Faithful, Extravagant, Papa.

These past 2 weeks the Lord has been teaching me about his faithfulness and provision (not just money, and man is he so good!

It all started when Tyler and I were driving in Brentwood near some extremely large houses. I started ranting about the size of these houses, and how absurd they were, how much money they probably cost etc etc. Basically judging the people inside of them based upon the outside of their house. Tyler cut in and basically suggested that maybe I’m not able to receive the wealth that God has for me because I’m judging those around me that carry wealth. I sunk down into my seat real quick.

The following Monday we were at Emanate when Ryan & Katie Wegenast shared an incredible testimony. In short, they wanted to learn about favor and what it looked like to follow and walk in the Lords favor. They gave what they didn’t have and received what they couldn’t afford. At first they didn’t feel like they were seeing any return on their giving or walking in the favor they were desperate to know about. After a hard week their landlord calls to ask them to move out of their house. So Ryan posts a tweet just to see if anyone had a place they could stay.

They get a tweet back from a couple that attend Grace Center saying they have a house they could stay in for free. After Ryan explains how he expected for the house to be a fixer-upper they show a photo….and the house is huge. It’s remarkably similar to the houses I was unwisely judging just a few days prior.

I couldn’t help but cry and just laugh at the goodness of our God. It didn’t stop there. A few more times that week God used little things here and there to simply teach me about his goodness.

On top of God showing me the extravagant things he loves to give to his children. I was overwhelmed with joy just thinking about all my close brothers and sisters who are being given their hearts desires! From moving to Iceland to attending a sailing dts to being accepted into the school of supernatural life! Oh it’s so wonderful!

I don’t have much else to share and I feel like this blog has not stuck to one train-of-thought but I just want to remind you to think about all the things for which you are thankful. Even the small things like ice cream or sunshine. Write ’em down and praise Jesus for them. It’s been said a few times this week: if you’re busy being thankful it will download supernatural joy into your hearts and you wont have time to complain about what isn’t happening. Rejoice in what is!

Life is wonderful.

Advertisements

As we hope in You…

Since I last wrote we traveled to a small town called Sombo–just 30Kil outside Garissa, Kenya in the Northeast. There is a small village way out in the desert bush that is committed to the Lords work among the surrounding villages that are mostly Muslim. By the grace of God they, knowing that the Sombo mission is a christian organization, have accepted them into the area. The Sombo mission provides free schooling to the children in the surrounding villages as well as a medical center. Also in the surrounding desert are 2 unreached people groups! Originally we were going to be living at Sombo while doing outreach to the Somalian refugee camps that were close, but we felt the Lord calling us to a time of prayer and intercession. So instead we didn’t do much but sweat and pray. We did a 24/3 and God gave so many encouraging words to the mission through us. It was challenging to not be physically doing anything but it was such a time of growth in patience and waiting upon the Lord.        The children at the school in Sombo.

The Pastor at Sombo was David Minor, a wonderful man full of the joy of the Lord. He referred to me as his daughter-in-law and wanted me to marry his son. “Freesha, my daughter,” he would say with a big smile. His joy rubbed off on all of us—and his family showed us such an abundance of hospitality! At night the boys and the girls took turns sleeping on a trailer that was out in the compound–falling asleep under the starry African night is something I hope you get to experience one day.

After our short stay there we traveled to the Northwestern part of Kenya where we are now, Kapenguria. We’re nearing the end of our journey, only 3 more weeks in Africa and one more in Iceland–its making my heart desire to squeeze as much life out of these last few precious moments. Here in Kapenguria there is a bible school run by Icelandic missionaries that we are working with. The grounds are beautiful, though you can tell its run by westerners because of the western toilets, showers and kitchen its such an incredible place of rest; cobblestone walkways, beautiful gardens, and real beds! We will be here until we have our debrief week–we will be doing outreach to the surrounding unreached tribes in the area, as well as working with the street boys in this area.

After the long day of traveling on Friday we received some horrible news that I am still struggling to understand. Laura & Ebel, who we worked with in the beginning of our trip, we received a phone-call informing us that three armed robbers broke into their home on the YWAM Athi River base. When Ebel tried to get them out of the house they shot and killed him in front of their two precious children (around the ages of 2 and 4).

