Taking a Risk

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Last night our family met a wonderful Armenian (I am not trying to say Arminian) man working to make ends meet by crafting aluminum Christmas ornaments. He served in the Russian army for a number of years and was wounded and lost the use of his legs. He has been in a wheel chair since he was 19 years old.

His name is Gagik and we told us how his pension from the Russian army is the equivalent of $70 per month and explained some of the atrocities that his people have been enduring at the hands of neighboring countries. He admitted that both he and his people live with a lot of bitterness and feel abandoned by those who should care.

Gagik made small heart-shaped ornaments for the kids and I asked his how I could pray for him. He was not opposed to me praying but was pretty convinced that there was nothing that would happen. I grabbed his hand and began to pray. There was an immediate war going on inside me to both pray for the healing of his legs and to not. I could hear loudly and clearly that I should not pray for his legs because if God did not come through on this that Gagik would be left thinking that God does not care. I was just getting blasted with the thoughts that I was going to do more damage by risking praying for his legs.

But one thing that The Lord has been teaching me is that I am NEVER EVER to allow fear to be a motivation for doing or not doing anything. Fear is not from God! So I rejected the fear and prayed for his legs and the full restoration of his legs. When I was done I asked if he would attempt to move them.

Nothing.

I shared with Gagik why I pray for people and what God has done in my life and that God loves him. I told him about the restoration of all things in Jesus, but I saw nothing change.

Yet I am convinced that God has not changed. I am convinced God does heal. I am convinced that sometimes He heals in natural ways (healing) and I am also convinced that He acts outside of the normal natural laws (miracles). I am ABSOLUTELY convinced that Jesus loves this man! My goal is not to fix my attention on what I see but to keep my attention on Jesus.

In Luke 10:9 Jesus was sending 70ish of his guys out and told them to ‘heal the sick and to preach.’ This was part of the command. He never took it back. These were not his Apostles, these were nameless, faceless guys that Jesus sent out. We do not get the option of picking and choosing what parts we will obey.

I have had the joy praying for people and seeing God heal them but this was a lot bigger than anything I have prayed for in the past. At least in my mind. But I will not stop. It was part of what we are told to do an we wish to be obedient. I believe Jesus wants to save and I believe that He is also in the business of healing and restoring people this side of heaven as well.

I want to encourage you, as you seek opportunities to share the gospel, to not get hung up on thinking you need to protect God. He really is quite good at protecting Himself. Who knows what God might do?

**The Lord has called us to raise 100% of our prayer and financial support. We still have a long way to go and would ask that you would ask The Lord how He would have you partner with us in this endeavor. Please Click Here To Join Our Monthly Support Team.

Starting Spiritual Conversations

Yesterday we went to a service to honor the passing of the mother of a great friend of ours into the presence of our Lord Jesus. As we were getting ready, Keri’s grandmother offered to buy take out, so that we would not be delayed and could still eat lunch together. When I was ordering the food at the take out counter I asked the young lady if there was a way that I could pray for her. She just looked at me in stunned silence for what seemed like an eternity. I am learning to not get antsy during these times but allow God to do whatever it is that God is doing.

She finally said, “I just learned my whole family is moving out of state and I am in school and I having to stay here by myself and I am scared and stressed. Will you pray for me?” So I began praying over her there at the counter. It was not a long prayer but as I prayed I seemed to be carried along in terms of what to say and how to pray for her encouragement. When I was finished praying she thanked me quite profusely through tears. I have found that it is times like this I get to explain why I am eager to pray for people because of what God has done in my life through Jesus and what Jesus has done on their behalf.

Because we live currently live in the Bible Belt every person believes they know God. Every person considers themselves Christian. You will run into exceptions but not that often. So what do you do in a situation like this?

