Ahava Love Letter
“Dreams Do Come True – The BARN”
(Part IV of Series – Final)
“This is the LORD'S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.” Psalm 118:23 (NASB)
Dear family of friends,
In the previous parts of this series (I - III) I shared the beginning of “dreams do come true.” In addition to other means of confirmation, through a dream the Lord gave to me in 1991, a major move, resulting with exciting changes, came about in my life and others, in 1994. It was the start of a new challenge, in a new area, with old and new friends. I conclude this current ahava journey (love in Hebrew), with this final segment of Ahava Love Letters - “Dreams Do Come True” - Part IV.
As you may recall in my previous love letter (Part III), there was a horse barn in the dream. (A “working” barn, as I described it in a written note accompanying the dream drawing, when I shared it with others later, back in 1991.) There was the one on the property. But there were horses in it.
The need for a larger “tent” for the newly started “Watch of the Lord” was very apparent. But where? Space on the new property we now occupied was limited, even with all the acreage the Lord had now entrusted to us small band of prayer warriors.
During another time of “day” prayer, in addition to the Friday all night prayer group, Bonnie received a word, or vision, from the Lord, in regards to the horse barn. That was it! The horse barn could become the next location for the “Watch of the Lord” and All Nations Church Sunday meetings. Are you kidding, Lord? A horse barn, with horses in it?!
Yes. That was the answer. Just like Jesus Himself was born in a lowly place, the ways of the Lord are not ours. (Thank goodness!) His answer to our seeking Him for His provision was right there under our noses. (Horses do create a certain scent, in their stalls.)
But in no time, the horses were trucked away to another location, and my Dad, Louis Martin, and I, took turns swinging the five pound sledge hammer to remove the 2” x 10” x 10” planked stall walls. What an exciting, but hard labor time, it was. Art Maki joined us in literally carrying away the stall doors. Timmy Bryant helped as he could, when not doing his other jobs in caring for kids and running errands. Bill Doak, Sam Carpenter, Willie Hardee, Bobby Hussey, Rick Hardee, Calvin Elston, Ham Fitcher, Selva Ayempeuromal, Josh and Ben Martin, and so many countless others provided more manpower. Even homeless men from Charlotte were driven to the barn during the week by Art Hatton, to give their strength. The Lord overall was giving much grace and energy to His “laborers in the field.” Literally.
Over the next few months, many came on the weekends to join in the effort. While still continuing on “building in the spiritual” with the “Watch” every Friday night in the chapel, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., we got a few hours of sleep and then came back to “build in the natural”. The zeal of the Lord consumed us for His purposes to be accomplished. We were also very grateful for the ladies who cooked great lunches for all. Lila Martin, Ginger Hussey, Laurie Hardee, Rainbow Coan, Linda Hardee, Martha Doak and others. Picnics outside every Saturday afternoon!
When the completion date came, after much blood, sweat and tears (of joy!), “The Barn” began working. We could fit about 120 comfortably in the gathering place, but there were times when many more came to bless the Living God of Israel, to worship and sing His Mighty praises. Powerful healings, prayer for all the nations, especially Israel, were protocol. Shofars were blown. The sound of loud drums and the congas filled the night air. It was a good thing we were out in the country. No neighbors calling to report loud noises!
The faithful worship team, led often by Bobby Hussey on the keyboard, played and praised for hours and hours. Bob Smith, Bob Sherrill, Doug Goff, Rick Hardee and Gilbert Crespo on the drums were the musicians. Laurie Martin, Laurie Hardee, Rainbow Coan, Patti McPherson, Tim Tennant, Angie Carpenter, Brian Johnston and Ed Brigham were the backup singers. As for me, I loved shaking the tambourine, and singing the great songs, while at the same time reading Bobby Hussey’s lips. (Sometimes it was so loud I couldn’t hear what he was singing!) It was a great time being with the Lord of Hosts and His people.
Those glorious days lasted exactly two years. On Sunday morning, Father’s Day of June, 1997, the last meeting took place in “The Barn.” That portion of the property was sold to building developers, and within a month or two there was nothing left of this simple, yet awesome, location of the Lord’s doing.
Hold those other horses! My Dad, whom I know I inherited this from, didn’t want to see anything go to waste. He and I gathered up a few of the 4’ x 6’ x 8’ panel sidewalls, one of the entry doors, some of the heavy duty 6” x 6” posts. We then built a “mini-barn” in the back of my home’s yard! To this day, while housing the “pulpit” that the head pastor sat behind, my yard tools, three of Jeff Gordon #24 NASCAR tires, and a few memories of days gone by, this “stone from the Jordan River crossing” stands.
Isn’t the Lord amazing?! Isn’t He so full of love, provision, and hope for His children?! He is our Heavenly Father.
Many of those relationships, bonded over 15 years ago, still unite several of us. We prayed together. We worshipped together. We ate together. We worked together. We saw the Lord do miracles together.
I would love to share a whole lot more, but maybe at a later time.
Before I end this letter, and series, I want to share one very important concern the Lord keeps pressing deeper and deeper into my heart. It seems that I am almost consumed with this desire of His.
What I really loved seeing during those two years together were the different people, who came from different churches, to bless the same Father. What a joy it must have been for Abba to see His children enjoying His presence with one another.
