Fear is a Liar!

It happened again, I received the invitation to serve in an upcoming worship service. I was excited to use my gifts again in ministry, and immediately the lies tried to enter in: you’re not a good singer. You can’t sing as good as ___. You can’t even play an instrument. _____ grew up singing, you don’t even know how to harmonize without being helped. You can’t. You won’t. You don’t. Who are you to step on that stage? You’re too much. You’re not enough.Lies!

The beauty of it this time, was I recognized they weren’t coming from within me. Like Melissa Helser says in her “Rooted in Delight” podcast episode, they were coming at me. The enemy hates me. He hates you, too. He hates your gift, your calling, your ministry – because he knows the power it holds through Christ in you.

In those moments I had to refocus my mind continuously. Every time the lies would come, I would remind myself that I am a worshipper and I am a worship leader. There is strength and power and depth in my worship that I can’t contain. And that I bring something special to the table. That I’ve been called by God. Yes, I was invited by my worship pastor – but my calling came from my Father. I have something to offer. And I remember special words from my friend Sandy – no one else can bring my worship to the Father. He wants it from me, and no one else can offer that.

(Photo by Nani Williams of City Church of Chattanooga)

The Father reminds me of my unique strength being my passion in my worship. I lose myself in it, and pour it all out. I get caught up and fully expect to leave empty, in a good way. That everything He’s been building up inside me has been poured out as I was called to do. I’m still growing my abilities, and trusting the Father to enhance them and sharpen them. Believing that He will equip me for that which He calls me to.

Although, there are some times that I have doubted that. If you serve in worship ministry: as a person who serves in worship ministry, have you ever struggled with fear? Fear of not being enough? worthy? able? too much? I have a nagging suspicion that I’m not alone here… and a confidence that I am supposed to write this to speak to your heart. Allow me to share a little more…

In Melissa’s podcast (Rooted in Delight episode of Jonathan David & Melissa Helser), she shared the following quotes that wrecked me the first time because they resonated deeply with my struggle, my rooting, and maturation in my calling…

“I was born into worship, into writing songs through sorrow…The hardest seasons of my life I look back upon with extreme affection, because it’s in those moments that I was formed in God….I used to think that I was second class because – I didn’t grow up singing, playing an instrument, leading worship- because I was born into this in seasons of sorrow…”- MH

When I heard those words the first time, tears flooded my face. Instantly I felt apologetic, shameful for having thought those thoughts, too. Yet, encouraged that such a bold, powerful worship leader as Melissa Helser had wrestled with those same things. And then…she said:

“The Lord spoke to me and said ‘ The gift of your song having been born in sorrow is that it will always remain soft.’ The other gift of your song being born in sorrow is that there’s a strength in it. There is strength in your worship because you are singing for your life.”

In some of the darkest nights of my soul, where I could barely breathe, let only voice prayers – worship filled life back into my lungs. I often sing for my life in those times because it’s the most powerful weapon I know. When I am in those raw moments of worship, nothing around me matters. The dirt on the floor touching my face is forgotten. I don’t care who can hear me, see me, or what they think of me. I just want to enter into His presence so deep that I feel His healing surround me. If only for a moment, I will fight for the peace and change that His presence brings.

When I’m on stage, or preparing to serve on stage, it’s like the enemy knows the power of such raw worship and so He strives to distract me with fear and other lies. I love that Melissa shared so vulnerably. When we let people in and know that we’re not alone in our struggle, there’s comfort in that, too… Melissa goes on to say the following:

“The Lord is still defining my heart…If our hearts are not marked with the Father’s pleasure we’ll strive for His approval when we already have it🎤⬇️

When we experience the true delight of the Father, it actually begins to change our internal world.” – MH

We must be rooted in delight. We must be rooted in the knowledge of His true nature and thoughts toward us.

