LEVY AND DP HOLLYWOOD JANUARY 2018 UPDATE
2018 is here and we are already seeing many “new” things in this New Year! There are some major changes coming soon for us.
We’ve decided the commute that Monica was making for her new job in Oxnard (Ventura County) was too much (15-20 hours a week driving to and from), so she has transitioned back into her Organizing business (Design your life by Monica). One of her clients here has promised to single handedly keep her busy and refer Monica to all of her friends.
We recently attended a Pastor’s gathering for Olive Crest (https://www.olivecrest.org) which is an organization that is moving to stem the tide of the Foster Care Crisis in Los Angeles. The County has 35,000 kids in the Foster Care system. That number is staggering. The event was hosted by the Dream Center (https://dreamcenter.org) and the event drew about 150 pastors from the region. The keynote speaker was Bishop Martin from Possum Trot, Texas (yes, you read that right). The story of what his small church is doing there to address the crisis of Foster care is remarkable. You can watch it here:
We are hoping to have a large enough place by the end of this year to start taking in Foster kids. Please agree for doors to open for us to get a place in Hollywood with an extra bedroom (or two) this year.
We were blessed this last week to host our “spiritual papa” Rick Sizemore out here for 6 days. It’s always great to get to hang out with him, but he came and brought encouragement, wisdom and discernment and basically left us built up and full of faith when he left!
(Rick at Griffith Observatory/Hollywood sign; Teaching at our weekly meeting; with Taryn Reign; with Doug at the basketball game)
We showed him around L.A. and Hollywood and even got to bless him by taking in a Clippers vs. Celtics NBA game at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles (Center Court Premiere seating, Club Level) at a fraction of the retail ticket price. AND God even provided the ticket money the next evening when someone at our gathering (where Rick taught 2 sessions) gave us the exact amount we paid for the tickets and said “Bless Rick with this.” We said “We already did!” Kisses from Heaven!
We “live streamed” Rick’s teaching (The God of Abundance) and you can see it on Doug’s Facebook timeline. Many people logged on to listen, including some from our Eagle’s Nest Campus Ministry days (VT & RU), people from DPNRV, people whom we know from SoCal and even a pastor from Kenya, who wants Rick to come minister to his church there! ;-)
We are taking a 3 week break from our weekly meetings so that Doug & Monica can celebrate their 25th Anniversary (Valentine’s Day). Where has the time gone? God has been faithful to us. We are blessed and our lines have fallen in pleasant places. He has absolutely been the glue that has held us together (Colossians 1:17).
When we start up our meetings, we will have 2 weekly gatherings in the Westside: Wednesday nights in an actual house (for our HOUSE church) and then Thursday nights in the building we have been meeting in for weekly worship events and outreach.
One of the people here that God has connected us with is Robert Steele. Robert is a worshipper, has led a Bible study in his home for many years and is passionate about evangelism on the streets of L.A. He also has spent a good chunk of his life in Wytheville, VA! Us Virginians gotta stick together (in the Kingdom)!
Robert opened up his home for DP Hollywood (Westside) and will head up our Thursday worship nights and outreach, along with a young man that I’ve been discipling since our days in Malibu, Philip Bloeser. Philip is a phenomenal guitarist, who feels like he may be called into fulltime ministry.
Here is some of Robert’s worship that he just wrote and recorded this year (Band: We Live Forever)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-x350Skr5Z0XBdnCIfaYJg (Their channel)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxCQTnkPzww (His song “Awe and Wonder” sang by artists around the world!)
Here are some of Philip’s guitar solo videos from about 7 years ago!
As always: Thank you for your prayers, your love, your encouragement and your support. We are still believing for a major revival to break out here in L.A/Hollywood and for the world to be changed by it, just as they were because of Azusa Street!
LEVY AND DP HOLLYWOOD FEBRUARY 2018 UPDATE
We are officially back from our 3 weeks off to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. We were able to get away for a very short “stay-cation” out in Palm Springs and it was very refreshing. With Rick’s visit and our needed break, we now feel reinvigorated to pursue the Lord and co-labor with Him in what He is doing in L.A./Hollywood in this season!
We are standing in faith that the Lord will soon open up a door for us to move up to Hollywood. We are actually believing for a house IN the Hollywood Hills! God told us to dream big and not to be limited by our circumstances (budget, income, etc.), so we are going to dream with Him! We desire to fill a house with Foster Kids, host a weekly DPHWD gathering and use it for His glory. Please be in agreement with us concerning this important step for us.
Doug is working on a couple different writing projects (blogs, articles, teachings) which should be available to read soon.
We officially have transitioned to our Wednesday night “Home Church” meetings here on the Westside 3 weeks ago. We celebrated Purim (Jewish Holiday celebrating the Book of Esther) and have about 7 regular attenders at the moment.
We are meeting on Thursday nights in the building we were using to do “worship & prayer” nights. We will also be doing a once a month food outreach to the homeless.
More exciting news: We will be launching our 2nd Home church meeting next week back in Torrance, where we used to live and where Monica grew up! We have 3 couples that will be joining us to launch. They all are solid, mature believers who all have the potential to host should we outgrow our initial location.
