I hope this letter finds you well. I write from Redding, in the American state of California. The weather is dry and the heat relents only with the setting of the sun. Curiously, the lawns are greener than any I’ve seen for such weather, and even ooze water in the mornings. The people here are a curious folk, not rude or unfriendly as some of the rumours would have you believe, but sociable, kind, and generally pleasant.
I’ve seen lizards and some deer since I’ve come here, do you still see deer often? Write back soon, Dave.
Ok, so I thought doing this post as a war letter might be funny, way harder than expected. I also wanted to use the name Caroline, not sure why, but figured that would draw too much attention to itself.
So, my highly anticipated (mostly by me) post on life at Bethel in Redding. I’ve been putting this off mostly out of business, though I’ll confess, also out of a worry that I won’t say what I want to correctly. Well, here goes.
For those of you who are unaware of the purpose of my presence out west, it’s twofold. First, to rekindle my relationship with God; and second, to find the next step on the path of life. These purposes are very much intertwined, and I rejoice in the progress already made. I’m attending the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, with a strong emphasis on the supernatural. In this post and future ones I’ll chip away at this with examples, but for now picture impossible things made possible through the power of God and the faith of his people.
Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, referred to simply as BSSM, is a school that grows character, identity, helps you grow in your relationship with God, and cultivates a hunger for revival in the world through building a culture of people ready to go for God. BSSM is associated with Bethel Church here in Redding, California. Bethel also has satellite campuses in a number of cities across the US.
For a moment I’d like to touch on what I mean by ‘growing identity.’ This is probably the single most tangible change people see in the day-to-day life of a Bethel student or graduate. The best way I can define it is like this: does the expression “everyone has baggage” sound familiar? Well it shouldn’t. When your identity in Christ as a son or daughter of the King, literally a prince or princess, is solid, you don’t have baggage. Is it always solid? No, of course not. But it’s an achievable goal, and certainly one worth pursuing. Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen dozens, possibly hundreds of people, get a lot closer to this objective, including myself.
My experience at BSSM has been fantastic so far, in case that wasn’t already obvious. The atmosphere in Redding is one of hope, people are positive, and the locals I speak with seem to have an awareness of the US’s dodgy position from a social, education, and economic standpoint. Election fever hasn’t hit yet, but I’ll give that two weeks.
The weather here is hot, no lies. It was 35 degrees today (Celsius, all units on this blog are assumed to follow Canadian conventions unless otherwise stated, generally metric). Our house is lovely, furnished, and visited; which is my favourite. I live with my youngest brother Jesse, of 20 years, and two of his friends in 2nd year at BSSM: Dylan Gross, my roommate, and Samuel Basden, his roommate. Despite the fact that Sam, Jesse, and I are all from Canada, everyone one in the house is an American citizen, free to work, and vote, in the US.
We live a brisk twenty-five minute walk from the Civic centre, where first year classes are held, and thirty minutes from Caldwell park, where Jesse and I play ultimate frisbee. Our housing complex also features a lovely pool which I had the pleasure of frequenting twice today. I find my level of physical activity has skyrocketed since I arrived. I’ve gone hiking four times in the last ten days, ranging from one to ten miles in a day. I’ve seen fumaroles, mud pots, boiling springs, and cyan lakes at Lassen Volcanic National Park (Bumpass Hell & Terminal Geyser specifically). Every day I get to walk for an hour to get to school and back, I dance on Saturdays at the Rec Center (Salsa last month, East Coast Swing for October!), and I play ultimate on Wednesdays and Fridays.
I’ve quickly discovered that reading for school needs to be taking a higher precedence than it currently is, with my readings behind by a week more than I’d like. I would call the time well spent though, I’ll just have to spend it even better.
Well, that’s all I care to comment on for the moment. I have no desire to write monolithic posts, so I’ll have to update again soon to share more. I hope this post helped to shed some light on what I’ve been up to with a minimum of tedium and am excited to write more!
Bit of admin: Just added a new, and in my opinion better, theme for the site. When I figure out how to add pictures to posts, I likely will.