Sunday, June 24, 2012

A little sharing of why and how I'm in Scamdinavia and how...God is good

My experience of 5 days in England that I just finished reinforces my conviction to always be obedient to the Lords promptings. It was such an incredible blessing and such amazing preparation for these days of intense ministering that im walking into. I am now believing that this current part of travel in Scandinavia with my family and community choir prove to be fruitful and covered inJesus' promise and goodness as well. Its REALLy been on my heart (probably because i always want my heart to be understood, and never want anyone to feel taken advantage of or disrespected. I know so many have probably not understood why I haven't gotten to Pemba yet), to explain why ive gone on this trip even though it seems counter-intuitive to me getting to Pemba. Would you allow me to share those reasons, and get to know me and allow me to tell you how I just HAVe to follow Jesus! And that I truly desire to honor my family of Christian brothers and sisters who do such an amazing job of supporting me emotionally and spiritually? Thank you! The situation in which I ended up traveling before getting to Pemba is this: Over the months of January through march I was, trying to be patient, and hopeful while waiting to have response to my question to the pemba base leaders : did they agree lthat it was good timing for me to be back in Pemba in April.  I was glad to be where I was (in the U.S in a season of healing, growing, and preparation), but I felt a lot of....i felt unsettled not knowing when I would be leaving. One of the issues was that I couldn't get ahold of anyone because many of the leaders were on much needed vacations (had no email responses for around 2 months!)  Another thing that was in the mix for me was that my family had convinced me at Christmas that I should be on the, possibly final, 6 year annual family trip as it could be one of the last chances to be together unencumbered. The plan was that we would sing in the big performance with my dad's Master Choral community choir and orchestra in Scandinavia, and then add 5 days to that to be just family in Russia (none of us have been there, and have always wanted to go).  Obviosuly i was worried about this travelling conflicting with my prompting to be back in Pemba as soon as God made way for me to return and saving money to do so, . My dad was the biggest in helping me make the decision to go on the journey despite those worries. After I explained my worries and how I just didn't know if this type of trip would be wise for me with trying to save money for Africa, and me not wanting to accept him paying for it (he always wants to) He said, "tetra, you always try to say no to my gifts- just accept it."This almost sounded like Something Daddy God was trying to get me to understand as well.  And as we were all emotionally talking it through, I started to see how important this is; being with my family and making time for them. If I can't love my family well, how can I love the poor well? My siblings all wanted me to as well. So it was decided that dad would make the way for it to happen and pay for me to be there. It's such an honor and blessing, and of course I feel as I I don't deserve it....and I don't.but just like our amazing heveanly father, He wants to "lavish" love on me. Wow. Thank you dad.  My plan that I felt God give the "go ahead" for was to go to Pemba in April, and then meet my family in Scandinavia or Russia and then return to Pemba after and continue on in Pemba for another 6 months. But, I didn't get word back from Pemba for...a very long time. Sometimes communication can be difficult with the base, unfortunately. So once I did get ahold of leaders there, it was too late to get there in April. They thought it wisest for me to come after the family trip, to make it less complicated. I agreed that this was wise!  With that extra time, along with doing jewelry classes and being with friend, i decided to see if I would be able to spend time with my close friend Sophie in England as I new that a round trip ticket from Nashville to London would be the cheapest way to get to Pemba  (I found a $ 50 flight to Denmark, and it was overall probably. $200 cheaper that way than getting one way tickets to Denmark then to south africa - I know,it's complicated - but trust me it was cheaper hallelujah!)  With all travel decisions I talked to God about it. Given the calling that God has so clearly defined in my life with the repetitive words regarding travel "all over the globe"' I've started to learn what it feels like when God is putting a trip on my heart, and that there will be great purpose for it, even if I don't know what it is. I first felt this with my huge prompting to go to Pemba for the harvest school, followed by my trips like going to the iris reunion in California ( one of the most spirit lead, miraculous journeys in which I went with ,a one way ticket and had completely miraculous provision at exactly the ,right times through the whole trip and DID make it home in the end), and my trip to one thing cinference this last New years that so affected me in amazing amazing ways. I had this feeling about going to visit Sophie. I knew with my mind that Sophie is a huge encouragement to me in being simple: loving Jesus. I also knew that...I love her! And that ,we had so much amazing time together with  the women in pemba last summer (she wssin the harvest school, and volumteered eith our jewelry class) what I felt in the Spirit was a "go" , a peace, and a provision. These are usually my signs to make me know that it's the right decision. Basic, simple - simple faith and trusting daddy God.  