There are SO many needs here in L.A./Hollywood. We have so many dreams to see God meet those needs! We haven’t asked for specific prayer requests in a while, so I think that I will dedicate the next Newsletter to highlighting some of the prayer needs that WE have, as well as what is needed for L.A. and California in general. Suffice it to say, this place needs A LOT of prayer, for all kinds of reasons.
We are thankful for all of you who continue to lift us up before the throne of Heaven and ask the Father to intervene on our behalf and on behalf of all the lost here. We need revival now more than ever.
LEVY AND DP HOLLYWOOD MARCH 2018 UPDATE
Spring has sprung! I know some of my Virginia peeps may not believe that yet! Oh, it looks like you guys got “Punxed” by Punxsutawney Phil! I know in our last update I said that this Newsletter would be dedicated to giving you guys some detailed info on L.A./Hollywood and California so you could pray more specifically, but there are so many amazing testimonies that I will have to put that off for one more cycle, so that we can share all that God is doing in our midst!
There is a real possibility that we could see 2 miracles happen in the next coming months:
1) One of our friends has a real estate connection and was told there is a vacant house in a good neighborhood, which could lead to a possibility of us getting a house of our own. We are going to get a proposal out there that would potentially get us in this house for the specific purpose of doing Foster care.
2) We are applying for an opening with a new Foster Care organization here in Los Angeles who would actually give us a good salaried position to mentor kids in the system.
Please be in agreement with us concerning God’s will. If these are doors He is opening, we need His favor. If not, we still believe He is calling us to Foster as many kids as possible and feel led to move to Hollywood.
Monica is staying very busy with her organizing business, but Doug is having some issues with Rideshare (Uber/Lyft). Pray that if the Lord is closing the doors with rideshare as an income that He would show us specifically what He is doing. We know that making more time for ministry is becoming a necessity as we are now up to 3 nights of meetings during the week.
Art Update: Our dear friend Art Mesta, who is a burn victim and just had a double lung transplant, was sent home 3 weeks early from his recovery/therapy! Praise God! He still has some financial needs, so we have kept his GoFundMe page open for donations, if you feel led:
We are now meeting on Monday nights (Torrance), Wed & Thursday nights in Culver City. Monday we are training up 3 couples who all are seasoned Saints. Wednesday nights are for our creatives (musicians, worship leaders) and entrepreneurs. Thursday nights we support our friend Robert, who leads a worship & prayer night for Burn 24/7 Westside.
We had so many confirmations where God showed us the specific plans that He has for these 2 different groups. In our Monday night group we are discipling leaders and raising up other “Mothers and Fathers.” In our Wednesday night group, we are developing worship leaders and training up “Marketplace Ministers.” I’m excited to see what our future house groups will look like!
We took some of our folks to see Jerame & Miranda Nelson minister last week at the Radiance International House of Prayer on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. The Nelson’s have been experiencing full blown revival in San Diego for over 2 years, where they see miracles and healings weekly (services 5 days a week)! Jerame & Miranda previously ministered at both our old churches in SoCal, Coast in Torrance and Ascend in Malibu. The hunger in the room was palpable and God’s presence manifested strongly. It was a great night!
One of the things that we know for sure about Los Angeles/Hollywood is that revival is needed. That’s true of our whole nation, but especially true of California and the trend setting city of L.A. Nothing will change for the better without it.
One of the other things that is true is that it will take the “Church of L.A.” coming together to steward any revival that the Lord sends.
Please pray in agreement for these 2 things. Next month, prepare yourselves to see just how challenging it is to live and do ministry here in California.
LEVY AND DP HOLLYWOOD APRIL & MAY 2018 UPDATE
We have been wanting to give you an update that really painted the picture of what it is really like to live and do ministry here in Southern California (specifically L.A./Hollywood). We’ve had some visitors here who have joined with us in doing some short-term ministry here and they’ve gotten a glimpse of some of the challenges of this mission field.
In this month’s newsletter we’d like to share with you some of those challenges and give you some key prayer points for interceding for us, DP Hollywood and the work of the Kingdom in general.
We had a challenging time initially upon returning to SoCal in June of 2016. Although in general there are more people leaving California then moving here (more on that later), it is not the case in Los Angeles, where people are moving to en mass. Our goal (based on several prophetic words and dreams) is to live in Hollywood, but it has been very difficult finding a potential place there.
God has been moving faithfully in us, through us and we see His hand in directing our steps thus far, but we also know that the enemy is not going to give up ground easily and he is entrenched in our communities here (Los Angeles/Hollywood specifically, California in general).
This update may be a little longer than our normal newsletter, but we feel that we are at a pivotal crossroads in California and we’d like to shed a little light, if you will, on the issues that could use your intercession.
Before I paint the picture of the needs, I’d like to share a little Biblical wisdom in relationship to spiritual warfare. If you’ve never read the book “Needless casualties of War” by John Paul Jackson, I highly recommend picking up a copy. In it JPJ warns of trying to address “principalities, powers and rulers” in the heavenly realms through prayer.