I was initially in shock–I wanted to shut down, but I knew I needed to pray fervently for Laura and the children. Before we traveled here to the Northwest we made a pit-stop back in Nairobi to celebrate Esther’s birthday and as we were leaving I felt the urge to ask Esther if I could borrow her copy of “Happy Intercessor” by Beni Johnson. It was literally as we were walking out the door and the taxi was honking. She handed it to me and I ran to the car. So when I felt the need to pray—I had no idea HOW. How do you pray into a situation such as this? The Lord led me to a few pages in the book that helped me to pray WITH Him and into His character. I came to a core peace, like what Steve Berger talks about in Have Heart—core peace doesn’t mean you don’t grieve, but it shuts out the lies and confusion that so often follow tragedies. I’m still consciously having to deny the lies of the enemy against God’s character because I don’t understand–but I also know that I’m not going to. All I know is that this act was the definition, literally, of the enemy. “A thief comes only to steal (robbers), kill (Ebel), and destroy (Levi, Ezra and Laura)–but I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) I know that this was NOT Papa’s will and I know that He has a brilliant plan of redemption that will shine His glory.

We had a little memorial service for Ebel here just with our team, reminiscing on the short time we were able to spend with Ebel. His sarcastic, dry humor and depth of wisdom is what stood out to us most. You can tell by the photo below, taken when we were helping to build on his orphanage community dream:

The guys working in the water tank at Ebel & Laura's orphanage.

The guys working in the water tank at Ebel & Laura’s orphanage.

Ebel and Laura’s hearts beat for the Lord and they dreamt with Him—I am so privileged to have gotten to be a part of the dream that the spirit birthed in them to start an orphanage community here in Kenya. I know in my heart that this dream will live on and shine even more of God’s glory.

I remember sitting in the little classroom at Athi River as Ebel shared him & Laura’s love story and dream for Kenya–just eating it up. The Lord used them to continue speaking to me about LIFE–what he came to bring–throughout this entire outreach he’s been deepening my understanding of what it really means. I’ve been learning to dream WITH him and their story was an incredible encouragement on this journey of deepening.

I hope that as you read this, it strikes your heart to pray for Laura and the children with us as we cry mercy. This song is what I keep praying:

In the still passion Oh God
Open Eyes, Mend hearts
Let the harvest fall like rain
As we cry Mercy. as we cry mercy
Oh, Jesus, You must come
Your presence, we must have
Your power, it must fall
As we hope in you
Our only hope
Mercy, mercy
Lord, show us mercy
Mercy, Mercy
Lord, show us mercy.
 

Meme nakupende Kenya.

In the past few weeks God has been growing, stretching and challenging me and the rest of our team tremendously.

We’ve been working with Janjaap (aka: Jayjay) & Esther (the couple we were led to by Peter). We’ve been working with their ministry with street women & street boys. It’s been so rewarding! Praying, loving and just spending time with them. We’ve seen physical healings, outpourings of the Lords joy and peace,  & realizations of God, the Father’s love for them personally.

Louise, one of the street women.

Some of my favorite moments have been with the street boys; one Friday we were teaching about the Holy Spirit–which was just an incredible day. The boys were open and asking for us to pray with them so they might be able to receive the Holy Spirit! How awesome is that? Me & Ari prayed for this one boy named Francis. After we had been praying for a little bit he started rubbing his forehead really intensely. He told us that he just had felt something leave his body, the translator said “Oh it was probably just a demon” really nonchalantly, ha. But then he said the prayer of salvation and gave his life to Jesus!
Bwana ase five! (Praise Jesus! in Swahili)

I’ve loved that we can’t walk into the city without stopping to spend a moment or two with the women on the hill. We’ve built real relationships with them and its been incredible! Just loving on them–they have such a hunger to be loved. What breaks my heart though, is seeing the boys (10+) sniffing diesel & glue to escape the realities of life. We’ve been trying to speak truth and life into them. To remind them to dream BIG! They’re at pivotal points in their lives where they can either sniff glue and accept the life of living on the streets or fight for more–knowing that they are sons of the Most High–and God has better in store for them; this is what were praying that they realize. So if you want to pray for them, some of their names are: Silas, Virginia, Peter, Bogwa, John, Kennedy and Purity. :)

Also this past week we were robbed at our hostel. Which shook us all up a bit. They took my cameras (Canon 5D and Canon Rebel XTi film), Michelle’s computer & camera along with Gilli’s computer and phone. I have been extremely bummed, bu God is good (All the time) and He’s used this to teach us to lean more on His understanding more & more. And to trust Him.

We’ve been blessed with some amazing times of soaking, rest and refreshment. After the night of the robbery, the next day we went over to Jayjay and Esther’s from some incredible, and much-needed soaking time. While we were there, God first just washed over me with peace and rest–then he started assuring me that he’s going to fulfill his promises of provision and is going to take care of me. When we were praying after soaking, God showed me this picture of me eating the crumbs of financial worries and future worries —he was showing it to me like a chart and I was eating wayyy at the bottom and where He wanted me was wayyy at the top at the banquet table. There is where I can really share His heart and do ministry–living from the banquet table! I felt such a sweet release! Ah it was wonderful. With that release came hunger that I’ve not experienced before. hunger for more and more of God pouring into me!

