I have so much to tell you all and not anywhere near enough time to compile it all into a blog.
Sometimes I wish that there where someone following me around documenting everything like the early disciples. It would make updates so much easier! So, if you're a radical lover of Jesus and want to be a modern day disciple (AKA blog writer, videographer, documenter) let me know. Ha!
Now to the serious stuff.
SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED THE LAST FEW WEEKS!
I have seen healing, deliverance, and salvations! I have seen people from the church taken to whole new levels with God because of divine encounters. I have personally had financial, housing, and family miracles all take place in my life! It hasn't stopped! So, I want to share some testimonies.
A couple of weeks ago I went to visit a friend (who I was in Africa with) in a place called Derby here in the UK. I was only there for two days; so, things were all in the category of fun. I watched England beat Ireland in rugby. I met loads of new people and spent some awesome time with my friend. There was a birthday celebration happening for one of his friends in a bar at the center of town that Saturday night. The bar was surrounded by clubs and was packed full of people. (By the way, this is a university city-meaning party central)
I met all of these people for the first time as everyone was gathering to celebrate their friend's birthday. There were about eight of us total. I was being quite secretive about who I was and what I do - mainly because I wanted this girl to be celebrated properly. Generally speaking, when people know what I do, they have about a thousand questions and all the attention is shifted towards me. This was not the time for that. It was a time to celebrate this girl.
Well, my friend mentions that I speak Portuguese and Spanish. Consequently, the table starts asking me how I learned two languages (which I learned supernaturally-from God). I can't lie and say I studied for four years or something. So, I begin to tell them the story (at some point I will write a blog about this). Well, then the questions started; but, I wasn't hearing the questions because God starts speaking to me very clearly about this one girl at the table.
I ask her if I can share with her what I believe God is saying about her and when she said yes, I dove straight in.
Let me tell you, God wanted VERY strongly to show up that night because I was hearing some of the most detailed and accurate words of knowledge I think I have ever heard. Even to the point that I knew how she journaled (which was a very unique and unusual way).
I knew that one of the guys played guitar. I knew about an others current life circumstances and decisions that were being weighed (in extreme detail). There were even more things that were more detailed than that! I ended up delivering the messages straight from heaven just allowing God to use me as a mouth piece. I spoke over every single person and not one was left unchanged. They were all crying. They were in such shock and to be honest I was in shock too.
The words were accurate to the point that one of the girls was so shocked she accidentally broke her glass on the table!
They kept asking me how I knew all of these things about their lives which I then explained about Holy Spirit and hearing God's voice. Yea. This was going on until the bar staff actually had to kick us out because they were closing. What felt like minutes had actually been hours.
This group of people that I had never met before were hugging me and thanking me, some of them still crying. Then, they asked me if we could pray all together outside.While we were praying, I didn't say anything because I was in such awe of what was happening. They were crying out to God on behalf of the lives of all of those around them: the people going into the clubs, the homeless, the drug addicts and alcoholics, and even themselves. We were holding hands and I looked across the circle to my friend and almost at the same time we mouthed, 'what is going on...?' The tangible presence of Holy Spirit fell down in the middle of the street in the most unlikely of places. I wish it were filmed because words don't do the moment justice. It was incredible.
I later found out that, that had never happened to that particular group of people before. That most of them were new Christians so that moment was extremely monumental in their lives. They were going to the university campus ministry but (my friend) had never heard them pray out loud like that before. He told me that the leadership was really trying to get people more engaged so what happened on that street was not normal at all. He began thanking me and honoring me because of everything that happened. But seriously, that wasn't my agenda at all. It was simply because I chose to live in my identity and regardless of my agenda, I allow God to do what He wants. It's when who you are changes where you are.
As my friend and I processed later on that night the biggest conclusion that we came to was this: when you're living in your Christ-given identity, it doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing, it is inevitable that places and people will be changed forever.
Isn't it fantastic that our experiences in freedom can free others?!
About two weeks ago I was at a workshop for four days learning about 'how to deepen relationships and how to do them well'. I'm hoping that at some point I will be able to write a blog about the whole experience because it was revolutionary and life-changing; but, for now I'm just going highlight a few things.
One of the biggest set-backs to having a healthy relationship with someone else is not being vulnerable and honest with one another. We are often taught to protect ourselves from a place of fear. We are scared of getting hurt (so, don't get too close and you won't); but, the truth is that healthy vulnerability deepens and grows relationships.
But, if we want to be vulnerable we have to be committed to healing. We have to be honest with ourselves and one another and bring all those hidden hurts to the light. The fear of getting hurt comes from that place where you were once hurt before. But, living a life with walls the heights of skyscrapers puts limitations on all of your relationships! So, let's get healed up.
I received intense emotional healing during this workshop. I was freed from things that I've been holding onto for about eight years. I went through a process of freedom; and I walked away feeling changed forever. In the workshop, the facilitators teach you and enable you to help others receive their freedom using simple outlines. So, I left equipped and hopeful.
Little did I know that opportunity would be flooding into my life! In the first week I saw three people have intense and extreme breakthrough and freedom!
It was so simple, yet so powerful.
