2017 Levy and Dwelling Place Hollywood Updates
Levy 2017 New Year’s Update
It’s 2017! We are also a few months into the year 5777 on the Hebrew calendar. We are excited about this New Year and what the Lord has in store. This will be a longer update than usual, because we have so much to share. Please read to the end as we have important news to share concerning DP Hollywood.
We have settled into our new place and are loving it! Although we do look forward to having a house in Hollywood proper soon, we are very thankful for the “home” God has provided for us! Culver City is central to just about everywhere we need to be and the places where our friends live. Santa Monica is just to the West. The South Bay is just to the South. Downtown L.A. is just to the East and Hollywood is just to the North. It’s perfect for this next short season.
Sunday January 15, 2017 we visited a church of some dear friends, Matt & Grace Kladnik, who pastor Vintage Faith Church in Culver City. Matt, myself and a few other now Senior Pastors were all youth pastors together in the South Bay who longed to see unity and revival. We held South Bay youth events (All Day, Every day), monthly worship gatherings and supported the New Life Clubs at local high schools.
It’s so great to see them in their gifts and callings being salt and light to Culver City. Their church even has a thrift store called “Love the City.” On our first Hollywood missions trip from DPNRV to SoCal, our team even spent a day helping and serving there.
We thought initially we wouldn’t have space to host many gatherings at our place, but God showed us we have enough space. We are having our second gathering in as many weeks tonight since we moved in two weeks ago! We have a nice backyard-courtyard area with a fire pit and some chairs. We know its January, but hey, this is SoCal we are talking about here!
God is reconnecting us with friends who are not committed to a local fellowship and are looking for relationship, discipleship, fellowship, worship… We keep hearing the same thing from many of our friends here: “We are so glad you two are back!” We’re glad too. We even reconnected with a few DP-NRVers here: Taryn Rein and Jenny Fang! Both SoCal natives.
We can see several “home groups” being started in 2017 within the greater Los Angeles area, as a part of our vision to do Dwelling Place Hollywood as a House Church (network of home groups).
With that in mind, we need your prayers and your support now more than ever! God has been providing for us in miraculous ways. One of our friends here bought us and brought us a brand new microwave! We found a nice working space heater on the sidewalk of our neighborhood! Someone bought us a new mattress! Someone gave us a nice working refrigerator!
Moving back to SoCal means the cost of living is about 3 times what it was in Virginia! Rent: higher. Gas: higher. Insurance: higher.
Right now, God has Monica in a season of “rest” (Hebrews 4). She has been passed over on several positions where she should have been a shoe-in. Doug has been carrying the workload, but that means he is working hard each week just to keep our heads above water. This leaves us very little time during the week for ministry opportunities, whether it’s partnering with our friends in ministry here, doing outreaches or home groups.
As missionaries to Hollywood, we would like to focus on our support raising for the first part of this year to help us be freed up from a time perspective to actually do ministry here in Los Angeles/Hollywood.
Specifically, we are hoping to have 80 people partner with us at $25 a month. We know this amount is attainable for almost every person or family, because we support 2 missionaries at that amount each month!
If you are not already partnering with us financially, would you prayerfully consider it? If you are, would you agree with us in prayer for God to raise up givers who believe in our mission and heart for Hollywood?
Many in the Church displayed their displeasure at Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes and they chose to be accusers rather than intercessors. Hollywood and the entertainment industry don’t need our criticism and disdain, they need our prayers, our love and our blessings.
Good overcomes evil. Light overcomes darkness. If you want to shut the gates of Hell, open up the windows of Heaven. As we do these things, God will open up doors for us to speak the truth to those here in Hollywood in love.
We love and appreciate you all so much for standing with us in what we know God has called us to do! As we have had to overcome obstacle after obstacle, we realize that the enemy does not want us here, but God keeps confirming our calling to this area and to these people!
We’ve been privileged to see quite a few people find freedom in our short time here and we are excited at the potential of myriads of people encountering God and finding “life, blessing and freedom.”
One more cool testimony: When Jeff & Beth Thompson threw us a going away party, many people came to see us off, and there was an opportunity for people to pray over us and to write down prophetic words for us. Several of the prayers had to do with “physical rain and the drought ending” as a sign for us. Well in the last couple of weeks we’ve been getting massive amounts of rain here in SoCal with a bunch more on the way! Let it rain!