Michelle’s birthday was also incredible–we went out to a fancy Japanese restaurant for sushi (yummm) and then spent time in park praying over her new year, eating cake, and resting…it was magical.

God’s been teaching me a lot about the goodness He has in store for me (and you!) and A LOT about trust and reliance on Him.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield
The Lord gives grace and glory
He does not withhold the GOOD
from those who live in integrity.
HAPPY is the person who TRUSTS in you,
Oh Lord of Hosts!” Psalm 84:11-12

I love living this adventure with Papa and sharing His love. It’s truly wonderful.

Falling In Love

Last week was a pretty intense week, and at the beginning of this week I think I was still recovering and processing stuff that the Lord was showing me last week. I was relieved to find out that this week’s topic was relationships. How hard can a week on relationships be?
We started the week with a little bit of review (for us DTS students)–Ron (the speaker, from Colombia, MO) drew some diagrams and talked about not putting up walls because it blocks others out, loving your neighbor and being interdependent on the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Great things to take note of and a crucial foundation to any relationship, romantic or not. In conversation he asked me what I would like to know about relationships. I thought about it for a moment and decided it would be really nice to learn how to unconditionally love annoying people (haha). Ron planned to teach on just that the following day…teaching us how to walk through life with a heart of peace–not judging others–and not becoming focused on the hurt (annoyance) someone causes you. When you start magnifying this you become blinded and distracted from the race.

“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?”
Galatians 5:7

All of this was great stuff, but still light compared to last week.
I spoke to soon,but before I can share what happened next I feel like I need to backtrack a little bit…

Earlier this year I went to an Encounter weekend where I discovered an ungodly belief I carried:  Somewhere in my life I decided to make a general belief about men, that they were destructive beings and not worth my trust. I believed that the only role men played in my life was to hurt, abandon or abuse. This was due to past Father figures, boyfriends and other authority figures. The Lord started healing this just this year, he brought some amazing brothers into my life and started opening my eyes to the beauty of his sons. He opened my eyes and showed me that when I expect men to fail and believe that they are destructive I am calling Gods sons less than who they are; they are sons of the kingdom! Full of worth and great inheritance!

Fast-forward to Wednesday Ron gets in front of the class and shares a heart-breaking story about a young girls road to restoration after she had been attacked by a man. Ron told us that the Lord asked him in that situation to get on his face in front of this girl and speak the words of the Father: ” This was not my will for you. Here I come humbly to you.” Ron then stood in the gap and asked for forgiveness on behalf of the attacker.

By the end of the story I, along with most everyone was tearing up and I wasn’t prepared for what was coming next. Ron turns and addresses the girls in the room and begins to tell us that he wanted to stand in that gap for us; he wanted to apologize and ask for forgiveness in place of the men who had damaged and hurt us. He came to us and got down on his knees took all the weight of other men’s wrong doings in our lives..and asked for forgiveness. Oh my heart….
Throughout last week I felt as though my heart was going to burst, it was actually painful. And although I did receive breakthrough, it wasn’t enough to feel a release in my heart; but in this moment my heart finally burst and sweet refreshing water was finally able to flow in. There is so much more building up to this moment, but some of it is a little to personal to share on the world-wide web.

I think the main thing was the realization that by me holding onto the hurt…constantly saying “but this person hurt me!” as a subconscious excuse to not fully forgive, it was making my heart ache–and distracting me from the race.

Oh sweet release.

We then moved onto marriage and love…oh joy joy.
The teaching was a little more on the open dialogue side…and I think he had a great answer to the question of whether or not God tells us who are future spouse is: he pointed out that God can’t promise you something that requires someone elses free-will–brilliant. He may on the other hand say “this would a good one.” while nudging and winking at you. :)

What I got out of what he had to say was basically every love story is going to be unique and different, that’s the beauty of it. It’s just wise to make sure your mind, spirit and emotions are all balance–and although God may not be clearly saying “this is the one” still be in counsel with Him. You and your love could completely feel as though you got a divine word that confirmed the love you had, it could be full of risk and movie-esque fate moments or it could be something easy flowing like a friendship into marriage. Either way its beautiful.

“Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling… Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go… But, of course, ceasing to be “in love” need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from “being in love” — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God… “Being in love” first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.” -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

What a healing, intense and lovely week.

FLY

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? ”

Matthew 6:25-27