This photo is one of my favorites. It’s a favorite because I feel like it captures my heart so well. Taken by Matt Engelking on our last trip to Haiti, I still remember so vividly every detail that surrounded me that day. We were in the midst of a village and within minutes people surrounded us.
PC: Matt Engelking
If you know me at all you know that anywhere and everywhere I’m always drawn to children. And if there is a baby around I’m the first one to ask if I can hold him/her, especially on the mission field. Holding these children or even standing back and watching them does something to my heart. As I’ve been processing my trip to Haiti a few weeks ago I began to ask myself, “what draws me to them so much?” I asked the Lord, “What it is about their life that speaks so deeply to mine?” And this is what the Lord spoke to my heart:
These pictures mean more than words can truly say. As I sit here going back through pictures of our recent trip to Uganda (and praying over our team to Haiti in December) I’m reminded of the stories that changed me forever and this was one of them. As you can tell in the picture, tears of JOY filled our faces. In a moment, God changed everything for this man and his beautiful family. The prayers of a beautiful wife had been answered. For weeks, she never left his side but every night bowed to her knees in prayer over her worn-down bible praying for healing.
I woke up this morning with just a stirring in my spirit. A hunger and a longing for more. I began to sing, “I’m full Lord BUT I’m not satisfied.” I want more.There has got to be more. These past few months for me have just been an unsettled place. I feel like insecurity has stolen a lot from me lately and the dreamer in me I can’t seem to find. I’ve thought more these past couple of months about things I don’t have and the places I’m not at in life. I’ll find myself wondering if and when I’ll ever enter a new season, if that day will ever come.
As I prepare to leave for Africa in a couple of days I reflect back on a week in 2014 that changed my life. It was a week I will never forget and days I will cherish forever. Days that have left an imprint on my heart and have stirred a crying out and moving forth in my spirit. I have never hungered for a move of God more now than ever. I long to see hearts and lives fully rendered to the work of Christ and my biggest prayer in this moment is that you reading this would find a stirring in your heart to join with me and others across the world to put our voices together to call upon the name of Jesus. Truly, He is the one who matters and may every step towards Him bring more glory to His name.
A couple months ago, my best friend Britt and I are sitting in our favorite coffee shopping working on some of our Empty Buckets vision when we randomly get introduced to the founder of the non-profit organization called Feet that Move.We all sat down and shared our hearts and vision for ministry. It was absolutely beautiful. But the most amazing thing was watching the hand of God strategically connect two non-profits, Empty Bucket Ministries and Feet That Move so we could grow and learn from each other. The more we got to know Dustin (the founder of Feet that Move) the more we realized how much our coffee shop meeting would turn into a lasting friendship of changing the world for Jesus, building water wells and handing out shoes. A few weeks after we met him little did we know, we would be joining him and his team on a trip to California for the Kingdom Global World Connect Conference. I’m so glad we did because I’ll never be the same.
The moments in California that shook my heart the most were the moments when all 40 nations were gathered together in one place worshipping the name of Jesus in their own language. A strong, powerful voice was lifted to the heavens and the Holy Spirit was so present. I watched pastors and leaders from all over the world fall to their face crying out in desperation for their country, asking God for their nation. Nigeria was represented along with Sierra Leone, two of the places most affected by the Ebola outbreak. They cried as they shared their story of how it was a miracle they got to the conference but how they left so many behind that were fighting for their life due to the ebola outbreak. They were the strong, faith-filled pastors that were standing in the gap for their people. Their passion and devotion to Christ was contagious and regardless of what their circumstances said, they praised God with all their hearts.
Here in just a few days I will be boarding a plane to Uganda, Africa to find land to build two water wells for people who don’t have access to clean water. When I think about the Nations my heart beats. I want to be a voice for them. I want to share the name of Jesus with those who haven’t heard. I want to bring HOPE to the hopeless and healing to the brokenhearted. God says in His word to “Ask me for the nations” and so we are asking God for the Nation of Uganda. We are believing that the power of His name will be revealed and hearts and lives would be changed forever.
If I think about it, asking God for a nation is WAY bigger than anything I can even imagine. If I really think about it, it seems impossible and my mind can’t even comprehend what that looks like. For one, I don’t even have the qualifications to do anything like that or what it even looks like. BUT then the Lord gently reminds me of this scripture…
But amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never brained to be one. I’m just a shepherd and I take care of sycamore fig tress. But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, go and prophesy to my people Israel” (Amos 7:14-16).
Without any special preparation, education, or upbringing, Amos just obeyed God’s call to GO. Sometimes in our life, God just says GO. And obedience to that call is a test of our faith. If we try to figure out the details, we will miss the call because fear will talk us out of stepping into the impossible. When your FAITH meets the unknown, the impossible happens. Ask God for that impossible thing in your life and simply obey.