Saturday, November 11, 2017

God who sees me - an encouragement for moms

Recently I was given the privilege to speak with a local Mom's group, sharing about our past trip and what it's like being a mom on the mission field.

I proceeded to share about our trip, and my experiences of being a mom on the field. As I was praying and preparing before the session, I also felt to share something the Lord had shown me during one of my morning devotion's in Turkey, as an encouragement to these moms.

Every morning our team would begin worship and prayer time at 8:00 am. This particular morning (in Turkey) I kept thinking and dwelling on how there is so much love in my God’s eyes, how His eyes are full of kindness.

Amanda Cook says in her song “You Don’t Miss a Thing:”

“There’s no place I could go your love won’t find me
No place I could hide that you don’t see
No place I could fall that your love won’t catch me

You see it all, you see it all through the eyes of love
You’re in everything, You’re all around me
When I’m misunderstood your love understands me,
You see it all, you see it all”

This got me thinking about what the Lord sees, which brought me to the story of Hagar in Genesis, chapter 16.

Hagar was a maidservant of Sarai. Sarai was unable to conceive so she forced Hagar to become a secondary wife, forced to sleep with Abram and become pregnant. And she did. (Pretty intense, if I may say so...)

I imagine the emotions going on inside of this woman. She acted out in contempt towards Sarai, and mistreated her. So as punishment, Sarai treats her harshly and humiliates her. And Hagar runs.

Hagar flees her mistress and runs to the dessert. But then it says the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness. And He addresses her, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid” and asks where she came from and where she’s going. She admits she’s running away. He tells her to go back to her mistress and submit humbly to her authority. Then He goes on to tell her of her son and the things to come of him. She responds with this:

you are God who sees.” For she said, “Have I not even here (in the wilderness) remained alive after seeing Him (who sees me with understanding and compassion)?” (AMP version)

She had done wrong, yes, by treating her mistress with contempt and addressing her infertility. But here’s this woman who’s lived a hard life. She’s a servant, she’s forced to be a wife, and to become pregnant. I think anyone can read this story and understand the difficulties this woman faced, and why she treated her mistress harshly. Nevertheless, she had made a mistake, and she was punished and humiliated. So she runs. And the Lord finds her, and shows up. In the old testament, this was very uncommon, and she knows this. 

And He finds her, understands her, and He corrects her, and directs her. And she says, “You are the God who sees me.” Had Hagar ever been seen with understanding and compassion?

Therefore the well was called ‘Beer-lahai-roi’ which means, “well of the living one who sees me.”

He found her, met her, knew her, spoke to her, and understood her. He saw her and had compassion on her. 

This particular story is one of my favorites as the Lord shows His love and compassion, and understanding for this new mom.

How often mother's do feel overlooked, misunderstood, and unseen. I want to share three stories I shared with the Mom's group. These are three women I encountered while overseas, all mothers, who God saw and were changed by His love. 

Gulistan - An outcast in her society, mother of two, depressed after her father's passing, and feeling hopeless. She'd been befriended by local missionaries five years ago and they have prayed for her and been there for her. We visited this woman and prayed for dreams and for her to know the hope of Jesus. Exactly one week later Gulistan's friend had a dream about Jesus and this led to the missionaries being able to witness to them openly and B O T H ladies accepted Jesus! Not one, but two mothers, who came to know the true hope of Christ.

Augusta - Mother and grandmother, part of a family of witches (practicing witchcraft and voodoo), very sick. She belonged to the village we were about to visit. I previously had a dream about an elderly woman who was wearing red and was very sick. When I saw her, I heard the Holy Spirit say, "that's her." The next day she approached our team and they offered to pray for her. She said everything hurt and she'd been so sick. They told her about my dream and she confirmed, "she had a dream about me!" Our team prayed with her and she was healed, and then accepted Jesus! Then she pointed at her grandsons and said, "please, pray for them!" 

Expecting Mom -  A young new mom in one of the villages we'd visited, expecting her first child and one month away from her due date. As I met this woman I could see the excitement but also the fear. Complications and death occur far more frequently in third world countries than in first world, as they do not have the medical advantages we have. I pointed to my two year old and told her how I was also nervous when I was pregnant, because we don't know how things will go. But I shared how the Lord told me He would be with me. I told her, "The Lord wants you to know He will also be with you, and to have peace." She was glowing with the biggest and sweetest smile.

I wonder what it must have felt like for Gulistan, to know that the God of the universe saw her, that He cared that her hope and joy would be restored.