One of the women was telling me about how she was struggling with extreme anxiety problems. As we were praying and I was guiding her to declare freedom from the things she was battling, she remembered an incident from when she was a little girl. That incident had opened the door to anxiety in her life for about forty years. With Holy Spirit reminding her of that incident and bringing it into the light she stepped into her freedom.
She immediately felt peace and relief in a new way. And she is still walking in that peace!
(Just so you know I'm leaving out a lot of the nitty gritty for the sake of length; but, the point is she's freed)
I WILL BE HOME ON APRIL 6th!!!!!!
I'm so excited! It will be one year and four months to the day that I will have been gone.
I know many of you will probably want to ask 'what's next?';
but, be warned now, the answer will be, 'I don't know'
I am beyond excited to see my family and just enjoy home for a while.
You all are incredible! Thank you for being such awesome supporters!
Also be praying for me and some friends, over the next couple of weeks we will be going out into the club-scene to evangelize. We are starting the night ministering to women and men selling themselves or being sold in prostitution, then going to the pubs (or bars if you're American), then going into some of the most packed clubs of London to tell people about the One who loves them.
Over the last few months my main question to God has been, 'God what are you doing…? I thought… (insert xyz)'.
Everything I had planned, outlined, or thought has been shifted around in some way, shape or form over the last 6 months and I wasn't ready for it. What I realized is that, I was holding onto some things so strongly that I was not giving God too much space to do what He wanted… a lot like Jonah (and bringing me to England was like putting me in the belly of the whale.
This is definitely not where I wanted to be exactly… it's cold, wet, and dark. It's not that I was ever purposely disobeying God but I was avoiding what He was saying in fear of what people would think... which is disobedience… you with me?).
But, I had been limiting the movement of God based off of not only myself, but also the box other people put Him in. I had been limiting the movement of God because of the fear I had of 'breaking the norm'.
As a missionary, communicating to the 'western world' is one of the most difficult tasks I face. I don't have a fear of the dangerous people I'm usually ministering to (drug dealers, gang leaders, convicted felons, etc.) I don't have a fear of getting on a plane and going to a new place. I don't have a fear of figuring out where I'm going to live or some times what I'll be eating.
But….. when it comes to sending an update or newsletter to people of 'western culture and world standards MAN DOES MY CHEST GET TIGHT.
Every time I sit down to write or post something, I think:
Seriously, I hate sending newsletters because I've been so concerned about the responses. I've felt like I have to justify my decisions or actions because I know that somewhere, there is someone who doesn't agree (Like how the Pharisees in Mark 3 were 'watching closely… so that they might accuse him… I've felt like I have the Christian 'Big Brother' out to get me).
And, to that someone, I need to explain why I've chosen to do the things I'm doing in some way that they'll understand.
(Take note: while I do receive negative feedback or misunderstanding, the reality is that my main support team is incredible and supportive.)
The truth is, I don't have to do any of that. Holy Spirit has been calling me out about it for the past couple of weeks now.
I've been so concerned about making other people understand my lifestyle that I've 'modified' or 'dumbed down' what God has said or done.
Holy Spirit is saying, 'my word should always be enough'.
Holy Spirit has been revealing to me so many beautiful things about Jesus. I mean He...
Spoke to women. According to Jewish tradition, women were considered second-class citizens during Jesus' time. Jesus broke tradition many times by engaging women in conversation, such as his encounter with the woman at the well in John 4: 1-27*
Healed and spoke to Gentiles.
Ate with "sinners", including tax-collectors, prostitutes, and the socially "unclean".
Jesus often associated with people considered unclean. He healed a leper by touching him, Matthew 8: 1-4, & a boy with epilepsy, Luke 9: 40-44. His choice of friends lead religious leaders to accuse him of being "a glutton, a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors & sinners," Luke 7: 34.*
Jesus was the ultimate 'rule breaker'. It obviously wasn't to just go around breaking rules. It was bringing heaven to earth, revolutionizing a culture to become more like The Kingdom.
Jesus always did what He saw the Father doing; and this is what Holy spirit is demonstrating to me by saying, 'My word should always be enough.' I hear very clearly from the Holy Spirit and when I hear him I have conviction.
I'm not running around the world mindlessly playing games. I hear. I pray and fast. I trust. I move. So, even if the things I'm doing are completely outside of everyones scale (including my own) of what my life should look like… the bottom line at the end of every day is this:
I'm accountable to God and not man for my obedience and,
obedience is sweeter than sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:22
Am I trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God?
Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people,
I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
My desire to 'people please' has clouded my view of the truth as to what God really has for my life - to minister to the NATIONS-; and, my fear of judgement (from man) has kept me from saying anything about it. I've tried to 'settle down' in one place for more than a couple of months because I know that it makes people uncomfortable if I'm doing anything else. But, the reality is, I'm not called to comfortability. I'm not called to settle down (at least for now). I'm not called to people please. I'm called to radical living in obedience to God.
I'm not going to be silent anymore.
It's time to start fearlessly sharing my God given dreams and directions.
Side note: My fear has even gone as far as not even doing any 'fun things' for myself in fear that people will think negatively of me as a 'missionary'. Which is ridiculous and sad and Holy Spirit has totally broken that over the last couple of months. But, this is a REAL FIGHT for a lot of people in the mission field.
