am Caucasian. God brings down all barriers through His Son, Jesus Christ! (Gal. 3:26-28)
I also tried to generate income by working for the Pasadena, CA office of "Snelling & Snelling" - an employment agency. Two months after I started there, all the personnel were called into the manager's office and told that an employee had absconded with the company funds and that the branch had to declare bankruptcy - so all of us were therefore out of a job. One day during my time there, I had remarked to the atheistic head of the branch that I sure would like to talk to him about God sometime. He was a very nice guy actually, and as it was quitting time (5 PM) and we were walking out to the parking lot, he suggested we talk about it right there and then. And we did. We talked and talked - while the sun went down and the moon arose, we stood there and talked. Finally, at about 8 PM we bid each other "good-bye" and parted. I figured that whatever reason I thought I was there for, from God's perspective I was there to witness about His Son. The day that we were told that this branch was no longer able to operate and we were out of work, a woman coworker and I wandered out the front door and crossed the street to a restaurant to sit and talk. We were the only two there from Snelling, so we sat together at a table together, ordered something and started talking. When I asked her if she had a relationship with Jesus, she said "Yes." As we continued talking, she began telling me about her husband who was a veteran of the Vietnamese war. She told me that he suffered horribly from nightmares and that he was completely changed from the man she had married before he went to fight in the war. We sat there and talked for about two hours as she shared with me that she felt herself at her wit's end trying to cope with this man she did not know and to help him though she did not know how. I asked if there was a woman's prayer group at the church, and when she said there was, I suggested she become part of it and ask the Lord to bring her into close partnership with one or more of those ladies for prayer concerning her husband's condition and how she could deal with it. Furthermore, I told her, it would provide her with much-needed fellowship. Opening my Bible (which I always tried to have handy), I also showed her various Scriptures that she could use to claim God's healing intervention in this situation, and wisdom in relating to her husband. Finally, when it seemed no more could be said and we both must be on our way, we departed from the restaurant. As she turned to go in one direction and I to go in the other, she made a parting remark to me that just amazed me. She said, "Paul, it was worth losing my job to have this talk with you." I never saw her again as we went our separate ways, but I have never forgotten her parting remark. And I never cease to be amazed that God could use even me to bring His help into someone's life. Interestingly, when I later had cause to visit the building where Snelling had been located on the third floor, I found that a Christian ministry previously located on a lower floor now also occupied the third floor where we had been. I realized that God had known that would happen before I came to work there. 8-)
And then there was B. Of the women I have known who have been raped, she is the only one who has been raped more than once. Apparently she has been raped three times. She was sexually abused by her father, and having epilepsy, she has periodic grand mal seizures. When she came to us we cast several demons out of her. But then the "brother" who was her mentor attacked her, stabbing her with an envelope opener. She is quite attractive and full of the love of Jesus. I have enjoyed being a friend to her, and having her as my friend. Once, she had to be confined to a mental facility for her own safety. I visited her there, and the only photo I have of her was taken there of both of us. Not even my own flesh and blood sister is more precious to me than B. is.
It's hard to write about the period following my return from Austria, primarily because of the failure of my marriage so soon afterwards. The mission had sent over a brother to spend Christmas '80 with me in Spittal as I was alone there, and he had surprised me by praying for a wife for me. When I did in fact get married in '83 after my return to the US, it seemed to my new wife and me that it was of the Lord to do so. But apparently we were deceived. The Lord had told me that my new wife and I should spend our honeymoon praying and fasting. But that seemed very strange and I was too smitten by the beauty of my bride to pay much attention to the strange "request" of that still small voice. Much like I had not paid attention to that "suggestion" I had received to climb the boulder in the Sierras to get my bearings. In both cases the consequences were hard. But in the case of my marriage the subsequent "mountain" was not climbable, and a week of prayer and fasting (too late) brought only Ps. 23:4 from the Lord. The "death" we encountered involved the death of our marriage relationship. When my wife left me, driving away in her car, and I returned to our apartment, Jesus was there - not visibly - but His presence was very strong. He told me, "I will be your Friend," and impressed Luke 22:31-32 on me. It was the desire of my wife's heart to divorce me, as she told me, quoting Ps. 37:4. And she did. The marriage was so short - the period of recovery so long. That Christmas I spent alone, very depressed, desiring the Lord to take my life. As I prayed, I found it in my heart to travel north, wanting to travel into the wilderness of the Sierras and perish there, but as 1984 began God instead led me to the Monterey area and laid it on my heart to contact my friend Pastor Donald Bergstrom - who at once was so insistent that I come to stay at his home that I could not refuse. Thus began the period of recovery the Lord had planned. The Lord had told me He would be my "Friend," and He meant that He would be that personally, but so would members of His Body. Ah, what redeeming grace! What wondrous mercy! The unsurpassed beauty of God's holy forgiveness!
