A life of Prayer and Faith

So this week God has brought about two things that are a testimony that He is at Work and He is very much in control.

TheGAP is set up as a self-funded non-profit organization that relies on donations and funds from community and organizations.

These last few months, well I should say last 6 months, have been a journey of prayer and faith in trusting God to provide financially for theGAP. Through the months March -June we haven’t known whether we would still be able to run the following month. It’s been touch and go, week by week. Month by month.
But that’s where trusting in Gods promises and His faithfulness has led to a greater faith and understanding that God is the only one who can keep this program going. It is His project and these are His ‘daughters’ we are working with.

At the start of the whole journey of theGAP becoming a reality, God spoke to me very clearly through a book called “Releasing The Power Of Prayer”, which is the written testimony of George Mueller and how God provided for him and the running of the orphanage. God spoke so clearly to me that if I would just trust Him and commit to my life to Prayer and Faith, that He would provide the same way He did for George Mueller. It has been a constant promise(along with a huge list of other)that I have held on to and had to keep going back to and reminding myself of especially when things don’t appear to be the way I would expect or when financial circumstances have been unsure.

I can testify that over the past 4 years (2years setting up+2.5years running) god has provided miraculously and through resources we could never have imagined. God has miraculously sustained us year in and year out.

This year though when things started getting light on financially, I was reminded again about God asking me to commit to Prayer and Faith and was quite embarrassed to realize that I had quite neglected the prayer element in the most recent times. I was doing more works and less prayer. I had started to rely on the good and what I was doing to maintain. I spent a lot of time on how I was going to get money and raise finances. It was a huge task. It stressed me just thinking about it.
Oh, it wasn’t that I didn’t trust God and I wasn’t praying. I just wasn’t being intentional in my praying. Yet each time I would strive and work so hard to get phone calls and meetings with business people to ask for financial support, there was always something in my heart that was not at peace about it. I couldn’t just let go and stop asking for money and just rely on prayer and God, could I? But what if I did? Is my God not big enough? Would He not hold fast to His promise to me?

It wasn’t easy to do, but I had to repent before God and make a plan to incorporate more prayer into theGAP. I had to release the asking for money and trust God to place it on the right people and businesses hearts. He holds the heart of Kings in His hands(Proverbs 21:1), surely He can prompt the hearts of men/women to give to what He is wanting to accomplish through theGAP.

I have since April set up regular prayer with a bunch of powerful prayer warriors and have made some changes in my lifestyle to incorporate more prayer. More prayer, fewer works and striving to make what I wanted or feared to happen or not happen. Complete trust and reliance on God. I was willing to ask less for money(common sense) and rely on God (recklessly effective). It didn’t make sense, but my heart was at peace and rest about it.

Anyway, back to the testimony this week. Well, last week we had that meeting…yes the one to discuss our current financial state and the procedures to follow in the event of the near future of closing down theGAP. It was the dreaded ‘meeting’ and I tried to hold off for as long as I could, but the time came when I had to suck it up, trust God and face it. Thankfully the outcome of that meeting wasn’t half as bad as I had thought and actually things were a lot clearer and finances looking brighter than expected. We had received enough finances through random, unexpected sources to keep us open for another 2-3 weeks. That’s always good news. But I also knew that wasn’t enough.

I had been trying to contact and approach local community businesses for support and a few small donations had come through but nothing substantial to keep us running longer than a couple of weeks. I must admit at times I would complain and not even have an inkling of thankfulness for some of these donations. I wanted more. I continued praying. My prayers were getting more and more desperate. We needed God to come through or else we were going to have to do what none of us wanted to do: close the program. Then I realized I had not been very thankful for the small, so why would God give me the big?

I kept holding onto the promises and handing everything over to God. Every day I had to hand over any control and fear and thank God for every glimmer of hope, every donation, every extra day we could keep running.

