Our quest to find a place to worship continues . . .
This week we drove to Pahrump (pronounced prump – one syllable), which is 112 miles from our campsite. Pahrump is the closest Walmart and Albertsons, two places we needed to visit. It also has a selection of fast food places including Sonic (yum!). But most importantly this week, it has the closest United Methodist Church: Pahrump Valley UMC.
I looked on the Pahrump Valley UMC website last week when we had internet so we would know what time worship services were. The website described the church and the one service at 11. So early this morning, Tom and I got in the car and started the drive to Pahrump. We allowed 2 1/2 hours to get there because we have never traveled to Pahrump before.
We arrived at Pahrump at 10:40, which I thought was good timing. But the parking lot was full and the sign at the front of the church said the worship service started at 10. ARGH! I told Tom it didn’t matter – we were going in, no matter where they were in the service. We arrived in time for the last three minutes of the service, the offering, and the final hymn. The final hymn was “Lord You Have Come to the Lakeshore” which we sang once at year at my last church. But this congregation sang it with a twist – one verse in Spanish and one verse in English. It looked liked the congregation was about half Hispanic. The minister, Rev. Alicia Tomkus, is from Costa Rica.
The sanctuary was full and they were having a potluck dinner after worship, which one woman invited us to stay for. But we already felt weird about coming at the wrong time so we headed out for lunch. At least now we know what time the service is if we want to come back.
The sermon was on Jonah, and during the few minutes of it I heard, Rev. Tomkus talked about going where God sends us. Of course Tom and I are living examples of being willing to go where God sends us. We are trying to live out this adventure by being mindful of the leading of God. We were prayerful in choosing these jobs in Death Valley, and even though it feels like Ninevah (no churches!) it is clearly where God has called us and led us. We see his hand in our being here every day and we have multiple daily opportunities to witness to his love with our coworkers and visitors.
Where is God calling you? Where is he telling you to go? It may be as close as your next door neighbor or to school or to work a mile away. It may be Death Valley or Pahrump Valley United Methodist Church. I pray that wherever he is calling you are willing to step out in faith and go.