Since day one on this journey we got asked how long we would be doing this. After 3 years, this hasn’t changed. People are quite surprised by our story and wonder how long can a family do this. Our answer hasn’t changed, we will stop when God tells us. But in the meantime we go and stay for how ever much time we feel we should. But the scripture that comes to mind whenever people ask how long we will be doing this or staying in an area, the scripture that comes to mind is Luke 10..
Luk 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
Luk 10:3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
Luk 10:4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.
Luk 10:5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.
Luk 10:6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.
Luk 10:7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
Luk 10:8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:
Luk 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
You see, sometimes people equate doing what God has on their hearts with finances and this being Gods blessings and his “green light” but if the money runs low for a little bit the questions within and sometimes from the outside begin, “maybe God just has you doing this for a season” and “Maybe this is him telling you to stop and settle down?” But I have realized time and time again that Gods blessings come in many different forms and if what was in our bank account determined how long we would be doing this, we would have been done long ago. God tells us to walk by faith and not by sight and when we feel a call on our lives to begin serving him instead of ourselves, it would be in our best interest to listen. YES, even if it seems impossible and doesn’t make sense. But this scripture above is what its about. As we have gone, we have not been welcomed by some and others we were welcomed but we knew only for a short time. We have shared the kingdom only to be rejected by some and embraced by others. We have also prayed for the sick among those whose paths we have crossed. Each stop holds some learning and greater understanding as to how the kingdom works. Our desire is to be led by Him and learn as he leads us. This is our journey and its for the rest of our lives.
Right now, this scripture holds a special place in my heart because we are seeing it in a much different way. We arrived here at SAFE Ministries in Washington and planned to only stay a couple weeks. We pulled in and they had a campground behind the facility on the property. There are newly installed electric boxes and full sewer and water. But the spots were overgrown and we weren’t sure what this was going to look like. Joe got the weed wacker and began clearing our spot. We pulled in and were welcomed with open arms. We knew we would be here for a little bit. There was peace. They have welcomed us into their home and some meals are provided and we began building relationships with the beautiful women that live here. They come from various backgrounds and are here to get their lives back on track after living addictive lifestyles. We have seen some women healed of physical ailments and we have seen others not healed. We have shared testimonies and had incredible conversations and times of sharing what God has done in our lives. The most beautiful times are when women come and share with me that they went to the doctor and were offered narcotics for pain and they turned them down….or…when they are offered a cigarette and instead of taking it, even when they won’t get caught, they say no thank you. Then there are the times when they do take it and God convicts them of it and its tastes horrible and they confess. All these times are huge victories and such glorious times.
I have had the privilege of getting to know one young lady since we arrived and to see the light within her get brighter and brighter each day. To walk with her when things were hard and she wanted to quit and walk out. But you know what is key to each girls success? They are choosing to be REAL, both with God and with others. They are making daily choices to surrender themselves to God and let him do the work in their lives. Deciding daily to choose Gods way over the enemies. These girls are no different than any other person we have met, but as with everyone, true change comes when we surrender EVERYTHING to him. And you can see those who don’t want to and they stay in their struggles much longer. There is a huge difference to knowing scriptures, going to church, doing the program of life and TRUE surrender. And true change won’t occur until we are willing to let go.
I laugh within sometimes to think about how people who aren’t working with these girls look in and judge. They assume they need God and are afraid to step in and help because of their own judgements towards these womens past. But I can attest that these ladies are so amazing. They have incredible hearts for God and a true willingness to transform their lives. There is a hunger for truth that in our 3 years of traveling we just haven’t found in many places. Some of these women hear from the Holy Spirit so clear and but years of turning the other ways left the Spirit buried beneath their choices. But as the clutter clears, they really shine and its humbling and powerful all at the same time.
I want to share a testimony about how God provided for us while here. A few weeks ago, I began being in charge of the girls medications. I love this opportunity to pray over their medications and over them each week. Part of this job is that I have to go into town 2-3 times a week to pick up the medications. Well, our tank was empty. The light was on and I knew I had to go pick up the meds the next day. I kept thinking of ways we might be able to come up with some money, but I didn’t want to ask because we haven’t had to since we have been traveling. I tossed and turned and woke up in the middle of the night and God told me he had it handled. I went to sleep and got up at 6:30 for devotions. I went and came back home and crawled into bed. I thought, God, all I need is $20. God again told me he had it handled. I fell back asleep. There was a knock on the door and one of the girls had an envelope and said another girl gave it to her to give to me. I opened it and there was $20. There was a note with it that said God woke her up at 4:00am and told her to put $20 in an envelope and give it to me and tell me that God would continue to provide our needs. This was so humbling and amazing to me.
And the truth is, God has provided all our needs. The other day I was in town and found $10 on the ground. Someone even blessed us with a container of emergency meals they had sent to us here. God continues to show up in many different ways.
I can’t even begin to share all the lessons we have been learning. But maybe in a future post. But the biggest thing we have seen is that a persons desire to surrender to God in every aspect greatly influences the change within an individual, whether it be physical or spiritual healing. I am still leaning to release things myself. But Its wonderful and worth it.