Levy and DP Hollywood February 2017 Update
Greetings in Jesus name Saints! It’s been a busy February so far for us and with more excursions on the calendar this month. Monica will pack up for another trip next week, driving her mom to her new home in Inverness, Florida. This trip for Monica will mean that we both will have driven from CA to the east coast (or vice-versa) a total of 7 times! Monica will spend a week with her mom getting her settled in and then fly back home.
Our first 2 weeks of February were filled with notable milestones. Last week we did our very first outreach as DP Hollywood to a few homeless people living in tents under the 405 overpass that Monica connected with: Candi, Glen, Anita, Mark, Timothy, Vega and Anthony.
We (Doug, Monica, our friend Dan) went there and cooked hotdogs for them, along with giving out chips, drinks, oranges and cookies. We had a short debrief afterwards and we felt like we made just a drop in an ocean of troubles. We would have felt defeated if the Lord had not given us the heart to know we were making a difference no matter how small. Three people helping seven people for one meal in a city of tens of thousands of homeless can seem futile.
Monica is now the “manager in training” at Love the City Thrift Store! NOW we know why God put us here in Culver City for this first year and why Monica kept getting turned down from all these jobs she was overqualified for. Her administrative gift and organizing ability is being put to good use. God is faithful. Our friend and Pastor (Vintage Faith) Matt Kladnik, approached her about working there a few weeks ago. The current manager is taking his family on the missions field (Spain) this summer and they thought Monica would be the perfect fit (she is). We’ve even talked to Matt about opening up a Hollywood “Love the City” Thrift store in the future.
On February 14th (yes, Valentine’s Day) Monica and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary! We spent part of our day hiking the Franklin Canyon Reservoir. You may think that you have no clue what that is, but most of you have seen it before! It’s the “lake” that all the water scenes were filmed in for the Andy Griffith show, including the iconic opening credits where Andy and Opie are walking during the whistling theme song. This “lake” (more like a really big pond) is located in the Hollywood (Beverly) Hills. We had a picnic and enjoyed the scenery and wildlife.
We are grateful for 24 years of God’s faithfulness to us and to all who have helped us along the way through prayer, counsel, encouragement, generosity and love.
We love and appreciate you all so much for standing with us in what we know God has called us to do! As we have had to overcome obstacles, we realize that the enemy does not want us here, but God keeps confirming our calling to this area and to these people!
God has begun to connect us with like-hearted people in ministry in this city. First the Kladnik’s, their Church we are attending on Sunday’s (Vintage Faith), the thrift store (owned by the church) and a sweet couple at the church who we were connected with, Debbie and Bruce. Debbie has a vision for a homeless community that is self-sustaining and we are meeting for coffee soon to share ideas. I feel that the Lord is beginning to give me strategy and that He is going to bring the people and resources to make this happen! Super exciting stuff.
It is official: With 2 months of rain (and snow in the north), we have wiped out over 10 years of drought in California!!! (read last month’s testimony just below)
Levy and Dwelling Place Hollywood March 2017 Update
Spring has sprung! And with 3 months of intense rain here, it has wiped out 10 years of drought conditions in ALL of California and everything is as green as we’ve ever seen it!
Monica has just returned from her 2 week trip moving her mom to Inverness, Florida. They had a great trip and Monica got her mom all settled into her new home there where she is living with family. With Monica being gone and Doug “batching” it up for 2 weeks, we did not have any gatherings or outreaches, but we are ready to get back on track for both of those things.
We want to share some testimony of God’s faithfulness and provision for us:
We received a precious financial blessing from a longtime friend of ours from our days at Central United Methodist Church in Radford that was perfectly timed to help us at the beginning of the year. And then we were given a Christmas card from good friends in Virginia that had been sent to our former church in Torrance (Coast) in early March that had another substantial financial gift in it that also was a huge help to us at the right time! He gives “good and perfect gifts” in His timing!
We know that God has planted us in Culver City (just southwest of Hollywood) for this next short season and we feel that 2 of the primary reasons are 1) Monica’s job with the Love the City Thrift Store and 2) Being able to support our longtime friends and ministry partners, Pastors Matt & Grace Kladnik (who just had baby #2 this last week!) at Vintage Faith Church here in Culver City with their vision to reach their city (Numbers 32).
