Wednesday, July 25, 2012

thus far and empty jars

My thoughts are scattered, but I need to type them out, so they become real, so I don't forgtet.

I am not sure where to start.

So. . .
I 'll start from last week. We were feeling pretty beat up, just the weariness of constant travel, the stress of itineration, the calender with the start of language school looming over us, and the finicial deficiet of our itineration. It was a heavy burden. One that we weren't even asked to carry.

Somehow we thought we were in charge of our budget, our calender, the timing of it all.

On our schedule was a district council (which is where their are a large number of churches come together for prayer, meetings, business, and services). There was one last week and this weekend.

So we were praying that between the 2 district councils, and making a last run around the state, we would be able to get to Costa Rica by September. Even if our budget was below where it needed to be

We were praying for a miracle.

And honestly, my faith was very weak. I felt that I had been praying for several miracles the past year, only to have them seemingly go unanswered.

We have some friends, Louis and Lourdes, who had recently received a miracle in their budget, and encouraged us to believe for our miracle. They said that they would stand with us in prayer in fasting for 2 days before the district council. Louis was coming to attend the District meetings, and he and Dave were preparing to tag team and hit the meetigs hard, making friends, and creating partners along the way.

Louis felt that the Lord had given him a message for us, it was II Kings 4:1-7. He told us to fill out blank pledge forms, and that just as the Lord filled the widow's oil, He would bring in our pledges. Our friends believed that by the end of the weekend, our budget would be met. Our jars so to speak, were our pledge forms, and that God was going to have them overflow.

Their enthusiasm was unreal. We blamed it on them just having received their miracle (and them being Latino :))

We were so tired, we weak, so scared to believe such a thing could happen.

But we prayed, and fasted, and filled out empty pledge forms.

So there were our empty jars.

Dave and Louis were scheduled to go to the district together. They left for the conference on Friday.

The day they left, I was praying, and reading my Bible. For several years now, as I read, I will date the Scripture, and jot a note. I have been doing the Live Dead Journel, a 30 day challenge of prayer for unreached peoples, particularly in Africa. It also encourages to write in your Bible, doodle, scribble down thoughts and prayers.

So in my Bible, in Exodus 16 (the story of manna and quail), I have a very bad doodle of an empty mason jar. My notes say. . .

Fasting and believing for miracles 7/12
"I will know it was the Lord who provided for my needs."
"Take and keep (this empty jar) for generations to come so they can see the miracle"

In my prayer journal, I wrote, I believe Lord, but just as another has prayed, "Lord help my unbelief"

They left on Friday.

Dave's text message were short, but are as follows:

*pray Amy, they have changed the schedule they wouuld like us to address the district tonight instead of tomorrow

*We had 4 people take pledge forms

*I went to take a picture with Matthew Barnett (from the LA dream center), and he wanted a pledge form, he wants to support us, WHAT?
(He sent me the picture of his business card as proof)


7:58 am *Good morning Beautiful (thats me :)Today is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. I anticipate God making us feel small and silly today for our worry and doubt. We will see the hand of God move mountains from before us and we will rejoice in His loving kindness and faithfulness in all things. We will give Him alone the glory for He is good and worthy to be praised despite any circumstance we may face. So be greatly encouraged in the Lord today no matter what, because He surely loves us and has us wrapped in the palm of His hand.

12:06 p.m. the mission's banquet is starting, pray again

1:57 p.m. We just got at least $700 in pledges, maybe more. Praise Jesus

8:32 p.m. We just got $800 more in pledges babe (thats me again ;) God did it in 1 day! I don't have words.

there were more texts but those are private. . .Ahem. . . .

7:54 For some reason things seem so much brighter today followed by a picture of the pledges spread over the bed ( I needed proof)

we are left speechless.

We are so small.

We had received the remaining $1500 in monthly commitments in one weekend. Exactly our need.

How could we doubt that Our Father had a plan, planned just for us, that would display His care and love in only the way a Father who longs for His children to be cared for in.

We were so humbled.

Things are still very unofficial, but today is Tuesday, and the girls and I have started packing.

We had been told earlier, that the journey would be difficult, and that somewhere along the way, it would be lonely, and that you would have to take something as part of your testimony, something that would help you remember the place he brought us from.

so for us, I will be taking an empty jar. to Costa Rica. On September 5th.

"then you will know that I am the Lord your God" Exodus 16:11

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I couldn't find the words

The last few weeks have been hard for the family.
I could never find the best way to articulate my feelings, struggles, and deepest prayers.

After a rough family event last night, David started typing. . .

And this time I couldn't find the words, But Dave did.

How do you stand when you don’t even know where to stand? When pursuing what it is you believe God would have you do seems to contradict what you understand it means to love and protect your family. When you no longer feel as if you are accomplishing either, what do you do? You feel like a failure, for one. You feel very alone for another. You know that God is concerned more about you, more about your family, than He is concerned with what you do. You know that He promises to provide in every area of your life no matter the circumstances, but in this place you can’t see it. You know that He has created you to love Him first of all, but also he has equipped you to do something as well. He expects all of us to do the something he has equipped and called us to do. It has to flow out of our relationship with him, but none the less we are accountable to the calling and talents he places in our lives. The first thing He has called us to do outside of our relationship with Him is to love our spouse more than any other human being. He calls us to prefer them over anyone, to love them unconditionally and protect them. Second he calls us to love our children He blesses us with. To protect them, provide for them and to raise them up to know and love God. But then He calls us to love this world. He calls us to live our lives in such a way before them that we are able to draw others to Him. He calls us to give up our lives as He gave up his to love the world and draw them back into relationship with their heavenly father. So where are we left when this calling to love our family and our call to love the world seem to be in conflict?
All I know to do is give myself over to Him completely and say “God I am completely incapable of accomplishing anything without you.” I cannot love my wife like she needs to be loved, I cannot love my kids or raise them the way they need to be. I certainly cannot love a world that does not love me in such a way as to reveal anything but my faults and failures. So I acknowledge that only God can accomplish those things in me. I ask that He would give me the ability to effectively love my wife and children unconditionally, protect and provide for them. Secondly that he would give me the opportunity to effectively accomplish His calling in my life to be used to reach a lost world.
Lord in this place this is my prayer. “Forgive me for thinking I am in anyway able to accomplish a life lived for you under my own strength. Forgive me for how that has been revealed in a less than intimate relationship with you. Forgive me for how that has affected my wife and children. Forgive me for taking the call to love the world and viewing it through my own ability and suspect talents. Lord I once again take the place as a worshiper, disciple, student, child. I say Lord, have your way in my life through your understanding, your plan, your will, not mine. I ask that you work through my life to help me love you and relate to you in an intimate and genuine relationship. That through that relationship you enable me to effectively and passionately love my wife, to raise my children with deep love and affection to help them to love you and see them become all you have designed. Also I ask that you help me to be in this world for you what you have created me to be. Help me to trust you each day to provide the desire, the opportunity and the ability to accomplish your will. Help me to place my confidence in your provision, to hear your voice and to walk boldly in your presence. Lord I am lost and empty without you in this place of confusion and uncertainty. Hold my hand, be my guide, my strength, my everything and accomplish your will not mine. I give you all the glory, honor and praise. Amen.”

Have I ever told you how much I love that man?