Classes are officially over! It’s so hard to believe that it’s already over and we only have one month of outreach left. It feels like just yesterday I was arriving in Cyprus. I won’t have internet access until I get home in mid-June, so this will be my last blog post until then.
Wave After Wave
This past week we had a couple of days in worship, where we literally experienced wave after wave of God’s presence. On Thursday, we reached the ‘end’ a number of times, and then someone would get another new revelation, and it would start all over again. God began to speak about restoration at one point and His desire to restore. As we cried out for God to bring restoration in our own lives, in the lives of our family and friends back home, we found ourselves again surrounded by His presence, unable to leave the room. Just when we would think we could move on to the next ‘scheduled’ thing for the day, we would get hit by another wave. We literally lingered in His presence all morning. By the time we got up to leave the room, we saw we had missed morning class time and it was already lunch time! You could feel God’s pleasure that morning as He encountered us, His children. We know that He is filling us up to be able to pour it all back out on outreach.
Going Forth in Abundance
One thing we prayed for that morning, was that God would provide the remaining funds needed for student and staff outreach fees to be paid for. We had one student and a number of staff who still needed finances for the trip. As we prayed for the bare minimum needed, we felt faith growing to ask God for above and beyond what we needed. As our leader so well put it, “Only in an atmosphere of faith can your need grow larger. I needed less before we started praying!” When we gathered the next day, we saw our faith answered – overnight the final student received all his funds, a few of the staff received their finances, and the group as a whole had received $10,000 to be applied to anyone who still needed finances!!! It is amazing what happens when we step out in faith. We so strongly feel God leading us to go into Ethiopia in abundance, not just for us personally, but to bless Ethiopia. We have received so many donations of clothes and toys from churches here on the Island, and even a local toy store donated over $100 worth of toys! We are so excited to go and bless the people of Ethiopia, the children in the orphanages, the poor who come to the feeding center, and the Jewish community who are treated as outcasts.
Gift of Faith
I have felt strongly this past week to ask God for a greater gift of faith. As I began to ask God in worship one day for this gift, I was suddenly reminded of times I have had faith for things that didn’t end up happening. I was suddenly faced with the reality that, to grow in faith means stepping out in opportunities that require greater faith. Was I ready for that?! Yes! I believe our time in Ethiopia will be a time of growing in that gift, but I know that it will come through times of believing for some impossible things. I am so excited for it though! God is changing my heart, giving me a new desire for the impossible – not just for the ‘excitement’ of it, but for the faith it will build in me, and for the love it will show to others. I so desire to see the people of Ethiopia encounter God’s love for them, to know that He is passionate about them. I am praying, continuing to ask God to increase my compassion and love for the people we will encounter. I am really believing that God will give me His eyes and His heart on this trip, to see people as He sees them and to feel as He feels. How can that lead to any other response but love? I want to feel what God feels when He looks at them, and respond how He would respond – by showing them His love.
Many blessings from Cyprus,