We now think we’ve discovered reason #3. The back house studio that we now reside in was occupied by some new friends we’ve just come to know this year named David & Cassandra. They both have been attending Ascend Malibu (the church we helped to start). They had to move out unexpectedly and we became the beneficiaries of that by inheriting this great little place.
Cassandra came back down to L.A. from Central California for some business and stayed with us for the weekend. We were not aware but she is an actress who has quite a few mainstream credits to her name! She just recently came to the Lord in the last year or two and is on fire, including traveling to her native Philippines to do mission work. Monica got a chance to minister to her while she was here. We feel like this is a budding relationship and partnership for ministry into the entertainment industry.
We will continue to be faithful in partnering with our friends and co-laborers here in Los Angeles and Hollywood to love the unlovable, the broken and hurting; minister the gospel; pray for the sick; encourage the weary; set the captives free; and look for long term solutions to the systemic issues here, such as the broken Foster Care system and Homelessness.
Will you join with us in prayer, in agreement for God’s kingdom to come and His perfect will to be done in Hollywood? In greater Los Angeles?
LEVY and DWELLING PLACE HOLLYWOOD APRIL & MAY 2017 UPDATE
Thanks for understanding that this update comes a few weeks later than we usually send it out. We’ve been very busy during these last 6 weeks with work, preparing our taxes, ministry and trying to find time to do stuff with each other apart from our busy schedules.
Doug took Monica for some archery lessons for her birthday. Monica had expressed an interest in learning the art while we were back in Virginia. We both shot for an hour and Monica could be volunteering for Tribune for the Hunger games soon! ;-)
Monica’s early and later “groupings” on the left and Doug’s groupings on the right. Doug has a bit more experience shooting the bow then Monica does, but her instructor was very impressed in her first outing.
Since our last update, Doug was invited back on 2 different occasions to co-lead worship and to be the main speaker on two different Sunday mornings at our former church, Ascend Malibu Fellowship.
These were redeeming moments for us as God allowed us to come back and be blessed in a place where we had a difficult transition out in 2012. Apologies were given from the leadership in relationship to how certain situations were handled when we left and God showed up to minister to many people on both Sundays.
We also had a chance to visit and support some good friends at their Sunday morning service who also came from the east coast (Pennsylvania) to plant here in Los Angeles. Nathan and Jessica Kollar started Clarity Church in Santa Monica 7 years ago and we were there at their first service. They just joined a church planting movement called “City Reach” with a goal of planting as many churches in L.A. as possible in the next few years. Thank you Lord for raising up laborers for the Harvest! (Luke 10:2)
We continue to follow God in this BIG FAITH call to Hollywood (Los Angeles). In our last update we told you of Monica’s new job at the Love the City Thrift Store here in Culver City. She was training to be the manager when the current manager was to go on the missions field (Spain) this coming summer. Well, long story short: the current manager won’t be leaving until next year, so Monica met with Pastor Matt and they decided that it would be best if Monica stepped down from working there.
We have total peace about the decision (as we are not in control of the departure schedule) and Monica has gone back to promoting her organizing business (www.designyourlifebymonica.com) and has begun to drive for Lyft which has created a friendly in-home rivalry.
We’ve added a few people to our Monday night gatherings at our home, with a courtyard dinner and fellowship around a fire pit. 2 weeks ago we ate dinner and then took a trip up to the Radiance International House of Prayer (we highlighted their ministry a few updates ago) on the Sunset Strip. The presence of God was so thick there that several of us “melted into the carpet” as Monica put it.
We realized that the people that are gathering at our home have these “small world connections” whether they are from Malibu, Westside or South Bay. Already those coming are talking about inviting a few of their friends to join us in the near future!
We met with a couple from Vintage Faith Church a few weeks ago. Bruce is a sound engineer for one of the movie studios and we listened to a “God dream” of his wife Debbie. There is a former L.A. Jail (Lincoln Heights) that has been out of commission since 1965. It’s in BAD shape. Her God dream, which bears witness with our heart, is to see this place reclaimed and refurbished to become a transition facility for the homeless in L.A. If done right, it could potentially house near 2,000 people!
There are close to 85,000 people on the streets in L.A., but if we could begin the process of transitioning people OFF the streets and into gainful employment (we would be doing mentoring and job training) then this could become a model for other locations to follow suit! It is definitely a God dream that can only come about through His supernatural intervention!
