Salvation Mountain and Noah’s Ark

Hello! This is Yuko Ozeki, the leader in North America.

On the way back from a trip to Arizona recently, I visited Salvation Mountain. This place became a topic of conversation more than ten years ago. At that time, I was in the midst of raising children and couldn’t find the time to go, so I had to give up on the idea. However, this time, almost by chance, I was able to go and I’m very grateful for it.

The person who created this mountain is Leonard Knight. He spent 30 years creating it simply because he wanted to convey the gospel message that “God loves you!” Besides the mountain, there are many other things around, like cars and boats, all with messages like “God Loves You” or pictures representing the nine fruits of the spirit, or “Bible,” “Bible” written endlessly on car bumpers. It’s hard to describe, but I felt the intensity of his conviction. For about 30 years, he worked diligently, alone, contemplating, praying, and talking to God while creating this mountain and its artworks. And while spending time with people who came to see this mountain, he continued to convey the love of God.

Thinking about this, I remembered Noah, who spent about 100 years (maybe a bit shorter) building the ark. Just like Leonard Knight, Noah worked quietly, building the ark to save humanity. Those 100 years were not just a time of physical labor; they were surely an incredibly long and deep time of communion with God, a time of prayer.

At JCFN, we occasionally hold retreats with contemplative prayer and times of silence called C-WIT. During the silent times, we engage in activities like coloring or drawing on stones while communing with God. What Leonard and Noah did was on a much larger scale than a retreat of a few hours or days; it was a long, long time of silence and contemplative prayer. This realization filled me with a solemn feeling that is hard to describe.

Blessings.

(Note: Since the creator of Salvation Mountain, Leonard, has passed away for a long time, maintenance is needed in many places, and many areas are closed. If you haven’t been and are interested, I recommend going soon.)

We’ve been on the Bunden Channel.

Although it’s not my turn for staff blog this month, I’m Chihiro Okada, Japan staff.

Around the fall of 2023, returnee ministry was featured in a program called “Church Times” on Inochi no Kotoba’s YouTube channel, the Bunden Channel. So, I spoke a little about it.

I haven’t been on another YouTube channel since I recorded CGNTV before I gave birth…I was a little nervous.

 

【Behind-the-scenes story of the filming (1)〜 the same outfit!】

Shooting was taken place at Inochi no Kotoba sha, but just as we were about to start filming, we realized something was wrong! The color and pattern of the jacket was the same as that of the guest, Mr. DK (who shared his honest thoughts on his experience as a returnee with us….thanks to Mr. DK). Thankfully, Mr. DK had brought another outfit with him, so he changed into it. I should have brought another dress in a different color. I guess shooting is hard work, isn’t it?

 

【Behind-the-scenes story of the filming (2)〜 What is the script?】

When I arrived and received the script, well, it was just a scene set-up, and the content was almost blank. During the filming, my head was filled with things I wanted to say at a tremendous pace several times, and I thought, “What? What should I do?I felt like I was talking my head off, and I couldn’t even think of what I wanted to say. But the power of editing is amazing. I am very grateful to have my rambling story summarized in such a way. And then it happened. After the shoot, I said, “Oh, that’s right, I couldn’t say it earlier, but… returnees are going through this…” “Oh, that’s what I wanted to tell you in the show…” I heard that the camera was rolling as it was, and they said they would include it later in the editing, but I don’t think they actually did. YouTubers are amazing, aren’t they?

 

There are two videos, Part 1 and Part 2. Please take a look. It seems that the first part has been viewed more than 10,000 times. That’s amazing. I hope that through this, the understanding of returnees will be deepened.

 

Like this? If you are interested in hearing from us, please contact us at the JCFN office♬

 

【Part 1】

 

【Part 2】

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