This February of 2012 our Jesus People USA’s Project 12 Discipleship Training Intensive traveled to the Ocala, Florida, Rainbow Gathering. The Rainbow Gathering is a mix of 2012 and 1968, a mix of weekend hippies and seriously seeking youth looking for alternatives to the materialistic western mainstream. The Ocala Gathering is regional; other regional and national gatherings take place throughout the year.
Below are photos of our time in Ocala Forest.
Project 12 plus a few Rainbowers
A Rainbower’s cool self-made sandals
Teresa (of Jesus Kitchen)
Christi & Ramson
Smallest sign at Rainbow Gathering?
Curt a.k.a. Treebeard
Brista and Rainbow artist friend
Occupy dudes putting mustaches on us, whether we
wanted ‘em or not! Mary yuks it up while Zaida gets a ‘stache.
A Rainbow wedding to which we were invited
The two become one.
Bride’s dress w/ paint borrowed from Project 12
Nightly camp fire offered good conversations w/ Rainbowers and
some hilarity as well as worship and — at least one night –
first aid for one Rainbow guy who’d (drug-influenced) burned himself badly
over a fire and another guy who’d eaten too many psychedelic mushrooms.
Some Star Fruit, cut up by P12ers and Jesus Kitchen staff
Brian, P12 staffer, cookin’ up somethin’ yummy.
Michael and Jon — both needing a bath.
The area of the woods we camped in had been recently burned over, and
as a result, everything had a layer of soot on it. Including, within fifteen
minutes of our arrival, us.
Milling around at lunch time as we get set to serve Rainbow folk food.
One of the most important things about Rainbow Gathering.
Our actions hopefully backed up these words.
Glenn with lots of Palmetto plants in background
And a slightly more sixties approach! Tie die rules.
Chris (sitting) and a Rainbower
(a fair number of older folks come to Rainbow Gathering)
Teresa (right) and Debbie, two veteran Jesus Kitchen folks.
Glenn with one of his cigar box guitars… just finished before the pic.
“Dilated Minds”: various Rainbow camps took names. We were “Jesus Kitchen.”
Hiking up to the Main Circle of Rainbow Gathering.
This little sweetie took a header into the ashes, but gave
a wonderful smile after getting up. No problem!
Snake-handling?! Nah. Baby snake found in a tree stump.
No hot water? No problem. Soap, Rinse, Bleach Water.
We offered knitting classes.
Brian (p12) and Ben, Teresa’s husband and co-leader of Jesus Kitchen w/ Teresa
Just getting started on Zaida’s face paint.
And a few additional pictures from both before and after Rainbow Gathering:
Our friends in Nashville who put us up for the night on the way
And all of us crammed into the frame with them.
Tom (and his wife Anita, not pictured) provide us with
housing near the Ocala Gathering. Brista gives Tom a hug.
And on our way home, we stopped in at Wheeler Mission’s
Hebron Center, an incredible Christ-centered program
for addicts intent on reclaiming their lives. They fed us and housed us
and blew our minds with their stories of deliverance and perseverance.
At Hebron, talking over our experiences we had at Ocala.
Hebron has a lumber mill; some of the wood went into this.
Daniel, who came home with us from Ocala,
at a Hebron table using Jon’s computer.