All of our friends “under the overpass” that we had begun to build relationship with have moved on; to where we don’t know. It seems like the City has begun to “clean up” some of the areas where the homeless have been camping.
Would you pray for the churches, the government, businesses and people with resources to come together to find solutions to this big social issue? Will you join with us in prayer, in agreement for God’s kingdom to come and His perfect will to be done in Hollywood? In greater Los Angeles?
LEVY and DWELLING PLACE HOLLYWOOD 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (JUNE 2017)
(technically… our arrival back to SoCal)
Summer is here and though it’s hard to believe, it’s been one year since we moved back to Los Angeles! We are doing well. Busy, but trying hard not to be. God is teaching us "rest" even in the midst of having to work hard.
Time with Him is most important. We are both back to flexible schedules, which helps. It frees us up to do stuff together, and to minister to folks as the needs arise. Monica at one point was getting ministry phone calls every day and is meeting women weekly to minister to them. We will also be doing premarital counseling with Taryn (an OC native who we met back east) and her fiance’ Robert.
Monica just got back from helping her mom move from California to Florida and now Doug had flew out to Virginia 2 weeks ago to help his middle older brother Scott pack and move to Dallas. He was gone for almost 2 weeks and it was a great time of fellowship with his brother. This was also God ordained. A few weeks ago Doug had a dream that his brother Scott just started “doling out” $20 bills to Doug. He told Monica about the dream. A week later, Scott called Doug and asked him to help with the move and told him he would pay him $1,000 to make up for him missing work. God, you’re so cool.
Monica continues to have doors open to her. She has shifted from driving only for Lyft to driving for Hop, Skip, Drive, which is a company where women drive "kids" around to school, home and after-school activities. She fells safer, and it allows her to pre-plan her schedule for the week.
There are SOOOO many people moving into L.A. right now. Netflix, Snap Chat, and many other companies now call L.A. home. Google and Amazon now have big offices down here. They now refer to this area as "Silicon Beach." Also the entertainment industry and the City have teamed up to bring back a ton of movie and TV jobs that had been moving out of State. Rents have gone up considerably and houses are even MORE unaffordable for the average person on a normal income.
The homeless population has now increased to roughly 82,000 people on the street every day in the City. The homeless population went up by 23% in the city of L.A. this year (which includes Hollywood) and the homeless youth population went up 61% in the County of Los Angeles!!!
The Foster Care system is broken here, as we’ve mentioned before. 1/3 of the teens who age out of the system end up on the streets, many of them on drugs or in prostitution (trafficked).
Statistics show that of the thousands of young people who stream into Hollywood yearly hoping to be “discovered,” only 1 in a 1,000 actually achieve their goal of stardom. That is why Hollywood Blvd. is known as the Boulevard of “Broken Dreams.”
CHURCH IN L.A.
God is doing some great stuff here in L.A./Hollywood and we don’t want to diminish that work at all. There is so much kingdom work to be done here! With 30 Million people in the greater Los Angeles area (including Orange County), this is truly a GIANT missions field and the fields are ripe for harvest!
There are great prayer movements happening here (PIHOP, Radiance Intl. House of Prayer, Hollywood Prayer Network to name a few). A fewer big name churches have moved into L.A.as well: Saddleback (Rick Warren’s church in O.C.) now has a campus here; Hillsongs is here now. Even though there are many churches here and great churches here, the need is bigger!
We continue to meet weekly with a small group of friends on Monday nights. The church we’ve been attending on Sunday morning, Vintage Faith in Culver City, has graciously given us a space in another building they own down the street where we are starting to meet every other Monday. We simply do not have the space at our backhouse to have a larger gathering.
This new building is adjacent to a park, so we have plenty of space inside and outside! At our first meeting 2 Monday’s ago we had a chance to minister to 2 homeless women who are sisters, Chris & Carol, giving them food, sleeping bags and getting a chance to pray for them.
At our meeting we were celebrating our friend Bryan Neal’s birthday, and he ended up giving them 2 gifts! They were experiencing back pain from dragging belongings around and sleeping on the hard ground and Bryan gave them 2 Velcro back braces that he had with him! Tis better to give than receive (Acts 20:25).
VENICE BEACH OUTREACH
On Sunday June 4th, we did our 4th outreach on the Boardwalk of Venice Beach. We set up a table with a poster board sign that read: FREE prayer, water, healing and words of encouragement. The first open vendor space was right next to a Wiccan/Druid who had pentagrams all over his table, along with Tarot cards. We introduced ourselves and gave him a free water out of the gate. We found out the artist on the other side of him was also a believer. God sandwiched "Josh" between us. Pray for Josh to have more God encounters!
