My grandfather moved his family here back in the day from San Francisco after having worked in the shipping yards. He bought up some property and built homes all through the county. He’d finish a days work with his three sons, and as they pulled into the driveway he’d say, “Good show, boys!” We affectionately called him Popop and my grandmother we called Nonnie. I admire their intensity for Christ still to this day. They were a couple you couldn’t help but remember for their labor of love in Tuolumne County. Nonie was a school teacher at Curtis Creek for decades and Popop was a Gideon giving out Gideon Bibles at schools and other locations all through the county. He’d go to the prisons and pray with inmates and share the hope of Christ there and throughout the community. He was a tough man, not someone to push around, and not necessarily always the gentlest blote. But, he feared God and made God’s grace known through his generosity and seeking of God together with my Nonie and their three boys.
I’ll post about my uncles and dad along the way, I’m certain of it. This morning though I want to post about a friend of mine and my friendship. We have gotten into dialogues frequently of late about Tuolumne City, and I think our friendship typifies the kinds of friendships I think it will take for our county to experience local missions activity toward spiritual restoration in our county. As my Popop was responsible for building throughout this county and laying groundwork for ministry, and as my Dad, Dr Larry Moe, DDS, has rebuilt thousands of mouths and cared for missionaries and pastors through his dental practice, labored to show God’s grace in countless unannounced ways, I hope to labor in love in this county in the years to come, to see God’s work continued here along with my friends.
Patrick Atkins and his wife are devoted to prayer and worship here in Tuolumne County. They long to see revival and restoration, discipling of believers in their walks with God to the point of maturity and consistent joy in Christ, beholding and worshiping Him with whole and restored lives and families, healthy ministries and community life. “Pack” and I have re-opened communication between us as friends in the last couple of months, as he is one of my best friend’s (Thomas Atkins) little brother who I’d just rub the head of as I’d pass through the house growing up, hanging out with “Tom,” getting ready for one of our “adventures” in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Pack has experienced transforming grace in his walk with God, in his marriage, in his parenting, and now in his hopes for reaching Tuolumne City.
I bring up my recent rekindled friendship with him because our dialogues typify what I think we need to see a lot more of in our county. He and I discuss the need for actual things done to reach our generation and those ahead of us and behind us. And, we discuss how urgent the need is to see transformation. We discuss how awesome it would be to see restoration of love for God and admiration of His worth and excellence. How amazing would it be to see an awakening among those in our county who are on coasting mode, even a deepening and awakening in our own souls and in our families and extended families. How incredible to see a revitalizing among the believers, a reaching of the non-believers, and a restoring of relationships with prodigals. How incredible would it be to see more consistent introduction for non-believers to the living Jesus Christ, and a healthy introduction to what walking with Him looks like.
Like Nehemiah, we want to see reform, restoration, revitalization. Like Ezra and Nehemiah, we want to see worship and prayer consistently springing up among God’s people and even among the unsaved of our community as they enter into relationship with Christ through repentance and belief in Him. As Pack and I have spent more time together, he has rubbed off on me and challenged me to more consistently be in prayer for these things. My tendency can be to just start getting things done. I’m a business owner and a bit entrepreneurial, so the Nehemiah kinds of bold actions can be very attractive to me. I’m am Popop’s grandkid after all. I wanna see a “good show”! Pack is the son of TY Atkins, the principal at Summerville Elementary School in Tuolumne City. He’s a consistent seed and root developer, educator, even historian. The Atkins are rooted firmly in Tuolumne City and have been sowing to health and growth there all their lives. The “boys” in their case all are rooted and invested in the current and future vitality of this little community. They have been constant in prayer as a family among a few close friends for decades now, hoping and praying for restoration.
We must as friends band together in prayer and action. It will take both. Dependance upon God in our hearts and action together in faith and love. What a joy to see God’s slowing of my heart and actions, teaching me to trust Him and labor in love with family and friends in this county, watching God awaken us as a community and reoriented us around Christ and His death on the cross for us. We all together with amazement at our Savior worship and pray toward our Holy God, amazed at what He has done and dependent upon Him for wha He has in store for us as a community.
More to come. Stay tuned.