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!