Although we did not have any musicians to do a ‘worship circle’, we prayed over Venice Beach and were confident that we brought more of God’s Kingdom there! We handed out free waters, gave out Scripture encouragement cards and got to pray with several people throughout the day. We are planning on making this outreach a regular event! Pray that the Lord raise up the “laborers for the harvest” who will join us!
LEVY and DWELLING PLACE HOLLYWOOD JULY 2017 UPDATE
As summer marches on and the temperatures rise here, we continue to be amazed at God’s faithfulness! Monica had a word from the Lord that “something” was going to shift on June 30th and boy, did it! Our 2 businesses (Monica: organizing and Doug: Window Cleaning) were essentially dormant over the last 8 months, sprang to life!
Monica is currently working with 3 different women in an organizing capacity around L.A. with more jobs on the horizon. They have been so impressed with her skills, her smarts and ability to get work done.
Doug was praying asking the Lord if he should just “shut down the window business” when he got a call from a cleaning company in Beverly Hills (yeah) asking for help on an important last minute job. He ended up cleaning a Billionaire’s mansion in Bel Air that Jay-Z and Beonce’ just moved out of! The gentlemen that runs this company, Phillip, said he is going to keep Doug busy.
That is not the only thing that has shifted. We moved our weekly gatherings to Thursday nights at our new building in Culver City. We have been given this meeting space rent free by good friends. We know eventually God will actually move our “House Church” into a House, but for now we feel His grace to use this space.
A little testimony:
Three weeks ago, when we realized that all of our regulars were not going to be able to meet on a Monday night (we had scheduled a “Treasure Hunt”), I asked the Lord, “What do you want us to do?” God spoke to me, “Take your wife to a movie.”
We had 2 free movie tickets that someone had blessed Monica with from her time at the Thrift Store, and we’d been wanting to see “Wonder Woman.” We had to travel to Downtown to get to the theater where the passes were good and Monica just happened to get off early enough from her work that we would make it on time with traffic.
We get to the theater and reserve our seats in our usual row, slightly off center because a group of 3 had taken our usual preferred seating. No worries. Half way through the trailers, in walks the party of 3 seated next to us. I look up and say “No way?!”
2 of the 3 are guys I knew from our time in Malibu (musicians, good friends). After we all start laughing and hugging, we enjoy the movie (amazing!) and make our way outside. One of the gentlemen, Robert, had been hosting a Bible study in his Culver City home for the last 4 years, but just recently took a lengthy break.
He tells us, “I’ve been praying and thinking that I just need to send all of my people over to your meeting.”
Our weekly meeting has now doubled in attendance.
Monica and I have also reconnected with some of our folks from Dwelling Place New River Valley in Christiansburg, VA who were originally from SoCal to begin with.
We met Jenny Feng (VT) two weeks ago for dinner. Monica has had a few meetings with her since our arrival here last year.
We are currently pre-marital counseling with Taryn Rein (former roomie in C’burg) and her fiancé, Robert. He is a multi-instrument musician, so he and Doug hit it off right away.
We had a visit a few weeks ago from Tim and Emily Overstreet as they made their way back to Virginia from Redding (Bethel). It was a great time of fellowship and showing them a bit of SoCal over a few days.
We are expecting some Southwest Virginia visitors this Fall as well. Jason and Deann Johnson will be coming the first part of September to do some street ministry with us again (this is their 3rd trip to L.A.).
Our spiritual papa Rick Sizemore will be joining us around the 1st of October.
We know that God has called us to minister to people with the Industry and we’ve just been waiting for him to open the doors.
Last year Monica got paired with a lady (actress; believer) within the industry through The Hollywood Prayer Network (www.hollywoodprayernetwork.org; please prayerfully consider signing up to be a prayer partner).
You can also download a prayer calendar from Master Media Ministries that gives you someone within the industry (unsaved) to pray for every day!
Monica has been ministering over the phone to her for a while and she had been having a rough go of it. Her husband is a writer, Producer and both of them have been struggling to find work. It took a toll on them and they were feeling defeated.
