*Disclaimer: The blogosphere is new to me and I'm not familiar with blogging protocol. So bear with me as I make one faux pas after another.
So, then. Here it is: a blog to keep connect in the coming months. I figure that since there are so many people we want to keep updated on our upcoming journey (and the journey to get to that journey) why not use the internet for what it was intended? Groupons. No, a place for anyone to say anything about anything. Plus, I'm hoping to get so many followers that Oprah will have to invite me on her show. Or her network. Or give me a show on her network.
As many of you know, we were accepted to Harvest School 14 in Pemba, Mozambique (check out www.irismin.org for all the nitty gritty details) and will spend 10 weeks soaking in the presence of God and pouring out his love. I can think of worse ways to spend June & July.
We looked into Iris Ministries almost 2 years ago after we left Ohio and took ourselves on the road trip of a lifetime - me, Shawn and two of the sweetest little kids imaginable (now we have three of the sweetest kids imaginable) in a truck. We literally criss-crossed the country driving wherever we wanted and for one week in April, we were in Redding, California. We met with two of Iris Ministries' staff while we visited Bethel Church and we got the low down on what it would take to work with Iris. Well, obviously we didn't take the leap then - not that Shawn didn't already have our passports out just waiting to be stamped. In the following two years, we moved back to Minnesota, had happy Asher, and knew we wouldn't be satisfied with our status-quo. For me, specifically, and that is the benefit of being the typer, it was a now or never kind of deal. I have said "no" to a lot of opportunities we've been given or made up ourselves because either I was sensitive to the Spirit and knew it wasn't right for us or (and this just me being honest) I didn't want to do it because it would be hard. This time, I had to say "yes." For all kinds of reasons, but mostly because if I didn't do it now I might never do it and in 40 years there's a good chance I'd be kicking myself (literally, because I plan on being in good shape at 70).
In the last year we've had a few standout God moments that have really given us direction and peace about attending Harvest School. In June of last year, we were back in Columbus for a supernatural conference with Kevin Dedmon (out of Bethel Church in Redding, California) and at the end of the conference he prayed with us and gave us the scripture II Thessalonians 1:11-12. Here it is, so you don't have to open another window and google it yourself: ...We constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of your calling and His every gracious purpose of goodness, and with power may complete your every effort prompted by faith (faith which is leaning of the whole human personality of God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness). Thus may the name of our Lord Jesus Christ be glorified and become more glorious through and in you and may you also be glorified in Him according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Amplified) Yes. Please.
We were in back in Ohio in December for yet another conference this time headlined by Chad Dedmon - Kevin's son. On Sunday morning during church, the pastor of our church honored us by calling us up for prayer and prophecy. People who didn't know us prophesied over us what we have heard many times before - a call to the nations, the gift of healing, etc. They didn't really say anything new or exactly specific (like, you're going to apply for Harvest School, be accepted, go to Mozambique, return to America and be on the Oprah Show...), but for some reason I was undone by this. In the natural, I heard the words and understood what they were saying, but since it was still a little vague (c'mon, you know how the prophetic can be) it should have been like any other time someone prayed for us. However, I was a wreck - crying, holding on to Shawn so I wouldn't collapse, and only occasionally thinking about the mascara running down my face. My spirit totally knew what was going on. My spirit connected to God and was eating it up, soaking in the promise and provision of God, and at some point, when I'm actually in the middle of what God was taking about, my natural mind will get on the same page with my spirit and then I'll really get it. I'm looking forward to that.
And finally, we were at church in Minneapolis two months ago and George - one of the leaders - had been talking about prophecy and how some people are content just knowing that they have a calling and chase prophetic words to confirm their calling, but they don't ever step into the being chosen - going and doing - part. He said something to the effect of, "...you might be called to missions, but instead you spend time building a business that's going to take 20 years to build..." Ok. I get it. I think I filled out the application that night.
So, anyway, now we're X-ing our way through a massive to-do list. I'm grateful because this time our transition has come with a 3 month prep period AND we know what we're preparing for. We wisely had gotten Judah and Luciana's passports last year and just had to get one for the little guy. A friend shared with us a picture she had of our family standing on a diving board about to jump off and that's exactly what this feels like. And I'm doing my best not to look down.
It's time to go big or go home.
If you want to help us get to Mozambique you can send tax deductible donations to:
Zion Christian Fellowship
10405 Sawmill Road
Powell, OH 43065
Please put Mozambique 2011 in the memo line
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.