I wonder what it must have felt like for Augusta, to have been so sick, unable to move, and the God of redeeming love sees her. He gives someone a dream about her so that she would be chased, found, healed and would know His redeeming love.

I wonder what it must have felt like for the young mom, a month away from her due date, to know that God saw her. That he sent these foreigners from across the world to find this village and tell her that He would be with her when she would give birth and to have peace.

He is the God that sees.

Something my incredible mother shared with me after having Avery was, "being a mom is the greatest form of discipleship."

How right she is! We have our children from the start. We teach them, influence them, and help mold their futures and launch them towards success.

Proverbs 31:25-31 "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 

Being a mom is my first, my favorite, and my most rewarding ministry!

For the moms reading this, be encouraged, for God sees YOU! He sees everything you do, the state of your heart, and all the love you pour into your children.

He sees you when you do the laundry, the dishes, clean the house, and clean up the mid-potty training accidents. He sees you when you're up in the middle of the night because your little one doesn't feel like sleeping. And He loves what you do. God sees you with understanding and compassion. And your job is so important! You are an influencer, and you are a missionary to your child(ren). You are raising your babies to be mountain-movers, and world-changers!

Y O U   A R E   S E E N. 

Y O U    A R E   I M P O R T A N T.

F O R   H E   I S   G O D   W H O   S E E S.

Genesis 16:13, "Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are Heb El roi; God never sleeps, He sees, He is aware, He is the great Omnipresent God.God Who Sees," for she said, “Have I not even here [in the wilderness] remained alive after Heb El roi; God never sleeps, He sees, He is aware, He is the great Omnipresent God.seeing Him [who sees me with understanding and compassion]?"

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Lady in Red

T H E    L A D Y   I N   R E D

We were leaving for an expedition into the bush to visit the Tongwe people in the village of Kama.

I was nervous, but also very excited as both Matthew and I have dreamed of this kind of opportunity for years. 

The leaders of Team Tanzania met with us to prepare us, and encourage us. They told us to be on alert and ready for anything. They advised that we be open to the Lord speaking to us, whether in visions or dreams, to prepare us for the people of Kama. 

"Lord, I'm open to Your voice and I want to be obedient." 

To be completely honest here, I get nervous every time I pray that prayer. My heart of faith says "YES" to whatever He may have me say or do; meanwhile, my thoughts of anticipation ask, "but what will He have me do?!" 

But the Lord's voice is always worth the listening ear and willing heart. 

And this story just further reveals why...


Two nights before the departure of our expedition, I had a dream. 

I saw an elderly African woman in red. She was lying down, and I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me, saying, "darkness and death are looming over her." She looked paralyzed, and trapped.

When I woke up I felt that I was going to find this woman during our visit to Kama, and that she would be set free. I prayed for her, and I prayed the Lord would make her ready to be set free.  

I planned on telling my team about the dream. There was part of me wondering if I would sound ridiculous. 

Perhaps I would. And I would have to be okay with that. 

But my team is so wonderful. They are sensitive to hearing the Lord and firmly believe that every team member has a voice, and I knew that. And I knew they would respond the way I felt we should. 

I hadn't found the opportunity to inform them yet. 

After 11 hours of driving, we arrived in the village. The children saw the trucks from far away and rushed to greet us, waving, smiling, and jumping.

Oh what joy we felt in this moment to see these people who are normally on the other side of the world! And they were just as excited to see us as we were to see them! 

We went from hut to hut, greeting faces, shaking hands and giving our respect. 

Sitting on a porch sat an elderly woman dressed in red. She was the last of the people left to greet. I approached her and stuck out my hand, saying "Shikamoo," which means, "I give you my respect."With a weak smile she replied, "Marahaba," which means "I receive your respect."

As we shook hands, I heard the Lord say, "that's her." 

The next morning, during our preparation to visit with the people, I informed the team of my dream and it became our mission to find "the lady in red." 

I prayed. I prayed the Lord would prepare her. I prayed our team would work as one unit to offer the love and freedom of Jesus. 
Split into two groups, we parted ways and went hut to hut, respectfully greeting the people and asking if they needed prayer. 

We prayed with a 10 year old boy named Shabani who had a burn on his leg. Our team was able to give him medical advice and cream for the burn. 

We prayed with a young woman who was 8 months pregnant. (Pregnancy and delivery is a much scarier thing for these woman as they don't have the medical advantages we do back home. Where they live, death occurs much more frequently from childbirth.) It was apparent this expecting mother was probably feeling nervous. Most women would be, regardless of the statistics of possible death. We prayed for the delivery and for peace over her. We reminded her that the Lord would be with her. She smiled and received it all. Peace and joy were all over her face. 