It is best to NOT ask a question like “are you a believer” or “do you know Jesus?” At least not in the Bible Belt. It has been most effective, in my opinion, to ask a question of relation. “Do you consider yourself near or far from God?” You will be surprised by the answers because most people, while professing see themselves as far from God. Then you can say something to the effect, “Jesus came to bring those who are far from God near to Him. Let me tell you how He did that for me and how Jesus made this possible.”

The Lord has called us to make disciples and be based, for a time, in Berlin, Germany. While He has called us there we hear, often, that people say they are “confident” that God has called them to be “here.” My intent is not to debate that confidence but rather to encourage you, if that is you, to be effective where you are. Seek these people out. Jesus said that He is working right now, your job is to find it. Ask Him and see who is open to hearing more. What might happen if every day you shared Jesus this way with at least one person?

**If you are interested in supporting us we invite you to be a part. We are currently in need of raising monthly and/or one-time gifts to support this ministry. If The Lord has placed this on your heart you may give your tax-deductible donation here. **

God of the Details

Being iced in has given a much needed break from the hustle and bustle that has become our life.

For the last 6-8 months we have worked diligently in ministry, raising kids, raising support, working full-time, and trying to keep all of the juggling balls in the air at the same time. Then The Lord graciously allows us a time of rest and relaxation. We cannot go anywhere, we can’t meet with anyone, we don’t have internet, we are just forced to unwind.

Yet even in this I see the days and hours ticking away. I feel the need to meet with more people because we have not raised our support yet. There is a part where I feel that old familiar anxiety knocking on the door of my heart.

Then this morning the Holy Spirit graciously whispered to us the He is a God of details. It is amazing how this word spoken in my heart caused my faith to grow. Faith truly does come for hearing and hearing from the rhema of God!

Formerly I was under the impression that I must pray and ask God for wisdom and then I could make the choice I wanted or the one that seemed best to me.

It is not in man who walks to direct his steps – so says Jeremiah. I can look to and trust that God will order my every step if I will be careful to stop and listen to Him.

Forms, Locations, and Structures

Last night I started watching a show on Netflix called “Russia’s Toughest Prisons” in which they detailed a prison near Kazakhstan called “Black Dolphin.” I did not watch more than 10 minutes of the documentary but I began to meditate on something that I thought I would share.

I began to wonder how I would walk with The Lord in a situation in which I am totally isolated from humanity or in a situation that I did not control. When we lived in our former house, I had a routine in which I would get up early and go into my office and commune deeply with The Lord. These became times that I deeply enjoyed and reveled in. I began to see how you can have hours alone with The Lord and still find yourself wanting more and more. This was a tremendous time of growth for me.

Yet this month has found me in a small house (for which I am incredibly thankful) and no places to withdraw to. Then we have been iced in for a couple of says in which driving to a Starbucks or some other place has been prohibited. So watching this documentary was something The Lord began to reveal to me how much “location” and “structure” has become what I have relied on for my walk with Him.

When I have my location and routine then I see that I have tremendous blessing but when that routine is interrupted I find I am struggling. Yet we see Jesus retiring to the wilderness to be with the Father only to see Peter interrupt him to tell Him people are looking for him. (oh, How He understands me!)

What God has called us to in Berlin and beyond requires that the forms and structures look different from what we are accustomed to. Yet I find that as much as I thought I embraced that concept I am still tied heavily to the old.

For a while now I have felt as though I could hear from The Lord while I am quiet and in prayer but I have struggled when in the hustle and bustle of day to day life. I would see how Jesus was walking with and in the Spirit while there was a TON of stuff going on around Him. This became my prayer that God would teach me this.

Now I see that this is exactly what He is teaching me. May the lesson not be lost on me.

How Can You Pray for Us

take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness. Proverbs 25:5

Our goal is to see the Kingdom of God come in power on the earth, especially in Berlin, Turkey, and Central Asia. What prevents this now? The god of this world (satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelievers. When a person does not respond to God it is because they are listening to the voice of the enemy and not the voice of God.

