Suprisingly, we have basically no physical history in Nashville. Besides being stranded there for 3 days, while our bus got new pulleys after they fell out of the engine, we have spent no time in Nashville. Scratch that... There was one time, 15 years ago, that Mary's parents and us took a 36 hour straight, grueling road trip to Orlando. We stopped in Nashville in the middle of the night, went to music row, and I ran down the street yelling. That is probably another story altogether, but suffice to say, I was in a band and loved music... and was probably a little delirious from the long haul by that point.
We've literally traveled over 25,000 miles on the road in our skoolie (and previously rented RV) in the last year and a half. We've almost matched that mileage in the air, in places like Turkey and Spain, but Nashville, although beautiful in many ways, did not strike a lasting impression that we would be spending a lot of time there in the future. We did believe we'd be back, but not like what we're planning now!
God is amazing! Never, when He called us out of traditional pastoral ministry, did I think we'd end up all over the U.S. and on both sides of the Mediterranean. As I write this, I can see the "Great Sea" that was the avenue of many of Paul's journeys. It's like we jumped into Biblical history, physically and prophetically.
Back to Nashville. I didn't know that breaking down on a hot stretch of I-24 could be a good thing, but it was the beginning of God paving the way. We got taken in by a couple originally from Iowa that use to host bands and set up drums for Cornerstone Music Festival 'back in the day'. They let us stay with them for 3 days while our bus got fixed and even let us drive their pretty new Prius around.
When the $2812 bill came, it was a hard pill to swallow, but well into a year long prophetic journey with the Lord I immediately looked to the bright side of things. As I did that, I heard in my heart Deuteronomy. So, I looked up Deuteronomy 28:12 (NASB)-- not even knowing if the verse existed. Here's the gem I found:
"The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow."
I was pretty dumbfounded. Did you know that much of what looks terrible in the world's eyes is a blessing in the Kingdom of God? I could write a whole slew of blogs on this thought, but God is good and as His word says in Romans, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Now, I will be clear... I did not think this verse had anything to do with Nashville itself, only the ministry that God has called us to. However, I now believe it was one of multiple prophetic signs that God had/has a much bigger plan for Nashville.
Finally! I'll get to October. A very large turning point came for us in October 2019. After marking the 70th anniversary of the Billy Graham Crusade in LA in September of 1949 (to the spot where the tent sat... another story I'll have to tell :-), we drove to Keystone, SD for what would be the most advanced classroom training we've ever received as followers of Christ.
Nashville was nowhere on Mary's or my radar at this point. We knew God was bringing us to this little tourist town in the shadow of Mount Rushmore for something that was going to change everything. The keystone is stone that's in the top of a roman arch. It holds the whole arch together, and if removed, the whole structure crumbles.
God spoke to us in early September that this is what our keystone training would be. The last piece, so to speak, of the arch... but the most important piece, which we later found out was disciple making movements. We have talked about this already a bit, but we're going to be writing and vlogging much more on the subject.
So, the first week, the Keystone Project people asked us to pray about an unreached people group to reach. Now, we know the importance of unreached peoples. There are many countries that you will get killed for sharing the gospel. But, up until this point, God had called us to America, and so we weren't thinking much about unreached peoples.
As we were talking and praying about it over a couple days, I heard in my heart, "East Nashville." What was weird to me was that it was EAST Nashville, and of course, why was that coming into my head in the first place? Well, God speaks quietly sometimes and we began to wait and pray. It didn't take long!
The story continues soon!!
Hi! We're the Hoeckles.
We're a family of six living full-time in a skoolie (aka a school bus converted into an RV). We are inviting you to join us as we live life to its fullest and empower others to do the same. Welcome to the family!