Let’s pause for a moment. Take in what you’ve just read. Close your eyes. Deep breath in and deep breath out. Go on…close your eyes…

You’re back? Great…Now ask yourself: have you ever struggled with the lies of fear that you aren’t enough? or you’re too much? Or you are striving to perform for God and it is shifting your focus away from true worship? There’s no condemnation here, I’m helping you down a path to freedom – so be honest with yourself. Have you ever placed your focus onto the wrong things in your service in the ministry?

When you experience fear or inadequacy – recognize it for the liar that it is! Pause and ask yourself “what am I truly believing about God here?”

“Our accountability to the Father has to be driven by delight and not duty or fear.” – MH

Do you believe that He’s good? That He’s a good Father. That He loves you, delights in you, guides you, and wants good things for you? Do you believe that even in difficulty, storm, or anguish – that He is still near. Still loves you. Still for you? Do you believe all the promises His Word speaks over you?

Or do you believe, that your good, loving Father is actually not good at all. Are you letting the lies tell you that He’s setting you up and waiting to watch you fail. That He doesn’t have enough for you, because He’s giving it to everyone else. He’s waiting to let you fall on your face and wrestle in the mud and mire and that He watches in disgust as you struggle? Do you think He loves to push in your face all you can’t do, especially when you don’t measure up?

If you have ever allowed any of the negative lies above to whisper and attempt to take root in your mind or heart – hear me now – it is all lies. HE IS GOOD.

Spend time in His Word. Intentionally set aside time, especially if you serve on a worship team or in ministry – set aside dedicated time to seek Him. Fill your heart and mind with good things that remind you of His truth and promises. Write down scriptures that speak to wounds in your heart and mediate on them. Place them where you will see them often and repeat them. Shout them in your mind (or aloud) when you hear a lie try to conflict with His truth.

YOU are His beloved.

He sent Jesus to die for YOU.

He is using YOU to help minister to people in a way that only music is touching their souls in those moments. You have a powerful responsibility – but you have also already been equipped. He’s enough in you.He has called you. He loves you, and He delights in seeing you share your gifts He has placed within you.

Go in confidence of the great love your Father has for you. And remember – Fear IS a liar.

❤️

Romans 8:11 MSG

“It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!”

“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle (special messenger) of Jesus Christ, to those who have received (obtained an equal privilege of) like precious faith with ourselves in and through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).”

2 Peter 1:1-3 AMPC

“”The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”

Zephaniah 3:17 NASB

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What if?

I have this crazy question that could change the way you see worship in church. How you worship God in your everyday life. In your thoughts…

Ready?

What if we worshipped God as if He was really in the room?

Let it soak in. Contemplate how it would affect your expression of worship at church. Now…Let’s take it deeper…

What if we stopped worrying about looking weird or what anyone else thought and we instead worshipped Him with abandon?

What if we contemplated the gift He has given when we enter into corporate worship in His house?

What if we lived like we believe what’s in the Word?

The Word of God says “where two or three are gathered in my name there I am in the midst of them” (Matt 18:20)

He IS here. He IS present in the service. He’s present in your quiet moments at home and the chaos of your week. There’s no place you can go that you’re out of His reach, His sight…His love. (Psalm 139)

What if our choices and our actions and every part of our worship in our lives were all poured out as if we recognized His unending presence?

What if we lived like He was with us in every moment? What if we lived like we knew how much He loves and wants us? Like we knew what His very real and painful, willfully loving sacrifice has set us free from. What if?

(Photo by Nani Williams, City Church of Chattanooga)

In Christ,

Amy

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It Is Well, even when it really isn’t

Friends, I don’t know how you’re feeling this holiday weekend. Maybe your heart is bursting with joy even more than your full tummy.
Or maybe your heart isn’t full at all.

 

Maybe your heart has an empty space that a loved one once filled.

 

Or maybe your heart aches because your “family” doesn’t feel like a family at all.
Maybe these last few days have been filled with abandonment, drama, anger, and/or hurt-filled words.