We prayed for people with illnesses. We prayed with families. We prayed with mothers. We prayed with children and babies. 

As we went hut to hut, I searched for the lady in red. She had been sitting on a porch in the opposite direction than we had gone. I hoped and prayed the other half of our team would find her. 

Our hut visits came to an end as we reached our last house. 

As we met up with the other half of our team I found out that the lady in red had found them! Her name was Augusta and she came to them! 

She was standing there as they turned around so Donna asked her, "Are you dealing with sickness of any kind? Do you need prayer for anything?"

Augusta said, "everything hurts! Every part of my body hurts." 

She was a witch - part of a family of witches. 

Donna told her "one of the ladies with us had a dream about you, and said you were sick. In her dream you were wearing red and last night when she saw you she recognized you from her dream. 

Augusta replied, "That's me! She had a dream about me. I wore red again today so you would remember me from last night!" 

She allowed them to pray for her health. And she told them she felt the sickness lift from her. They went on to ask about her heart, and asked if she wanted to accept the Lord and be free from the darkness. 

She didn't want to pray in front of the whole village. She said she wanted to pray by the house of Pastor Moshi (the pastor in their village). She wanted to totally separate from her surroundings, and the team was more than respectful of her wishes. 

They made their way over to his home and the team began to minister to her. 

Donna spoke to her, saying, "in your life you've done a lot of things you're not proud of. But that can change. What is it that your life has spoken?"

 Her two grandsons stood by her side. Donna said, "you have children and grandchildren watching you. You can change it all right now and give them a good story to follow. Do you want them to follow all the bad you've done or the good you're doing now? You're the one they look up to." 

She listened with an undivided attention. 

My mom, who was also there, told her, "there's no darkness so great that God's light can't penetrate through!" They gave an example of using a match in her home - how it penetrates, and pierces the darkness. This is life with Jesus! 

John 1:5, "The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it." 

She listened intently and agreed with every word spoken. She wanted to change and she wanted this freedom for her family. 

They walked around her as they prayed. Donna explained, "we're walking around you now representing how the Holy spirit is surrounding you and separating you from the darkness." 

After they prayed for her, they then prayed for her grandsons. 

Denis spoke to Augusta and gave her the word "redemption." Like the example of Peter, she may have sinking moments, but to keep her eyes on him. 

She said she felt it all lift! The darkness was lifted and the pain was gone! 

To say I was overjoyed at hearing this report is an understatement! There are no words. The Lord is so good, showing this woman His compassion and mercy.

I'm overwhelmed just thinking about it. The God of the universe cares so much for Augusta that He sent this group of people from across the world to come to her village, to find her and deliver her from the darkness. And it's all because He loves and He cares for "the one."


Picture of Augusta, "The Lady in Red"

1 Peter 2:24, "He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed." 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Joy of Surrender

 Standing in the bed of the truck with my husband by my side, we hung on tightly while enduring the bumpy and washed out road.

The children came running at the sound of our vehicle. Standing by the edge of the road and awaiting our passing, they’d smile and wave. “Mzungu!” they’d yell, which means “white people!”

We waved back with smiles on our faces. How could anyone help it?

My heart was full as uncontrollable tears poured from my eyes. I tried to wipe them in a discreetly fashion, but it was pretty obvious that I was crying. I sighed as I took it all in. “I’m in Africa. I’m riding the bumpy roads, and I’m waving at the children I’ve been dying to visit.”

How can this be?

Days later, while having some quite time with the Lord, I listened to a song that just happened to come on my playlist. It was called “the Joy of Surrender” by the Upper Room. I stopped as I listened to the words the singer spoke:

“Just like it was the first time when we gave our lives to you – we said we’d give our whole lives – we say it again, again – Jesus, we surrender our whole life! This is the joy of surrender!”

How I connected with those words! That was my story.

It brought me back…

I was twelve years old and I wanted to give my whole life to the Lord, but I was afraid. I wrote in my journal:

“God, I want to give you my whole life, but I know that means everything, and I’m afraid. What if you ask me to go to Africa?”

A couple of weeks later we had a worship night for our youth group. There was such a strong presence of the Lord that night. I felt like I needed to get alone, away from friends and just get alone with God.

I faced the wall and I began to talk to Him. I probably looked ridiculous, a twelve year old girl just talking to the wall. 