Do me a favor and send your missionary friends some love, a donation, anything and tell them to go treat themselves. Remind them that God created them to enjoy fun and NICE things and they have the freedom to enjoy them! Remind them that they aren't a slave, but a friend to God.
In the last two months, someone paid for me to have my nails done and when it was time to have them done again, through a divine connection, someone offered to do them for free (may I add, in a high-end salon where it would have cost about $50 USD!). That's what I call living like a princess of the Most High. So, yea, God loves that stuff.
Be freed of fear of rejection, of slander, of resistance, and of judgement
And, be freed into radical obedience.
* The starred items were modified passages from the following article: How Did Jesus Depart From the Jews' Traditions? by Janet Mulroney Clark, Demand Media
"27 But I say to you who are listening now to Me: [[a]in order to heed, make it a practice to] love your enemies, treat well (do good to, act nobly toward) those who detest you and pursue you with hatred,
28 Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you]."
Luke 6:27-28Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
Footnotes: Luke 6:27 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
These last few days have been unordinary, difficult and frustrating; but, they have also given me an even greater understanding of this scripture and the power of a blessing.
So, Saturday, I went with Catch The Fire (the church I'm currently attending) on and evangelism outreach to the middle of London. We went into London with one agenda: to show people God's love. We wanted to bless people and be physical manifestations of Jesus and His love. So, I was paired with an incredible young lady who is on fire for Jesus. As a group we prayed and then the two of us went on our way, expectant to see God do some incredible things.
Within the first 15 minutes, we were approached by a man trying to sell something. After saying that we weren't interested, we began to ask him questions… 'What's your name? How long have you been in London? Etc.' As we were asking him questions, Holy Spirit shows me that this man has a daughter. So, I ask. He seems oddly surprised and tells me yes. Then, proceeds to pull out his phone and is just illuminating as he shows us his daughter who is the youngest of three, the two older children being boys. It was really incredible because God had shown me all of these specific things that this man does with his daughter. So, I asked, 'Do you take your daughter out for surprise dates? Give her big hugs and have night time cuddles?' And, other more specific things. He looks at me really confused and says, 'actually yes.' So, I explain to him how/why I knew those very specific things about his life; and, that's when I started to tell him about how much God loves him, that He loves him in the same way that he loves his daughter. The man stopped me and says, 'I'm muslim.' In this moment (with this statement), he is expecting rejection, anger, and basically a totally shut down on my part. But, my response was, 'That's alright. We just want to tell you that God loves you.' He was so shocked and partially confused because every negative expectation that he had was shattered by the love of The Father in that moment. Then he said (knowing I'm American), I'm from Pakistan. 'Yea, I just want to stand in the gap for my country and say, I love the people of the Middle East and so does God. And, I want to see peace in your country.' Again, he was shocked. It was an unbelievable and beautiful moment. God was pursuing His people with love and passion. He was breaking down the walls of judgment and division with His love. I said, 'We aren't here to argue. We are here to love. We'd like to pray for you and bless you if that's alright.' This man let us pray for him and bless him, his life, and his country. Everyone walked away in smiles; and we especially were just astounded by the love of God for the Middle East!
Talk about an amazing start! After, we prayed for about four or five more people.
-He was touching hearts.- So, we moved from one square to another. Again, we arrived with the same objective. Love. My partner and I set out again and we were praying and asking Holy Spirit what to do when we see a man handing out tracts. We both felt pulled towards him and felt like we were just supposed to go and bless this man and his ministry. So, we go over and began chatting with him. He was really encouraged to see young people out telling people about Jesus. Then, we prayed for him. He was so touched that he actually asked us to pray for him again. Everything was seemingly cheery and this man was seemingly encouraged and joyful when like the flip of a light switch this man started yelling at me. Yea, so remember, this is the self proclaimed evangelizing Christian who is now yelling at me. I looked at my friend and as she was interceding I basically was just trying to get this man to calm down. He started to say some very negative and nasty things to me. He was being very verbally aggressive and eventually this man stomps off.
Right. So, my friend and I look at each other and at the same time we said, 'What in the world just happened?'. It was really shocking because it came out of nowhere and didn't make sense.
It started raining so we went inside of a coffee shop. I started feeling all of the spiritual oppression. I wanted to cry. I felt sick. I knew that these were not my feelings that it was just some punk called the devil trying to take me out of the game. So, we stopped and prayed for a few minutes and I started to feel better.
After, we got in the car to head to a worship night. I started to feel so nauseous that I didn't even care how cold it was, my window was opened the whole way. We were praying and I would feel better for a moment but then had to go back to practically sticking my head out the window. When we got to the church I felt Holy Spirit say, 'Worship until you feel better.' I entered into the presence of God through worship. It worked. I mean of course it worked right. In God's presence those petty attacks can't stick around. That's when I heard Holy Spirit say, 'Bless that man who cursed you today.' I kind of opened my eyes and looked around for a second. Then, I closed them again and thought… Alright, here it goes. I'll tell you what, in the power of Holy Spirit I started to bless this man. It was like I had known him my whole life. I was crying out for him. I prayed for his family, his job, his home, his finances, his ministry. I just kept blessing this man until I couldn't any more. That was when I physically felt a freedom come over me from the oppression that started coming my way that afternoon.