The position of Night Manager at Tickle Pink Inn was made available to me and also a day job at Macys Department Store (in Del Monte Shopping Center) where I learned to make Mrs. Field's Cookies! In fact I started off also working days at Tickle Pink where I had a radio/cassette player hooked to my belt so I could listen to Christian teaching on the radio or cassettes. The hours spent doing this helped speed the healing that I needed. I spent three years praying for the reconciliation I knew Jesus desired (Matt. 5:23-24) but when I thought the opportunity was presented to me, I received a "restraining order" from my ex-wife instead. Rejection again that I had to deal with instead of acceptance. When I sought God about this, He reminded me of John 1:10-11. I decided it was indeed God's will to follow the advice of the friend at whose home we had been married who told me that I had done all I could do and should just leave my ex-wife in God's hands and go on with my life.
During November, 1982 (before I left to go north to Monterey) the pastor of the church I was attending called for a three-day fast. I decided to participate, and it turned out to be a very difficult fast for me, finishing (as I later wrote the pastor in a letter) "by sheer guts and will-power, repulsing (not easily) thoughts such as: 'Nothing is happening, nothing has happened in the past, nothing is going to happen, etc. I might as well stop the fast early.....This one was definitely a 'dog,' as one of your associate pastors so adequately described it.....I had received nothing from the Lord during the fast itself , and so did not share with the other members of our 'prayer circle.' However, I felt strongly moved by what the young lady....shared later (quoting Eze. 16:49,50 - note as well 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7) and what you shared in addition. It so happened that the Lord had me read Ezekiel 5-9 on the following Thanksgiving morning.....While reading those five chapters I received a strong vision from the Lord that left me quite shaken. It was shown to me that even now the Lord's hand has been extended in judgment and that it will not be withdrawn until it has accomplished its purpose. Of course, judgment begins first with the household of God (1 Peter 4:17) and that is occurring now. But the Lord's hand is also stretched against the heathen, and He will strongly use the Church of Jesus Christ as an instrument of His judgment. Ten years ago when I was praying one evening for the USA in an A/G church working with missionaries to the Navajos in Arizona, the Lord impressed on me that His perspective towards the US was reflected in three consecutive books of the Bible: Amos, Obadiah and Jonah. His judgment against the nations is stated in Amos - and He assured me that the USA was not exempt or could not expect any sloppy 'favoritism' (had He not had to deal severely with His chosen nation Israel?). Obadiah shows His feeling toward the US, that it is 'arrogant' and 'lofty' in its heart and would therefore have to be brought down (verses 3& 4). But He would first send His 'Jonahs.' I have since been asking Him when the time will be. Pastor, I am impressed that the time is now and the Lord has revealed that He will begin with a certain city. Now, I will not name that city, but I am sure the Holy Spirit will impress you which one it is as I write about it. The stench of this city reaches as a particular noxious odor to the Lord's nostrils. His ears have heard the cries and groans of many concerning it. The stench of it is many times worse than Sodom's was. His hand was previously against it in warning, but there was no repentance and even many in the Church did not believe the words spoken by those He chose and sent to follow up. So the second state of that city is now worse than the first, and the arrogance has become intolerable to God. Therefore, He (will) send His (Jonah).....However, even though (there will be those who) 'hear' and will repent, the city as a whole will not, but will react rebelliously.....The manifestation of God's judgment against the sin in that city will......become a 'sign and a wonder' to the whole world......(like)the fire and brimstone that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah....Pastor, I suppose there are some who would react with an attitude of 'Go get 'em, Lord!' when they hear such words, but at the end of this (very graphic vision of God's judgment) I was shaken, my body was wracked with sobs, and I felt led in the depths of my heart and spirit to cry out and intercede for those souls who are in the horrible darkness of that city. As such I am submitting this to you and the associate leadership of the Church before discussing it with anyone else. If I have truly heard from God, He will witness it to you. In any case, He will accomplish it. This is one of the most difficult letters I have ever typed.....it seems terribly presumptuous and personally I feel like setting it aside....if it is of the Lord then He will fulfill it.....But I must be obedient...."
A month later I received this reply from the pastor: "Dear Paul, I regret the delay in answering your letter, and want to thank you for your sensitivity in taking the time to elaborate the burden of prophetic vision which God put on your heart. I want you to know that we will walk in simple faith beside you believing that God will fulfill His Word; and in the meantime, we are simply holding this matter as Mary did the prophecies that came to her (read Luke 1 and 2). 'Pondering in your heart' a word of prophecy, essentially means that we wait with patience for the Lord to reveal His purpose....walking all the time prayerfully and humbly. I feel no reason to reject what you wrote or correct what you said. I simply, as I said, partner with you in patience and in prayer.....P.S. Paul, I especially want to commend you for what I believe is the most righteous response to the Holy Spirit's prompting -- compassion and impassioned intercession. Your absence of judgmentalism or 'hate the sinners' is a sign of purity of spirit and I harmonize with your heart and commend you in that regard." I have decided not to state the pastor's name or that of the church as I have not asked permission of him to reproduce this correspondence publicly. Suffice it to say, the pastor is very well known internationally, as is his church. When I moved to Monterey (which was an answer to prayer I had prayed in Austria) - where I lived eight years - I knew that God would one day move me to the San Francisco area as one of the "Jonahs." He did that in 1992. But more about that later.