But I knew He was there. 

“God, I know that if I give you my whole life, it means everything. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what You’ll ask of me. But I know You love me, and I trust You!”

Something changed in me in that moment. I told the Lord He could have all of me – I didn’t want to live in fear anymore – I wanted Him to have my whole life and I was willing to go wherever He asked me to go.”

In my twelve year old voice, I shouted “I give you my whole life! I surrender all! If you want me to get on a plane and go to Africa, then I will! I will get on that plane and I will go! I love you, God!”

All in a moment the fear was gone! It was like a weight lifted and I was no longer afraid! There was peace… the peace that “surpasses all understanding.” Or like my friend Caitlin says, “the peace that doesn’t make sense.” This peace was now mine!

I knew His love was too wonderful and I said “yes!” All the fear, I surrendered it all. I gave Him my whole life!

This was the joy of surrender!

As that song took me back and reminded me of that moment, I just laughed, and I cried. I’m overwhelmed with joy as I stand here IN AFRICA! I laugh because what was once my fear became a desire, and what became a desire become a reality. And that is so the Lord. He takes what we are most afraid of and He turns it into something we long for, and when we step out He makes it happen.

I'm standing on African soil, but the journey here began long ago when I surrendered my whole life to Him.

This is something I had to share! For anyone reading this that may struggle with the fear of surrendering your whole life to Jesus, let me just say - it’s been my best “yes.” Full surrender has resulted in an insurmountable joy. The kind that causes one to sit back and laugh with uncontrollable tears.

The Word of God says we will overcome by the blood of the lamb (Jesus) and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). May this testimony encourage every person reading this. 

God bless!


Friday, June 30, 2017

Hope is alive

Up on the hill, where the Gypsies live, we walked towards the home of a woman named Gulistan
The local workers have become great friends with this woman. They have visited her month after month and sometimes week after week, to share the love of Jesus and to build relationship with her. 

For the past 5 years they have prayed that the seeds they have sown would take root, and that Gulistan would give her heart to Jesus.

  We walked the rocky soil, passing by goats, and homes holding together from scrap materials. 

We passed by a woman cleaning her linens and hanging them out to dry. We passed by the children running and playing. 

  As we made it to the door, Gulistan greeted us with kisses and welcomed us into her home. It's Turkish custom to leave your shoes at the door, so we walked into a small room that was assumed to be the kitchen/living room. 

We made ourselves comfortable, sitting on the cushions draped over with linens. 

My friend interpreted for Gulistan, saying she hadn't known I was coming with them. She had prepared gifts for the two woman I was with, but had something different for me. 

She was so kind to even have us in her home. She didn't need to give me a gift!

I was humbled as I watched Gulistan reach for one of her shelves in her kitchen and pull down a decorative camel covered in colorful rhinestones. 

She handed it to me, saying this was a special gift, since camels are a historic piece of her homeland. 

I was overwhelmed with gratitude, yet my initial response was to refuse - "no, I couldn't possibly accept this! It's far too precious - and it's her own possession. Just being here is gift enough!" 

I was also afraid I would insult her by refusing her gift. I was torn! 

My friend interpreted that she wanted me to have it. 

This small act of kindness spoke volumes to me. 

As the rest of our time went on, we realized that Gulistan (who was fasting for Ramadan), had spent her whole day preparing for us and cooking a meal. 

She laid a table cloth that was covered with butterflies onto the ground by the cushions we sat on. 

This sweet woman who was fasting, plated our food and served us tea. She refused every one of our offers to help, as she wanted to serve us! 

Yalangi (stuffed grape leaves), Biber DolmasÄ« (stuffed peppers), yogurt, Tuzlu Kuru Pasta (Turkish Savory Cookies), a few finger foods, and Turkish tea. 

I was overwhelmed by the acts of this woman. From the moment she greeted me I felt I was her friend. How freely she gives! I was challenged by her generosity and it caused me to look inward and honestly ask myself: Do I give this freely? 

And I have JESUS... I should be giving just as freely, and MORE! 

 "...Freely you have received, freely give.”
Matthew 10:8, AMP

The rest of our time went on, and the conversations became more serious as Gulistan shared her deep feelings of despair. It had been four months since her father's passing. She told my friend that there was no hope after death. 
I sat there with deep pain for this woman! 
How terribly painful to lose a loved one, and to endure such pain apart from the hope and comfort of Jesus. I could only imagine the depth of her sadness. It overwhelmed me and my heart felt her pain. 
I wanted her to know the hope I knew! There was so much I wanted to say to her. But how could I? My friend could interpret for me, but I didn't how to form the words. 