This is when God really started to dig in teaching and widening my understanding on the power of a blessing. I could have walked away saying, 'I hate religion. I can't stand people like that. Why is this man ministering? Blah. Blah. Blah.' Which, let's be honest, if he talked to you the way he talked to me 99% of us would be in that boat. But, God wants us to remember the reality -HE LOVES THAT MAN- and, he wants the best things for his life.
And GOD SAYS, Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you].
Seriously, this stuff… It will set you free.
I've heard this scripture preached before… I've heard people say, 'We need to be the bigger person and bless those who hate us.' But, it's not about that at all. It's not about being 'bigger' or 'better'. It's about humbling ourselves. It's about saying, love is bigger; and, in God's love I want you to have the best things in life! In God's love I want to see you succeed! We so often want to make it about 'them', but I want to challenge you and say it's actually about us!
So, Sunday I go to church. In between being in the car and going to the coffee shop, my phone goes missing. The last place I remembered having it was in the car; so, I'm calm, cool, and collected. After I had my coffee, I go to the car to search for it. I can't find it. Then, I find a friends phone to call my phone during my search and….. straight to voicemail. So, what does that tell me? Well, it tells me someone had stolen my fully-charged and fully-functioning phone. I don't know how. I don't know where, but it's gone. So, I start to get a little nervous, annoyed, and frustrated. Especially since it's pretty much my only connection to home. Then, I start thinking about everything that had happened the previous day. Then, I remember, oh my goodness I'm supposed to be going to the middle of nowhere all this week. I'm thinking, 'The timing couldn't have been worse'.
I felt the need to just go outside and breathe for a moment. So, even in the cold I go out and sit on a bench and I ask God, 'What do I do? How do I respond? Help.' Then, I'm taking deep breathes and say 'Help me God' just in case he didn't hear me the first time. I hear Him say, 'Bless that person who took your phone.' So, I did. I prayed for them. I prayed that whatever situation they were going through that they would see the favor of God. That their finances would increase by ten fold. That they would have everything they needed and more. That they would live the most blessed week they had ever lived in their lives. That the Holy Spirit would just come over them and baptize them in the love of God. That when they touched the phone they would have powerful encounters of love. (I mean they took God's phone right.) Again,
I felt myself being freed. There is so much power in a blessing.
So, I continue on with joy, freed from the spiritual attack on my life and on my emotions. It was incredible. Someone offered me a phone to use temporarily until I get a permanent one. People started praying that I would be provided with an upgraded phone. YES!!! I'm all excited and expectant to see what God provides.
So then, I think it was monday, I had a conversation with a friend that had left me feeling really attacked. It wasn't this person's intention by any means, but that's what I had been feeling by the end of it. I felt frustrated and sad. I started to pray and God said, 'Bless them.' And when I did, AGAIN I was freed of the emotions and hurt I had been feeling.
That's when I started this blog. Everything was flowing; and, what God was speaking was just so powerful. I had been writing until about 1:30 in the morning and just like that… my whole blog was deleted. (Don't worry. I just pressed the save button about a hundred times.) I stared at my computer screen and thought, 'this can't be happening right now.' But, instead of being disappointed, I prayed, I blessed my computer (automatically), and I heard Holy Spirit say, 'Start over.' Yea, so, until about 3 that morning I was retyping about half of what I had already written. It's incredible how the circumstances of a situation completely change when you bless whatever it is that is happening.
There is SO MUCH POWER IN A BLESSING.
But love your enemies and be kind and do good [doing favors so that someone derives benefit from them] and lend, expecting and hoping for nothing in return but considering nothing as lost and despairing of no one; and then your recompense (your reward) will be great (rich, strong, intense, and abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind and charitable and good to the ungrateful and the selfish and wicked. Luke 6:35
Jesus wasn't teaching us how to 'rise above' or some religious practice. He was teaching us how to be sons of the King. He was teaching us the culture of The Kingdom of Heaven. He was teaching us the character of God. He was saying, When I am hated, I love. When I am cursed, I love. When I am misused, I love. He was teaching us the power of the cross before he had even died on it. He was saying, I'm giving you the power to be like me and love like me.
I want to be so sure of who I am that I am unshakable and unoffendable. I want to stand on God's word and invoke His blessings on people this year. This is the year to fearlessly enter into relationships because His love can overcome any hurt. This is the year that nothing will shake me or my emotions. This is the year that God will help me bless every person that curses me or hurts me. This is the year to live even more fully as a child of God.
I feel like God is challenging me year to change my speech, my responses, my instincts.
Challenging me to step even more into my identity as a child of God.
Challenging me to love like I've never loved before.
Challenging me to give it all, even when I don't feel like I have any more to give.
It's the year to live so radically in the love of God that we see the culture of the world change more and more to look like the culture of the Kingdom.
It starts with us.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!
Basically, I just want to celebrate some of the things that have happened this year and declare some of the awesome things I'd love to see next year! Let's stand together and encourage one another this year so we can live 2016 as the best year we've ever lived!
And here's some big news!!!! I'm planning on taking a trip back to the states some time in May!!!!!!!!!! More updates on that coming soon!
This year, I spent Christmas day volunteering with an organization called Crisis at Christmas which basically serves the homeless of London by providing meals, internet, fun activities, etc. on Christmas day! I wasn't allowed to take pictures, but I got to tell the homeless about Jesus in Spanish & Portuguese which was incredibly cool. I even got special stickers for my name tag!
