Chapter One River Dance by Amanda Kuykendall


 This post is different.
My husband is the storyteller in our family.
We found out three years ago that he
probably was created for that, and were we living in a Cherokee village
he would be fulfilling that destiny given through his birth family.
Nevertheless, I am here writing today. And I have a story to tell. It
will probably be more like chapters, as there is much to share.Here is   “Chapter One” of River Dance…
A young couple who met at Bible College in the Appalachian
mountains stepped out into the stream of marriage and shortly thereafter
followed a call into ministry. Ordination followed and soon they sat in
the living room of their mentor minister’s home. Internship was
exciting and difficult. Growling stomachs and saving pennies for gas to
travel each weekend were part of the preparation. They saw first hand the
poverty and despair that comes from living in a land without The River.
Two “churches” situated opposite each other who were once one congregation;
the placement of the coal pile being the  reason for the split.
  Children sexually abused and neglected,
swarming with lice and fear in a dry and weary land were a weekly experience.
Being young in years and full of zeal, the call to a full time
pastorate in the Allegheny mountains was welcomed. Lush and breathtaking
views greeted the couple every morning in this historic, artistic
quaint mountain town. A few warm-hearted people contrasted the chilly
winters and bone cold growth level of the congregation.  They were
frozen in The River, damming its flow altogether.
After leading the group of people as far as they cared to go ( which
wasn’t far- the Church’s Historian’s records showed no change in 10
years in attendance, missions nor financial incrementation) the two –
who – were- now-three packed up
and entered into The City of the Fountain.
There they received an education of both sides of the spectrum; the
glorious possibility of the presence of God and darkness’  eerie
attempts to prevail.
A previous minister had a son who fancied having a
coffin in the garage and an ouija board in his bedroom. He eventually
killed his own child.  Many times a strange presence was felt in the
parsonage. Discord seemed to come instantly between The Two.  The Jewel
placed a book in the woman’s hands that was entitled This Present
Darkness. Eyes began to open and deeper understanding
poured out upon  The Two.
   A teaching regarding the Holy Spirit made them angry at first.
Determined to prove
the error, months were spent scouring The Book of the River in efforts
to document the findings.
Document them they did, and also found the truth.
This truth led The Two to challenge The Lord of The River.

 “If this is true, and if this is real, and I somehow have missed it all
this time, please show me. Baptize me, Fill me with Your Holy Spirit for
I do not want any other.”

The challenge did not go unnoticed nor unanswered. Light burst forth
and understanding fell upon them both, individually, separately and
alone. No man nor flesh did this. God and God alone.  The Two had been
introduced to The River. They needed a trail guide.
The Lord of The  River promptly provided that guide.
She was a Jewel amongst the congregation, shining brightly
amongst diamonds in the rough who led them to others
who knew of The River.
  One of the first things The River does is to cleanse.
Questions that had plagued them for
a long time were suddenly answered and a fresh softening of their
hearts began to restore any damage caused by the resident evil.
Another testing of the teaching took place.
Despite not knowing of The
Gifts found in The Book of The River, The Two still sensed something not
right in the house.
After hearing about a person who had resolved a
similar issue, they decided to apply  it to the house. Praying through
each room, and anointing each door and window with oil, the house became
electrified. An overpowering odor emanated from the upstairs.
A bedroom door opened on its own.
The door to the upper level also opened on its
own accord, with the sounds of footsteps heard following it. Upon
praying through a room and anointing it, a peace was felt until the next
room was entered. The peace was restored through the prayer, praise and
anointing. Between the chimney for the fireplace downstairs and the
wall they found the source of the smell. Praying through they removed
the ouija board that had been tucked into the space. Taking it outside
and burning it, a deep, thick black smoke rose into the sky.  The house
cleansed, The Two were now free to live there in peace and the journey on The River resumed.

Once you have tasted of this water, you are never satisfied with the
beverage of religion.

There is too much life, joy, peace that splashes
over your thirsty soul to turn back.  The Two found themselves searching
after the river, hiking trails, looking for signs that would lead them
to its banks. It’s melodious, rhythmic rapids called out to them and
stirred something deep within that they did not recognize.

The Landlubbers were none to happy to see the young minister and his
wife tasting a different brew. Their palates were too accustomed to the
fermented flavor of old wine; their skins had grown hard and resisted
expansion of any sort. It wasn’t long before their left feet began to
get restless. The River was calling and several others heard the sound.
They too wanted more. After several months of banter back and forth
about The River, the right hands of the leaders pulled away from The Two
and the  elected leadership inserted their left feet where the sun
doesn’t shine, sending The Two hurtling out to the curb. It was a
painful time of great shock, disillusionment and  a test of the call.

As they wandered and wondered why the Lord of The River seemed to
have abandoned them, they did not know they had actually embarked upon
the path that would lead them straight into the rushing current itself.

The Jewel had invited them to  a service nearby.  Reluctantly they
agreed to go.  For the woman, the thought of entering one of “those”
churches was intimidating. The many stories of bizarre activities caused
her to tremble as they walked in the door. But no pews were rocking, no
one was jumping around and each of the 3 chandeliers seemed to be just
fine in their proper places, hanging still. They were definitely not
prepared for what they heard and saw next!

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