I long to see the day when Abundant Hope (Matt & Darlene Woodhouse), All Nations Church (Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda), Antioch International Church (Peter Wyns, Jesse Enns, Richard Tompkins and myself), Beit Shofarot (Yossi Wentz), Beit Yeshua (Curtis Loftin and Doug Williams), Cornerstone Church (Mark DeVito, Alan, John and Brian), Chavda Ministries International, CFI-USA (Hannele Pardain), Derek Prince Ministries (Dick Leggatt), FIRE Church (Scott Volk and Michael Brown), Highway To Zion (Cathy Hargett), Hope of Israel (Sam Nadler), MorningStar Fellowship (Rick Joyner, Dave Yarnes and team), Present Word Ministries (Robbie Phillips), St. Giles Presbyterian (John Brown, Mike Green and all) and Vision for Israel (Barry & Batya Segal) - fellowships and ministries that we have either been members of, currently fellowship with, or served at over the last 17 years here in the greater Charlotte, NC area - will gather together at least one day. Imagine having each tribe and each people, blessing the Almighty God of Israel, as His children together. What do you think that will do to His heart? What do you think it will do to yours and mine?
“The Barn” gatherings were meant to be just a taste of what is to come. His plans for each of us are so beyond our dreams, visions and imaginations.
What a Mighty God we serve! The One Who WATCHES over Israel, Who also indeed watches over all those who will choose to draw near to Him and the rest of His Body.
Let Jesus (Yeshua) know of your heart’s love and commitment to Him today. Let us show our love for Him by walking together in love and unity.
Now would be such a good time.
Ahava to my family of friends,
Love For His People, Inc.
A very special closing note: I hereby dedicate this entire four part series of “Dreams Do Come True” to my Mom and Dad. They had moved down to Charlotte, from over 40 years in Iowa, to help me with the work of the Lord. He had just retired at age 63, after spending 33 years working in the hot, dusty Viking Pump iron foundry in Cedar Falls, IA.
In the evenings, while yet there in Iowa, he also used to give of himself to several churches, laboring with his electrical skills to rewire their buildings. It was his gift to them, to show of his inner love for His Savior, Jesus Christ, as best he knew how.
Little did we know that he had early stages of lymphoma cancer over those two “retirement years” of 1995-1997, while part of “The Barn” history. Not until later, because he never complained to my knowledge, but continued being such a role model, and father figure, to so many of us.
I am so proud of my Dad. He spoke very little, but was such a hard worker, and provider for Mom and all of us eight kids. When he went to be with our Lord in July, 2000, before his 68th birthday, we mourned his passing, but rejoiced that his suffering in his natural body was over. He now dances in heaven with the rest (and best) of them!
So much honor and appreciation belongs to him too, along with the other natural and spiritual forefathers that I am deeply grateful for. Thanks Dad for being such a great example of how to “walk the walk”, while not speaking idle words. I love you, and miss you.
At the bottom of this Ahava Love Letter is a poem I wrote to honor him, nine years after his passing, on July 7, 2008.
P.S. Beit Tikvah meetings, held as part of Antioch International Church’s desire to bless Israel and instruct believers in our Jewish roots, is held every Friday night at 7 pm in Fort Mill, SC on the former Heritage USA property. We are next to our good friends at Morningstar fellowship. Laurie and I, along with the Ahava Love Band, share Messianic worship music as we enjoy giving praise to Adonai. Senior Pastor Peter Wyns also loves sharing on his Jewish roots. We are Jews and Gentiles, coming together as one, for His end-time purposes to be fulfilled. We will walk together in unity.
Please plan on joining us when you are in the Charlotte area!
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©2011 Steve Martin Love For His People, Inc. P.O. Box 470035 Charlotte, NC 28247-0035 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ahava Love letter #14 Date: Feb. 8, in the year of our Lord 2011 Part IV (and final) in the “Dreams Do Come True” series.
My Father Is With My Father
Nine years ago this July month,
My Father took my father home to Him.
After sixty-seven years on earth,
He has him in His place, of far more worth.
A quiet man, who didn’t say much at all,
But who spoke with his hard work, and commitments too.
These made him the real godly man I trust he was,
Which few probably knew, though I think it ‘twas.
Two jobs a day, most of those years of life,
Providing for eight kids, and our Mom, his wife.
Two pairs of hands, a heart of determination and will,
Made him the one I often think of still.
Not one to complain – just do what it takes;
Fixing peoples homes and many churches, for God’s sake.
Foundry life was hot, dirty and most often forlorn,
But he still had the garden, providing all with beans and corn.
Putting in electric outlets, insulation and lights,
Made the evening hours long and not that bright.
But when finished, and another job was done,
Gave me a sense of pride, in being my father’s son.
So kids, love your dad on earth, and especially the One above.
Learn what you can now, as he shows you His love.
And fathers, keep your children taught, with all the good you know,
For they need to see the Way, but not just for show.
My Father has my father, now in his heavenly reward.
He’s probably fixing someone’s mansion, so far upward.
Maybe he’s tending a garden, or camping with some friends,
Or getting the rest he so deserved; but with helping hands still lends.
For you Dad, with love,
Steve and all your family
Steve and all your family
July 7, 2008