As I would lay my head on my pillow at night, my mind and heart were completely overwhelmed by the goodness of my God for that day. Then there would be a small sigh as I pondered that this day was probably the apex of the trip; everything else would be good...but probably nothing close to this day. It was okay, I thought to myself, because better is one day in His presence than a thousand elsewhere. Silly me!
My God would raise the sun each morning, and each day He would raise the team to a different level of His grace, goodness and glory! Throughout the entire trip, God continually amazed us with power and purpose. Each day of ministry was accompanied with salvation, healing, freedom and promise. Each day, every team member was challenged, and every time God took them beyond their wildest dreams.
My greatest joy is to bring men, women and young people to other lands where they are exposed to what they have only seen in the media; to strip them of everything they are comfortable with in their own nation so that they must totally trust and rely on God, knowing He is enough for every situation they encounter. This is my desire, this is my passion: to give believers the opportunity to step out of their boats and experience an encounter that they have no business stepping into except for God’s great goodness and grace. There is nothing like watching a believer soar into new heights in Christ. This is my heartbeat.
While I was there, the Lord revealed and confirmed many things to me personally on a daily basis, and I am grateful. As I left one particular village where poverty was the master, I boarded the bus fighting back the tears. As I sat in my seat, I could no longer deny or hold back my gratefulness, my smallness and my amazement--giving Him my song was no longer good enough; He must have all of me. For my Lord to bring me to such a desperate place, a hungry place, a lost place--me, a little blonde lady from Dysfunction Junction--was more than I could wrap my thoughts around. Yet, it is not because of who I am, but because of Whose I am. This is the promise that fuels my every day, this is why I can do what He has called me to do, and this is enough for me.
As our time drew close to completion, some would say, “Well the trip is just about over already.” I would respond, “No my friend, the trip has only begun, for now we must carry the message. We must bring the treasures that He has deposited within us to the Kingdom in our region. We have not been sent here solely for this mission, but for the Greater Purpose which is the Kingdom. Now we must carry out those things that He has spoken to us so powerfully and tenderly. Our mission has only begun.”
Thank you to all those who support me in my Grace Works. Without your partnership of prayers and financial support, I would not dare to step out into these things. You help to make it possible.
A "PURSEonal" Testimony
It has been confirmed once again that I am God’s favorite!
On Halloween night as we opened our church doors to our community for our annual “Night Under the Big Top,” my purse was stolen from our office. So, the next day I went to the police station to report the incident.
As he took the report, the officer asked me, “Ma’am did you have any valuables in the purse?” I replied, “You bet I did! My favorite lipsticks were in that purse!” He smirked, but I was serious. I also noted that my favorite wedding picture and a cute photo of Joshua and Sarah on the beach were also in the purse. The sergeant finished the report and walked me to the door. As I was leaving he said, “You realize you will probably never see your purse again.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but when someone says “never” to me, I immediately begin to look for a way to make it happen. Something on the inside stands up and says, “Did you just say…never?” How many times have we heard never? The bank will never grant you a loan. Your body will never recover. Your spouse will never…change. Your house will never sell. Your boss will never promote you! That word “never” in its negative sense is like a swear word to God. It’s not even in His kingdom’s vernacular. When we accepted Christ as our savior, did we not switch kingdoms? Our lives are to be no longer governed by this world’s system of beliefs, and never is no longer an option. Never doesn’t have a chance if we will only believe! The truth of the matter is that with God we always triumph, with God we have the victory, and with God all things are possible to those who believe!
So, I turned to the officer as I was leaving and said, “I believe I will see my purse again.” Fast forward five months. The phone rang and the police station was on the other end: “Ma’am, we have secured your purse. It was found in the Pine River another city away.”
The very next day I went down to claim my purse. As I opened all the compartments, everything was out of place. River muck had settled throughout, but there in the midst of all the clutter were my valuables fully intact and unharmed. My wedding picture, the kids on the beach…and yes, my lipsticks, too! They were just as fresh as the day I purchased them! Glory to God! He loves me so much that even when the enemy tried to steal from me, God preserved those things that were dear to me. Never say never when you are a child of God, for truly all things big and small are possible with Him!
Christmas Tea 2006
Our first Tea (because the event is so popular, we now hold the Tea on two nights) on Tuesday night was captivating, but the end of the night left me breathless. Before "Tea Time," I cast the vision of the Bike Blessing Mission and encouraged the ladies to pray and ask God what He would have them do. Anytime during the night, they could place a "tip" in the tip box located at their table. Just as I was closing and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, one of our gentleman waiters came up to the stage and handed me a slip of paper. It was the total of what had been collected in the tip boxes over the course of the evening. I could not believe what I read as I stood in silent awe at the graciousness of the ladies. In less than one hour and forty-five minutes, the women of our community raised over $2500 towards the Tea mission!!! The room came alive with cheers, and every woman left knowing that she made an indelible impression in the lives of many children. And that was just the first night… It felt like we had won the Super Bowl. After all our guests left, there was enough faith in that place to build a hospital!! Men and women volunteers were filled with joy as together they accomplished great things for the Kingdom. What would happen during the second night?
The second night was no different, and there was great expectancy amidst the volunteer staff...surely something great would happen! On Friday night, with an entire room filled with new guests, the women of the Christmas Tea raised an additional $2560. In total, we received over $6400 to purchase bikes for underprivileged children. On December 15th, we will have a semi-truck pull up at Wal-Mart to pick up a sleigh full of bikes that will forever leave an impression on the hearts of children throughout our region! What fun it is to be funnels of God’s goodness and glory…there is nothing like it in the entire world!
Just a small way that we can love one another in a “Season of Love.”