David’s Tent is caught between two competing, but both valuable, visions for the National Mall, and Capital City. King David’s vision for His Capital City: A place for all Israel to gather, worship and give thanks to the Lord! (Psalms 122)
Thank you all that have been praying for David’s Tent DC’s new location. We consider every prayer part of our worship and declaration that Jesus is Worthy of the highest, centermost places of our lives and culture. Through this all, we’re still singing at the Tent!
Thank you for so many that have put their efforts together to contact members in Congress too. Your efforts opened up a great dialogue with the National Park Service (NPS) yesterday. They didn’t give us an option, but there was a discussion about the possibility of an option.
The possibility of the option floated, would have us stay where we are at Constitutions Gardens Plaza, but be coexisting with the construction trailers and equipment for the restoration project of the lock-keepers house on the corner. They warned us that we have to measure it out to see if we’d all fit there and there would be much noise throughout the day, but it’s a possibility of an option for us. (This would only be to buy us time, not a long term solution. Eventually a restaurant will be build on our spot.) This will be further explored as we walk the site all together next Wednesday afternoon, making measurements to see if we’d even all fit there. It’s a tight squeeze for sure.
In my guts, I’m skeptical this is “it.” But we will be considering it in the meantime. Let’s contend for His best in faith, prayer and action! Yesterday’s meeting was bountifully productive though. We were honored to have a great candid dialogue with those that we are working with at the NPS permits office.
The NPS permits office wasn’t notified until recently that this reconstruction project of Constitution Gardens is starting. It was planned for a long time, but on hold. Suddenly the funding came in and triggered the quick beginning, The notified us as soon as it was handed to them. The permits office hasn’t been given a solid start date yet, just a commission to not permit anybody there after our current permit runs out March 10.
The NPS permits office is bound to the constraints put on them from higher up. They explained their conundrum with us. Several years ago, congress gave them the mandate to make the mall area beautiful and fulfill the vision of George Washington to have the Capitol in the midst of rolling green hill spaces. The NPS just in the last couple years put 8 million dollars into the reconstruction of the sod on the main stretch of the mall. Next is Washington Monument Grounds, as piece by piece, they are redoing the turf. Which is why the new turf regulations were enacted last year, and our tent can’t be on grass any more than 5 days at a time now.
So why not just make more hardscape places? With each new monument, museum or restaurant, that vision of a Capitol surrounded by rolling green spaces is being chipped away. The NPS was mandated by congress to defend that vision and get the mall area looking beautiful.
On the other hand, the NPS is also to be permitting 1st amendment demonstrations on those same areas. These two visions, beautify the National Mall and make room for 1st Amendment demonstration, conflict greatly, at great cost and stress for all involved.
This is why your calls and letters to congress were and are so important. Keep them rolling! I want to be clear: I do not think the NPS is being malicious toward us. I would say the opposite. I really trust they are trying to find a solution, but their hands are tied. We need Congress or the Executive Branch to act. What is OUR GENERATIONS vision for our Capital City? Will 24/7 worship and Praise, and Jesus Himself, be part of our vision for the Capital going forward?
We’ve come full circle back to the vision of David’s Tent DC! King David made the Lord the central vision in his administration. With a 24/7 worship tent employing 4288 musicians and singers adjacent to his palace, David wanted to be sure God knew, that he had enthroned God over his administration. Will the David hearts arise!?
So far, from the response that I’m getting. I’m encouraged! There is a remnant in congress, and around America, that loves Jesus with all their hearts and not only do they know that He’s the Lord, but have also made Him their Lord.
And that Remnant… is only getting bigger.
Stay tuned… We will update you as we know more.
Dreaming of the New Jerusalem,
That’s how long David’s Tent has been running and our American Sign Language (ASL) team has been serving with the tent. It is quite hard to believe how quickly time flies. It is truly amazing how something so simple like going to the tent every day to worship from our hearts can become one of the greatest and deepest lessons that we will ever learn in life. I am so grateful for the people I have encountered such as the people who were simply passing by the tent, to the regular attendees, to the people who were just visiting for a few hours, and to our faithful David’s Tent staff. Whether the conversation between a person and I was just for a minute or for an hour, I still felt each person I met made a difference. It is not David’s Tent that brought each person to the tent, but God.
I am humbled and honored that the leaders for David’s Tent were open to having the American Sign Language aspect of worship in the tent. Having this opportunity to serve this team with ASL has broken many barriers and opened new doors for Deaf people like myself and for the Deaf community as whole. I personally already love worship, but with this experience, I have gained a new insight on how to worship and fell deeper in love with Jesus.
It is a bittersweet feeling as the ASL team will complete our commitment with David’s Tent on November 8th even when David’s Tent will continue indefinitely. However, it does not mean that we will not take what we have learned from God through David’s Tent and be able to share our stories with other people in the Deaf community. It is a marvelous thing to witness when the diversity in God’s kingdom is brought together to worship only one person: Jesus Christ. I know for a fact that David’s Tent has shifted some grounds for His kingdom come. I am looking forward to see the harvest that has been planted for this past year with each of us: Deaf and hearing alike.
One of the lessons that I would like to share for what God has taught me for this past year is “morning glory.” I am not a morning person. I do not think I ever will be a morning person. I have tried hard to train myself to be a morning person, but I think I have finally come to accept the terms that I am just simply not a morning person.
In the beginning, our ASL team was assigned for a morning shift starting at 7am. I was mortified because this means I have to get up early! Maybe for some of you 7am is not early, but it is early for me! I was trying to think of how I would be able to have energy before the sun comes out! It was a rough start and I really felt it would be impossible for me to continue for a whole year with this time shift! Well, I definitely made it. Our time shift did change throughout the year, but it always remained in the morning.
Over time, my heart began to change. I started to see the wonderful things about the morning. At David’s Tent, I get to see plenty of flocks of beautiful birds flying around the National Mall.
I get to see the sun rising up slowly to kiss the sky. I get to see the morning mist that sleeps on the grass. I get to see life in the city before it becomes alive. Most of all, I get to experience God’s love, first thing in the morning, before anything else. Proverbs 3:9 come in mind for this. We talk about honoring the Lord with our finances, but what about our time too? That moment when dawn breaks, before we even bother getting out of bed, do we honor the Lord with our time? Spend our quiet time first thing in the morning? Just something to think about.
No, I have not transformed into a giddy morning person, but I am a lot more grateful for the beauty of getting up early in the morning. I am grateful for being able to worship through sign language. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to serve Jesus with David’s Tent. Most of all, I am grateful for God has taught me about His original morning glory that just constantly overwhelms me in every way possible.
For His Glory Always…