Friday, July 13, 2012

Brazil, the journey

It has been just over ten months ago that we set out on this journey from Washington State.   With an average of 25 missionaries from 10 different nations traveling, living and sharing the love of Jesus together, it has been, the least to say, a live changing experience.  We often sleep on the side of the road, camp on beaches, in villages, on church floors and occasionally churches take us into their homes or put us up in hotels.  We have gone deep in the jungles, in remote mountain villages, to the slums, prisons, hospitals, red light districts, the inner-city streets and constantly minister in the local churches.  We are now in Brazil which is the 16th country we have ministered in within the last ten months.  We estimated at the beginning of this journey that it would take about a year, but with six more countries before us in South America and after that sailing the Caribbean ministering in the islands from Venezuela to Florida we really don’t have any idea how many more months are before us on this journey.  We have never been able to stick to an itinerary and whatever plans we try to make always have to be adjusted due to the constant unforeseeable delays. 

It is so easy to become very busy doing ministry but we are constantly reminded that all fruitfulness flows from intimacy.  As we remember that our main ministry is first to Jesus and then out of the overflow of our time in His presence is where the most miracles and spiritual fruit comes from.  We carry so much more than just a message of hope, but we carry God Himself in us, the fullness of His Kingdom and power within us.  When we walk in the constant conscious awareness of His nearness and no longer think of ministry as a duty or activities but we simple live in love with Him and in the simplest of things like going to get a cup of coffee lives are touched and people are healed and saved.  Every day we must remember to first stop for the One, Jesus Christ, and then as we go about our day we stop for the one He puts in front of us that is in need of His love and touch.  Throughout our journey whether in church meetings or on the streets we minister prophetically to people’s needs by keeping our hearts sensitive to the Spirit of God and seeing people through His eyes with His heart for them.  Bodies are healed of all sorts of pains and sicknesses, blind eyes see, deaf ears are opened and we dream and believe that He wants to do even so much more. 

Living in community on the road in often times intense or stressful circumstances has been the most growing experience and we are learning to love each other, cover each other’s shortcomings and be unified in heart and spirit.  The more unity we experience as a family equals the measure of God’s glory we carry with us.  Often times we go to cities and countries having no contacts and no plans but as we pray together and seek God’s direction so many doors come open and divine appointments are made.  Often times our whole team has gone days without a shower, We have to use the restroom in the bushes, we experience serious vehicle breakdowns in the middle of nowhere, people run out of money, We have driven continuous 14 hour days in a row, We have been in the most dangerous places in the western hemisphere with people constant warning us and through these times we have the opportunity to experience the greatest release of God’s miraculous grace, provision and protection.

Why do we do what we do?  The answer is that He is worthy and this is what He told us to do.  Two years ago while praying with a group of people in Mozambique for South America the Lord began speaking to us.  As we wrote down all that He showed us, it seemed crazy and impossible.  We stepped out in faith knowing that He would have to meet us for this to happen.  Now here we are ten months later, having been to the end of the world, the southern of the continent and on our way back up we can surely say that He is faithful and is constantly causing to fall deeper into love and faith with Him.  Thank you so much for all of you who have prayed for us and supported us.  We could not be here without you.  May the Lord richly bless you and may you reap from the fruit and reward of what God is doing through our team in South America. 


          We have been ministering in Uruguay for a few weeks now.   When we arrived in the country we had no contacts or plans, and we were experiencing a lot of trials with our vehicles breaking down.  Within a couple days a Mennonite church had received us and we begin leading services, small groups and other evangelistic ministries. Just yesterday we were able to pick up our last vehicle from the mechanic which had to have the motor totally rebuilt.  We ran out of money before we even got to this country but God has totally showed His faithfulness and provided for everything.  We even had the brakes totally redone in two cars by faith which cost about $700 and that night two groups came home from leading house church home groups with offerings totaling abou t$700.  Yesterday morning we sent half of our team into Brazil while the rest of us wait for remaining visa and passport details to be sorted out.  It was prophesied that God was going to provide us with free lodging and for the past couple of weeks the Mennonite church has put us up in amazing housing with no cost.   The people in this country have been so hungry for the Lord and always and everywhere people are being saved, healed and refreshed by the presence of the Lord.  He is so faithful.  This country is the most unreached in South America with the least percentage of evangelical Christians.  There exists lots of occult groups and wehave experienced firsthand lots of attacks of witchcraft against us.  It just encourages us all the more of what God is doing and that glory of His presence is invading changing everything and bringing about a new day for the people that have been lost in darkness.  Please keep us in your prayers as we finish this time in Uruguay and prepare to head into Brazil.   We come up against the hords of hell but the King of Glory rides with us with His heavenly hosts and the strongholds of darkness are being destroyed as the Kingdom of heaven advances with glory and power.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jehova Jireh

We are thanking and praising the Lord right now for His provsions and faithfulness.  Out of a place of need and stressful situations we see that He is working so much through all of this to use it for His glory.  We were able to repair one of our vehicles ourselves yesterday which was the one with the most minor problem.  The mechanic called us about "New Wine", our motor home van and told us that it was ready for us to come pick up.   We drove about 130 kilometers back to where we had left it and it ended up costing twice what we thought that we were told initially.  Sometimes I wonder to myself "Are they ripping us off,  are they charging way more because of where we are from?".  Local people tell us often that people in these countries always do that just like in africa how we were always given "the white man's rate" instead of regular price.  My initial reaction is to want to argue the price down, and tell them they are trying to rip me off.  And sometimes this can be done in a nice way peacefully.   However, in this current situation we can't really know if they are charging us an outrageous price or not,  it's more just a paranoia because the costs are much more than expected.   It's also just as possible that they are honest and charging how much it is suppose to cost, and for me to try and battle for a lower price with too much effort would only make the relationship tense and cause it to be harder to be a witness for Christ with whoever we are working with.  So anyways we paid about $800 total to have our motor home van back and everyone was rejoicing when they saw it pulling back up to our camp.  We stopped by and checked on our Mid-sized motor home on the way and they had the motor all apart and praise God they had found all the parts to repair the motor!   Only $2500,  $1000 more than what we were estimated when we had to tow it there.   We just spent nearly all our months gas money to repair the last one,  and how will we continue to forward if we cannot repair our bigger vehicle.  Many individuals have already been struggling financially especially at the moment each of us applying for our Brazil visas for $190 a person.   But,  it is so easy.  How many times have we been in very similar situations like this and has there ever been a time when God did not show up and provide?  No.  He is ever faithful and leads us into these situations to help us depend on Him more and check our hearts to make sure that we place our security totally in Him and not in any amount of money in our bank account or wallet.  The mechanics need at least $1200 to buy the parts in order to start repairs which could take another week or so,  we are praying to be able to get that to them by tomorrow because we are trying to be on schedual heading to Brazil soon.  And I know without a doubt that when time comes to pick up the vehicle we will somehow have the rest of what we need and enough gas money for our journey.  Please pray for the bountiful overflow of the practical resources we need to breakforth for our entire team so that in whatever nation God brings us we are able to bless and give out generously being a burden on no one.  Pray for Tanya who to deal with all the practical numbers of accounting and records which can be a more stressful position, while I don't really have to think about those things but just keep moving forward trusting it will be there when it is time.  Please pray for the power of God to break forth in this nation with the lowest rate of evangelicals in all of South America.   He is stirring in the spirit here and about to do something so big.  We have already been experiencing the pieces of His divine orchestration unveiling a glorious picture of His time of redemption unfolding now in this nation of Uruguay.

with much love

Jesse, Tanya and Zoe