An Investment in Eternity
By | November 27, 2019
Over twenty years ago, Chuck and I purchased some “investment property” to help us in our retirement years. The property was located in what I lovingly called a “drive by” street – you know the kind of street. You drive past it but you would never want to actually drive down it.
As we learned about how to be “landlords,” we learned about poverty, gangs, drugs and addictions. Anaheim Police knew us and our property. In short, we learned how the people of our neighborhood survived. It is a rough neighborhood. We looked at our apartments as a mission field and our tenants were our unreached people group. We sought to share the Gospel through loving our tenants and working with all the children of the neighborhood. We are known there as Mr. Chuck and Teacher Peg.
Several years ago a young mother, Jessica, her boyfriend and her five children moved into one of our apartments. Within a few months a sixth child was born. I was immediately drawn to the oldest daughter who wanted to become a chef.
Within the first year, Jessica’s boyfriend moved out. Hurt and fighting bitterness, Jessica was determined not to lose her apartment. She worked graveyard shifts to provide for her family. Lack of sleep and lack of support from her family caused mounting anxiety. On a horrific day in her life, when all her worst fears were playing out, God directed me to her apartment. At that critical moment in her life, God opened her eyes and her heart to the fact that He had brought her to that moment, to that apartment in order that He might draw her to Himself. She cried out to God for forgiveness and for help that only He could provide. Jessica was born again.
Does God magically make all those problems disappear? Hardly! Things for Jessica went from bad to worse. But she now had the Holy Spirit inside her. She was no longer trying to figure out how to survive alone. Months of discipleship began. We went to Family Court with her. She began not only attending Fullerton Free, but she joined our adult fellowship. Her heart’s desire is for each of her children to come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. She works at Disneyland but she has commented to us that coming to Fullerton Free is like going to Disneyland – it is magical. The music speaks to her heart and the messages speak to her soul. The people of Sonlight have embraced her and shown her a family love that she was longing for. Last Sunday, Jessica took the step of being baptized, publically declaring her love and faith in Jesus Christ. She boldly shared her testimony with tears of joy at what God has done in her life.
Words cannot express what that meant to Mr. Chuck and me to have the privilege of being part of her baptism. All glory be to God! He blessed us with some old apartments years ago so that He could show His deep love for Jessica and her family. We could write a book of stories about our apartments, but the best chapter would be Jessica.
Mr. Chuck and Teacher Peg Westerfeld
Serving God in Anaheim, California