I bring this to your attention because we are asking for your prayer for us, L.A. and California, but I don’t want anyone to attempt to come against demonic rulers over our City or our State or the Entertainment Industry. I will give you specific details of how to pray for those things below, but be cautious of how you pray. God’s design for warfare as it relates to displacing rulers and principalities involves the Church mainly and it involves following His leading, not “zeal that is not in accordance with knowledge” (Romans 10:2).
There is a BIG difference between being an individual Soldier in God’s Army and walking as the Army. Soldiers don’t win battles or wars by themselves; Armies do. Yes, we are called to put on our Armor and carry our Sword (Ephesians 6:10-17). Yes, “the weapons of our warfare… are divinely powerful for the destruction of (strongholds)…” (2nd Corinthians 10:3-5). Yes, God has given us authority as believers (Luke 10:19, 20), BUT it is tied to the “earthly realm.”
“The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” –Psalm 115:16
We have authority as individuals to heal the sick, to bind and loose, cast out demons, etc. but God has not given us authority as individuals to displace “rulers and principalities” in the heavenly (spirit) realm. This is a far bigger teaching than I have the room or time for here, but suffice it to say, this is where many Christians get into trouble while engaging in this type of spiritual warfare.
First, they go at it alone and that opens themselves up to all kinds of push back from the enemy and secondly, they have not walked in the progressive identities of the Church that allow for God to bring victory in the bigger spiritual battles that we may face. (Some of this is from a teaching, soon to be book that I am teaching out of here on the 5 major Foundational Identities of the Church: Family, Bride, Body, Temple, and Army).
“…so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places…” –Ephesians 3:10 (emphasis mine)
God established thrones and dominions on earth and in the Heavenlies.
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” –Colossians 1:16
When Adam & Eve fell in the Garden, they gave authority of the earth over to the devil. Jesus took it back through His death and Resurrection, but the actual taking of ground (cities and regions) had to be done by the Church through establishing God’s Kingdom (Matthew 6:10) here on the earth.
Just as when we give the devil a legal right (literally “a place or geographic location”; Ephesians 4:27) by opening a door for him with sin in our individual lives, we can give the demonic realm a legal right over a city or region, through corporate idol worship, mass sin participation, false religions, polluting the land with the shedding of innocent blood, etc.
These principalities and rulers of the demonic realms who have been allowed by mankind to preside over cities and regions, can only be displaced by God as His Church partners with Him in warfare in the Heavenly realm. BUT it looks a lot different than our modern Christian and Church culture has led us to believe. It is not a sanctuary full of zealous believers who are yelling at the devil at the top of their lungs, rather it is mainly 3 things that invite God to war on our behalf and bring about victory over demonic rulers and principalities:
Prayer & Fasting in agreement/Unity as the Church
Being Salt & Light and releasing Love
There is so much more here to unpack, but we don’t want to ask you to pray for California, Los Angeles and Hollywood (the industry) and set you up for an overwhelming spiritual battle. Again, I will give you the specifics of what to pray and how to pray towards the end.
Just to give you an idea of the spiritual intensity out here, I will paraphrase what our spiritual papa, Rick Sizemore, told us while he was here visiting (just a few months ago) and when he returned to Virginia. Rick has been all around the world preaching the gospel in some intense places: The Middle East (Syria, Lebanon, to name a few); former Yugoslavia (Serbia, Croatia, and Macedonia) and he told us that Los Angeles was the most intense spiritual atmosphere he has ever encountered!
He even felt the Lord revealed to him one of the chief rulers, if not THE chief ruler over Los Angeles, was a spirit of death. God gave Rick an unction to go to the La Brea Tar Pits (www.tarpits.org). We went there and just began walking and praying and asking God for revelation. It was here that Rick felt God reveal the spirit of death over Los Angeles and it was tied to this place.
I felt that God showed me how it was connected to modern L.A. The Tar Pits are a place where animals would think they were getting into a water resource only to get stuck in the tar that was just below the surface. They would cry out and attract predators (saber tooth tigers, wolves, and the like) who thought they would get an easy meal. The crazy thing is, in the excavation of the pits, they have found 4 times the amount of predator animals who died also getting trapped in the pit!
Los Angeles/Hollywood in the same way, attracts people here with the promise of one thing (stardom, success, fame and fortune) but just below the surface is a death trap. Our friend Karen Covell, who heads up the Hollywood Prayer Network (http://hollywoodprayernetwork.org) told us that statistics show that only 1 in 1,000 people who move to L.A. desiring to “make it” (get discovered) in the entertainment industry, actually achieve some level of success. The Hollywood Boulevard, which is known as the “Walk of Fame” (with the stars on the sidewalk) is also known here as “the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”
This is a City full of people who come and get stuck in the trap (the pits) and it is also full of predators who desire to take advantage of those who come here. We’ve witnessed believers who have come here desiring to make a difference for the Kingdom in the Entertainment Industry become disillusioned and began to compromise; some of them completely falling away from their faith.