The husband asked if we would be willing to come out and meet with them. We’ve only been out to fellowship with them twice, but God is already moving powerfully. They have had some deep wounds that God is in the beginning stages of healing. Even lifelong struggles are being revealed and healed.
We sense God’s hand over this couple (they are extremely creative, with some potential major projects in the wings and in the works). We feel like this is the “tip of the spear” of what God wants to do with “Hollywood” and not only with believers but with those who are hurting and searching.
We feel the momentum is picking up, we are so excited to see fruit budding on the vine! Please keep us in prayer and thank you so much for being a part of this ministry and our lives. We are praying for a little 12 year old girl named Leah needing a heart transplant and see some healing taking place in her. One or our new members has just been told he has cancer after another surgery he went in for and a host of financial issues including no medical insurance. We have several single mommies in our fellowship and they would so appreciate prayer (4 of them). May God bless you and know that this is your ministry too!
LEVY and DWELLING PLACE HOLLYWOOD AUGUST 2017 UPDATE
As summer comes to a close here (at least as far as the calendar is concerned) and we get ready to head into the fall season, we are finally getting some cooler temps here in L.A. We are staying busy with work and ministry.
We just had another visit from a Dwelling Place family member. Emily Toffinetti stopped by to see us on her way back to Japan! We had a great few days with her sharing testimonies, talking about the kingdom and doing some fun stuff together. Emily is no stranger to SoCal as she came out from Virginia to do street ministry with us here the last few years before going overseas to do fulltime missions work in Okinawa, Japan teaching at a Christian School there. Keep Emily and Japan in your prayers.
Our Ministry / Our Calling
We have a great testimony! Leah, the 12-year old that we have been praying for as a group who needed a heart miracle and was on a 9-12 month wait list, got her heart!!! She is recovering well. Continue to keep her in your prayers that her body will accept her new heart.
Last month we shared about our moving our weekly meetings to every Thursday at the building that friends are loaning to us. We sent out a vision letter (attached) to those who have been coming and told them of our calling to do “small and intimate.” In other words, we have a building that could easily fit 100 +, yet we feel led of the Lord to intentionally limit the number of people we have.
We are called to discipleship and to build leadership in this season. We are facing some challenges of keeping it “homey” in a big space, but ending the nights around a fire pit making s’mores and praying for one another certainly helps.
Doug did a series on Psalm 1 that included separate teachings on Seasons, Paths and Wildernesses.
We are planning another Venice Beach outreach on Sunday September 10th. Jason and Deann Johnson from DPNRV will be out here that week as we gather worshippers, evangelists, prophetically gifted people, prayer warriors and those with a heart to love on folks at the boardwalk of Venice Beach. Pray for us and ‘God encounters’ for all.
Lots more testimonies to come as we have a lot coming up in September and October.
LEVY and DWELLING PLACE HOLLYWOOD SEPT 2017 UPDATE
Fall has indeed fallen here in SoCal, along with the temps. Happy Fall Y’all!
We are staying busy with both work and ministry. It’s not easy to keep our heads above water here because of the high cost of living, but the Lord sure has been faithful in providing for us. Both of our businesses continue to get steady work.
But it’s not only that, God just keeps giving us little kisses from heaven: extra blessings, above and beyond His provision. We were given 2 free concert tickets (a $150 value) by a client of Monica’s and had an enjoyable night out reliving the 80’s music scene. Also this week, we received an email from Bethel Music offering us 2 free tickets (a $400 value) to the Heaven Come conference in L.A. next week! And if that wasn’t enough, one of Monica’s friends gave her a ticket (an $80 value) to go to a concert featuring Kim Walker-Smith and Urban Rescue on the 26th anniversary of her spiritual birthday!
We also received a call from a National Christian Grant organization that said someone wants to give our church a gift (we checked them out… they’re legit). We have NO idea the size of the donation, but the fact that the Lord picked us out was VERY encouraging!
We enjoyed hosting our friends from our "mother church" in Virginia, Jason and Deann Johnson for the last 2 weeks! This was their 3rd time coming to serve and do "street ministry" in L.A. They served meals to the homeless at Hope International Bible Fellowship, served and prayed for people at the Adopt-a-block outreach with The Dream Center, helped us love on folks and pray for them at our Venice Beach Outreach and helped us at our Thursday night gatherings.