 

Or perhaps you are like me, and your recent days have been filled with good things, a side of organized chaos that accompanied hosting, and the heartache of the news of the death of a loved one.

 

No matter where you find yourself, can I whisper some encouragement to us for just a moment. Can I remind us that no matter how high we climb or low we slip – Father is right there with us (Psalm 139:8.) That He is near to us, the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:17-18) and He hears our cry and is our deliverer. (Exodus 14:14, Psalm 3:3, Lamentations 3:21-26.)
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(YouVersion Image)

Horatio Spafford penned the words to the Classic Hymn It Is Well as his ship neared the site where his four daughters had tragically died. This man whom had recently lost all of his investment properties in the Great Chicago Fire and a young son to illness, was simply sending his family ahead of him for a special time away. He had planned to follow soon after he addressed some important business back home…and unfortunately their ship sank on the way to their destination. His wife sent him a message informing him of this tragedy containing 2 lung-piercing words: “saved alone.” And asking “What shall I do?” They lost all four daughters when the ship sank. Such deep tragedy and yet he was still able to write such powerful words.

 

How does one write such trusting words when tragedy strikes so deep? When things are not well. Not even close…

 

Though I am certainly grieved by the loss of my spunky aunt, I know I don’t feel the depths of heartache that my beloved cousin, her daughter is experiencing tonight. I don’t know the depth of pain her sisters and brothers are enduring. I can only imagine the hurt as I haven’t walked their road… But I have been paralyzed by the news of a death that stole the breath out of my lungs before. I’ve tasted the pain of a loss so unimaginable that my heart felt it would die at the thought of reality. It’s as though words cannot fully explain the ache in your heart with such a loss.

 

The song It Is Well has encouraged my heart in broken times for years. I am encouraged through music and the vulnerability in this song speaks to me. It reminds me that if someone can face tragedy that deep and still proclaim that God is good…then so can I. It often isn’t about what we can SEE. It is TELLING our souls, that IT IS WELL. Reminding our souls where our source of joy, light, life, and peace comes from.

 

We too can have peace that surpasses understanding. We too can know that God is good. That “It Is Well” with our souls because this broken world is temporary.

 

No matter what we find ourselves looking at, we can also proclaim that it is well.

 

My favorite hymn, born out of tragedy, yet it encourages me so deeply. And Kristene DiMarco’s version is absolutely a favorite of mine. If you’ve not heard it, you simply must take the time to listen to it now:

 

 

“So let go, my soul and trust in Him, the waves and wind still know His name…” – Kristene DiMarco

 

Be encouraged my dear friends. Whether you are high on the mountain or feeling trapped in the valley – you are not forgotten. You are loved. And if you are His, then you know that He has the gift of peace and joy that does not come from what you see. May you too, be able to sing tonight: It is well, with my soul.
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YouVersion Image)

In Christ,
Amy

 

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Busy: Permission to Slow Down

It’s my son’s senior year. He’s an athlete and his final football season was quite demanding. This is also the year where school decisions are being made, standardized test (ACT) scores are undeniably critical, and senioritis is a real threat. It just so happens that my husband and I recently experienced promotions that we’ve both worked toward for years. God-given appointments where we are certainly called to use our gifts to make a positive difference. With these come responsibilities and added time to adjust and train. There are a host of other things going on in our world that we are ever so grateful to be a part of like being leaders in different ministries in our church. All wonderful things that we love so much! Take all this and add some things I haven’t mentioned, and mix in the holiday season. A word comes to mind that most of my friends have exhaled so much lately: busy.

slow the rush

My dear friend Mande shared a provocative question this morning as she poured her heart out to our church. I would love to pose that question to you:

Are you honoring God in your current season? 

Life will not slow down unless you slow it. I assure you, the enemy of your soul would love nothing more than to keep you busy. Tie up your open moments with social media and an endless to do list until you are burnt up, burned out, and altogether snappy. Loves it.

