The Lord has been taking us on a journey like nothing I’ve ever experienced. One of the most exciting things for me as of late is the history of Christians in America. God has taken us on an unplanned pilgrimage to different sites pivotal for our faith and our country.
St. Augustine, FL was one of the first places we visited after The Send. It’s noteworthy because it actually predates the pilgrims! It is the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin in the United States. After several failed attempts at colonization by multiple countries, St. Augustine began in 1565.
Awhile ago, God brought me to this verse, Jeremiah 6:16, “This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths: Where is the good way? Then walk in it and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it!’”
This verse came alive to me. It was like God was taking us on ancient paths where others had gone before. This country, where it’s at today, and so many more things, started right there in St. Augustine when a colony finally took hold in land that would eventually be America.
All of our kids are homeschooled, but Judah is considered 4th or 5th grader this year. I say that because classes overlap when you’re “roadschooling.” An awesome benefit of being a 4th grader is that Judah and his family (all of us!) can get into national parks, monuments, recreation areas and more for free! Now, we haven’t used this benefit too much, but we happened to have time near Savannah to check out an old fort on an island.
We quickly found out God was going to surprise us at some of the places we went. As I looked at the map of the place, I saw “Wesley Memorial.” John Wesley, founder of Methodism, landed on Cockspur Island in 1736. He came to America to be a missionary to the Native Americans. We checked out Fort Pulaski first and then walked a little ways toward the bay to see the memorial.
When we found the memorial, inscribed directly from Wesley’s journal was this, “...Mr. Oglethorpe led us through the moorish land on the shore to a rising ground,...we chose an open place surrounded with myrtles, bays, and cedars, which sheltered us from the sun and wind, and called our little flock together to prayers."
Although John Wesley had much controversy in this new world, he established the first Sunday school and was the pastor of the ‘Mother Church of Georgia.’ God later used this man to travel over 250,000 miles preaching the gospel in open air settings all over the world. God sparked a revival in Wesley’s heart that eventually reached millions of people through the gospel... but I stood there looking at the ground… his first steps in America were right there.
I took the hands of Mary and Judah and prayed. God had brought us to the spot where Wesley and his group first prayed in America, and I felt like it was a special moment. Our prayer is still, “Lord, do something new in America! Spark a revival in the hearts of your people like there has never been before. God, we ask for more laborers that wouldn’t be afraid to preach in parks, on campuses and anywhere you lead them.”
There were many other places God took us, but one I’ll share about was the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC. I’m not sure why, but just walking towards the property from the parking lot, I started crying. Now people that know me, know this isn’t unusual, because I cry quite a bit! However, our friend Jason from Rolling Revival, summed up the experience with, “I could live here.”
It was so peaceful! It was like the peace of God just rested in that place. I’ve never experienced anything like it at a library, and quickly realized it was more of a multimedia walk-through of evangelistic history. All of us knew we were there in God’s perfect timing.
We learned what really launched Billy’s organization was a 3 week planned tent meeting in 1949 Los Angeles. It turned into an 8 week meeting and people heard about it all around the world. September 25th will mark exactly 70 years since that day in LA. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was launched the following year in 1950, and for the next 60+ years, that organization was used worldwide to spread the gospel of Jesus through every medium possible.
I’m not going into the significance of 70 years, but us and many of the families we’ve met on the road, believe (and have seen) that God is doing a great new work in America! Many people are being called on the road to minister the gospel in traditionally unusual ways.
We are so excited for the next stage of the path God has called us to walk (and drive). As we meet on April 3rd with five other families hungry for more of God in us and in America, we believe He is going to move in supernatural ways. God has lead us on ancient paths, leading us to drop everything that is meaningless and spend our short time on earth sharing the gospel with everyone we can.
We wouldn’t change a thing!
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!