‘Grandma Judi’ Dreyer, Fueled by Jesus’ Love

‘Grandma Judi’ Dreyer, Fueled by Jesus’ Love

‘Grandma Judi’ Dreyer, Fueled by Jesus’ Love

‘Grandma Judi’ Dreyer, Fueled by Jesus’ Love

Led to CrossPoint
After moving to Orange County from Los Angeles in 1966, Judi wanted to take her three (later four) children to church. So when someone left a flier on their doorstep inviting them to Central Baptist Church, located just down the street on Warner Avenue where a Lowe's Home Improvement store now stands, she and the kids went.

“The pastor, Maynard Nutting, made a home visit. Before he left he and Doug were on their knees in our living room as Doug accepted the Lord. The next Sunday Doug came to church with us. From then on, he was on fire for Jesus!”

“In 1968 when my husband was a deacon, our church was really growing. Just down the street was a huge vacant lot owned by a Methodist rancher. He wanted to sell the property to a church, and sold it to us for a very good price. Our first church on this lot was a portable trailer, and attendance kept growing. It was an evangelistic, soul-winning church. We went door to door, telling the surrounding neighborhoods about Jesus.”

The Dreyers saw the arrival of the next pastor, Thomas Ray, and continued growth in the church body. Judi remembers during Pastor Ray’s tenure a visit by infamous car dealer Cal Worthington with his animals. Around that time her husband, who had smoked since the age of 12, asked Pastor Ray, “Will smoking keep me out of heaven?” Judy laughs at his answer: “No, but you’ll sure smell like you’ve been there.”

“Our church’s first building was constructed by the men of the church, led by a member who was a professional contractor.” She laughs adding, “Doug cut his hand putting up drywall and had to have six stitches. You might say his blood is in our church.”

Judi and her late husband left Central Baptist (now CrossPoint) for nearly 10 years. God used that time to train and use them as AWANA volunteers, a world-wide non–profit ministry focused on Bible-based evangelism and discipleship for ages kindergarten to fifth grade. “AWANA is a wonderful tool to achieve my heart’s desire–to show others how to lead someone to Christ,” says Judi.

Driven to win souls for Christ
In 2013 after 30 years, Judi retired from working with behavior-disabled teens coming from juvenile hall into Marina High School’s resource center. Even though she couldn’t talk about the Bible, all of her students knew that Mrs. Dreyer loved Jesus. When one of the kids would ask “What did you do last night?” or “Why do you go to church?” Judi would be ready with an answer. “These were kids from horrendous, violent backgrounds, and Jesus was a safe name,” she says.

One of the local Mexican gang’s leaders was Mario, who had two teardrops tattooed under his eye, indicating the two kills he’d made to get into his gang. Judi recalls he was mean and very “anti-Christian,” and she prayed for Mario. “He came into the classroom saying he wasn’t going to be told what to do, but we came to an understanding: 1) Treat me with respect, and 2) I will treat you with respect. Later that semester when two of his gang members came in and started giving me a bad time, before I could say anything, Mario stood up and said, ‘You don’t treat Mrs. Dreyer with disrespect. She’s my homie.’ He graduated with a full diploma. A few years later he spotted my red truck and called out to me. He was carrying a little guy in his arms – the mother had left them. He was going to Golden West College, earning a certificate to work on high-end cars. He told me, ‘I’m not in the gang, and we go to church every Sunday. I remember you telling me about Jesus.’”

Earlier this year while in the airport traveling home, Judi’s plane was diverted to Austin, TX. “I sat down tired, just wanting to read my book. But I felt the Lord nudge me to talk to the guy next to me. So I asked, ‘How are you doing?’ He answered, ‘Not good, I’ve had tests run and now I’m taking bad news back to my family.’ I asked him, ‘Do you want Jesus?’ He said, ‘Jesus wouldn’t want me’ - a reason I often get. But I persisted, gave him John 3:16 and asked, ‘Can I just pray with you? So I prayed, Lord, be with David. Let Jesus wrap his arms around him. David put his arm on mine and said ‘Stop.’ He looked at me and said, ‘I want Jesus.’ (It never comes that easy!) I told him, ‘He already wants you, do you want to pray he’ll be your savior?’ So I prayed, ‘Dear Jesus, thank you for dying for me on the cross. I want you to forgive my sins and belong to you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.’ He looked at me and I said, ‘Now you belong to Jesus.’ He said, ‘I know,’ then had to go and get on the plane. I gave him a New Testament and told him to read the book of John. I have no idea what happened to him next, but I know he belongs to Jesus.”

When still physically able, Judi was one of the “Silver Foxes” who would visit shut-ins and those hospitalized, along with another longtime CrossPoint member, Rosie Farley, whose husband worked with Doug in the Los Angeles Police Department. Judi sang in the choir, staffed kids’ summer Christian camps, and always taught Sunday School. “Kids have been my ministry for 60 years,” she says.

Now on Sundays at CrossPoint, Judi starts her week teaching preschool & first/second grade children about the Bible, often with her flannel graph artwork. Never mind that for the past 30 years Judi has lived with a deteriorating spine, shaped like one “S” stacked on top of another “S,” which has left her hunched over and in pain.

“I don’t want people to look at my crooked spine, but to look at me and see Jesus,” she says.

Go Grannies!
Judi, now herself a grandmother of 8, wrote this poem about the person who long ago aligned her life with Jesus:

“Come and sit close to me,” my grandma would say, “And have a nice cup of tea to finish the day

We would talk for hours and drink our tea, She’d tell me of Jesus and His love for me As we sat and talked and drank our tea

Grandma knew my home was not as it should be And how often my father was angry at me And she would just hold me as we drank our ta

My grandmother said how much Jesus cared for me, And when I was frightened close by He’d always be

For Jesus is my father who would never hurt me And I could talk to Him anytime even without having tea

Grandma said Jesus would use the trials in my life To help others through their own troubles and strife

My grandma is with Jesus and I miss having tea I miss her warm hugs, arms wrapped tight around me

Because of her wise words, telling how Jesus loved me I was able to receive Him over a nice cup of tea

I miss you, dear grandma, and our nice cups of tea, But we’ll have tea in heaven so have it ready for me.

‘The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in’ For those who are lonely, have lost someone or are in the hospital, Judi loves to comfort them by sharing her life verses from Psalm 121, that she turns to when she feels lost: I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
Grandma Judi continues, “CrossPoint is blessed to not only have lots of young people, but also to have the wisdom of all the older people that God has put here to use. Jesus uses a crippled old lady like me that the world says is of no use, but Jesus says yes, she is.”

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