So, that leads me to the actual england trip....  Oh Jesus. I love you. He did have good things planned for both sophie and i that were so invaluable. It will be hard for me to put into words the level of importance, but it truly was. God has been so faithful and so good to me, but one of thelast puzzle pieces in being ready for Pemba has been this: i really have been struggling with feeling a distance in my intimacy with Jesus. This is so incredibly important in ministry and In Pemba. Wheni first arrived, I was so happy to be with her, but seriously felt dull, and a bit...just down. I explained to Sophie how I haven't been feeling close to Jesus and haven't been feeling like myself as much, even though God has been giving me visions and encounters with His presence- I was missing JESUS. Oh, by the way, Sophie just happens to live in a CHRISTIAN RETREAT CENTER in An incredibly beautiful part of England by the sea. The scenery includes amazing incredible old gardens, trees, cliffs, and old charming homes. The center has an amazing peace that you can feel walking on the premises. And, God was so right about being around Sophie - her simple love for Jesus is so contagious. She reminded me of how to just look at Jesus and Jesus alone. That's the point of all this, folks. It really is! If you don't feel like you feel close to Jesus, himself, ask Him how you can get to Him. Try spending time just internally looking at Jesus, and not the rest of the...stuff.   Wow. How amazing it is, the way it feels to be close to the lord. It's as if I was Slowly having a film of plastic coating pulled off of me over those first few days in Norfolk. Sophie and I prayed for each other one night, and she has this amazing prophetic wod for me about Angels taking me by force out of a house of "doubt" and bringing me into hope. You have no idea how accurate a picture that is of how I'd been feeling and how much I felt I just needed outside help to force me out of the funk. That night I had a dream in which I was in my old house from high school. The house I went through parents divorcing,  mom remarrying, siblings moving out and leaving me the only child for the first time. In the dream there were s many details about the house that I hadn't remembered in real life for years, like the exact type of blinds I had in my bed room and the color of our bathtub. Ha! My dreams are never so accurate. In the dream, a tornado came and knocked the house down around me and my sister. The dream ended in a girl from grace center teaching me and sme others that had survived the tornado some ballet dance moves. I know it sounds all a little strange,but let me tell you; this dream so excited me!! It was is if Sophie's word over me had bee reiterate by God in this dream, and I so i felt Gods hand and encouragement in the dream. (I felt the significance was that God was the tornado, He wrecked the "old" things, and the old me,I.e. my old house and fears and pains, and then I learned how to dance again. I was forced out of my house of doubt and brought into hope and new things).  I can't tell you how much I remembered that 1. GOD IS REAL AND SPEAKS CLEARLY. Wow - I so felt like God was speaking right to me and was astounded nc again by His reality. 2. I remembered how simple it is to love and trust in Jesus, and how that's all my life is truly about.  I've felt so different sicne then. Ahhh - it's so nice to spend time with my Jesus. I'm so thankful for His faithfulness. Thank you Jesus for all that you do, and will do and what you're going to do for my friends in Pemba through me and through our love. I also got to really encourage Sophie by processing through some of her experiences in Pemba through talking about the women etc, I started to remember how much God has put the women on my heart, has so brought me into a love and understanding for their culture, and how He has asked me to fight for these some that not many are fighting for. Oh, I'm SO ready to see their breakthroughs in this season!! YES So many other loly rings happened whilei was there as well. I'll let you imagine the rest. The trip I'm now on, I'm really looking forward to seeing Gods goodness reign. I can't wait to see the little nuggets and amazing things God has for my family in this time. And I'm loving allowing God to let me sme of the people in this choir as well, whom I don't know very well.  Thank you for letting me share, and for supporting me even when the way that I've been going about things just looks different than most missionaries. Good things God is so encouraging to me about the fact that its ok that my life looks different. He has said s many times through other people that's have anincredibleunique calling, an incredibly unique ministry, and not to ever feel lesser, because God planned and intended it to be this way.  I'll bein Pemba very soon - thank you for walking with me, and paring for me, supporting me, walking through my real life STUFF, and allowing me to be a daughter of the King who is learning how to trust and obey!  Love you all, tetra

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