Pray earnestly today that God would remove any wicked influences that would prevent the Gospel from spreading in Berlin and the United States. Pray that counselors to presidents and kings and chancellors and mayors will walk in righteousness and counsel in righteousness. If they will not walk in righteousness pray that God would physically remove them from the presence of authority. Also pray earnestly against and for the binding of all wicked spiritual influences that prevent the gospel from moving forward.

Sometimes it is necessary to ask God to remove the wicked counselors from the presence of those in authority. Even if we live in a pagan world may God raise up a generation of Daniels or Josephs who will counsel those in power according to righteousness.

Fabulous~Fun~Friday~Family~Focus

 

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It’s Friday, y’all! Word on the street is that it is going to be a COOL Fall weekend! Yippeee! Bring on the Pumpkin Patch weather! (Anyone else take their children to the Pumpkin Patch for some sweet fall photos, only to snap the memories of sweaty, red-faced babes?!?)

Today, I wanted to spotlight another donor family, Kari and Shane Lewis! We met the Lewis family though our church. Below is a little information about who they are and how their family came to be. We LOVE adoption and the picture it paints of what the LORD has done to adopt US into HIS family forever! We are grateful for the Lewis Family, their donation toward our ministry in Germany, and their friendship along the way! We pray blessings over each one of you!

 

Enjoy as Kari tells about her precious family!

“We have four kids; Avery is 8, Judson and Cade are 6years old (4months apart), and Asher is 6months old. It is fun to tell people the boys are 4 months apart and watch them try to figure out how that is possible. No one would ever guess that Judson was adopted, and might even pick out Cade if they had to guess! We decided to foster when the boys were 3 years old and I have to admit it was nice to get my “twins” after the midnight feedings, diaper changes, and potty training were over! (Fun fact, I am a twin myself! There are FOUR sets of twins in my family. My dad was a twin, and I have two sets of nieces and nephews who are twins! Also, my husband and my twin sister’s husband have the same birthday..even the same year!) We have no doubt Judson was made for our family and our family grew by more than one child when we adopted him. Even though it was through CPS, we decided to have an open adoption with Judson’s biological family, giving all the kids one more set of grandparents to spoil them! We see Judson’s mom, aunt, and grandparents every couple of months.

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I am homeschooling the three oldest for the first time this year because we felt called to do it…even though the decision seemed insane right after the birth of #4! Asher was our “surprise baby”. We found out we were pregnant shortly after Shane’s grandpa died from cancer, my dad died from pulmonary fibrosis, and my brother-in-law died suddenly from a massive heart attack in May and June of last year. We were still grieving and having a hard time accepting the pregnancy…until God gave us his name. He made it clear that we should name him Asher, and that’s when we knew we were having a boy…months before the ultrasound confirmed it. His name means “happy, blessed”. A great reminder that in the midst of pain and suffering, we are definitely blessed! AND, Asher is the happiest baby I know!”

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If you are interested in participating in this Puzzle FUNdraiser, please click here and designate “Puzzle Fundraiser”

Puzzle Piece Numero Uno!!

Sullivan Family

Our very first puzzle piece donation was from Amanda Sullivan and her sweet family. We have been blessed to know Mrs. Sullivan through our time at Coram Deo Academy. Amanda taught 2nd grade there before receiving the sweet blessing of her daughter, Hadley! A fun fact about the Sullivan family is that Amanda’s husband, James Sullivan, is co-owner of the car that won the Indianapolis 500 this year! Isn’t that amazing! Amanda is beautiful on the outside and the inside. Her heart for others is so precious and an inspiration to watch. Even after becoming a stay at home mom, she couldn’t resist meeting a group of us at a children’s hospital in Fort Worth to pray for one of her former students. This was a blessing to my heart as well as the sweet child’s who saw Mrs. Sullivan from her hospital window!

Sullivan Family, we are blessed by you and pray blessings from the LORD over your gorgeous family!

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To purchase a Piece of the Puzzle visit us here!