And you want to know why he loves it? Because if you are too busy then you won’t notice the important stuff. You won’t notice the moments all around you where you have the perfect opportunity to be fully present and connect with the ones you love the most, right in front of you. Where you may give your best in the day at your job or out in public and bring what little you have left to your home. Where you get to a point that you are so spent you can’t think of anything that can bring you peace because you see no end in sight. Anxiety takes over and all you want is to numb the pain and stress of it all or to wish the days away.

underwhelmed soul

You were meant for more. You are worth so much more. Hear me: YOU are so valuable that you owe it to yourself to learn a beautifully difficult, but at times very necessary word:

No.

wornout woman

If you need to hear it from someone, then hear it from me: you have permission to slow down. To say “no, I can’t make it” to a precious special event you’ve been invited to because you need to return sabbath back into your week. Because you need to prioritize time in your home that allows you to soak up your loved ones and not feel as though you are rushing off out the door to an endless list of demands.

allow yourself to be interrupted

You have permission to free up your time and say “no, I’m not available to attend ___ but thank you for thinking of me” with no further explanation. Sometimes you will need to say no to good things that will undoubtedly be fun, but you need to recharge. Not everyone will understand this but it’s okay to say you have plans to have no plans with your family because you are busy and unavailable. You have already blocked that time off to be with your spouse and children or to replenish your soul alone with the Word. Keep some “whitespace” on your calendar so that you aren’t suffocating from life’s demands. Do this so that when God interrupts your plans you are not so spent that you miss the opportunity to be Christ’s hands and heart extended.

This holiday season, I not only challenge you – I urge you. Pray about every opportunity you are so kindly given to connect and choose wisely. There’s nothing wrong with bringing peace and moments of sabbath into your days so that your family remains strong and you are able to take time to fill your own cup. Remember, you can’t pour anything out of an empty vessel.

When was the last time you spent privately reading the Word, seeking His presence, slowing your spirit? If you can’t remember… Go ahead and close that laptop or phone browser and block off some time to hide away. Do it now – if you can, but no further out than in the next week – you have permission to say no, and slow down. Enjoy this season. Enjoy these days.

Your family and your future self thanks you.

Love in Christ,

Amy

P.S. – Please read this with all the grace and love that our sweet Savior has for you! Don’t beat yourself up or feel like you’re too over-extended to slow down. Just take a moment to ask that He help you begin to make healthy choices in the coming days and weeks, and trust Him when He nudges you to say no and of course, say yes when you feel you’re supposed to say yes. But don’t say yes out of what Lysa Terkeurst calls a “disease to please.” You don’t owe others so much of yourself that you give them your peace, too. No condemnation. No guilt. xoxo (And check out Lysa’s book The Best Yes – it will change your life.)

https://thebestyes.com/

(note: these images are not mine, they are borrowed from Lysa’s ministry Facebook page’s posts with the hope of inspiring you by her words from her book as you read what my heart felt led to share with you about fighting the “busyness” of this season. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram – she and her ministry team are such a blessing.)

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Reminding myself that He’s faithful

This has encouraged many on my Facebook page so I thought perhaps I should share it here, too. Here’s what I posted:

Going through some old notes on my phone tonight and I found this declaration I wrote to myself and the prayer I was clinging to when I was facing significant difficulty during a major life storm. Perhaps someone else is facing a dark storm right now and could find encouragement in reading this declaration and praying with trust that He will provide the wisdom and peace you need. He’s so faithful. So wonderfully faithful…

Here is what I wrote in that note:

________________________

-Even in the darkness I declare my God is faithful.
-In the joyful and the broken moments.
-When my lungs are heavy and labored.
-When my prayers are jumbled and weak.
-When the world is spinning too fast for me to keep up.
-Even His Word is the only solid thing I can hold onto.

His strength sustains me.
His love surrounds me.
His promises carry me.

Hold me faithful One. Fight for me. Give me wisdom. Give me faith.