Remember, the word for death in the Bible in Greek, means “separation and/or decay.” The spirit of death over L.A./Hollywood seeks not only to bring spiritual death and physical death upon people, it wants to “separate” people from their families, friends, dreams, and their faith.
Another spirit that is strong here is a “Transient” spirit (homelessness). As you will read below, California and Los Angeles in specific has the highest rate of homelessness in the Nation. Over 55,000 people on the streets of Los Angeles alone. It’s an epidemic here. And there is a spirit behind it. And that spirit not only affects those who live on the streets, it has an effect on people within the Christian community.
Many Christians here in SoCal have a problem being committed to a Church body. They church shop, church hop and in many cases have settled on “church stop” (stopped going). There are a LOT of “homeless” Christians living in Los Angeles. They have no church that they call home. This is also a part of a larger problem of seeing “Church” as something we go to, instead of understanding that we ARE the Church by God’s design.
There are many issues, challenges, struggles to living here in L.A. and doing ministry here. I want to share some online articles and information that will help you to see those, as well as know how to pray for this City/Region:
*Los Angeles is the 3rd most expensive metropolitan area to live in the U.S. behind only San Francisco and New York City. Many Tech and startup companies have moved here causing housing and rent prices to skyrocket (our area on the Westside is now known as “Silicon Beach”)
*Traffic in Los Angeles is not only the worst in the U.S. but has now been classified as the worst in the world… 6 years running. Gas prices are the highest in the country ($1 State Tax on every gallon).
*The City of Los Angeles is 502 square miles. You read that right. To put that in perspective, let’s look at one of the bigger cities in Southwest Virginia: Roanoke: It is 43 square miles. Blacksburg is 20 square miles. You could fit almost 12 Roanoke’s inside of L.A. You could fit 25 Blacksburg’s.
The population of the City is 4 million. Los Angeles County is 10 million and the population of the “Greater Los Angeles area” (including our neighboring County of Orange) is 20 million. While people are actually leaving the State of California at a higher rate, they are also moving into L.A. at a greater rate.
A problem that comes along with high rents and high population is a staggering amount of homeless people: 55,000-60,000 people on the streets of Los Angeles alone. California has the highest rate of any State and L.A. has the highest rate of any city. There are mental health issues, trash issues, crime issues and of course care and concern issues (food, hygiene, etc.).
*We live in the land of earthquakes. As a matter of fact, we have them every single day; somewhere in the magnitude of .05-3.0. We just had a 5 point something that was actually felt widely, although with no damage. With all the major activity on the “ring of fire” (Pacific Plate) in the last few years, it has reminded us that we are long overdue for a major Quake here in SoCal.
*Of course wild fires are a thing here as well. Not so much a huge danger for us in the City, although one came relatively close to us this last year (just a few miles away, by the campus of UCLA).
These things we’ve listed above are some of the physical challenges to doing ministry here. High cost of living. Travel challenges even within our City. Finding affordable housing with room to do Foster Care, house guests and host a weekly gathering. Natural disasters waiting in the wings.
Below you will see some of the “spiritual challenges and battles we face” living in an extremely liberal State that basically wants to challenge and shift every moral norm that we used to live by as a society.
I don’t want to paint too bleak a picture of Los Angeles. It certainly does have its beauty (although I would suppose that is some of its deceptive charm) and we love living here (as the song would say, “We LOVE it!”), in spite of the challenges we face both in the natural and the spiritual. Check out these videos that show the beauty of this city:
I would certainly say that I feel you have to be CALLED to live and do ministry here. It is not for the faint at heart. We have each worked 2 and 3 jobs just to make ends meet at times. But when you have the heart for the people and the land, you make the sacrifices necessary to put down roots and plant your flag!
So many moves of God in modern times have been born here:
Obviously the Asuza Street Revival in 1906. The Foursquare Church was birthed here through Amee Semple McPherson in the 1920’s. Billy Graham’s ministry (BGEA) and Bill Bright’s ministry (Campus Crusade) were birthed here in the late 40’s. The Jesus Movement was born here and the Calvary Chapel churches in the 70’s. The Vineyard Church was birthed in the 80’s. The Call prayer movement was birthed here in the 90’s.
We have great relationships with so many great Church and Ministry leaders here in SoCal. We believe that SoCal is ripe for another move of God. Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.
I agree with Rick Joyner’s point of view when it comes to seeing God move: If you want to close the ‘gates of Hell’, open the ‘windows of Heaven!’ The Scriptures tell us that “good overcomes evil” and that “light dispels darkness.”
In view of those truths, I want to ask you to intercede for us by praying for the windows of Heaven to be opened over L.A./Hollywood and California. For too long the Church has cursed the darkness, instead of being the Light.
“By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.”
As I mentioned above, I also believe that many in the Church have tried to assault the rulers and principalities over this city directly. As God brings together His Church in Los Angeles/Hollywood and we begin to worship in Unity, He will war on our behalf to remove the principalities and powers and He will inhabit our praises and establish His rule and reign over this place.