We even got to do some fun stuff with them as well: Doug & Jason went “prospecting” (gold panning) in the east fork of the San Gabriel River just outside of Los Angeles. Jason went home with a few flakes of gold dug from the ground! Monica and Deann went paddle boarding in the ocean. Deann even got to hang out with a sea lion in the harbor as he swam around her paddle board.
God sent a Spanish couple from the church we are attending on Sunday morning (Vintage Faith Foursquare) to our gathering this last Thursday night. They informed us that the Lord had laid us on their hearts to intercede on our behalf. Aton and Heidi told us that they want to be prayer warriors in our corner. What a blessing!
We have another GREAT testimony! 2 months ago, we informed you that one of our attendees on Thursday’s was diagnosed with Lymphoma. He told us 2 weeks ago that the doctors told him he is CANCER FREE! Another miracle!
Next month we are going to do a ministry retreat with several of the people we’ve been ministering to here at a Retreat Center run by our friends in Santa Barbara, CA (about 2 hours north of L.A.). It’s a beautiful setting high up in the mountains right next to the ocean.
It will be a full weekend (Oct 6-9) of teaching and ministry on some important foundational truths.
Please pray for protection over those attending, leading up to and on the retreat. We’ve seen God begin to bring freedom to those who are planning on coming and we know that He has more in store for each of them!
LEVY and DWELLING PLACE HOLLYWOOD OCT 2017 UPDATE
Well, we had a week or two of cooler temps before having summer come back and visit us again (in the 90’s on and off for the last few weeks). Monica and Doug continue to stay busy with their work. Doug has shifted to doing more driving, including being hired by the Trade Commission of Peru’s office here in L.A. driving some Peruvian businessmen around the greater Los Angeles area for a few days. The Lord is faithful.
We just finished our first DP Hollywood Retreat (Encounter, if you will) and it was amazing! 3 couples joined Monica on top of a mountain just north of Santa Barbara (about 2 hours north of L.A.).
Our good friends Chuck & Sally Cook took over an old Presbyterian Camp and are currently renovating it to turn it into a place where they will minister to underage girls who have been rescued out of sex trafficking, called Hope Refuge (www.hoperefuge.org).
They have a beautiful property high up on the mountain overlooking the ocean that is anointed for ministry. We arrived on a Friday and ministered through Sunday. We had 8 teaching sessions, 5 worship sessions and an impromptu baptism!
All 3 couples came away filled and got ministered to deeply! We even got to baptize Taryn’s fiancé Robert, in the camp pool. We can’t wait to go back up and do another retreat.
As we approach the holiday season, our hearts are moved to minister to those on the streets of L.A. who have to endure an upcoming cooler, rainy season, with no family to celebrate with. Would you partner in prayer with us for more people and churches to get involved with ministering to the homeless?
Also the kids in Foster Care, many of which will be away from their real families during the holidays need to know they are loved.
Finally, our lease for our backhouse studio comes up at the end of December. We are very grateful for this place, but we need something bigger. We have the gift of hospitality, but need a place where we have room to exercise it. Please pray for God to show us the right place to move to. Hollywood is our target, but we are open to wherever the Lord leads.
Thank you for your love, prayers, encouragement and support!
LEVY and DWELLING PLACE HOLLYWOOD NOVEMBER 2017 UPDATE
Happy Thanksgiving! We are truly thankful and grateful for each one of you that support us through your generous giving and your prayers! We pray God’s richest blessings over you as you seek to expand His kingdom in your spheres of influence.
We both continue to stay busy with our work, working 2 jobs each to make ends meet. God is faithful and continues to bring work our way that allows us to afford living here in L.A. We are fully aware that our lines have “fallen in pleasant places” and that our dependence is on God to be Jehovah Jireh to us!
Two of our favorite people got married on the same day, 11/11 of this year. Taryn (whom we met at DPNRV during our time in Virginia) married her fiancé Robert. Monica and I had the honor of officiating their ceremony here in SoCal. It was beautiful and a blessing to all.
Our good friend David Stoddard (from our old church Coast in Torrance) got married up in Redding, CA. Since we couldn’t make his wedding, we traveled up to Redding at the end of October to spend some time with him and meet his fiancé Mary. We camped with David at Whiskeytown Lake for a few days and got to pray over them both.
While we were in Redding, we went to Bethel (of course) and visited our dear friend Arturo Mesta. Art is a burn survivor with an incredible testimony, that maybe we can share in detail in the future. While ministering to Art, we found out he had never been water baptized. So, Doug had the honor of baptizing Art in the Sacramento (Sacrament) River!