On Monday God supplied a miraculous, generous, and abundant donation through an anonymous source. God spoke clearly through this to say to me again,”Just trust me. I am in this. I will provide. It won’t be the way you want or think, but I will do it. I will not let you fail.” (Isaiah 50:7)

On Tuesday, God directed me to this Scripture as a reminder–Isaiah 45:18-25.

“I(God) publicly proclaim bold promises. I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner…I The Lord speak only what is true and declare only what is right….For I am God; there is none other….I have sworn by my name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word:every knee will bend to me, and every tongue confess allegiance to me…The people will declare, ‘The Lord is the source of all my righteousness and strength…'”

And the main purpose of theGAP in everything that we do, accomplish and represent is to be an avenue through which God is glorified. People will declare what The Lord has done and see who He is through the testimony that is theGAP. Our purpose is to point others to Him and strengthen the faith of other believers so they too will know that God is faithful. He is the same God yesterday, today and forever. He will not change. He is true. He proclaims his promises boldly. And he will bring them about according to His purposes.

And so through it all, it encourages my faith again and encourages me to pursue prayer and intimacy with God. It’s not easy. It’s not comfortable. And it definitely makes you humble. But seeking after Gods heart. Living in prayer and faith. To really know and find His heart, truly leave me looking forward to more of how God is going to provide.

So may this be an encouragement to anyone who reads this…..don’t give up on the promises God has given you…He will accomplish them.

Oh and for those of you who remember I had said there were two things….The second testimony is going to have to wait for another day.

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I’ve Had Lice Thrice and It Wasn’t Very Nice

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Call me paranoid or maybe slightly insane, but I can’t stop this itchy, crawly feeling……
Nobody likes Nits. I hate nits. And I remember the embarrassment I felt when I realized I had nits. I had just come from being a leader at a camp with over 20 teenage girls. It was one of the best weekends of my life just loving on these girls and sharing with them.
Yet, here I was sitting with a bunch of my friends at a fancy restraint and I couldn’t shake this itchy feeling in my scalp. I tried my best to restrain myself from having a good scratch in front of my friends. Finally I couldn’t handle it and I just gave my head a little scratch and I felt something caught in my fingertips. I tried to be as quiet and slow as I could as I pulled my hand down under the table for examination. To my horror, I found a huge creepy, crawly louse. I felt mortified, horrified and extremely embarrassed.
For the rest of the evening I couldn’t relax and I could t leave that restraint and group of friends fast enough. And, yes, I dealt with those creepy crawlies straight away. Since that moment I have been subject to two further incidents of having lice.

I’m no longer as embarassed and now for me, it comes with part of the life I’ve chosen to live. If I get lice now it means I am actually being at the ground level of working with those who are down and out. The dirty. The smelly and the lice-infested. I now feel proud ( not in an up myself way, but a humbling way) that I can connect with, love and embrace without the thinking that I’ll be contaminated or dirtied.

I have been saved not for myself but to “love mercy and act justly” (Micah 6:8). Most of the time it requires me to step beyond or beneath the comfortable, the clean and the pure. I feel privileged to be invited into homes, families and lives and take the love of Jesus. To bring light into dark places. If it means I get dirty or in my case lice, it’s worth it.

In this life I choose to give my life to seeking what God seeks after. And Jesus said he “came to seek and save that which was lost”(Luke 19:10). Lost in this verse doesn’t just mean something that’s been hidden or led astray. It actually means that which has been destroyed, broken and messed up. We know the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. But Jesus comes to bring Life and Life to the full (John 10:10). Every day lives and families are being destroyed. I want to be a part of seeking and bringing life to those who are lost.

For me, I know God has chosen me to work with young women. The down and out. The disadvantaged. The voiceless. The broken. And give them the opportunity to encounter Hope. life. The love of their Father. It’s not always nice and it’s not always comfortable. And it’s definitely not easy. But Jesus never said it would be.

Jesus said ” take up your cross and follow me” (Matt 16:24) and in that taking up if our cross it means dying to ourselves and taking on Christ. So I lay down that which is of me that would hinder me and choose to take up Christ to seek and save that which is lost.