Worship is warfare: Isaiah 42:10-13 (New songs = God arises and prevails…) / Isaiah 30:27-32 (Songs, music = judgment of Assyria) / Psalm 149 (New songs = judgment) / 2nd Chronicles 20 (Worshippers ahead of the Army)
Pray for goodness (love) to be released through the Christians, Churches and Ministries here. Pray that all 3 would be in the “unity of the Spirit” and would lock arms and join forces to impact our communities. Pray for ‘salt and light’ to go forth in every facet of society (the 7 mountains of societal influence) here. Pray for God’s waring, ministering and messenger angels to be on assignment in the “City of Angels.”
Pray in agreement with the Scriptures that the “eyes of the blinded” be opened and that God would “grant repentance.” Pray that we would have “favor and open doors” for the spreading of the gospel. Pray that Christians and Churches would become the answer for systemic societal issues of Homelessness and Foster Care. Pray for Christians within the entertainment industry to have favor and be promoted so that they can change the industry from the inside-out. Pray for Godly leaders to be raised up in Government across the State of California.
Most of all: Pray for REVIVAL! Just as we are overdue for a major quake in the natural here, we are also overdue for one in the Spirit! It was prophesied back in the Azusa Street Revival that 100 years later it would happen again! Do it again Lord!
Pray for us as we look to find a house in the Hollywood Hills. Pray for us as God expands the tent pegs of our ministry (more house groups). Pray for us as we look to expand our support base this summer, so that having to work doesn’t crowd out our time to do ministry during the week. Pray for the right timing for us to begin Foster Care and for our continued pursuit of a miracle in having our own children.
We are so appreciative of your friendship and support as we continue to do God’s will for our lives here in Los Angeles/Hollywood. We are especially thankful for the prayer and financial support that we get. We couldn’t do what we do here for the Kingdom without both.
LEVY AND DP HOLLYWOOD JUNE & JULY 2018 UPDATE
Greetings Saints! Happy Summer! Doug’s Birthday just happens to fall on the first day of Summer, June 21st and Monica made sure he had a happy day!
We thank those who took the time to read all of the “prayer requests” from our last newsletter and have been doing targeted intercession on our behalf. We need it. The Spiritual attack has been ramped up, as we have been receiving push back from the enemy in the form of sudden sicknesses and a car issue. Both have been resolved, but we can use all the prayer we can get.
Monica is staying steady with her Organizing business. She had one week off to decompress and relax and then she got booked back up again, including some clients who are in or connected to the entertainment industry. Good reviews online of her work are getting her many requests for service.
Doug is back in business with both Uber and Lyft, but the Lord is having him have more “still” time and wanting him to work on ministry and writing instead of working long hours on the streets.
God continues to be faithful and bless us in many ways. Doug won a contest on a local TV station here and now we got free tickets to a “Grease Sing-a-long” at the Hollywood Bowl! Doug only saw that movie 30+ times in the theater as a kid and performed it countless times in his living room with his sister and friends. It was fun.
Doug is working on his first book. It’s based on a teaching that he has been working on for a few years now. It’s about the 5 major Foundational Identities of the Church.
We will be making a trip back to Virginia in late July. It will be our first trip back since moving from there in June of 2016. We are going to host a potluck dinner at our mother church, Dwelling Place NRV in Christiansburg (3325 N. Franklin Street) at 6 pm on July 29th. We’ll eat some great food and present what we’ve been up to, what God is doing in Hollywood and our plans for the future. We’d love to see you there if you can make it. We really would love to see our financial supporters one-on-one if possible.
We have been having great weekly gatherings on Monday’s in the South Bay and Wednesday’s on the Westside, where we are beginning “Ministry Training” with our 2 groups. We are also seeing God answer our agreed prayer weekly. Prophetic words and dreams and situations are coming forth that are bringing great encouragement to our members.
We have continued to do a prayer and worship night on Thursday’s although we’ve lost one worshipper (Philip) due to a shift in his ministry during this season and lost another because of his unavailability due to launching a new business. Please pray for us that new worship leaders and new worshippers will be raised up. We will be taking a break for the summer and reconvening in the Fall.
We have started partnering with a new friend and ministry before our worship time on Thursday nights. Michael Ashman has started a ministry called “You Matter L.A.” and is focusing on tangible needs based ministry to the homeless, which also gives us plenty of opportunity to “deal Jesus.”
We minister and hand out hotdogs, chips, fruit, water… plus hygiene items, underwear, etc. at 3 different locations: Starting in a park, then moving to a small homeless encampment under an overpass nearby and finally to another homeless encampment in Venice Beach.
Not only do we get to meet the physical needs of these women and men on the streets, we often get to pray for and with them. Some of them giving their lives to Christ, others getting prayer for physical and emotional healing. Just letting them know that “They (You) Matter” and that they are not forgotten means so much to them!
We got totally blessed by some dear friends just this last week with a major financial blessing. We are really praying for an open door to a new place in or near Hollywood. We need a bigger space so that we can do Foster Care, and so we can host a gathering at our house in the midst of the geographic location we feel called to. Also our current space has no insulation, no A/C and it is going to be a hot summer here!