I would love to hear the highlights of 2015 and your expectations of 2016!
Let's celebrate 2015 together and lets step forward into 2016 together!
We are a month short of falling into January 2016!!!!
As we go into the new year, please be looking out for another update with a summary of the past year and an expectation for the next one!
If you didn't read my last update you wouldn't know that I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina starting in July. I wasn't able to stay in Brazil any longer due to visa complications and in turn, went to Argentina. In Argentina, I entered into one of the most difficult seasons I've ever walked through, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
From the start it wasn't easy; but, I started developing hope for different places and people as you saw in my last update. I was excited because it was giving me something to hold onto until I could reenter Brazil. Well, you know that verse, "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet." (Mt. 10:14 NIV) There was a reason why Jesus said that. Coming out of this last season, I believe that part of this scripture is saying, IT WILL ATTEMPT TO DRAIN YOU. I have listened to so many missionaries and evangelists speak and talk about the difficulties of being in certain places where the people aren't receiving The Gospel. I've listened to so many missionaries say, "I got burnt out". I never understood that until this last season, because I reached the point of being burnt out. That is not an easy thing for me to say, and in reality, I have to overcome my human pride in order to say it. But, things got REALLY hard. Pretty much all ministry opportunities fell through, which meant I was basically ministering on my own (which was NEVER the plan). I ended up living in a slum, where it was normal for there to be drive by shootings and other forms of violence. It had a very strong drug and alcohol culture. There were threats made against me. I couldn't leave the house alone past 6 at night. People didn't want to hear about Jesus and even if they listened, it ended in rejection. I had people scream and yell at me and even the self-declared Christians were aggressive with me. I spent a lot of time just crying and a lot of time crying out to God. I was seeing people get healed, I was seeing hope restored, but when it came to the point of talking about salvation people didn't want anything to do with it. I literally ended up in the middle of this scripture (Mt. 10:14).
So, what happened? Things kept getting worse. The enemy was attacking me from all sides. I was under so much oppression and was alone. To be honest, I didn't know what to do. I felt stuck. I even started to believe lies such as: 'I'm not made for this. I've failed everyone, including God. All those people who thought I couldn't/ can't do it were right. I should just quit.' It was in that moment that I heard Holy Spirit say, RED FLAG, it's time to get out. I am made to change the world. I am made victorious in Christ. I can always persevere under the grace of Jesus. He is proud of me and rejoices in my sacrifices and offerings. In the midst of this, an anonymous missionary friend said, I'm getting you out of there and you're coming to the UK. So, within 24 hours my friend bought me a plane ticket and within a few days I was on a plane coming to the UK.
When I got here, I still didn't believe it. Coming to the UK was never part of the 'plan'. I arrived exhausted. I arrived hurt (emotionally and spiritually). I arrived burnt out. I basically didn't even talk to my friend when I arrived. I just cried. It was unbelievable finally arriving to a physical place of peace. So, I arrived that morning and that afternoon I was at a conference through a ministry called Catch the Fire (if you're not familiar with them you should look them up!). Immediately, the Lord started ministering, freeing, and healing places in my heart from this last season. I was surrounded by an incredible Christian community. I had spiritual leaders pray for me for hours and in three days, I already was feeling more like my normal self and feeling/seeing God turn the suffering into gladness. I've come out of the desert and now it's time for the Promise Land. For now, this is exactly where I need to be.
Telling people about Jesus is part of who I am. So, wherever I go God uses me (even in my weaknesses) to tell them about Him. There are already great testimonies about the little time that I've been here. God is that good.
There are many things going on. I get to spend Christmas with a wonderful family and just be blessed by them during the holidays. The Lord is building my connections amongst ministries and missionaries. I will be blessed to encourage and help in any way a friend while they're planning a missionary base plant for London.
A major part of my time here is dedicated to inner healing. It's not optional. The Lord spoke to me telling me that during my time here I need to receive inner healing. So, for Christmas/birthday (the 26th WOOHOO) I asked God for ministry from an inner healing ministry called Restoring the Foundations (RTF - rtfi.org). I'm waiting on the financial provision to do this, since it is outside of my budget. This is an incredible opportunity before going back into ministering to the drug dealers, users, and prostitutes of Brazil. After I receive the ministry I will be trained on how to minister it. As you can imagine, the people that I minister to need inner healing. They need God to Restore their foundations. So, by doing this I would be able to more effectively and supernaturally minister inner healing to these people. If you feel lead to give towards this, please click the 'GIVE' tab at the top of the page and give via Paypal.
I need you all to pray for what God is doing in and through my life right now. Pray, for my protection. Pray for this process. Pray for what comes next, especially since sometimes we think it's one thing but God's like 'NOPE'. Pray that I have even more opportunities to share the Gospel with people. Pray that God blesses all the people that I encounter during my journey here. Pray. Pray. Pray some more.
The people who intercede and pray for us missionaries truly make a difference in our lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Thank you all for your support!
Every day is a battle, a war. While satan tries to kill, steal, and destroy, these are 14 things that I have found ground me deeper in relationship with Jesus and send the enemy running away.
I hope this blesses you today as you are on your own journey with Jesus.
