Wow! Have I got a story to tell you! 🙂 I wish I could meet up with you at a coffee shop and sit for hours sharing how God has worked in my heart and ministered around and through me since I arrived back in Africa in May, but since that’s not feasible (and since many of you would fall asleep as you came off of the caffeine high), I will share the cliff notes version. Individual stories to follow as the LORD leads. 🙂
Once upon a time, I went to Africa for several months of missionary training. Instead of encountering seminars on church planting strategy and acculturation techniques, I encountered extended periods of corporate worship and heard message after message about seeking the heart of God. Instead of being taught how to bear fruit in my Christian life, I was taught how to walk in intimacy with the LORD.
I was told, “All fruit comes from intimacy.” (John 15)
Instead of learning how to do ministry, my spirit began to realize that I was incapable of doing anything that would have eternal value. I felt very poor. Poor in my spirit. But, then I understood that my poverty of spirit forced dependence on a great God.
I was told, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
Slowly, I began to understand more deeply the tangibility of God’s love for me. The Holy Spirit stoked a fire in me, and I wanted to spread the good news that I had found!
We began journeying out into villages in teams- proclaiming the message of the Kingdom of God with boldness. As we sought Jesus and walked in step with the Holy Spirit’s gentle leading, we saw God show up in mighty ways. We witnessed blind eyes receive sight, muscles regrow, wounds close up, deaf ears open, the demonized set free, and lame legs dance! The Kingdom was proclaimed, the Spirit moved, the Kingdom of God touched earth, and lives were transformed!
After an afternoon of such ministry, I remembered Jesus’ admonition, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you in my name, but rejoice that your names are written in the book of life.” (Luke 10:20) We did rejoice then- and we do now! We have eternity with this God- our good heavenly Father!
So, it may not be the story you were expecting, but it’s true- and it’s the abbreviated version of the last few months of my life. 🙂
God has rocked my world.