We are hoping that this major blessing we received could be a security deposit for a new place. God has confirmed through prophetic dreams and words that we should “dream BIG” and keep looking for a place in the Hollywood Hills. The reality is, we do not have the personal resources to afford such a place, but God is Jehovah Jireh and we trust that He can bring the provision!
To that end, Foster Care would bring in a little to help with that need, but ultimately we will need to raise more support, in addition to working hard. Would you pray that the Lord will raise up more people to partner with us in reaching Hollywood/L.A. We are extremely grateful for those who have chosen to support our church plant here through their generous gifts over the last 2 years!
As we mentioned in our last newsletter, it is a hard place to live and to do ministry, but we KNOW that we are called here! We need to raise about $2,000 a month in support to supplement our work income so that we can do the work of the ministry. We know in time the Lord will also raise up support through our network of House Churches here. Will you agree with us in prayer for this need?
LEVY AND DP HOLLYWOOD AUGUST 2018 UPDATE
Greetings Saints! August is upon us and we have even seen kids with backpacks taking over the sidewalks as school is back in session (how is this possible?!). We had a great July with an Independence Day Celebration at Monica’s favorite beach (Torrance) with our 2 Home groups.
We also were able to travel back to Virginia during the last week in July and spend some quality time with Doug’s family and our Church family (Dwelling Place NRV). We especially enjoyed a Saturday floating down the New River for a few hours.
Growing up, Doug was a part of a long running outdoor historical drama called the Long Way Home about Mary Draper Ingles, her capture by Indians and her escape to warn the Settlements in the mid-1700’s. They had a performance that we attended at the Nesselrod B&B on Mary Draper Ingles weekend while we were there.
We have continued our 2 house church groups and are currently discipling them in Ministry Training (Renewing the mind, Flesh Patterns, Strongholds, and Demonic Oppression) which we learned under our “Spiritual Papa” Rick Sizemore. This will enable them to be prepared to do deep ministry and discipleship within their spheres of influence.
We continue to see prayers answered on a weekly basis in our gatherings, which is very encouraging. The Jewish High Holy Days are coming up, so we’ve decided to do a Sukkah (Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot) and have our people invite guests, since that is a part of the celebration (Kindness to strangers).
Doug will travel up to Redding soon to deliver some supplies gathered down here in L.A. and some funds to help with the fire relief. We have a few friends who live in the Redding area. They were not directly affected by the Carr Fire, but over 1,000 people lost their homes. Bethel Church in Redding has become the Salvation Army Center that is helping with needs during this disaster.
We are also still partnering with You Matter L.A. to help minister to the poor and the homeless weekly and serving our friends on Sunday morning at Vintage Faith Foursquare Church.
We really do long for and are praying into an open door to get a bigger space in Hollywood. We have the gift of hospitality and we love to host people, but we need a house in order for that to happen.
To that end, would you agree with us in prayer towards that goal? We will also be doing support raising in the next month to help us to be able to afford a property in that area, as rents are very high in L.A. right now due to the influx of Tech Companies. Pray also that God would put it on the hearts of those who believe in our calling to partner with us in the furthering of His kingdom here in Los Angeles/Hollywood.
LEVY AND DP HOLLYWOOD SEPTEMBER 2018 UPDATE
Greetings Saints! As we roll past Labor Day and into the month of September, we have some great things lined up before us for this Fall (see below).
We have some exciting news for the Levy household: We are moving! One of our families in our weekly gathering said the Lord had put it on their heart to offer us a room at their house rent free! It actually will increase our square footage and give us a walk-in closet to boot!
This will be an easier place to transition out of and allow us to save up for our own place in the Hollywood Hills once the Lord opens the doors for that destination. 80% of what we own has been in storage for the last 6 years, so it won’t be that hard of a move.
Our new and updated address will be:
Doug & Monica Levy
23222 Falena Ave
Torrance, CA 90501
You may have heard of the Carr Fire near and in Redding, CA (where Bethel Church is located). The fire destroyed over 1,000 homes in Redding and although we don’t think any of our friends there were directly affected, the community has definitely been impacted adversely.
Doug felt led of the Lord to collect some donations and raise some funds for those who had lost everything in the fires and deliver them to Redding. He drove up on Labor Day weekend to drop off a Jeep full of clothing, bedding, toys and appliances to Lions Fire Relief Center and then gave $500 worth of donated funds (raised online) to the Bethel/Salvation Army Relief Fund.
Doug also had a chance to spend some time in Bethel’s 24-hour Prayer Chapel. This is the corner that faces Jerusalem (see pic above).
We’ve just entered into the Jewish “High Holy Days” that has 3 major observances back-to-back-to-back in the span of roughly 1 month. The Jewish calendar is lunar (follows the cycle of the Moon) so it falls on different days each year in our Roman-Greco calendar.