1. REMEMBER THE POWER OF SCRIPTURE
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. (Hebrews 4:12 NLT)
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness,and the darkness can never extinguish it. (John 1:1-5 NLT)
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105 NLT)
Scripture is our battle weapon!
2. SEEK THE FATHER'S LOVE
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:18 ESV)
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15 ESV)
His love defeats fear!
3. ASK HOLY SPIRIT TO ALIGN YOUR THOUGHTS WITH HEAVEN
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:5-6 ESV)
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)
Our thoughts and emotions are targets of the enemy; but, Holy Spirit can guard, renew, and help us think with a 'Heaven mindset' and not an Earthly one.
4. REMEMBER THAT GOD IS A GOOD FATHER
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:20-24)
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:16-17)
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1)
He is a good dad. He won't abandon you or turn you away. He is going to celebrate us because He loves us. He will care for you and love you. He knows everything about you including all that you need because he is an attentive Father.
5. STOP WORRYING AND REST
So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest. (Hebrews 3:19)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Believe, have faith, and you will enter into His rest!
6. KNOW THAT YOU ARE PROTECTED
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-17)
We live under supernatural protection!
7. TRUST IN HIS PROVISION AND PLAN and… JUST TRUST
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Trusting in Him is a precious thing and the outcome of trusting in Him is priceless.
8. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE DEAD TO SIN
For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. (Romans 6:4)
So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11)
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
We are dead to sin!!!! And, though we will endure temptation we are alive to obeying God!
9. DECLARE YOUR IDENTITY
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. (1 Peter 2:9)
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)
By declaring who we are in God we are rooting ourself in truth that satan cannot uproot.
(I have a personalized list i.e. I am a princess of God, I am loved, I am…)
10. SPEAK/BELIEVE GOD'S PROMISES
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Peter 1:3-4)
Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:23-24)
God's promises stop attacks, harassment, oppression and fear in our lives. Our words carry power, as we speak the promises they come to pass.
"Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.” the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. (Psalm 2:3-4)
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
Laugh when you hear a lie. Laugh when the enemy comes against you. Laugh when all you want to do is cry. Laugh. It strengthens you. Laughter sends the enemy running (Psalm 143:12). We will not be shaken and will be filled with joy.
12. DECLARE THE BLOOD OF JESUS and TESTIMONIES
And they have conquered the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. (Revelation 12:11)
This is simple and powerful. The blood of Jesus and OUR testimonies (of healing, overcoming, provision, peace, salvation, etc.) conquer the enemy.
13. PRAY IN THE OPPOSITE SPIRIT
But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. (Luke 6:27-31)
Let's widen this to not only our actions but our prayers. Let's not ramble on about the depression, the hurt, the sickness. Let's make our prayers more effective by declaring the opposite… joy, restoration, and healing. (More examples: stress-peace, fear-love, etc.)
14. REMEMBER THAT JESUS HAS ALREADY WON
For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory. (Deuteronomy 20:4)
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. (Romans 16:20)
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
He has already won the battle for us. When he died on the cross he won it all. He won your healing. He won your salvation. He won the salvation of your family. He won. He has gone before you and He goes with you. He was and is and will always be VICTORIOUS. Chose to live in victory with Him today.
I know it's been a while since I've sent out an update. The thing is, I finally understand the difficulty in sending out updates as a missionary. Trust me when I say that it's a lot harder than it looks. It's one thing to be in contact, sending and responding to short normal conversations… It's another thing when you sit down -and at that for quite a long time- to put your thoughts, feelings, and testimonies into a blog or email. So, here I am the first time in a long time doing just that.
This is not going to be an update filled with crazy testimonies and experiences but one that is truly going to show pieces of my heart.
Upon coming to Brazil, I had no idea what I would encounter. I didn't know what God would speak to me during my time there. So, what did He speak? I can't even begin to express to you the multitude of confirmation He gave me during my time there. I've traveled the world and for the first time I've arrived in a place where God placed the word "Home". I know that I will still travel to other places to minister but Brazil is home and even the Brazilian people said it was my home… That I'm Brazilian and that it's my nation. Every day God poured upon me His dreams for the people of Brazil… for the poorest of the poor, the prostitutes, the drug addicts, the church… And as I went into some of the most spiritually dark places I saw fruit. I could see the favor of God in my life to be there every day and the grace. Grace to face some of the most difficult moments with faith and joy. You know there were days where I would arrive at home and just cry because of some of the things I saw… 10 year old boys living on the street using crack cocaine, and girls the same age selling themselves to men who could be their fathers, a married couple beating each other in the middle of the street drawing blood and only to be cheered on by a blood thirsty crowd, houses where the children aren't being fed or taken care of, people who have recently been stabbed or shot because of gang/drug/street violence, an area where sit hundreds of people using crack cocaine without clothes or food so extreme that the locals call them "zombies", sicknesses that leave you speechless -that I won't describe here because of the gruesomeness… and this is just the beginning. Sometimes, I wouldn't know what to to. So, I would just hug that person love them in the ways I knew how because there simply aren't words. I say all of these things to make a strong point of my love for this country and these people that can only come from God; because, every day I woke up with joy to return to these places. Every day I woke up with passion to go to these places. Places where the majority of people avoid. I have a love and passion in my heart for these places and these people that can ONLY come from God… because these are not easy places to be or easy people to minister to. I've had people curse me, threaten me, I've been in a few dangerous situations but I have NEVER lost my hope for these people. This can only be the hope of Jesus… I've had missionaries say to me, "I don't know how you do it, I don't want to be in the places where you go." This is the calling. This is what the Lord has for me. He has given me the passion, the faith, the patience, the will and desire… He has given me everything I need to go to these places. He has called me. It's incredible.