________________________

Be encouraged dear ones. He hears you. He holds you. He’s with you. ❤️

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Till, Plant, Grow, Harvest

I have been battling a very difficult season. I’ve been interceding and praying with a fervency I have difficulty finding words to express. I’ve poured God’s Word over my wounded heart and spirit and renewed my mind with it’s healing balm of promises and truths. Very recently I’ve seen shimmers of light peaking through the dark clouds. Echoes of life and hope coming in and touching my soul. As I contemplated these moments of good, I realized that the difficult was and is necessary. It was then, that I pictured a garden.

I’m no gardener. I’m no farmer. My thumb is as black as the darkest night, in the center of the longest tunnel and brings inevitable death to every green thing that relies on me for water or care. I mean, isn’t the rain supposed to water them? Okay, fine. You want a plant to die, please bring it to me. I’ve got you.

IMG_44A974EE28D2-1However, I have plant lovers in my family and circle of friends. I remember being a young child watching my dad on a tractor, pulling a tilling attachment over a large section of our grassy yard. In hours, where once there was lush green grass, there was now broken soil. The broken soil revealed what was within and what was beneath. Roots, worms, insects, and rocks were exposed for all to see and the sun to heat. All that was hidden, has been brought out into the light and no longer allowed to hide in the darkness of the facade of beauty within the grass and weeds.

Recently I’ve watched such exposure within someone I love deeply and my earth has certainly been broken and any assumptions I had have been laid bare before me.

I’m facing a tilling season.

And I’m starting to realize that this breaking of me, is the making of me.

This breaking of the person I love going through a tough time, is the making of them.

This breaking of you, is the making of you, too.

That hard thing you’re going through, it won’t be forever. It won’t be easy. But if you are a child of the One true King, and you seek Him with fervency throughout this tilling, life is ahead of you. Life is within you and waiting to bloom… And oh the beautiful purpose He can give to our trials we endure. The life we can speak into others once we’re on the other side and they’re just approaching the trenches. But right now…perhaps you’re in the middle of that hard thing. You’re in the tilling…the breaking of your earth, revealing all that is within and underneath and you’re ready for life to return. Perhaps a seed is on it’s way…or has already been planted…

I know that a seed is a dead thing. But when that dead thing is placed into that fertilized and churned soil, provided with thirst quenching water, and exposure to the life-giving sunlight – it is revived. New life is born.

The old dead way gives birth to a new life way.

Perhaps you are being prepared for a planting. Perhaps you need to ask what is this tilling bringing me to? Perhaps you need to fulfill your thirst with His water. Perhaps you need to expose yourself to the life-giving Son-light. Perhaps it’s in this time, you will be revived. Perhaps this is the moment for which you’ve been created – He’s writing your story, and it’s bigger and better than you ever could’ve dreamed (Esther 4:14, Ecclesiastes 3:1.)

I’m confident of this because I can trace His goodness in so many places all my days of following Him (even in the darkest of difficulties) – seek Him and He will guide you. (Lamentations 3:24-26, Proverbs 3:5-6) He is your deliver. Your victory. Your shield. (Psalm 91:9-16, Zephaniah 3:17)

Spend time in His Word.

Pray. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Talk to Him like you talk to your Bestie.

Meditate on good things that bring you to remembrance and hope. (Philippians 4:8, Matthew 22:37) Such as fill your mind with His scriptures and promises. Listen to music that reminds you of His hope and promises and not of your pain. Seek the counsel of wise friends and let them hold up your arms in this battle like Aaron did for Moses. Let them carry your burden in prayer. (Ecclesiastes 4:12, Galatians 6:2)

May this breaking of you, be the making of you.

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May you find shimmers of hope in the Son-light.

Love in Christ,

Amy

 

Here are some of my current favorite resources:

 

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Romania – the final 3 days

Tuesday March 6th was our second to last day in Romania. That morning we were headed to spend time at a women’s rehab facility. Miheala had asked me earlier in the weekend if I would share my testimony again. Early that morning I went to pray and spend time preparing my heart and I was in a total fog. I can’t explain it – it was really strange. Annetta came upstairs and walked into the room and immediately shared with the others they needed to gather around me and pray – she didn’t know I was experiencing this mental fog but God knew I needed my sisters to rally around me and pray. We sang worship songs on the way and when we arrived I still felt very oddly foggy.