I resolved to pray:

"Lord, open her heart and her eyes to your hope! May she see You for who You are!" 

My friend, who has spent the last four years developing a friendship with this woman, once again told her of the hope of Jesus. 

As we left, we prayed that the Lord would open her heart to Jesus. We prayed for dreams and that she would see the Lord's hope. 

One week later, a different woman, who was friends with Gulistan, came to her saying that she'd had a dream about 'Isa,' (in Turkish, 'Isa' means Jesus)! She was perplexed and desperate to know what the dream meant. 

Gulistan called my friend (who speaks Turkish) and asked if she could come and explain the dream. 

 When my friend arrived to Gulistan's home, there were three women present - Gulistan, her friend that had the dream, and another friend. 

 These woman were curious, and they were troubled, but they were hungry to hear truth. My friend told them about Jesus! Two of the woman gave their hearts to the Lord that day, including Gulistan!!! 

When my friend returned with this news, our entire team was overjoyed. 

We had just prayed a week ago that the Lord would show himself in dreams and that they would see His hope alive. And here He's done it!

My eyes filled with tears knowing my new friend, who was so downtrodden just one week ago, has finally found the hope of Jesus, just as we had prayed! 

My new friend now sees that hope is not dead, but hope is ALIVE!!! 

Praise the Lord!!! 

This camel, my gift from Gulistan, will always be a reminder of my friend, and what the Lord has done. It will always remind me that HOPE IS ALIVE! 

"We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone." Psalms 33:20-22

Friday, May 26, 2017

My First Experience in a Turkish Village

  Last week, our team had the opportunity to go out into a local village, with the intentions of meeting the local people, praying for them as we were able. Justin Beal and I were paired up, and we decided to just walk down the main street of this village and try to start up conversation with everyone we came in contact with. 

It was difficult at first, since we only know a few basic words and phrases in Turkish, and with this being a small farming village in the mountains, virtually none of the locals spoke any English. Despite that, we still wanted to do our best to reach out and start up conversations with the people we saw, trusting that God would direct our steps. 

After a few brief conversations with several people, we kept walking and praying our way down the road, until we passed a small restaurant that looked more like someone’s home and beautifully kept garden. We both looked at each other as we walked by, and inside knew this was where we were supposed to stop, so we went in.

There was just a man and an older woman eating breakfast at a table, along with a woman preparing food in the kitchen, and a man watering the plants in the garden (presumably the owners). We decided to take the table right next to the 2 people eating, in hopes that we could strike up a conversation, and ordered some tea (definitely the most popular drink in Turkey). 

We said hello to everyone, and the man at the table next to us began talking to us in very broken English, but enough for us to communicate the basics across, stating that we were from America, and were happy to be visiting their beautiful village.

 After a little bit, the conversation died down, and Justin and I looked at each other and just started praying for them in English since they really didn’t understand it, and it would just look to them like we were having a normal conversation. 

We got our tea, and just sat back taking in the scenery, and then decided to try conversing again, this time with the aid of Google Translate (a must have phone app for international travel, if I might add). This allowed us to really get to know more about the man and woman next to us, which were actually a mother and son enjoying breakfast together.

After exchanging stories, we decided to ask if either of them had any pain in their bodies that we could perhaps pray for. For me, it’s always been a struggle just to openly come up to someone and ask if there was anything I can pray with them for, just because it can feel so awkward and uncomfortable, that it is easier to avoid than to just do it. Nevertheless, we proceeded to ask, and the man (named Ali) seemed to light up and said yes, pointing to his kidney area. After several minutes of trying to diagnose roughly what it was he was trying to explain, we realized that his mother was having kidney issues and they were happy to have us pray. We prayed a very simple prayer in English, just asking that God would heal her kidney, and that He would bless them both and show His love to them, and then we finished. 

After that, they thanked us, and actually invited us over to their table to have breakfast with them. He even called the owners over to sit down with us, and we all ate breakfast together! It was such an awesome experience, and is really nothing like I’ve ever seen back home in America. Despite the language barrier, in that moment, it felt like we were all friends just enjoying each other’s company, eating together. It was amazing!

We sat and talked (or mainly listened) for a while, trying to understand some of the Turkish conversation, but we were really just happy to be sitting there eating breakfast. Ali actually ended up letting us know that he owned a market in a nearby town, and invited us to come by anytime, and even gave us his cell phone number to contact him. He and his mother had to go, but the restaurant owners insisted that Justin and I finish our breakfast, so we sat there and finished eating, while the shop owner went back to watering his garden.