This was our first Thanksgiving in a while in SoCal that we were not serving the poor and homeless, but instead went up to Big Bear in the San Bernardino mountains to be with Monica’s family at her brother’s cabin.
Doug attends a gathering of Pastors on the “Westside” that gets together monthly to encourage and pray for one another. A home church that had been meeting for many years decided it was time to shut down and as a result gave us a bunch of church items that they no longer needed.
We ended up with a keyboard, 2 folding tables, communion supplies, a big coffee maker, several cases of Bibles, 2 portable screens and an easel, among other smaller items. We were actually praying for some of these and were thinking of purchasing some of these things. God provides!
We got to partner with our friends at Burgers & Bibles and hand out food and Bibles to the homeless on Skid Row in downtown L.A. last month too. We hope for this to be a regular outreach from our Thursday night gatherings.
We had the privilege of attending 2 events in Hollywood in the same location over the last month that we believe is key for the city we feel called to. The first event was a dedication of a shared space building run by a Christian couple, which allows Christian artists and those in industry production to rent space for their work, with a prolonged worship time with David Brymer of Pasadena International House of Prayer.
The second event was a ministry event with our good friend Chad Dedmon, Jamie Galloway and a Bethel Supernatural School of Ministry team. We took 5 people from our Gathering and all of them got ministered to powerfully, including prophetic ministry and healing.
We believe that God is going to connect the right people to bring revival to Hollywood and the Industry, but also minister to the practical needs of the poor, needy and homeless in that community.
Pray for us and pray for Hollywood. With all the things that are coming to light in Hollywood, there is definitely a shift that is coming in Hollywood, which may be more open than ever to a move of God.
Thank you for your love, prayers, encouragement and support!
LEVY and DWELLING PLACE HOLLYWOOD DECEMBER 2017 UPDATE
Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all (y’all to our Southern friends and family)! We are now finishing our first “full” year of being back in SoCal and we moved into our own place on January 2nd of 2017, so it really does feel like a BIG milestone. Soooo much has happened in our lives this last year. We have testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness towards us that has deepened our faith and trust in Him and has us ready for this next year in full confidence of His plans and provision.
As we come to this year’s end, a new beginning has already taken place for Monica. Through a longtime family friend (Fred Kaplan, Messianic Jew, Blues & Jazz keyboardist extraordinaire) a window job came to Doug. Through that job, Monica was presented an opportunity to work alongside Fred’s wife Jennifer. She now has quite a commute up to and back from Oxnard during the week, but it is steady fulltime work that pays very well, utilizing her organizing skillset.
AND Monica gets to drive our NEW Jeep to work every day! While driving our old Jeep a few weeks ago, a lady pulled in front of Monica and hit our beloved 2008 Jeep. Monica was not hurt (sore), but the Jeep suffered a fatal crack to the engine block. We got a great settlement from the other party’s insurance company and we immediately started looking for a replacement. We found one that was an upgrade in every way. Newer, less miles, even better amenities. We took it up the mountains to Big Bear over Christmas and broke it in on a few off-roading trail rides.
We wrapped up our year with our small gathering by cooking some donated hotdogs and taking them out to the homeless encampments in Venice Beach. We ran into one family that has had a rough go of it. Randall, his wife sold everything from their place in Oklahoma, paid off their 5 kids college debts and headed west with nothing but their car and just over $5,000 looking for a fresh start. Once they got here, they made a mistake of going to the restrooms and leaving their bag with their money in it unattended. Someone stole their bag with all the money they had and now they are living on the streets. We got to pray with them, but hearing these stories is heartbreaking and we want to help these people with more than a meal.
We will continue our outreaches with food, clothing, sleeping bags, blankets and tents, but please pray for us to be able to bring organizations together who can really find solutions to get these people the help they need and off of the streets for good.
We also had a great Chanukah & Christmas party to end the year, with great food, fellowship, karaoke, worship and a white elephant gift exchange.
BIG NEWS: Our gathering will be moving into a HOUSE in 2018, February to be exact! Our friend Robert (who hails from Wytheville originally) will be opening up his home here in Culver City for our weekly gathering. Yay God and thanks Robert!
We will still be using the building our friends at Vintage Faith have allowed us to meet in for worship events and outreach to the Westside.