It came time to share my testimony and I prayed under my breath at each translation break. Asking that God would help me focus and share and speak what details He desired for me to share… I learned later that He had allowed me to speak with a clarity that I did not hear within my own mind… Because inside my mind it was muddy…sticky…difficult, like thick tar… I shared some new details and “secrets” I hadn’t previously shared and I also pointed everything back to the redemptive power of Jesus my King. I shared of the restoration and the true joy He gives. I shared of the life His water gives when we turn from our poisonous wells and seek to quench our longing with His “water.” And then Mihaela asked me to sing.

I had only planned to play a song called Clean by Natalie Grant but when Mihaela asked me to sing I knew immediately I was to sing No Longer Slaves by Bethel.

And I knew immediately to go to the back of the room and as I sang I raised my arms and hands high as though singing a proclamation of freedom over that house –

I’M NO LONGER A SLAVE TO FEAR – I AM A CHILD OF GOD!

I AM SURROUNDED, BY THE ARMS OF THE FATHER. I AM SURROUNDED BY SONGS OF DELIVERANCE. WE’VE BEEN LIBERATED FROM OUR BONDAGE WE’RE THE SONS AND THE DAUGHTERS LET US SING OUR FREEDOM!

His Spirit filled that room and touched those women. Tears were falling, hearts were moved. It was beautiful… I took no pictures but their beautiful faces and the echo of their tears are etched within my memory and for that I am so deeply grateful. Billie had a word for one of the women that hit her so deep but in such a precious, Holy Spirit led way. Those beautiful women that Jesus loves so deeply… I pray they embrace the love and freedom He has for them…

That afternoon we had the incredible opportunity to spend time with Anca & Maria at a foster home. They are wonderful women and are showing such love and care to the children that have been placed with them. Out of respect for Anca and the children I will not be posting pictures of them here but I will post a couple that don’t have their faces in them. It was so fun playing with them, praying for them, and being silly with them. They realized quickly we were kind and there to have fun and so they embraced us. One sweet girl held me so tight I almost started crying – but I kept my wits about me since I didn’t want to scare her – ha! We played games with them, they did dance routines for us because that’s something the 2 older girls LOVED doing haha and they built things with legos we brought them also. And I downloaded Snapchat to see if they liked seeing the filters on them and – I kid you not – those kids knew how to use that better than I did! hahaha!! So funny! I have some precious photos and videos (& snaps) from that beautiful day and I will cherish them always.

Next we had more Romanian fast food. I can’t remember the name of the place but it had a very happy smiley on the sign. Here’s my dinner: more mamaliga & sausage! YUM!

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Never fear – I gave the gluten away 🙂

One other really special thing happened on Tuesday…While we were at Anca’s, our friends Adi & Elena came to bring us a gift. Elena had brought us each 2 of her grandmother’s handmade doilies!! Her grandmother is the reason she knows Jesus as her Lord and savior – one of our ladies had led her husband in the prayer of salvation just a few days earlier and so she wanted us to have a piece of her heritage by giving us something her grandmother had made by hand. Wow!! The generosity of the people here astounds me. I’m absolutely humbled to know these beautiful people and love them inexplicably. Just a few nights earlier (Sunday night) another sweet friend (Adina) and her husband (Flavius) came to bring us a special gift also. Her parents make pottery for a living and she brought us each 2 pieces of this gorgeous handmade pottery as a gift!! SO kind! We had asked multiple times if we could buy some so she even had extra sent to her via bus so we could buy it too!! We made certain to buy every extra piece so we could bless her family.