One of the 2 Jewish New Year’s just happened. Rosh Hashanah, or the Feast of Trumpets enters us into year 5779 on God’s Calendar. Shana Tova! (Happy New Year!). Next on Tuesday September 18th is Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. Then we finish off the month with Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles where we celebrate the sojourning of the Nation of Israel out of Egypt.
We will be setting up a Sukkah (Tent) for both of our gatherings and eating some traditional dishes for this celebration.
We also have 2 trips planned for our 2 groups: Our Monday night Torrance group will go on a retreat in November and our teaching focus will be “Relationships: a core value of the Kingdom.” Our Wednesday night Westside group will go camping in October.
Our Monday Torrance group, which is comprised of 5 married couples really has taken on the look and feel of the Acts 2 New Testament Church: “…breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.” (v.46-47)
Thank you for all of your prayer and support! We look forward to sending you updates as God continues to do miracles in our midst!
LEVY AND DP HOLLYWOOD OCTOBER 2018 UPDATE
Greetings Saints! October is here and so is some cooler weather, which feels good. It reminds me of autumn back in Southwest VA. I do miss the colors of the leaves during this time of the year.
Both Monica and I continue stretches of full weeks of work, followed by a few days of “Sabbath” as we’ve submitted our work schedules unto the Lord and trusts that He will be Jehovah Jireh for us.
We’ve settled into our new place and even enjoyed an adventure with our new housemates, going with them to the high desert to do some dirt bike riding. We’ve realized we are still more “Jeep” (off-road trail riding) people then “bike” people, although Monica has always ridden motorcycles throughout her life. Next time we plan on taking our Jeep to enjoy the outdoors.
A few weeks ago we had the privilege of being invited to a “soft launch” Walk of Faith Hollywood Tour. A young Christian lady named April Clemmer, usually gives “Old Hollywood” and “Vintage Hollywood” Tours where she talks about the origins of Hollywood and its early years.
God put it on her heart to do a tour that talked about the Christian origins of Hollywood. YES, you heard (read) that right: the CHRISTIAN origins of Hollywood!
The founders of Hollywood were H.H. & Daeida Wilcox, both strong Christians. They even gave away parcels of land for free to those who were starting churches.
Lois Weber (1879-1939) was the first female producer, screenwriter and director and worked alongside Cecil B. DeMille (The Ten Commandments), who is known as the “founding father of cinema” in the United States. She was a street corner evangelist before answering the call to use movies as “morality tool.” She mainly did Silent Movies, but was well known for her innovations (split screen and special effects).
(Daeida Wilcox placard; Lois Webber star on Walk of Fame; April Clemmer)
We had 2 Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) celebrations with both of our house gatherings, Torrance and the Westside. We fed about 25 people between the 2 groups and had a great time doing a mini-recreation of the Jewish celebration. I shared the meaning and traditions of the Holiday and recited many of the Hebrew prayers. I also did a brief teaching on the Jewish roots of our Christian faith and the importance of the Jewish celebrations, which God refers to as “His appointed times.”
We were privileged this last week to come along side Jonathan and Sharon Ngai, of Radiance International House of Prayer in Hollywood for 72 consecutive hours of prayer and worship practically in the middle of one of the busiest intersections of Hollywood/Los Angeles (Hollywood & Highland).
Over 50 different churches and ministries from around L.A. participated in leading live worship 24/7 and offering up intercession for Hollywood, Los Angeles and the entertainment industry.
Doug had the opportunity to sing with one of his former youths (from his time at Coast), Shara, who is now an amazing worship leader (and songwriter) as she led an hour set during the weekend. Also joining us on stage were our good friends Jung (bass), Rajiv (drums) and a longtime friend from our Malibu days, Mark Moulan (guitar).
(Tent on Highland; Tracy Thomas leading worship; Jung Kim)
We so appreciate your prayers, support and encouragement as we press on towards intimacy with Jesus, living out of Sabbath rest, and being yoked with the Father in the works He has prepared for us to walk in.
LEVY AND DP HOLLYWOOD NOVEMBER 2018 UPDATE
November has arrived and with it, the season of Thanksgiving. We are very thankful for each one of you and your support of us and this Church! We are privileged to be able to bring God’s Kingdom here in L.A./Hollywood and it wouldn’t be possible without generous donors, prayer warriors and friends and family who encourage us to “run the race and fight the good fight.”
Monica’s mom, Josie, stopped by in late October for a short visit (from Florida), to help celebrate Monica’s brother’s (John) Birthday. It is always great to see her (and to eat her delicious cooking!) and she even got to sit in on one of our Church gatherings and be an encouragement to our group.
Last Thanksgiving, we went up to the “mountains” and spent the Holiday at Monica’s brother’s cabin in Big Bear. This year on Thanksgiving we will get back to volunteering at Hope International Bible Fellowship’s Thanksgiving outreach to the Homeless, where a few hundred will be given a delicious Thanksgiving meal and we’ll get to sit with them and fellowship.
While it’s not exactly the warmest time of the year to go camping, we got away with our Westside Wednesday crew to take in a weekend in the Los Angeles Mountains (Tabletop Mountain, Wrightwood area, right on the border with San Bernardino County).