But Unfortunately, I'm not in Brazil anymore. Due to visa regulations, I had to leave the country yesterday. So, I am currently in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Easily, one of the most difficult things I've encountered yet… I've never been in a situation like this. Every other country I left without difficulties. This time I wept… And when I say I wept, it wasn't just when I was getting on the plane but started weeks before. I grieved. I felt, and still feel like, I was losing a part of myself. I see the promises for Brazil and yet I have to leave. I've finally found the place I can call home but I have to leave. We tried everything. We prayed, pulled lots of strings and contacts, and prayed more and yet, I had to leave. So, what now…? Well, sure it's a bump in the road… a difficult and sad one. But Abba Father is always good and always faithful. In the midst of all the tears there's something I've been holding onto…
Romans 5:3 - We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.
So, I'm moving into a season of rejoicing when I don't understand. A season of developing endurance that is going to strengthen me. I'm taking day by day in faith knowing that He WILL NOT lead me to disappointment… because He loves me. He loves me. He loves me. And, that promise is sufficient. This season is going to look very different, but He is sovereign and He has a perfect plan for my time here.
Please be praying for me. Pray for my heart. Pray for the people I had to leave behind in Brazil. We are going to attempt to apply for a different visa here in Argentina for Brazil. So, pray for that too. Pray that the right doors be opened. Pray that God implants more of His vision into my life for this time. Pray.
Thank you to everyone who walks along side me in prayer as I look to the Hope of Glory Himself in this season.
I want to share with you all an amazing testimony of what God is doing here by the power of His Holy Spirit.
A couple weeks ago each small group had an opportunity to do an extra local evangelism. But, not just any local evangelism… Something we like to call a treasure hunt. A treasure hunt is basically asking Holy Spirit where He wants us to go and who He wants us to encounter through pictures, direct words, or whatever way He choses to speak. So before you go on a treasure hunt you have a time of prayer and asking and then go in faith. So, my group prayed and then we were going to share. (Keep in mind all the people in our group except for one person are from different places and don’t know this area!) So I shared… and These were the things I received from the Holy Spirit: Man wearing all white, an open plaza, many people, strange costumes and wigs (somewhat like clown costumes), and headaches. We continue sharing and one woman in my group, from Australia, shared that she saw a clock tower and a woman sitting under it. That’s when the girl who is from this city says, “I know a plaza with a giant clock tower!” Inevitably, God was speaking and we all agreed to go to this plaza. (We all received incredible words from God but I am only going to share with you my part of the story)
I love evangelism like this, no agenda of man and only the agenda of The Holy Spirit. It leaves us completely disposable to Him. And it also challenges and increases our faith. EVERY TIME.
So, we go. We start getting close to the plaza and continue to walk and pray in the Spirit. We step into this plaza and that’s when I saw a man wearing a costume (almost like a clown costume) and a wig. He was a street performer. He had a small speaker that clipped to his belt and a microphone that hung from his ear. And, he had just started setting up his things for his performance. I stopped and looked at my group, knowing that this was the man from my vision. I waited a minute and that’s when I heard Holy Spirit say to wait. So, we continued on.
At the time there were six of us (3 which were foreigners) so it was drawing some attention. So, I suggested that we split into two groups of three, which left me with two Brazilian girls in the middle of this plaza. We started walking around and as we were walking I began to get this OVERWHELMING urge to ask this guy for his microphone and preach in the middle of the plaza. I had no clue what that meant or looked like so I tried to ignore it but it just wasn’t going away. So, the three of us stopped to pray. I told them, “I know this sounds completely crazy BUT, (explanation of what I was feeling) and if you guys feel like this isn’t from God just say so and we won’t even think about it any more.” So we start to pray. But, you need to know what’s going on in my head… ‘This is too crazy and out there and possibly an attack or distraction; so when we are done praying, they’re going to have other feelings and words as to the plan for our afternoon contrary to this feeling.’ Then, we get done praying and their words to me were, “That definitely feels right, we can start making our way over there, we can talk to him, you can preach, and we will just see what happens.” Oh and in all this did I mention I was with two Brazilian girls who don’t speak English… Right. So, there’s not just someone to translate or help me say what I want to say if I get stuck (If you didn’t know, I speak Portuguese which is a miracle in itself of the Holy Spirit). Oh, and I’ve not even publicly preached in the street in English! I looked at them and said, “No way am I going to preach! I’m a foreigner one of you should preach. You guys know better what to say culturally and they will DEFINITELY understand you.” BUT, that wasn’t enough for them. They began to encourage me over and over saying I could do it. I had all the excuses in the world to not speak and my heart was beating through the front of my chest. But, we started walking towards the street performer.