Wednesday March 8th was our last day in Romania! Wow! I can’t believe it came SO QUICKLY. It started with another fun breakfast at AMEC. This time it was a dill omelet – I could’ve eaten that every day – SO GOOD. Here are some photos of the place we had a lovely breakfast of cucumbers, tomatoes, cold cuts, various eggs, etc. – AMEC:

We had the opportunity to go into the Center that morning and visit Dana, one of our OSCES friends who works at neat coffee shop. I had the opportunity to eat at Super Mamma one more time! (Romanian Fast Food) and get to know Stephanie a little more. While some stayed at the church finishing up the art project in the children’s area the rest of us went to METRO to pick up food for preparing dinner for the homeless shelter that night. We chopped and chopped and prepped and then had the opportunity to feast on the stew Michael had prepared. So good! We also enjoyed some eggplant spread that Mihaela had made that was delicious! We ate so much of it and enjoyed it so much that Adi went and got more from his house for us to eat. HAHA!! Again, their generosity blows me away!

(random, the last 2 pictures were from a public toilet in the center. I found it interesting that she’s behind glass like we were at a bank! And….yes…she measures out your TP for you before you go….Hope you asked for enough)  😉

Okay…okay…back to ministry stuff: upon finishing up the food, we had the opportunity to see the living room area where the church used to meet. Wow!! God has done big things for Michael & Mihaela’s church and greater days are still yet to come! We then went to the homeless shelter and provided dinner, sang Our God as a group, and chatted with folks there. We had brought socks and items to bless the men and women there and had prepared them in bundled packages to give away. They were very grateful for the toiletries, scarves, hats, socks, etc. They were also grateful for the dinner. We had more than enough and it was an honor to share with them.

Something really cool from earlier that day was that Michael explained the variety of stuff that we had been involved in. He explained that everything we had done was connected to a ministry someone in the church was connected to and had their hearts in. So we had the honor and privilege of coming alongside these folks and serving with them and loving those they love and it was awesome!! From the foster home to the homeless shelter to the women’s rehab facility to the radio station and on and on and on. Wow! God is doing big things in Romania through Michael’s church. I pray He continue to rise up people whom are ready to go and be His hands and feet and heart!

Some of us were crazy enough to stay up ALL NIGHT LONG on Wednesday night, haha!! We knew we were leaving at 4 am to fly home and this would help with the transition and fend off jet lag. There was a midnight Romanian pizza delivery, a lot of silliness and laughter, some coffee, and some that dropped like flies but 3 remained strong: Addie, Tinsley, & I made it the whole night. We were deliriously tired but knew that would help us on the planes…

Thursday morning (March 9th) at 5 am we arrived at the airport to head back to the US. Our precious friend Magda had changed her shift at the airport to be able to be there and say goodbye. She helped us get checked in and then gave us hugs as we boarded the plane. I was blessed enough to have accidentally gotten outside before they realized it wasn’t boarding time yet so I was able to spend a few extra moments with Magda and steal a photo:

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On the planes I was able to get the gluten free food I had requested and it was actually really good:

Our flights were relatively uneventful – unless you count that last connection where we literally RAN through the MASSIVE airport like that scene from Home Alone where we are about to miss our plane and then thankfully make it and get settled and breathe because we know the next stop is ATL. Phew – I was SO glad I wore layers :).

There were other adventures and fun moments but this is getting longer than I typically allow…better wrap it up. Thank you for following our journey. We are already planning for our trip back and until then I will pray for my new friends and stay connected thanks to the beautiful world of technology. Until then, te iubesc my Romanian friends!

Love in Christ,

Amy

 

PS – If you would like to know how you can partner with the Gravitts and the incredible ministry they are doing in Romania – please let me know and I can get your contact info to them. I can get you added to their newsletters that go out. If you’d like to bless their ministry with a financial gift, please feel free to do that via our church’s website, here:

http://www.thecitychurch.cc/giving-1/  (indicate it’s for the Gravitt’s when the field comes up to select what you are giving to). Blessings!!!

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