We pitched our tents (as opposed to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrFHNuA1mvM ) and enjoyed incredible views of God’s creation, a warm fire, a vigorous hike to an abandoned gold mine and great food and fellowship.
On our hike, we saw fresh “bear scat,” could see the ocean from about 7,000 feet in elevation and a few of us squeezed into the opening to walk about 50 yards into the mine. It was pitch black dark in that tunnel, but really neat to see how the miners do what they do.
(View; Campfire gathering; Resting in the hammock; Big Horn gold mine; Westside group pic)
Just 2 weeks after our camping trip, we took our Monday Night (Torrance) Crew up to Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains, just up the road from Crestline, where Doug & Monica used to live, for a “Relationship Retreat” (What Dwelling Place calls “Encounters”).
We taught on Kingdom Relationships and had a ministry time to deal with hurts and wounds from past relationships. 5 couples in total traveled up the mountain to partake in worship, teaching, ministry and great food and fellowship. Some experienced powerful healing and freedom during our time there.
The Lake view was beautiful, even though the water was very low due to drought in California; helped in part to some welcome Fall colors.
(Worship time; The view from our balcony; Our Monday Night Torrance Crew)
Slow and steady wins the race. Well, that’s at least the famous phrase and it is what we are called to. We are focused on making disciples, becoming Family, doing deep ministry and healing and training leaders who can turn around and do all of the above.
It’s truly amazing to see how engrained our Church/Christian Culture is in Sunday morning Church mode. Sure a few churches do other weekend times (we have friends whose main service is on Friday nights). But the vast majority of believers who are committed to a local body have their church time on Sunday’s and they do it with a bigger gathering of people.
We aren’t opposed to larger gatherings, but we are intentionally called to “small and intimate.” We are sold out to our method and know that it is not for everyone. AND it rubs up against what most Christians are used to. It’s a slow process, but we believe it produces lasting fruit.
Please continue to pray for us. We do believe at some point, God will plant us IN Hollywood proper. The Lord gave me a word today from Psalm 37, “Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness” and “Wait for the Lord and keep His way and He will exalt you to inherit the land.”
Please continue to pray for California as well. Our State absolutely needs revival. God has brought revival to California and our Nation through Azusa Street and again during the “Jesus Movement” of the 70’s.
LEVY AND DP HOLLYWOOD DECEMBER 2018 UPDATE
Happy Christmakkuh! Wow, 2018 seems like it flew by and we are poised to break into 2019 full steam ahead!
This December marks 20 years since we decided to load up the truck and move to Beverly… Hills that is… well, close enough. This has been a great adventure, as we look back at God’s faithfulness, not only in this last year, but in the 20 years that we’ve been here working to bring His Kingdom to this City, this region, this State that desperately needs it.
We originally moved here in Dec. 1998, worked in several churches as Youth Pastor, Worship Leader/Pastor, and Facilities Pastor. Moni was Youth Leader, Administrative Pastor, Children’s Pastor and Events Coordinator. With each of 5 churches we learned so much.
Now that the Lord has blessed us with our own house church, we have realized that we needed all those lessons to be equipped for the calling He has upon us. We have the most amazing group of leaders that we are training to build their own house churches. We were instructed by our Pastor and spiritual father Rick Sizemore, to be fruitful, then multiply.
We have also been helping a friend in Culver City lead another house group (when he took a sabbatical), that will remain a Bible study, since that is what it was when he started it 5 years ago. It has been quite a journey of faith. God has brought us from the desert, to the mountains, the valleys then to the beaches of Los Angeles to see all that He is doing in the different areas and churches, as well as the people. The work He has done in us has been tremendous as well. We are grateful and humbled at His amazing works. Thank you all for being a part of our journey and our story of grace and love.
We celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah early with our House gatherings and had a great time of food, fun and fellowship.
As the whole world as seen, we have had wild fires like none other, then some floods to follow. We are still in the rainy season so it is not over yet, and the quakes are expected. Pray for California, for its people to turn to God and for revival be the thing people see when they turn on the news! God is moving in His church, we have been working with many churches and ministries to do outreach, prayer and worship and support of one another.
God is surrounding the movie industry with believers and we work closely with Hollywood Prayer Network (www.HollywoodPrayerNetwork.org) to pray for people inside the business. Prayers are having an effect on notable people and the Radiance House of Prayer (www.radianceinternational.org) on the Sunset Strip and its music Studio is having a big impact on the City and music industry!
Hope International Bible Fellowship (www.Hopeibf.org) is reaching the homeless and addicts in an astounding way and is also a place where all kinds of people are able to come and serve and see love in action. I was serving Thanksgiving dinner alongside a world renowned DJ from England! Please pray for our friends in these ministries, they are in the center of it and we know that comes with resistance.
Lastly, please keep us in your prayers for the child(ren) God has promised us, the house to bring them in and for wisdom in our next steps. We are wondering how to order our steps for the provision God wants for us. God has done miracles and is never late, we believe that. Sometimes we need encouragement in the waiting.