We had just walked a little ways when the girls stopped me and said, “Brittany look! There’s a man wearing all white!” And, sure enough, there he was wearing all white, and before we could even decide, he started waving for us to come over to him! So, we went over and he asked whom we were. We told him we were missionaries and I explained to him what happened that morning (our prophetic words). He then began to tell us about ALL the problems in his life. It was a beautiful opportunity to minister life and love this man in the midst of mess. We then prayed and prophesied over him and the Spirit of God touched him. It was beautiful.
At this time, more people were crowded around the street performer. So the girls I was with insisted on going over there. So we began to make our way over there and that’s when a woman called us over to her. So, we went over to her. And, at this moment I was feeling better because the more people we spend time with one-on-one the closer we get to the street performer leaving and me not having to do something crazy. Which at the moment, was what I wanted. We sit down with this older lady and before we say anything she says, “I need prayer”. We are like OK!!! That was easy. She started telling us about conflict in her family. She sleeps in her house but leaves and spends the day out because there’s so much conflict. We prayed and she said she started to actually feel peace. So, we continued talking with her and discovered that she was Catholic (which here in Brazil is VERY different then Catholicism in the States). She had never accepted Jesus as her Savior and ultimately had never been told about salvation through Jesus. We explained why she felt peace (the Holy Spirit) and shared the Good News with her and that’s when she decided that Jesus was what she wanted. And she was saved! It was such an incredible moment! We were all crying and rejoicing and hugging and truly in awe of what God was doing.
So, in the mean time the street performance didn’t end. There were even more people! My heart began beating through the front of my chest. I was incredibly nervous and there was no getting out of it. We joined the crowd of people and, no joke, in less than a minute the street performer starts calling me out of the crowd and picking on me. I start looking at the girls who were with me because I was barely understanding what he was saying. They began nudging me and said, “Brittany, this is your open door. We can ask him if you can say something”. So, the next time he circled back to pick on me they asked if I could “give a word from America”. So, here we are… Hundreds of people. No translator. My heart beating through the front of my chest. And this man just told everyone that I was going to give a word from America…
It started like this, “Hello, my name is Brittany. I’m from America.” Awkward Pause. I SERIOUSLY DID NOT KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING OR WHAT I WAS GOING TO DO! Though now I know this is the best place for us to be, because that is when Holy Spirit completely took over. I was shaking and began shouting, “Who here is sick and needs healing?” Silence. No one raises their hands and they’re all just staring at me. So, I started again, “Who here is sick and needs healing. Raise your hand!” (Thinking ,’Maybe because I didn’t tell them to raise their hand is why no one is responding.’) Again, no one. Blank stares. Heart pounding. I start giving words of knowledge. I don’t remember what they all were but I was asking the crowd if they had headaches, back pain, etc. One hand went up. YES! So one of the girls with me went to that person and began ministering to them. Then, the street performer looked at me and said, “You know 80% of the people in Brazil are sick. It’s a fact.” So, I have no clue what the statistic is really… But, I say, “Do you hear that? 80% of Brazil is sick so don’t lie, raise your hand if you have any form of sickness.” No one. Then the street performer says to me, “I have pain in my back.” I say, “Really? You have pain right now?” He said, “Yes, I’ve had it for years and it never really goes away.” So with out even thinking… (Truly I believe this was all the Holy Spirit because even as I write this I think about how crazy it is) I put my hand on his shoulder and again shouting say, “ In the name of Jesus be healed. In Jesus name be healed. May the Holy Spirit touch you right now and heal you.” I stop and look at him. I’m shaking. I ask him, “Can you try and do something that you’ve never been able to do before without being in pain?” He starts stretching and moving around. He looks at me and says, “I can’t believe it, almost all the pain is gone. “ So I tell him to tell the crowd what He is feeling and he does. They are all just staring. If you could’ve seen his face… He was shocked. He told me he still had a little bit of pain. So, again, I laid my hand on his shoulder and started declaring healing and the Kingdom of Heaven over him. This time, he was completely healed, and shocked that he was healed. He told the whole crowd that he was healed and continued moving in ways that he couldn’t move before.
Then, Holy Spirit yet again was completely in control. I (He) began preaching. I shared the Gospel-The Good News. At this point many people were coming to the three of us wanting prayer. And, I don’t remember all that I said, but I know that I shared about salvation and the love God had for His children. That He wanted to touch each one, and heal each one. I can’t give you an exact number for the amount of people we prayed for but, every person that we prayed for was healed; and, every person that we prayed for who wasn’t already saved, received salvation. People came to us crying about how touched they felt. There were people truly with no hope that were given hope. There were people who’s hearts and bodies needed healing and were healed. There were people who had never received salvation and were saved. Truly, we were where Holy Spirit wanted us, and encountering the people whom He wanted us to encounter.
After all of this, I cried my eyes out. The movement of God was so powerful. I was in awe and still am. He knew exactly what He was doing when He was speaking to us during our time of prayer. And, we all heard from Him! We listened and we went and all of the crazy things I saw in my prayer time I encountered in that plaza. That day changed my life forever. Things happened that day that I can’t put into words. This is just a tiny bit of what God is doing here. He is so good! Step out in faith today. Ask Him who He wants you to encounter. And, always remember, God won’t give you a mission that you cannot accomplish, because with Him ALL things are possible, even preaching in the street of a foreign country, with no translator, no plan completely relying on the Holy Spirit.