I took the team to the first family, where we were greeted by the boy pictured above, and we were able to pray for them and bless them. It was good to be in this place of ministry once again, but I was sad that we did not get to do more personal ministry. Even as we finished up giving away the last bags, the rain began to come. From that point for the rest of the day it has rained with more or less intensity.
As we have been traveling, we have been praying for three specific things: provision, protection, and open doors to the nations. Time and time again, God has been faithful to open doors that only He can. When we set out 5 months ago, we never dreamed of some of the doors He would open. Scotland was a surprise for sure, but it was in the UK which was a place we knew we would be going. However, God opened an unexpected door for us to be in Kosovo for a short time. This was not a place we ever thought that we would be coming. God knew that He needed us here, so He opened the door wide.
One of my friends contacted me and said that she had been following our adventures on our blog and knew that God was telling her to invite us to come to Kosovo. I had never gotten to know her very well, and in fact did not even know she was in Kosovo. Even though we had not been in contact for 2 years, she invited us. We had a difficult time making the decision to come because of our money situation, but we knew that God had opened the door and that we must be obedient to walk through it.
Knowing we were coming here, my wife decided to do some research about the recent wars that had taken place. As she researched, and we prayed about this country, even before we traveled here, God began to speak to me. He began to speak about how the nation was wounded and needed to be healed. As with any serious wound, you do not put a Band-aid on it and walk away. Any serious wound needs to be stitched up. I know this from many injuries in my younger days. The larger and more serious the wound, the more stitches are needed. God began to speak about how every prayer and every act of love was a stitch that was binding up an open wound. This wound that may be healed on the outside must be healed in the soul of the nation as well. If the wound of the soul is not healed, it will often be reopened as a self-inflicted one.
I believe that the long-term prayers and actions of the church and ministries here is to bind love to the spiritual wound of the people. There has been so much suffering and hurt in the people that it seems like their very lives evidence a wounded spirit. This spirit is hurt deeply and ready for conflict. However, as the family of God binds love to the people, this will bring healing stitch by stitch, act by act, prayer by prayer… I found this verse as a confirmation of the work that needs to be done here in Kosovo, but also anywhere the people of God are.
Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
We are called to live as God’s chosen people. Even as we live in this manner, we know two things. We have wounds in our hearts and souls inflicted by people around us, and people around us also have these wounds. It seems that so many people are walking around with open wounds. We are commanded in these verses to live rightly, forgive completely, and love totally. We must bind love to ourselves and to the people around us that we may walk in perfect unity.
Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you any wounds that you may have on your soul. Do these wounds come from others? Are these wounds remaining open because of unforgiveness or an unwillingness to love? Are there people around you that might be spiritually wounded?
With the help of Holy Spirit, begin to bind up these wounds and start the healing process in yourself, as well as the people around you, by forgiving and binding love to these wounds. Part of the ministry of Jesus, and our ministry, is to bind up the broken hearted (Luke 4:18). Let us walk in the ministry that God has called us to that we may live in perfect unity!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
One week from today, my wife and I will have been traveling for five months. Now when we spoke about what God had called us to do, many people talked about us having an extended honeymoon. Whether they were joking or serious, I do not know. However, The Lord knows the reason He called us out immediately. So many people have commented as we travel that they wished they could do the same thing, but were so tied down it would be impossible. It seems that when people are young enough to travel and do the work of The Lord that they are discouraged by their lack of money. However when they do have money to travel, they are normally tied down until they are older, and their children are grown. After that, they do not have the life and energy they once did.
God called us out at exactly the right time. Many people think that mission work is all roses and honey, but it is not. For me, one of the constant things I have had to battle is not worrying about money. God has called us out to do this work, and I know that He has promised to provide. He has done this in many ways, but in the day to day it is hard to see where the provision is coming from. He has promised to provide for us in both our physical as well as spiritual needs. It seems like it is easier to trust The Lord for the spiritual things, because there is not much I can do differently to acquire these things. Yes, discouragement comes and attacks the vision, purpose, and the actions we are taking, but for me, this is easier to overcome. In the realm of the physical, I can see where money is coming from and where it is not. Should we write more blogs, make more videos, sell more things, (I actually own almost nothing now, my wife is richer in the world’s eyes because she has a car), ask more, pray more…? I do not know. But one thing I do know is that God is in control.
Recently, God opened a door for us to travel to Kosovo. As you may remember, only 15 years ago, there was a major war and genocide that took place here. The door that opened was obvious and had nothing to do anything we did. Because Kosovo is in a unique situation, the cost of travel from Spain to get there is about the same as if we went straight to India, which is the next place we know that we are going. Because of the money, we talked and prayed about if we got the right amount of money during one week’s time, we would see that as God sending us there. Six days passed and we received only $50 from some people in England. I was talking with The Lord in the bathroom how it did not seem possible that we could travel to Kosovo because of the added cost. Right now, we have no regular supporters and live one day at a time, and I did not see how we could bear this added expense. My spirit was overwhelmed by a word that I believe is from The Lord. As we have traveled, even before we left, we have prayed for three specific things: protection, provision, and open doors. I could see very clearly that this was an open door, but was disheartened because of the expense. The word I felt was from The Lord was this. “Why would we not walk through an obvious open door just because we did not see the provision?” I know in the eyes of the world, this does not make sense. However, this is the faith that we are all called to live by. We are to walk in obedience and not look at the circumstances of the world when our Heavenly Father is the One that gives us everything we need. It only takes a little pavement from the Heavenly Kingdom to provide for an all expense paid ministry trip around the world for two.
Now, I do not want anyone to think that this is a plea for financial support. It is not. If God speaks to you about giving to us, give. If He speaks to you about building up His Kingdom in a different way, than be obedient to that.
I want to encourage everyone that has a clear word from The Lord to follow that calling. Do not worry about the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that stand in the way of what He is saying. If The Lord has called you to follow Him in His work, He will easily melt the mountains like wax and make rivers come forth in the desert. It is not difficult for Him to move the obstacles out of our way. We cannot do it, but if we could, we would deserve the glory. All glory, honor, and power be to The Lord. As the Men and Women of God, we lift high His name and walk in obedience. He gets the glory when we are able to walk through impossible situations no matter what they may be.
I encourage you to keep on asking and keep on seeking the direction that God wants you to move and where He wants you to partner with Him in His Kingdom. When He speaks, be fully and completely obedient to everything He is calling you to do. The best thing about being in partnership with God is that He is the one that does all the hard work, all we do is walk with Him in obedience!!!
Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who draw back in fear or sin, but we are of those who press in and believe to the salvation, healing, and deliverance of the souls in all the world!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!