 The owner's wife was still at the table eating with us, and I just thanked her for her hospitality and for the wonderful food. We decided to ask if we could pray a blessing for them and their business, to which she agreed and called her husband back over so we could pray together with them. We prayed another simple prayer, just asking that God would bless them and their business, and again that he would just show His love to them. 

We finished, and went to pay and go back to walking around the town, but when we asked how much the bill came to, they informed us that it was free of charge, and that it was their pleasure to share with us. We tried again to pay for the meal, but they would not accept, and so we thanked them again and said our goodbyes and left.

It was such an incredible experience that would have never happened if we had just kept walking and decided to stay in our comfort zone. We were able to not only be a blessing to others, but to also be blessed. It was such an encouragement to me as well, because even though there is a language barrier, God is still able to move. Even if it means that there will be awkward moments, and extra time spent trying to communicate through Google Translate, it’s worth the time and even the momentary awkwardness. I just have to be willing to share his love, to step out of what’s comfortable, and be a light.

Mark 5:21, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.”
-     - Matthew

Thursday, April 20, 2017

He is strong

It was 11:59 on March the 31st, 2017.  Then suddenly it wasn't. I sat next to my husband, realizing the past 60 seconds, just like that, had transitioned us from one month to the next. And it was a big transition. "April the 1st." My eyes widened. I leaned over to Matt and said, "we leave THIS month for the mission field!"

And this was no April fool's joke!

As we plan and prepare for our upcoming trip, it's moments like these that awaken Matthew and I to the reality of this life change. And the moments seem to be happening more and more frequently.

A few weeks ago a question struck me. It started as a thought, just lingering back in my mind, and finally, it made itself plain: 

"Why me? I'm too weak. Everyone is only going to see how weak I am. I'm not bold enough. I don't have enough to bring to the team. Why me?" 

I continued with my devotions for that morning. I was reading in 2 Corinthians 3 when verses 17-18 caught my eye: 

"But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." - 2 Corinthians 3:17-19

 It's so like the Lord to deliver exactly what you need at exactly the moment you need it! My bible included footnotes on this scripture which only delivered more encouragement to my pondering heart. It reads:

 "As our knowledge deepens, the Holy Spirit helps us to change. Becoming Christlike is a progressive experience. The more closely we follow Christ, the more we will be like Him." 

And isn't that what I want and need? To be more like Him?

I heard the Lord answer: "Stay close to Me. You may not be strong enough, but I am. My power works best in your weakness."

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 AMP "but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough--always available--regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.10 So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength]."

It's okay that I'm weak. It's okay that I mess up. I will fail at times, and that's okay. I'm learning, I'm progressing. Incapable as I may be, He is all-knowing, all-powerful, all sufficient and that's what matters! HE is the Great I AM and HE is strong enough! 

"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13
 Greek through the onewho gives me strength.

In one of my recent journal entries, I wrote to the Lord: 

"I am loving this season, because as I'm recognizing my weakness, I'm holding onto Your Strength. I'm thankful for my inability because it enables me to see You, in all Your greatness and all Your goodness. And I'm falling more in love with You all over again."

May our weaknesses be a testimony to His strength and His glory as we stay close and cling to Him!

- Mckenna 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Here We Go

 We are Matthew, Mckenna, (and Avery) followers of Christ and passionate about spreading God's love.

 Over the course of the past 10 years we have both felt burdened with a desire for the Mission field. With no particular location in mind, we felt unsure of where or when, or even how to. With friends in the mission field, and even family, there was really no reason to delay this pursuit. The advice, wisdom, and help was all there. Our hearts have been aching to go, to pursue this calling. We began to make our plans, trusting the Lord would direct each step, and my how He has. In February we joined Touching Nations Today, a non-profit missions organization, as full-time global missionaries.

"And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'" - Mark 16:15 

That's exactly our vision, to go into "all" the world and preach the good news to everyone, making disciples for Jesus! We are beyond thrilled as we step into this new season and are so thankful for all the doors that have already been opened.

We are passionate about raising up a team of individuals willing to stand with us in support and in prayer. We look forward to sharing more with anyone who is interested in meeting face to face and hearing about our vision. 

Psalm 96:2-3 "Sing to the Lord; praise His name. Each day proclaim the good news that He saves. Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does."

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